Gun violence hits home


Once more we have a gun massacre, this time in Newtown, Conn., and once more we hear calls for gun control.

Well, the sad truth is gun controls won’t work, any more than the much-ballyhooed “war on drugs” will work, and any loner, loser, or lunatic who wants to get his hands on a gun will do so one way or another.

And let’s not kid ourselves that this is an American disease. Go to Google and look up Hungerford, England (1987), Port Arthur, Australia (1996), our own Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal (1989), Dunblane, Scotland (1996) when an entire kindergarten class was slaughtered, and, most recently, Utoya, Norway (2011).

Somehow, as a society, we are going to have to de-romanticize the glory of the gun; we are going to have to convince young men – and yes, the shooters were all young men – that a gun does not make you more of a man.

Until that happens, alas, there will be yet more Columbines, more Dunblanes, more Newtowns.

Jim Armstrong, Surrey

• • •

With gun violence appearing to be on the increase in the U.S., America has yet to wake up to its libertarian availability of guns, including military assault weapons to anyone.

Whereas in Canada, regardless of our gun registries, we have for some time restricted and even prohibited various weapons through our Criminal Code.

It appears, however, that Liberal leadership candidate Marc Garneau is less than informed, especially given there is already considerable restriction – and in some cases bans – in Canada on assault-type rifles.

Canadian gun laws are far more strict than those of the U.S., as are our penalties.

It would be helpful if Garneau were to target the source of gun issues, which should include psychological evaluations of potential owners and users prior to licensing, rather than worrying about the type of weapon on the market.

It’s not the machine that kills, it’s the person behind it.

We allow raving nut cases to drive cars and trucks without special vetting, and there’s no ban on automobiles, which can cause far more destruction and loss of life that an already somewhat controlled firearm, regardless of what it may look like.

Let’s count the number of car owners versus guns, not to mention repeat offenders racing about on motorized weaponry, and bring our risk categories into clear context.

James Cooper, Surrey



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