One of the most remarkable things I ever did see on TV News was a vigil for victims of gun-crime held in Manchester. I think it must of been some sort of anniversary of some young lad being shot and deaded in a South Manchester pub. Sounds tragic doesn’t it? I mean he was like 20 tops.
Except it wasn’t quite how the tragedarians portrayed it with the weeping mother and a candle-lit vigil. Because I recall how it had originally been presented in the media. Now you might be thinking he’d gone to the pub with his mates to watch Man City play Chelsea and have a couple of jars. You might be thinking he’d gone to chat-up the local talent. You might be thinking he went to transact a drug-deal or flog a nicked car stereo… He was there strictly on business and none of the above. He was a contract killer on his first (and last job). He was there to pop a cap in the ass of some other miscreant except it didn’t work out and the other miscreant was also carrying and clearly had an itchier finger. So this lad died of sheer incompetence on the first day of the job.
Yet by the appliance of the science of advanced victimology and the passage of time he became a victim of gun crime. Now in a sense he was but in a broader sense if you walk into a gaff with a shooter and murderous intent and get whacked then this is what I shall play your lament upon…
I’m not sure if that actually is the world’s smallest violin but it shall do. The truly bizarre thing is his tearful mum couldn’t see the bigger picture at all and thought him a victim. Now, I honestly don’t know how it works (the contract killing business) but she seemed to think it was better for her son to be doing that than signing on. Presumably if he’d been successful the cash would have paid for a Sunday roast and a new telly or something. Something a mum can be really proud of “Oh, he’s a good lad!” Well the Krays always loved their mum too. Well a mate of mine got a job after leaving school in the Argos warehouse. Not a great job but a start and vastly more something to be proud of than being a contract-killer and a bloody incompetent one at that. Victim - yes. Of guns, no. Of epic incompetence and stupidity - yes.
I mean that was my parish near as damn it and that could have been me sitting quietly in the corner watching the football and killed or maimed in a crossfire.