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Saturday, 10 May 2008

I'm so glad you asked

Long ago when the U.S. had real presidents rather than performing seals running things, Thomas Jefferson said that the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

This occurred to me when yesterday I saw the headlines about that poor barrister who got shot.

One paper, using the most shopworn cliché to hand, said he was shot down in a “hail of bullets”. Others asked one of the more stupid questions I have seen lately outside the exchanges between Clinton and Obama: why was he killed with five bullets?

Whilst I am not a trained marksman, I think I can work that out for the benefit of the morons who asked. When a team of you are shooting at someone, you don’t politely turn to each other, bow politely, and say, “After you.” You shoot as quickly and accurately as possible. If there are several of you and you aim properly, more than one will hit the poor target.

Is that clear? The only question remaining is why it took a small army to do the job. Probably because getting in a bit of target practice against one poor drunk in Chelsea is more fun and less dangerous than stopping posses of 14 year-olds shooting at each other (and anybody who gets in the way) with rocketlaunchers outside hip-hop clubs in Peckham.

Next week I shall be discussing other tricky questions like how to wipe your arse.

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