Two totally different news stories caught my eye this week. The first illustrates the total lunacy of America’s obsession with guns. Readers will, no doubt, remember the furore created when mother-of-three, Meleanie Hain, from Pennsylvania turned up at her kids’ football game toting a 9mm Glock handgun in a holster strapped to her waist.
Quite what Mrs Hain expected to achieve by this act of egotistical mania one can only imagine, but the chickens came home to roost with a vengeance this week when husband, Scott Hain, shot his wife to death and then turned the gun on himself.
The irresponsibility of both adults was compounded by the gun battle occurring while all three of the Hain’s children were in the house. Thankfully, they weren’t physically harmed. Needless to say, they are now orphans.
This incident is yet another example, if it were needed, of the crass stupidity and immaturity of America’s National Rifle Association, which has long campaigned for the carrying of firearms to be legalized, under their infamous and grossly inaccurate slogan: ‘Guns Save Lives’.
Perhaps a more appropriate aphorism might be: ‘He Who Lives By The Gun Shall Perish By The Gun’.
The announcement from Norway this week that US President Barack Obama was to receive the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize came as something of a surprise to many people.
The bewilderment is obvious. This prestigious award is invariably given for achievement, and while many would not question his good intentions, Obama’s efforts towards peace in the world have, as yet, borne little or no fruit. Indeed, if good intention is sufficient to satisfy the wise men of Norway, there are many of us on this planet qualified to wear Alfred Nobel’s gold medal around our necks.
We must, however, have some sympathy for those who have to make these decisions. In today’s violent world it cannot always be easy to find a suitable recipient. If, however, Obama succumbs to the demands of his top Afghanistan adviser, General Stanley McChrystal, and deploys a further 40,000 US troops to that country, then the argument that he is unworthy of the peace prize becomes more tenable.
To be worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize one must be aware that winning wars is not about peace. Peace is only achieved by avoiding them.
Perhaps, after all, it’s time to consign all prestigious awards to the garbage cans of history. Once, they held a certain aura of dignity, but today’s awards are often based more on ‘prizes for the boys’ rather than genuine achievement.
Nowhere was this more obvious than in New York recently when British Prime Minister, and inept politician, Gordon Brown, was awarded the title, ‘Statesman of the Year’, by a little known Jewish organization calling itself the ‘Appeal of Conscience Foundation’.
The Foundation hails as one its star members, perhaps the greatest US war criminal ever, Henry Alfred Kissinger.
Kissinger was also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1973. An award that caused the well-known musical satirist, Tom Lehrer, to remark:
“Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize.”
 “Gun-Toting Pa. Soccer Mom, Husband Found Dead” KIROTV.Com, October 7/8th 2009
 “Why does McChrystal need more troops for Afghanistan?” CSM, September 21st 2009
 “Brown World Statesman of the Year” Channel 4 News, September 23rd 2009
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