Shooting Quad Bikers Always Wrong
As one of the older members of our walking group I am regularly called upon to advise on ethical problems. This inevitably involves having to proclaim unpopular positions, and, no doubt, there are many in our Youth Wing who consider me "an old fogey". For example, I have never tolerated the notion that those practising artificial contraception should be permitted to be among us on the hills. Not a popular rule, but one which the Committee has thankfully enforced rigorously. I seek no reward for my work. When you live by the maxim "For evil to triumph it enough that good men should do nothing", you do not need the consolation of adulation. My most recent moral "stand off" occurred when we broke for lunch on Wicklow's Seefingan. I noticed one of our number assembling an elephant rifle. I knew in an instant that he was intending to shoot some quad bikers who were buzzing around the summit of nearby Seefin. "Michael", I said,"Will you put that away for a minute and sit down here and we'll have a chat". Although I'm sure he groaned inwardly at the thought of a lecture, he, and some fifteen others from the Youth Wing, sat crossed-legged at my feet, and listened. "Now", I said, "There isn't a walker alive hasn't either shot a quad biker, or thought about it, and I'd be a liar if I told you otherwise. For sure it gives you short term popularity. Yes, you'll be toasted wherever our people congregate. And I can't deny that the human race is almost certainly better off without them.But Michael, and its a big 'but', its not right. God made them bikers and gave them a soul just like us. He gave them free will, and they made bad choices. The devil himself got a hold of them, and now they seem beyond redemption. But we must not set ourselves up as Judges. Leave that to the Almighty. Its not our call. Put the guns away kids and lets go on to Seahan, sure in the knowledge that when we reach the great mountain range in the sky, we shall look down from our lofty peaks, and watch the Quad Folk buzzing around in Hell for all eternity. Now eat your sandwiches and we'll go." You're wondering what happened next? Michael put away the gun, and waited til I'd gone far ahead of the group , as I'm won't to do. Then he shot three of them...Shot them...but not until I was well away from the scene.That's respect. You don't buy respect: you earn it.