Mark Cochrane and his daughter Brooklyn at the Red Deer Sportsman and Outdoor Adventure Show Saturday at Westerner Park. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Hunters comment on if guns should be used for self defence

Rural residents should be able to use firearms to defend themselves and their land if absolutely necessary.

That’s what few hunters said at the Red Deer Sportsman and Outdoor Adventure Show Saturday at Westerner Park.

Mark Cochrane, from Innisfail, said the world is becoming more dangerous.

“I think we should have the right to protect ourselves, our family and our property,” Cochrane said.

But it’s possible some problems could arise from that, he added.

“Whether it can be done responsibly or not is a whole other question,” Cochrane said. “It could create more of a headache because how can you prove you were defending your property and how can we say what was too extreme?”

READ MORE: Central Alberta rancher reacts to shooting in Okotoks

Rural crime on the Prairies has been in the spotlight recently following the acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer in the shooting death of an Indigenous man on his property. An Okotoks man was recently charged after shots were fired during a confrontation on his property as well.

Ben Hankins from Red Deer said he believes people should be able to use a gun in the right situation, but they need to “use extreme discretion.”

“If grabbing a gun is your first go-to, it’s not the way to go and that’ll get you into trouble. It’s a very fine line to walk and I don’t think there’s always a right or wrong answer. It’s kind of a grey area,” Hankins said.

Crista Snider from Blackfalds said she would feel more comfortable with a firearm stored in the house, but she would rather not have to use it.

“I would rather use guns for recreation and hunting only, but in an extreme case and if I felt like I or my children were unsafe, I’d want to use it as a last resort,” said Snider.

READ MORE: 50 people rally for Colten Boushie in Red Deer

Dallas Snider, Crista’s husband, said it varies from case-to-case. Some people should be able to defend themselves with a firearm if necessary, he said.

“If my wife is home alone and somebody comes to the house and you don’t know what heir mental state is or what they’re wanting to do, I want my wife to be protected.

“I would feel comfortable for something like that. Same goes for my daughter when she gets older,” said Dallas Snider.

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(l-r) Red Deer’s Ben Hankins (left), with Blackfalds’ Dallas, Crista and Audrey Snider at the Red Deer Sportsman and Outdoor Adventure Show Saturday at Westerner Park. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

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