GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE

A6Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People. I’m sure you’ve heard this line or saw it on a bumper sticker on some redneck’s jacked-up 4 X 4. You know the blacked-out Dodge Ram with the rifle rack in the rear window and the white Browning decal on the tail gate. Well, truth is people use guns to kill people.

We have gun control because our legal system of people control doesn’t work well. At least not in Canada.

A4Canadians don’t have the ingrained gun culture that America has, but we still have our share of firearm related homicides. I took a look at the stats and see Canada has .51 gun murders per 100,000 people. The United States has seven times the rate at 3.55 / 100K. Interestingly, Japan has zero (0), Australia has 0.11, Mexico has 10.0, Colombia 27.1, Guatemala 34.8, El Salvador 39.9, and Honduras topped the list at 64.8.

So, you’ve got a lot better chance of being shot to death in Central America than in New York, LA,  or even Vancouver where we have daily drive-by shootings – but the little punk gang-bangers are such piss-poor shots that they rarely hit anyone.

A5What got me writing this is the horrific shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The details of what the psycho used as a firearm or how he got possession of it are yet to come out, but it’s no secret firearms are much easier to obtain, and are much more plentiful in supply, in the US than in Canada.

Canadian gun control laws are not without flaw.

To own guns, Canadians are required to have a firearms Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). You must take an accredited training course, undergo a police investigation where your criminal record is checked, your family is interviewed – especially your spouse, or ex-spouses – and two independent people must sign-off that you’ve no history of mental illness.

A7Firearms are divided into three groups. Non-restricted, such as hunting rifles and shotguns. Restricted, such as handguns and certain assault rifles. And Prohibited, such as fully-automatic weapons. There’s also caveats like locking mechanisms, transport regulations, and magazine capacity.

Restricted firearms have special permits and can only be used on certified firing ranges. Civilians are not allowed to carry handguns in public – with the exception of a very few cases. Even hunting firearms have regulations about where they’re handled and God help if you’re caught with a machine gun. In Canada, possession of firearms is a privilege, not a right.

A8The US is much different and laws vary from state to state. Recently, I attended a seminar in Austin, Texas, and one of the students packed heat in the classroom. Perfectly legal. I saw both his piece and his permit.

It was his constitutional right to bear arms. Right in the 2nd Amendment.

A10“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

I’m not sure the founding fathers had the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in mind when they wrote that piece.

8 thoughts on “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE

  1. Kaye Killgore

    This was a case of domestic terrorism and has very little to do with his choice of weapon. He told them he was there to kill black people. I’m not anti gun, but I am anti-mass killing. I do think more education and awareness is necessary. I have no idea how to eradicate hate of blacks and other minority races, of LGBT, of religion, of sexes. I have no idea how to create a society that does not turn to killing as a solution. Sometimes I’m not just embarrassed of my race but of being human.

    Reply
    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      I agree with you, Kaye. It really was a hate crime and a firearm was simply his choice of weapon. I think that the ease of supply of guns is a surface problem, the root cause is much more complex and centers in abhorrent human behaviour. I have no solution to offer for that.

      Reply
  2. Gippy Adams Henry

    Garry, I always look forward to your blog and I thank you for such interesting subjects and a wealth of knowledge you give the reader. I have a question, if I may, on the gun situation in the world. What do you think of the Smartgun that is rejected by the NRA and, to my present knowledge, is somewhere in New Jersey being refined to be a more efficient gun? From what I’ve read about that gun in the recent past, it would be possible for it to save many children’s lives and others at the hands of children with guns, as well as the lives of victims in home invasions where their gun sometimes gets into the hands of the criminal. If it is ‘perfected’ do you think it could be used efficiently? Best, Gippy

    Reply
    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      Hi Gippy. Nice to hear that you enjoy the blog posts. Comments like yours are what makes it worthwhile. I’m not up on the Smartgun so I had to do a little Googling. I see the technological safety in them and it’s probably moving in the right direction. The most challenging issue in firearm safety is changing the mindset of the populace. That’s going to take generations to improve.

      Reply
  3. Sue Coletta

    The shooting was outrageous…those poor people. I grieve for the victims’ families. This morning I heard the kid hesitated because the congregation “was so welcoming and nice”. And then he stood up and blew them away. It’s mind-boggling. I have no use for kids like that. IMO, he’s a waste of skin. Death penalty, please.

    Reply
    1. Garry Rodgers Post author

      This is probably the worst hate crime I’ve ever heard of, Sue. It’s being described as domestic terrorism and I think it is. The truly terrifying thing is some copycat… lone wolf…

      Reply

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