Give a Boy a Gun
One Man's Journey from Killing to Peace-Making
Alistair Little and Ruth Scott
Paperback |224 pp |234 x 156 mm
‘Told with painful honesty and touching sensitivity … a courageous book.’
What turns an ordinary boy growing up in a loving family into a man of violence, and then what helps him turn his back on bloodshed?
Give a Boy a Gun is the powerful story of Alistair Little, a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force who, aged seventeen, killed a man. He is now involved in conflict transformation and peace-building through storytelling, and has shared a platform with the Dalai Lama
Too young to receive a life sentence, Alistair served 12-years of an indeterminate sentence in Long Kesh and the H-blocks. During that time, he began the slow and painful journey away from ‘terrorism’ to work internationally with the survivors of violent conflict.
This is not just a book about Northern Ireland. The horrors of Alistair’s youth are shared by hundreds of young men caught up in situations of conflict across the world. In retelling his story, he explores the factors that turn a boy brought up in a stable loving family into a ‘terrorist’, and then transforms his violence into a deeper understanding of the ‘enemy’ and what it means to be humane in the context of conflict.
Alistair’s story and that of the brother of the man he shot dead form the basis of a major BBC drama, Five Minutes of Heaven, starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt.
The book has been written with Ruth Scott, a writer, broadcaster and Anglican priest, who is involved, here and abroad, in the use of storytelling for people living with experiences of violent conflict.