REV DAVID FAREY: Sometimes restraint is needed for society at large

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

Talk about stating the obvious! Pick up a packet of nuts and it will have the helpful tag under allergy advice, “Contains nuts”.

What else would a packet of nuts contain, but nuts? Why should those in charge actually require the obvious to be spelt out? Is the public at large regarded as such nincompoops that we need to be told that we should be careful because a bag of nuts contains nuts?

But perhaps we need to stop just a moment and reflect. Let’s take cigarettes. It has been completely proven that cigarettes do actually do harm and the packets contain graphic images alongside the message that smoking kills.

And yet, notwithstanding this statement of the obvious, cigarettes are still sold and bought and smoked.

People who smoke must realise they are playing Russian roulette. The biggest culprit I would argue though is a government that fails its citizens by permitting the sale of cigarettes, whilst at the same time banning many other noxious substances less dangerous than cigarettes, and requiring nonsensical and obvious allergy instructions on packaging.

Mercifully in our country guns are not readily available. Here there are all kinds of checks that exist before someone can own a gun. There may be a case for even stricter control however the situation in the United States is a very different kettle of fish. There you can go and buy a gun with relative ease.

The system which permits a man to buy an arsenal of guns and then proceed to shoot and kill in a completely random way fifty eight people and injure four hundred and eighty nine more demands a close scrutiny.

The American Constitution’s Second Amendment gives the people the right to carry arms without infringement. The gun lobby is strong and powerful in the States. Any attempt to interfere with this right is fervently opposed.

The limitation of personal rights and freedoms are often condemned, but as St Paul has it in one of his letters, “’We are allowed to do anything’—but not everything is helpful.”

There does come a point when some restraint has to be exercised, and it is appropriate for the governments in charge to seek to exercise that restraint for the benefit of the society at large committed to their care, be it over guns, cigarettes or anything which can do more damage than good.

So personal rights and freedoms are all very well but I for one demand the right that my government should take whatever action is appropriate to prevent anyone’s so called freedom from doing people harm!

Maybe it’s just about who shouts the loudest!