- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

Gun-free zone
"Mick Gault will be defending his four Commonwealth titles. But with one hand tied behind his back. He hasn't been able to practice with the key tool of his sport since August. Gault is a pistol shooter, and handguns are banned in mainland Britain
"While Gault is trying to recapture the four gold medals he won at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, the pistol-shooting range is legally required to be surrounded by temporary fencing in case he, or the other competitors, attempt to throw the guns to somebody who can rush off with them with a fast getaway car.
"It could be worse. One MP in the House of Commons asked the home secretary if there would be armed guards posted at each corner of the firing range to prevent such a thing happening. As Jenny Page of the NSRA put it: 'We did not know whether to laugh or cry. They're not living on the same planet as us.'
"But still Gault won't have had the practice time he needs to maintain his position as a world-class athlete He likens it to a golfer being denied the right to practice their swing if Mick Gault got caught training in England he would, as he says, 'be banged up for 10 years.'"
Chris Nawrat on "Absurdity of Pistol Shooting in a 'Gunless' Country," on the Sport Uncovered column for Britain's Channel 4 Web site (www.channel4.com)

He has standards
"Jesse Jackson, leader of the Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and self-described 'bridge-builder,' was in Israel this week as part of a delegation of religious leaders promoting 'reconciliation.' As part of his 'peacemaking' tour, Jackson had planned to visit the Gaza home of the founder of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin. The terrorist leader told Reuters that he welcomed the visit.
"Jackson was at the Erez checkpoint outside of Gaza when news of the Jerusalem bombing broke. He immediately changed his plans and proceeded to Ramallah, instead. Apparently, the good 'reverend' thought that it would be unseemly to visit Yassin so soon after such a deadly terrorist attack
"The only question is why Jackson felt it was acceptable and moral for him to pay his respects to the man in the first place. Just last month, Hamas took responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Jerusalem bus packed with students on their way to school, in which 19 people were killed. If that terrorist attack did not cause the self-appointed 'civil-rights leader' to forgo a meeting with the Hamas leader, why would the Hebrew University bombing have caused him any second thoughts? Was the 'bridge-builder' perhaps worried about becoming collateral damage in an Israeli counterstrike?
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, writing on "Language, Lies & Jesse Jackson" in National Review Online on Aug. 2

Good and evil
"Clint Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' takes place at that moment when the old West was becoming new Eastwood chose this period for 'Unforgiven,' I suspect, because it mirrored his own stage in life. He began as a young gunslinger on TV and in the early Sergio Leone films and he matured under the guidance of Don Siegel, the director he often cited as his mentor. Now Eastwood was in his 60s, and had long been a director himself. Leone had died in 1989 and Siegel in 1991; he dedicated 'Unforgiven' to them. If the Western was not dead, it was dying; audiences preferred science fiction and special effects. It was time for an elegy
"There is one exchange in the movie that has long stayed with me. After he is fatally wounded, Little Bill says, 'I don't deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house.' And Munny says, 'Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.' Actually, deserve has everything to do with it, and although Ned Logan and Delilah do not get what they deserve, William Munny sees that the others do. That implacable moral balance, in which good eventually silences evil, is at the heart of the Western, and Eastwood is not shy about saying so."
Roger Ebert, writing on "The Great Movies: Unforgiven" in the July 21 issue of the Chicago Sun-Times.

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