Read this article!

I came across this articlea few days ago on facebook. It tells the story of Conor McBride who killed his ex-fiance Ann Grosmaire during a heated argument, and the journey which he had with Ann’s parents, Andy and Kate Grosmaire and his parents, Michael and Julie McBride to participate in restorative justice. It is a sad story with an unexpected addition of grace, because of the Grosmaire’s decision to participate in the restorative justice process and their decision to forgive Conor when so many others would have demanded an eye for an eye. Two things particularly stick out for me. The grace with which the Grosmaire’s gave forgiveness is a bright light in a society where most people in the same situation would have called for revenge. It also helps the criminal justice system do with Conor what criminal justice should do: rehabilitate the offender. Also lately, I (along with a lot of others) am thinking a lot about gun control lately. What this article does not shy away from is the role that the gun played in causing the murder to happen. Lately, I have been considering the roll of what I think of as “accidental perpetrators” in murder, in other words those perpetrators who have access to a gun when they are in a particular frame of mind where they are angry enough to kill and who otherwise would not kill if they did not have access to a gun and instead had access to a less lethal weapon. One particularly sad aspect of this story is that this would appear to be the case in this particular instance.

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