LETTER – Canadian firearms laws are robust, but there is no perfect solution

Dear editor,

Re: Recent Liberal gun ban has nothing to do with public safety(July 8 letter penned by David Vernon).

While I agree with David Vernon’s general premise that banning specific semi-automatic firearms will do virtually nothing to improve public safety, speaking as both a firearms owner and a political liberal, it is both counter-productive and factually wrong to associate firearms ownership with ideology. Worse, it is inserting toxic American political tribalism into the discussion, something Canada can well do without. We can all see the terrible results such divisions have brought to our American friends.

If there is a dividing line on gun ownership in Canada, it is the urban/rural divide. The federal Liberal Party, anxious to please the large urban electorate on which their political fortunes rest, claims that banning this or that firearm will make people safer. One can certainly understand the safety concerns of urban citizens as the drug gang gunshots ring out on an almost nightly basis and innocent people find themselves in the line of fire. But criminals are not going to let mere firearms regulations prevent them from obtaining whatever firearms they want. It is simply a fact that the only people who will obey such bans are those who already obey the law.

Our firearm laws in Canada are robust. You have to get training, get a criminal records check, store and transport them safely and your spouse has to agree to your owning a firearm. Gun owners do all of these things and more. Canada does not have a culture of settling our differences with guns. We do not need solutions more suited to societies that do.

The bottom line is that we can’t ban our way to perfect safety. Any technology can be turned to deadly purposes. You may have noticed lately that there have been car rammings against political protesters. Shall we ban cars? Shall we ban sharp, pointy objects to prevent stabbings? Matches to prevent arson? Cell phones to prevent accidents? No. We prosecute those who misuse these things. That’s what our political leaders should be pressing for. Bans never work.

Scott Goodman,

Courtenay

Letter to the Editor

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