Why machine gunning is just another day out for trigger-happy Americans

BANG. I jump out of my skin, but my instructor Cliff doesn’t even flinch. As he resumes his explanation of how to aim and fire the Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine gun, I’m bracing myself for the next one. The shooter is mere feet away, separated from us by a handful of metal partitions thatContinue reading “Why machine gunning is just another day out for trigger-happy Americans”

Lone wolf? No, these ‘incels’ are misogynist terrorists

It’s easy to see why the online world of “men’s rights activism” might appeal to the kind of young men who find social interactions difficult and confusing, and wish there was a scientific formula for success with girls and women. It’s not hard to see how neurologically atypical young men in particular could be sucked in.

Here’s what I learned about America and guns from cruising the Caribbean

My American cruise companions may have lived in quiet suburbs or gated communities where they felt safe, but the presence of guns – in pockets, in opaque backpacks, in homes – means a vastly increased risk of them being murdered, or accidentally shot, compared to people in the UK.

Young people are ripping up the rules and creating a new kind of politics

I SUSPECT many readers of The National will be able to pinpoint the moment when they became pro-independence. Upon hearing a barnstorming speech, perhaps, or reading a powerful polemic. Many perhaps imagine the “don’t know” voters of Scotland can be swayed to the same position, if only they could have the same kind of transformativeContinue reading “Young people are ripping up the rules and creating a new kind of politics”

Plans to change Scotland’s gender identity law must be prison-proof

From time to time, a case related to transgender identity and prisons will come to public attention – usually via a tabloid newspaper report quoting “prison sources” – that prompts outrage … and not everyone with concerns about transgender rights in prison is a frothing right-winger.

The best way to tackle domestic abuse is to fight sexism – starting in schools

School discipline may have moved on from the dunce’s cap and the tawse, but that doesn’t mean punishments are always fair and never have an element of shaming. The arbitrary enforcement of rules is one of the hallmarks of coercive control.

The idea of jury duty has lost its appeal

I’VE always wanted to be on a jury. As I popped my ticket in the hat at Jury Play – an immersive theatre production being staged in Edinburgh – I crossed my fingers. By the end, just two hours and 20 minutes later, I had come to realise I should be more careful what I wish for.

Knowledge is power, so let’s talk honestly about abortion

YOU’VE only read the headline, but your hackles might already be up. What knowledge, exactly? What power? And how many paragraphs before the big reveal? For or against, “foetus” or “baby”, right or wrong. I don’t blame you. When people start talking about the reality of abortion, I get suspicious too. It took a showContinue reading “Knowledge is power, so let’s talk honestly about abortion”

Those who boast about tax-dodging should be shunned

The question many are now asking is whether the majority of Scottish workers are willing to pay a little more for well-resourced public services and universal benefits. But this is not, in fact, the key question. We need to ask how effective a rate rise would be.