In recent weeks we have been forced to report on idiots shooting family pets, cats this time around, with either air rifles or air pistols.
One of our reports was about a cat which died of its injuries. The other, fortunately, survived.
Unfortunately, these reports are nothing new.
In almost 35 years in newspapers I have seen these kind of reports all too often.
But nothing ever seems to happen to the perpretrators, largely because, until someone shows me otherwise, the law about shooting pets seems unclear at best.
I have never understood the fascination of taking life, whatever form that life takes.
I really can claim to be one of those wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly kind of people.
Clearly, as with any other pastime, there are responsible people who simply enjoy the challenge of shooting their air rifles at targets.
Many Olympians have started their road to glory in such a way.
But then there are the idiots who like to leave dents in passing vehicles, shoot out street lights and, in extreme cirumstances, take the lives of pets or wild animals for no other reason than the simple fact they can.
A few years ago, someone close to the street where I lived built quite a reputation for shooting at dogs and cats with his air rifle.
When tackled, his simple explanation was that some local pets were using his garden as a toilet and he was getting even.
Not a very even contest as far as I could see, especially as the gun-toting idiot involved was never actually seen clearing up any of the afore-mentioned mess.
I pointed out there are several other ways of scaring away cats and dogs without killing them.
With a sad glint in his eye, he replied: “That wouldn’t be much fun now, would it?”
Recently, a lone magpie has taken to sitting on the fence in my back garden and making an unholy racket from very early in the morning until way after bedtime.
Annoying, to say the least.
But not annoying enough to even think for a moment seriously about a friend’s offer of having the magpie “taken out” with an air rifle.