Posted by Paul (188.8.131.52) on September 13, 2008 at 07:00:50:
In Reply to: Re: Response to Government Handgun Ban Rhetoric posted by Don Williams on September 11, 2008 at 10:33:29:
Firstly, may I applaud the effort and conviction behind your stand Patrick.
I'm relatively new to Canada as I only arrived in 2000, but I have noticed that guns and especially hand guns are a part of the Canadian way of life. I'm from the UK where the only places that you will see firearms carried openly are international airports and organised, rural events. Even the cops don't carry side arms openly. This does not mean that they are any less of an issue over there, but I think that there is more respect for firearms and a higher expectation from their owners and users.
I do not believe that closing any facility that promotes sport and fair play is good for any community, especially in a metropolitan areas where the catchment areas involve a lot of people. The issue here is not so much that shooting clubs have been shut down, it is that recreational facilities have been denied to those that were using them.
I've no doubt at all that the closed clubs were operated in a professional and ethical manner and promoted the safe, responible use of firearms. So why were they closed? Has anyone challenged the justification for decisions that led to these closures?
My point is that governments make decisions based on the impact that the outcome will have on the majority. The key word here is MAJORITY. At a time when gun related killings in the Toronto area are getting out of hand, there is pressure to solve a percieved problem with gun control. Their solution was to reduce the use of guns comprehensively.
Now I don't know the full history behind the new bye laws or restrictions ect, but I can say as a member of the public and an outsider (I do not own a gun yet) I see the official response to the gun crimes as completely justified.
To this end I do not see the advantage in withdrawing support for a legitimate competition would be. For one, supporters of sports shooting would loose their voice in this forum.
The solution is to voluntarily look closely at the sport and find ways of convincing those in power that there are those in society that get great pleasure in recreational shooting. It is this group that will reap the greatest rewards.
I agree that guns don't kill people ... it is irresponsible people that misuse guns to kill people. Just like it is irresponsible people that misuse knives, baseball bats, and just about anything to kill others. Why punish those that are responsible? THAT is the arguement.
Closer controls of gun club membership, types of guns allowed and storage rules and methods are the avenues to be explored. If a gun club is there to promote sports shooting, gun ownership within a club should be restricted to only firearms permitted by the rules of competition generally. Those guns should remain within the club and only removed for competition.
No one solution will please everyone, but where there is a will, there is a way.
Personally, I would love to one day represent Canada both as a shooter and a responsible individual. With competition shooting the two go hand in hand. Not only on the range, but in the background where compromises are made and respect is forged between the lovers of the sport and the regulators of society in general.
Let's work together to find a solution to the problem and not fuel a fire that will only delay and compromise any efforts being made to find that piece of common ground that all can use as a starting point. The shooting community needs to regain the trust of the general public and those in decision making positions to make any kind of progress.
Withdrawing support for any event that positively promotes a sport is never a good thing.
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