He didn't have a horror of pointing a gun at birds (he was a Bird himself) and other animals in the prime of their lives and blasting them to death. If I did such a thing or, because I have neither the skill nor the stomach, it was done for me as a form of pest-control, I should still regret it it and, as much as I ever thought about it, be saddened by it.
For Mr Bird there was a certain coolness about it. As far as we know, he liked it. It was his hobby.
In today's papers there are many ingenious attempts to link this tragedy to Mr Bird's family strife, a big tax bill, and his fear of ending up in jail. The logic is at least tortuous. There are also those who point to the availability of guns, legally or otherwise, as a contributory hazard, overlooking the obvious fact that the kind of personal and domestic and financial problems that seem to have beset Mr Bird are much better addressed with professional, non-ballistic help.
There is however a marked reluctance to acknowledge that what Mr Bird did on Wednesday to several human beings he had done many times before - for sport - to other animals.