An American who has been carrying a knife for “protection against crime” ever since he moved to Ireland has said repealing the US right to bear arms would not end school shootings.
Texas native Richard moved to Ireland with his wife in 2020 and has been carrying a pocketknife ever since.
A veteran of the Iraq War, Richard is licensed to carry a concealed firearm in the US.
He says he is fully aware that it is illegal to carry a weapon in Ireland – but feels he needs to carry the knife to protect himself and his wife.
He has been forced to display the weapon “under duress” on at least two occasions.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, he said he defended his decision.
“It’s a pocketknife,” he said. “It’s a knife that goes in your pocket.”
“God-willing, I won’t have to use it for self-protection, but I would rather have it if that threat arises.”
He said the knife comes in useful for all sorts of everyday tasks.
“I use it for everything you might need a knife for,” he said. “To cut the ribbon on gift for your wife. To open your mail in your car.
“It is not a mentality. It’s a pocketknife. It’s a knife for your pocket.”
He said last night’s shooting in his home state was “disgusting” – but it won’t lead to a repeal of the right to bear arms.
“The thing is that, if you take a look at this shooting, the people who are pro-gun are going to say look this is why I need to a carry a gun – because I can walk into a store and get shot by a person with a gun.,” he said.
“My child can get shot walking into school. I need a gun to protect myself and my family from that happening.”
He said the laws need to be updated to make it more difficult for people to buy guns.
“I agree that the laws are rather arcane that allow easy gun ownership,” he said.
“Gun owners should be faced with a decision. If you would like to exercise your right to own guns, then you have to wait when you go and buy one.
“You can’t just go into a store and come out an hour later with a gun. You have to wait.”
He said people applying for gun ownership should be subject to a range of background tests – with anything risky barring them from owning a weapon.
“It’s a common-sense approach that unfortunately our legislature will never apply or pursue,” he said.
The gunman behind last night’s massacre murdered at least 19 children and two teachers before he was shot dead by police.
The US President Joe Biden has said it is “time to act” on US gun laws and urged his fellow Americans to “stand up to the gun lobby.”