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  • Robin Horsfall

'Physician heal thyself'

‘Physician heal thyself’

If you know an addict then you will know how it feels to observe the pain and trauma that the addict goes though as a consequence of their addiction. However, as time passes and that pain and suffering is transmitted onto others things will change. Initially people say ‘It’s the addiction not the addict, it’s society’s fault’ but later this becomes ‘I can’t help anymore, I’m worn out.’

The desire to be perfectly safe is an addiction to some. To them the possession of weapons provides a warmth and security that cannot be found elsewhere. They are empowered by the comfort of knowing that if threatened they would be able to find the weapon, remove the safety catch and confront an intruder. They only envisage a positive conclusion. The need to kill the ‘bad man’ comes from a desire to be safe. Safe from evil, safe from …..well, everything.

The myth that the world can be a safer place if only we could shoot the bad guys is to some degree the result of modern and post-modern literature. In post WW2 films the winners kill more of the enemy than the losers, in Westerns the Sheriff kills the man in the black hat the cop asks ‘Do ya feel lucky punk?’ and kills the criminal with his Colt 45 and order is restored.

Young men in inner cities carry knives for similar reasons, ‘Everyone else does it so I need to do it’ is a common response.

Guns are carried where I live but I do not feel safer if I wear one. I have access to knives but I do not carry one because I’m sure it doesn’t make me safer. The most likely cause of my death will be cancer or a car accident. I will still go out in the sun and I will continue to ride in cars. I am not a safety addict and I refuse to be afraid.

I know that if I have a gun I am more likely to make a mistake if I am threatened. It is without doubt more likely that I would shoot the wrong person in error than the person who is trying to kill me. If I carry a knife I will be less likely to run away and more inclined to stick around to confront a knife wielding attacker. I understand better than most the terrible effects of gunshots and knives having been shot and stabbed during my lifetime. The most effective form of self-defence is without doubt to run away.

I am losing my ability to sympathise with a nation that encourages fear and promotes the fantasy that carrying a weapon in a civilised society makes people safer. I am tired of hearing about how the addict is suffering once again from an overdose. I am bewildered that a nation that imprisons drug addicts encourages and supports gun addicts. I’m fed up of hearing about the poor old addict and I’m gradually losing interest.

‘Physician heal thyself’ Luke 4:23

Robin Horsfall.

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