Firearms Owners Association
Title: The Proposal to Ban handguns
“According to police, the pistol involved in this killing was legally registered to the man carrying it, whose hobby was sport shooting.”
“A nationwide ban on handguns would ease that threat. Police and
the military should be allowed to carry pistols, and some exceptions could
be made for a few elite competitive shooters. But everyone else should
be required to turn in their handguns under a federal buyback program.
Protecting lives matters more than pursuing hobbies.”
To the Responsible Firearms Owners of Canada,
Re: The Proposal to Ban Handguns
Please pardon my taking a page from Wendy Cukier's playbook, but perhaps this shooting tragedy will finally help the Responsible Firearms Community of Canada to realize that we will never be 'good enough' nor regulated, licensed, and scrutinized enough to be left alone "to enjoy our sport." As a retired RCMP officer told me eighteen years ago after Marc Lepine killed the students at the École Polytechnique, "there will always be another shooting." And after each shooting, the government - of whichever party - raises the requirements to own firearms. Even with the Liberals and Allan Rock out of office, his mantra "only the military and the police should have firearms" continues to be repeated ad nauseam.
In this latest shooting the 'object' causing the death was a "legally registered" handgun; presumably that means the owner was also legally licensed. Thus neither registration of the firearm nor licensing the owner prevented the tragedy - nor can either ever do so, human nature being what it is. But that will not stop our current government from "doing something" to "prevent this type of tragedy." As a minimum look for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to declare he will make screening for licensing even more "rigorous." Not that the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can screen it's astronauts well enough to weed-out irrational behaviour.
But suppose for a moment that two or three more shooting with a "legally registered" handgun occur this year or next, and the mayor of Toronto convinces enough Members of Parliament to ban handguns. Would that handgun ban prevent this type of senseless tragedy? Anyone who could legally own a registered handgun could certainly own a shotgun or a rifle "for sport shooting." And what will stop an owner of that type of firearm from keeping it in the truck of his or her car for this type of occasion?
In three of four years, after a series of deaths 'caused by' a "legally registered" shotgun or sporting rifle, the mayor of Toronto will be calling just as loudly for a ban on that type of "weapon." We have already seen that many members of the Liberal Party of Canada want to ban semi-automatic rifles. Can your pump shotgun be far behind?
We cannot make ourselves 'responsible' enough 'to earn' the privilege to have firearms for 'sport.' Forget "sports shooting," - the only true, valid basis for our owning firearms is the Right to Self-protection - and that free from a government license to own a firearm.
Perhaps this senseless death will finally drive that point home.
Edward B. Hudson, DVM, MS
The Toronto Star
Jan 15, 2008 04:30 AM
Handguns keep taking Canadian lives; yet this dangerous class of weapon remains too readily available across the country.
In light of the grievous harm they do, it would make sense to ban handguns, thereby making them harder for criminals to obtain and impossible for law-abiding people to misuse.
Toronto's latest handgun victim is 42-year-old John O'Keefe, shot in
the head on the weekend while walking on Yonge St., the apparent victim
of a stray bullet meant for a strip club bouncer. According to police,
the pistol involved in this killing was legally registered to the man
carrying it, whose hobby was
Handgun ownership is not unusual in Canada. According to the Canada Firearms Centre, there are more than 535,000 legally registered handguns in this country.
These weapons pose a threat because their owners sometimes use them to kill, as allegedly happened last weekend on Yonge St., or because the guns are susceptible to theft by criminals.
A nationwide ban on handguns would ease that threat. Police and the military should be allowed to carry pistols, and some exceptions could be made for a few elite competitive shooters. But everyone else should be required to turn in their handguns under a federal buyback program. Protecting lives matters more than pursuing hobbies.