– It has been a bloody few days in America. There is no evidence that it has been any bloodier than usual, but some of the crimes committed have been unusual enough to have added even more fuel to the fire of the gun control debate.

Last Tuesday in Alabama, Jimmy Lee Dykes, a Vietnam veteran, shot dead a bus driver and then took a five-year-old boy hostage in a bunker. “He son’t care too much for the government,” said local police chief James Arrington. The siege has not yet been broken.

Two days later a prosecutor in Texas was gunned down in a car park near his office in the small town of Kaufman. Two masked gunmen escaped. Police are investigating the possible involvement of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

On Saturday, America’s most celebrated military sniper, Chris Kyle – a 38-year-old former Navy SEAL who is reported to have killed as many as 225 people as a sniper in Iraq – was shot dead at a Texas gun range along with his friend, Chad Littlefield, 35.

Police have arrested and charged another veteran, Eddie Ray Routh. it is understood Routh had been visiting the gun range with Mr Kyle, who sometimes took fellow veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder shooting as a means of support.

This last shooting would appear to contradict the National Rifle Association’s position that places where more people carry guns are safer than what it calls “gun-free zones”, such as schools and churches, where guns are often banned.

Appearing on FOX News on Sunday morning, the NRA’s controversial chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, did not answer a question about Mr Kyle’s murder, instead saying children could be kept safe only by putting armed guards in all schools.

A recent NRA as accusing President Barack Obama of being an elitist hypocrite for wanting to introduce gun control laws – including a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines – while his own daughters are protected by armed guards, attracted significant controversy.

The debate also spilled into the Super Bowl on Sunday with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the advocacy group founded by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, airing an advertisement that showed old footage of Mr LaPierre saying he supported universal mandatory background checks for people trying to buy guns.

The NRA now opposes such checks, which Mr LaPierre recently described as an unworkable universal federal nightmare bureaucracy, even though polls show most of the NRA’s members support them.

Last week the White House released a photograph of the President firing a shotgun, apparently to show that he was not against all ownership.

Mr Kyle survived four tours of duty in Iraq before retiring and writing his autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History. Later he said he did not want to write about the number of kills he was credited with in the book, but rather, the number of American soldiers he says he saved – Nick O’Malley



About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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