Easy access to a gun

I just finished reading the excellent article about the murder of Michael Martin by Richard Gagnon [Special Focus, July 17].

As a person who grew up in England, I began to imagine how this story would have played out if set in that country, or indeed anywhere in Europe! The background story probably would have been the same - workplace harassment or bullying and extreme emotions relating to work, especially being fired, happen anywhere. But then the story would have taken a radically different turn.

Our English equivalent of Richard Gagnon would not have been able to find a gun, as they are illegal there, and he wouldn't have had the criminal or underworld contacts to buy one illegally.

Instead, he would have gone into the workplace and perhaps attacked with his fists, resulting in a charge of assault and his victim suffering some injuries that would probably have healed in a few weeks at most.

So while extreme emotions can happen anywhere, the ability to turn them into extreme violence does not. This is the issue we should be looking at.

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