Is sorry enough?

Since when did firing and posing with guns become a good way to let off steam? What is the attraction of being in charge of and firing a weapon which could easily kill someone? And why, when there have been so many gun-related tragedies in the US, is it still possible to do so?

Ok, I know that Americans have ‘the right to bear arms’ written in to their constitution, but really, who needs to have a gun unless it’s in your line of work? Park rangers, cowboys, armed police and the armed forces all need to be able to fire a weapon for their own safety and that of others, surely no-one else needs to have access to such ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

In the US alone, in 2010 there were 31,513 deaths from firearms. Suicide accounted for 19,308 deaths, homicide 11,015 and accident 600. These figures don’t include people who were simply injured. Such incidents boost the figure by 200,000 or so.

While most of us don’t have this information readily to hand, you would have to have been living under a rock to be unaware of the loss of life to firearms. So, having seen the photos of swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk posing with some rather imposing firearms, you would ask if this is where Nick D’Arcy and Kendrick Monk have been for the last few years? Certainly not. Mr D’Arcy has been battling for his chance to be included in the Australian swim team after being convicted of assaulting fellow swimmer Simon Cowley in 2008. And when ordered to pay Cowley damages, he conveniently filed for bankruptcy. Monk has also courted controversy when last year he claimed to have broken an elbow after a hit-and-run accident. It was later found that the injury occurred when he fell off his skateboard.

While neither Nick D’Arcy nor Kenrick Monk have broken the law, they have displayed a tremendous lack of tact and decorum by carrying on like a couple of nuff nuffs, excited by having their picture taken with some guns!

With the Olympics just around the corner, it is unlikely that any sanctions placed on D’Arcy and Monk will involve missing out on a trip to London. But with the eyes of the world watching, this is yet another unwanted embarrassment for the sport in Australia.

Should Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk be stripped of their right to swim for Australia? Or is this just a media storm in a teacup?

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