Guns are not the issue

After reading the June 12th Letter to the Editor, written by Ian Mclean

Dear Editor,

After reading the June 12th Letter to the Editor, written by Ian Mclean, entitled “Need stricter gun control; remember what generation sacrificed 70 years ago,” I have determined that his call for stricter gun control has more to do with promoting class distinction and less to do with protecting the individual. In fact, I contend he is really calling for the end of guns among the citizenry.

If this was really about saving the lives of common citizens and not just protecting police officers, I suspect Mclean would have submitted a Letter to the Editor, two months ago, calling for the banning of knives when Matthew de Grood, son of a Calgary police officer, stabbed and killed five University of Calgary students in what was called the city’s worst mass-murder in history?

Since Mclean suggested we honour our forefathers for their sacrifice on Juno Beach, let me say why I agree with that by explaining what their purpose was.  On D-Day, they joined our allies to fight against Hitler and his National Socialist Party who oppressed the Germans, murdered the Jews, and was attempting to take total control over neighbouring parts of Europe.

One might ask how Hitler gained so much power over such a short period. Well, before Hitler even came into power, the existing democracy was called the Weimar Republic. With seemingly the best of intentions, those in power ordered all guns registered; naively thinking it would ensure the protection of its people.  The people were assured that all the personal information gathered in the process, would be guarded and would not fall into enemy hands. Shortly afterward, Hitler was democratically voted into power and, with that, all personal information fell into his hands and his new National Socialist Party.

Having all those records at his disposal made taking firearms from those whom Hitler deemed a threat to his agenda easy. That was the tyranny and oppression that so many of our freedom-loving soldiers fought against and lost their lives over. I want to honour their sacrifice.

We are, now, soldiers on the battlefield of ideas, laying the foundation for our future generations. We are currently a country of benevolent people, in general, led by a benevolent prime minister who has been opposed to long-gun registration; however, we do not know what type of regime will govern us 50 or 100 years from now. If Mr. Mclean gets his way, we will most certainly be laying groundwork that has the potential to oppress and enslave us and our posterity.  Mclean is unwisely suggesting we allow tragedy to trump our God-given natural rights.

Mclean’s suggestion that “we need to move away from a society where we think in first person singular,” and his opinion that “there is no reason for anyone in Canada outside of the military, law enforcement, or security to have a side arm,” sound more like the ideology our forefathers were fighting against 70 years ago.  Mclean is boldly suggesting we embrace collectivism, which is reminiscent of Socialism, Fascism, and Communism. Individualism was a unique idea conceived by the American Founders that shed the light of absolute freedom for the first time in the world’s history. Mclean also adds, “A large clipped rifle is not a hunting weapon used for filling the family freezer. It is for the purpose of killing people.” Actually it is used for both, and I am not ashamed to say that when a criminal breaks into my house threatening me and my children, I want my gun to kill my attacker!

Who walks into a den of lions? Now, if those lion’s mouths are muzzled and their paws are declawed, the threat is removed. When our guns are taken from us or regulated so heavily that they are rendered ineffective or unaffordable, what government does not recognize the obvious power they possess over their unarmed citizenry — what criminal does not see the obvious vulnerability of their victim? What do we have to equalize the situation and give us a fighting chance? When our ability and right to defend ourselves is taken from us, our human dignity is taken from us — at the very least.

I am surprised with Mclean having been demoted from ‘privileged member of the R.C.M.P.’ to ‘ordinary citizen’ not seeing the flaw in his logic. What was once his privilege to protect himself in the battlefield of drugs and violent crime, has been stripped from him. Where once in a crisis he reached for his gun, now he must reach for a phone. Tell me he sleeps better at night knowing he has his phone and that the police will respond within 10 or so minutes after he has completed the call — if he was able to reach the phone or if he didn’t misdial. Personally, I prefer hiding quietly around the corner with a loaded gun, over whispering loudly to a phone operator.

Mclean says “target practice is fun, but so is riding a bike or bowling. Get over it.” So, perhaps he won’t have a problem defending his home and family with a bike helmet or bowling ball. Frankly, firearms were a blessing to me and my family. We were desperately poor and my father was able to sustain a family of eleven by hunting and trapping wild game. Also, my dad’s life was spared thanks to his .22 shotgun and the gun his partner was holding. When an angry black bear attacked him in our back yard, it required all of their combined ammunition to finally stop the bear in its tracks.

Statistically, higher gun ownership results in fewer violent crimes. Such is the case in Kennesaw, Georgia, where it is law that each householder own at least one firearm. The resulting statistics show that crime against people in that city dropped 74 per cent compared to the previous year and fell another 45 per cent the following year while the city continues to grow. The reverse is seen when we look at the 1996 Dunblane Massacre? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Great Britain instituted a handgun ban in an attempt to protect the public. Immediately after the ban, crimes soared 300 per cent.

Anyway, it isn’t really about the weapon so much as the person who decides to pick it up — after all it was a ten year-old boy who took a match to his Chicago school house in 1958, killing the 95 children and nuns trapped inside. In 1927, a man used dynamite to blow up a school in Michigan, killing 44 and injuring 58. Islamic terrorists used planes and box-cutters to kill 3,000 people. There were no guns involved in the Rwandan genocide.

So, this is really a matter of the moral state of society and what drives a person to kill another human being. In the case of the mass-killings in California, Columbine, Newtown, and Norway the murderers were reportedly heavy into violent video games. Elliot Roger confessed in his manifesto that a piece of him died when he played violent video games and that he couldn’t feel any more. The two killers from the Columbine massacre were obsessed with Doom. On the news, we heard that the Newtown killer got his motivation from violent video games. A year before the Norwegian killer struck, he was often playing Call of Duty and World of Warcraft up to sixteen hours per day. We do not need to ban video games; we just need to educate ourselves on their effects on our children.

I do not believe the government can fix our problem. I believe we, as individuals, wield that power. I believe we would do ourselves a huge favour by putting down the violent video games and the mind-numbing stimulants and, instead, do something kind for our neighbour. I believe the solution is a return to our Christian-Judeo roots which taught us to love God and each other É not to covet, steal, lie, bear false witness against our neighbour, or murder. You don’t even have to believe in God to adhere to those principles; and, if we truly want to honour our forefather’s sacrifice, let’s remain vigilant for the same cause.

Nadine White,

Sylvan Lake


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