Letter: Mailbag - Disturbing policy.
THE reasons for yet another distressing shooting tragedy are left to the usual inquiry and with the exception of expecting the usual findings, I do not propose to speculate on this latest incident.
I will point out the wider tragedy for the UK when we are left in no doubt that waving a sword or shotgun in public automatically precipitates state execution.
If the Americans are reluctant to go that far, our own state has acquired a different mindset. Many of us here are praising police for their action; a few experience a mixture of sadness and nausea.
Of course there has to be an appropriate reaction from police to a man firing a shotgun from his window but the extent of military force used against this man was overwhelming. The hollow tip bullet penetrating his head would have instantly destroyed the brain causing immediate death from that single round.
The pathologist conducting the post-mortem had to guess that the body was hit at least five times, indicating the severest trauma. The Hague Convention outlaws the use of these "dum-dum" bullets and the Firearms Act 1968 (which exempts police) prohibits their use other than for the humane destruction of animals. To those who welcome the age of humane destruction of disturbed citizens, I ask them to pause for thought on the perfidious road trodden in the 1930's, when Germany justified an identical policy.
DR M T GRAY Concern4justice