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Law and Disorder

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There is only one occasion this correspondent can recollect being openly discriminated against in the nearly two score years of being privately discriminated against (by girls in nightclubs, previous employers in work, etc….). The incident occurred on a train journey from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford, Essex where your correspondent was singled out for his Irish brogue. Your Correspondent had been out drinking in the Square Mile, London (as was his custom most Friday evenings at the time) and was extending the night with a trip to the night-spots of Chelmsford. Your Correspondent had been seated with a young work colleague in the middle of the carriage and had been light-heartily discussing the antics of that evening with him, when a male passenger from behind interjected with a comment along the lines of, “If you don’t shut up Paddy, I’ll take you off at the next stop and beat the B*l@*x out of you”.

What this hostile traveller had not anticipated judging by his later response was the half-a-dozen-or-so work colleagues of this correspondent (lads from Essex), being seated in various other parts of the carriage. He became aware of this when the lads all stood up and responded that they would also be getting off the train at the next stop. He subsequently stayed quiet to the next station and after alighting the train, didn’t hang about on the platform.

What prompted your correspondent to recall the above memory was a story read the other week about the treatment a Mr & Mrs Phillips received from the legislature of Colorado for their attitude to ammunition-selling.

Mr & Mrs Phillips had brought a case against The Sportsman’s Guide, a company that sells weaponry, and Lucky Gunner, a company that specialises in selling ammunition, in the hope of stopping both companies from selling ammunition on-line.

The Phillips legal challenge stems from their daughter Jessi being killed by James Holmes (the man who dressed up as Batman, went to a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at a Colorado cinema and shot dead 12 people) who purchased 4,000 bullets from the company Lucky Gunner as well as tear gas & body armour without having to show his face in their stores.

The presiding Judge Richard Matsch ruled that the Phillips action be dismissed (companies were entitled to sell ammunition to customers whether they be armchair, shop-store, lunatic or regular purchasers), and that the Phillips compensate Lucky Gunner & The Sportsman’s Guide for fees & costs ($203,000) for the action they brought against them.

Returning to your correspondents’ fellow hostile traveller, what he discovered that evening on the train to Chelmsford is that you should always expect the unexpected when threatening violence.

What Judge Matsch will probably discover in the very near future with his decision to make a family pay for trying to stop lunatics buying bullets over the internet, is another expected unexpected display from a trigger-happy lunatic.

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