Buying a gun in most States is as easy as buying a pack of cigarettes. They both kill and are extremely cheap. I've heard the rhetoric that 'guns don't kill, people do'. Well this is true, they just do it with guns. Clutching a wad of cash and a drivers license I can make a trip to my local gun store and buy enough weapons to invade a small country...

Gun ownership is a part of the American Way. A holdover from frontier days when having a gun was as necessary as owning an axe or a hammer. Dinner in colonial days was usually something with a bullet hole in it.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution, The Bill of Rights guarantees the Right to Bear Arms. This was the days of course when 'Arms' referred to muskets and flintlock pistols. I don't think the authors of the US Constitution could have foreseen how weapons would have evolved.

I like guns. All ex-soldiers do, they were the tools of our trade and weapons do have a special attraction. Strolling through my local gun store recently I saw Armalites, AK47s, Uzi and a host of really powerful handguns. I have no desire to buy one. I just like to look.

Unless you live in Beirut, Baghdad or SE Washington DC I don't advocate owning a gun for home protection. I have watchful neighbours and a hefty door lock, both of which make for good security. I have no desire to shoot some bungling burglar over a laptop or television set.

Thanks to a generation of pseudo homesick, second generation Irish Americans, many of the guns readily available here ended up in places like Belfast and Londonderry. America for a short time became the arms dealer to the world.

Gun Control is one of the sacred cows in Congress. Guns are big business and business has never been better.

We have a fringe conspiracy movement here called 'Birthers'. These wing nut theorists are convinced that President Obama is not a US Citizen and therefore is President and Commander in Chief illegally.

For some bizarre reason, 25% of American residents actually believe this, or have doubts on his place of birth. This data comes from credible polls taken. Just like the second gunman on the grassy knoll, everyone loves a good conspiracy.

You should never let the truth interfere with a good conspiracy theory.

There are people who believe the Holocaust and the Lunar Landing in 1969 never happened or took place, and Elvis of course is alive and well living in Big Twig, Arkansas. The bigger the lie, the more people believe it.

Army Doctor, Lt Col Terrence Lakin refused to deploy to Afghanistan until he is given a copy of President Obama's birth certificate. Lakin's defense is that President Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya and is not a US citizen, therefore he is not his Commanding Officer.

Supported by the Tea Party cartoon characters and The American Patriot Foundation, Dr. Lakin is now awaiting a court martial in Virginia.

Private Lakin will have the next couple of years to stare at President Obama's birth certificate as he does his time in Leavenworth, Kansas. Which is a good place for him.

Soldiers don't have the luxury of saying no to orders, whether they like them or not.

Next week is Ready, Fire, Aim Part II......

Across the Pond