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General Cosgrove, I Salute You Sir
6:33 pm on Tue 7th Apr by TheMoosra
General Peter Cozgrove is one of Australia's most highly decorated military officers. He led their army in East Timor on peacekeeping operations, and returned to Australia as a hero. He was named "Australian of the Year" in 2001 by the government. In short, this man knows what he's talking about when it comes to firearms.

Cosgrove was being interviewed on Australian national radio, ABC (equivalent to our BBC), in relation to his involvement with the the sponsorship of boy scouts and their participation in events at military headquaters. The interview started to turn into a debate on children and guns when Cosgrove mentioned that the boys would be taught shooting under supervised conditions.

Normally, those of the Guardian reading persuasion think that firearms are evil instruments that exist solely to cause misery. They have an irrational hatred of firearms simply because their thoughts are reactionary in nature. They see a shooting, and they condemn the instrument used as the cause of the crime. This is of course, about as logical as blaming car crashes upon the availability of cars, rather than on driver error.

Cosgrove managed to find a way to silence this strand of naiveity in his interviewer with a brilliant quip. Take a look.

So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

Shooting?! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range by qualified instructors.

Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle safety discipline before they ever even touch a firearm.

But if you teach them how to shoot, you're equipping them to become violent killers.

Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radiocastwent silent for 46 seconds and when it returned, the interview was over.

2 comments posted so far
SS wrote at 1:56 am on Wed 8th Apr -
Good anecdote and his comeback was pretty legendary. Although, as always, I have to point out - sure cars can kill but they have a main purpose which is incredibly useful (not to say that the main purpose of a gun isn't useful) - that of transportation.
Show me that a gun can be used usefully for something that doesn't involve the injury or death of another living creature and I will retract my point.
Moosra wrote at 1:56 am on Wed 8th Apr -
Self defence

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"The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun." - R. Buckminster Fuller