August 16th, 2018

Firearm owners are not the problem

By Medicine Hat News Opinon on August 4, 2018.

(Medicine Hat’s Steve Van Ieperen, Rimfire Shooting Director at the Medicine Hat Rifle and Revolver Club, has submitted this editorial published recently by the Canadian Shooting Sport Association. CSSA permission to reprint has been received.)

An open letter to Canada’s media —— Why gun bans can’t stop gun violence

It’s already illegal to possess a firearm without a federal firearms licence.

It’s already illegal to buy ammunition without a federal firearms licence.

It’s already a crime to carry a handgun around.

It’s already a crime to point a firearm at another human being.

It’s already against the law to shoot another person.

It’s even a crime to move a pistol anywhere without an Authorization to Transport.

Most of all, it’s a crime to kill someone.

The Danforth killer ignored every one of these laws, and many more. We thought that you should know.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the Minister of Public Safety to examine the idea of a nationwide ban anyway.

“Liberals are once again planning to further curtail the rights of law-abiding citizens while being soft on potential terrorists, arm smugglers and gang members who don’t care about respecting the law. A total ban on handguns will not reduce crime. Cracking down on criminals will,” said Opposition M.P. Maxime Bernier via Twitter.

Have you given any thought as to how seizing and destroying the lawfully-owned property of Canadians who did not commit a crime will solve Toronto’s gang problem?

It won’t. A handgun ban does not affect criminals. Only the lawful will surrender their legal firearms. Bad guys will still have theirs —— isn’t that the problem in the first place?

It can’t. A handgun ban punishes the law-abiding for the crimes of the lawless. Do you honestly think that will take a bite out of crime?

The disconnect is obvious to everyone but you and John Tory. Did you ever consider the Toronto mayor is using you as part of his deflection away from his failed gang programs?

The federal government cannot keep drugs out of our most secure prisons, where armed guards, security scanners and body cavity searches are routine.

The federal government cannot stop illegal immigrants from flooding across our border.

The federal government cannot stop organized criminal gangs from smuggling guns and drugs into Canada.

But the way to stop another Danforth nightmare is to strip trustworthy and vetted citizens of their legally acquired firearms?

You already know that licensed firearm owners and firearms are not the problem.

Violent criminals, with or without mental health issues, who use illegal guns are.

“If you’re taking away the property of law-abiding people who the statistics show don’t actually commit these crimes, and you’re ignoring and reducing the penalties for the people who do, you’ve probably not selected the best policy decision,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel.

Here’s some story ideas for you:

— How do we prevent kids from joining gangs in the first place?

— How do we solve mental health issues before they culminate in tragedies like Danforth?

— How can we strengthen our border security to prevent illegal guns from being smuggled into Canada?

— How can we prevent criminals from obtaining smuggled guns in the first place?

— How do we eradicate violent criminals from our society?

A fresh-think on these questions will go a long way toward solving the violence plaguing Toronto and every other major city in Canada.

Attacking Canada’s licensed firearm owners —— the people who did not shoot anyone —— won’t.

We’re not the problem, but you already knew that.

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