Of guns and promises

The Reverend Doctor Peter Hearty’s parody of Rowan Williams’ Thought for the Day broadcast this morning is as funny as ever. The current and soon-to-retire Archbeard of All England is something of an intellectual windbag, and he is rather fond of the pregnant pause. It must be the poet in him. But what did Williams actually say in response to the recent mass shooting in Connecticut?

“If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target. If all you have is the child’s openness and willingness to be loved, everything looks like a promise. Control of the weapons trade is a start. But what will really make the difference is dealing with fear and the pressure to release our anxiety and tension at the expense of others.”

This comes shortly after the National Rifle Association’s call for good guys to be armed as a matter of course, including school teachers. The NRA’s reaction to the Newtown massacre was delivered in the form of a pseudo-moral lecture from Wayne LaPierre, which has since been the subject of intense criticism and incredulity.

Rowan Williams’ comment stands on its own.