The Firearms Act is an onerous and draconian law which was built on a
foundation of lies and which serves only to harass and criminalize law-
abiding gun owners. It was foisted upon a largely uninformed populace,
based on false promises of crime control and public safety.
The whole purpose of the Firearms Act was to create a "culture of
safety" and to "reduce crime," neither of which it has accomplished.
There are several things that could have been done with the more than $1
billion and 10 years of effort that have been wasted on implementing
First would be focusing the justice system on the real problem --
Next would be allowing responsible law-abiding citizens to exercise
their right to carry arms on their person for their own defence.
Last would be mandatory, age-appropriate firearms safety and shooting
training in our schools.
All so-called gun control laws do is serve to harass and criminalize the
law-abiding gun owner.
What we should be doing is focusing on a concerted program of effective
criminal control, not useless and placebo gun control. This would
include implementing a Firearms Prohibition Registry of the 176,000
Canadians who have a court-ordered firearms prohibition and the more
than 37,000 who have had restraining orders imposed by the courts.
These people have been shown, by their actions and through due process,
to be too dangerous to be allowed to own guns.
And yet they are not required to advise the police when they move, nor
are they forced to submit to periodic inspections of their abode to
ensure compliance unlike the two million law-abiding gun owners of
If public safety was really the goal, then it only makes sense to
provide mandatory, age-appropriate safe firearms handling and shooting
training in our schools.
A study in Scotland showed that playing with toy guns was actually
beneficial for young boys, acting as a release for aggressive feelings
while in a safe and structured environment.
A U.S. Department of Justice study of 4,000 at-risk delinquent kids
showed children who receive real guns legitimately from their parents
engage in no future gun crimes at all and are less likely to engage in
any type of criminal activity than those kids who received no gun at
Firearms safety is a life skill that everyone can benefit from and
transfer to other forms of safety training.
Responsible citizens must be allowed to exercise their right to
self-defence and must be permitted access to the most effective means to
secure that right. Guns are used in Canada between 60,000 and 80,000
times a year for defence of self or property from both two- and
four-legged predators. For every life lost to guns, 40 are saved.
In the 37 U.S. states that have passed "shall issue" concealed carry
laws (which essentially require authorities to issue permits for
carrying a concealed weapon unless there is good reason not to),
confrontational crimes drop on average by 24 per cent. Even those who
disagree with such laws accrue the benefit. There are no shootouts and
no "blood running in the streets" as the anti-gun extremists always
screech will happen whenever one of these laws is up for passage.
This is the effect of the real gun culture. The gun culture of the
legitimate, law-abiding, gun-owning citizen is a culture of safety,
respect and responsibility. The real gun culture teaches respect for
firearms, the user, and others. It teaches safety and responsibility in
the use of firearms. It fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem
and confidence in the individual. It helps to reduce crime and protect
others in society.
Gun ownership is a right, not a crime. Gun ownership is a net benefit to
Bruce Mills lives in Dundas and writes regularly on gun control issues.
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