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More guns not the answer

I don’t know how to express my feelings about what our nation witnessed in Moncton last week.

On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, a citizen of our country went out and declared war on police who were practically neighbours to him. I am pretty sure this isn’t what my father and thousands like him took to Juno Beach for.

Like every Canadian family, I have ties to the RCMP. I am a retired member and my son-in-law and nephew are currently serving. I am shocked and saddened by the events of Moncton.

Yesterday, while surfing the net for more information, I happened upon some national gun owners rights group’s press release. It kinda went like this: “Terrible tragedy, yada yada. Proof that Canada’s stricter gun laws don’t work, Expensive waste of time, targeting wrong people.”

Well you know what they say, strike while the iron’s hot. A good defence is a good offence. No use in allowing a nation to grieve before we get down to business.

I have heard all the arguments. In fact, for whatever reason, when I was working as a policeman, I was so often approached by people who expected that I would be supportive of gun owners rights. They would be shocked that I wasn’t.

Well how’s about a little common-sense approach to gun control in Canada. First off, there are no gun owner’s rights in the Canadian Constitution. There is no reason for anyone in Canada outside of the military, law enforcement or security to have a sidearm. None.

Target practice is fun, but so is riding a bike or bowling. Get over it.

A large clipped rifle is not a hunting weapon used for filling the family freezer. It is for the purpose of killing people. Used in a military conflict, or in a incident as we have witnessed in Moncton this week, it has a purpose. It doesn’t belong in a citizen’s custody.

So you don’t get to feel bad ass. Buy a motorcycle or go to the gym.

A gun provides you with protection. Five policemen who are well trained and carry a firearm every day of their working lives were fired upon while carrying sidearms.

We all hate it when the few ruin things for the many. I don’t suppose for one minute that everyone who enjoys firearm is a potential mass murderer. The ugly truth is that things can go sideways in a hurry when you have a weapon at your disposal.

I know people are murdered with knives, but the potential for more victims increases with the distance from which one can attack combined with how quickly one can reload.

Those who insist on gun owners’ rights, who try to make every non-firearm-related tragedy in our country sound like hard evidence, if not a moral victory for their side, need to do a little examination of the quality of people who support their arguments. Justin Bourque of Moncton is allegedly only one of many undesirables on your list of backers.

I was reading some comments on a non-related video posted on YouTube. People are funny when they feel safe about not being identified. An American and a person from the Netherlands got into it a little bit about opinions on something. The American suggested the Dutchman lived in a country that was just a bunch of dope smokers. The Dutchman replied. “Yes, we have legalized pot here. You have guns. How’s that working out for you?”

We need to fight for even stricter gun control. We need to move away from a society where we think in first person singular. We need to remember exactly what my father’s generation, The Best Generation, sacrificed for us 70 years ago.

Ian Mclean

Sylvan Lake

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