Editorial: No place for guns

By 
  • March 28, 2019

It turns out that banning assault weapons doesn’t have to be so difficult after all. All it takes is courage, resolve, leadership — and a touch of common sense.

New Zealand’s prime minister demonstrated all those qualities following the horrific murder of 50 worshippers at two mosques when, within days, she announced the island nation would ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“The time for the easy availability of these weapons must end,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

She is absolutely right. And what is right for New Zealand is equally so for Canada.

There is no place in our communities for these military-style weapons. The immense suffering they can inflict in seconds when in the hands of people who may be mentally unstable, consumed by hate or motivated by radical ideology is terrifying. Their mere existence is an affront to the culture of life Pope Francis extols and our civic leaders should cultivate.

It took the deaths of 50 praying people to prod New Zealand to act. Canadian leaders should take note and get busy.

Semi-automatic weapons are restricted but not banned in Canada, even though they’ve been used in several mass shootings, including the 1989 murder of 14 women at Montreal’s École Polytechnique and the 2017 murder of six men at a Quebec mosque. How much blood must spill before politicians brush past the gun lobbyists and embrace the common good?

At morning Mass on March 22 the rector of Montreal’s St. Joseph Oratory was attacked by a man with a knife. Thankfully, the assailant was quickly subdued and Fr. Claude Grou suffered only superficial wounds. But the incident demonstrated once again that places of worship are soft targets. This time the attacker may only have wielded a knife, but the Church assault was particularly unsettling coming so soon after the semi-automatic bloodshed in two New Zealand mosques.

Governments mostly dither when it comes to gun control. Stricter laws, but not a ban, were introduced in Canada 25 years ago, but even those laws have been amended over time to the extent that, rather than becoming tougher, gun laws have actually grown more lax.

Another review is currently underway. It includes an examination of the accessibility and use of the types of assault weapons used in New Zealand. Although rules might be tightened up, there is little expectation of an outright ban. That’s disturbing.

Polls consistently show Canadians believe automatic and semi-automatic weapons have no place in society beyond the police and armed forces. The same goes for handguns. Yet governments consistently lack the resolve to act.

In New Zealand it took the deaths of 50 worshippers, public outrage and a decisive prime minister to effect change. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another bloodbath here to shame Canadian lawmakers into banning these awful weapons.

Comments (6)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

Gospel of Luke 22:36-38, NIV

Mark
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Banning these guns makes makes no sense what so ever. The reason why is it is a useless act that has no impact on the criminal intent of people who would commit these crimes. So often people, such as the author of this opinion piece, forget there...

Banning these guns makes makes no sense what so ever. The reason why is it is a useless act that has no impact on the criminal intent of people who would commit these crimes. So often people, such as the author of this opinion piece, forget there is a person who plans the crime. It is a person who select the target. It is a person that determines the means to act. It is a person that executes the plan and commits the crime.

At no tie in history has a ban on anything, be it alcohol, drugs or weapons ever decreased crime, reduced hate or dissuaded the mentally ill determined to harm others from doing just that.

The actions of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not demonstrate courage, resolve, leadership or common sense. Instead it demonstrated thoughtless ineffectual actions and some disilusional idea that banning a firearm will solve the problem. Why? Because it forgets one important thing. It takes a person to plan the crime. It is a person to select the target. It takes a person to determine the means to act. It takes a person to execute the plan and commits the crime. When does her plan deal with the person?

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Kevin
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Fully automatics are severely controlled in Canada and the only one used in a murder was stolen from a Armories. The amount of semi automatic rifles and handguns has gone up exponentially in the years since Bill C68 while for some stupid reason...

Fully automatics are severely controlled in Canada and the only one used in a murder was stolen from a Armories. The amount of semi automatic rifles and handguns has gone up exponentially in the years since Bill C68 while for some stupid reason homicide has gone down. You can believe the 5 out of a 100 slanted polls if you want but that does not make them true. I am afraid that preaching peace from a organization that has caused a great deal of our current suffering rings about as true as our PM ' s comments on SNC Lavilin

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Andy
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I'm sure the author got off topic and meant 'no place for the evil ones in the Mother Church' since we are still arresting Priests and Bishops for the abuse of nuns and children.
Ie: let's clean up our own backyard.
The Holy Father, and I've made...

I'm sure the author got off topic and meant 'no place for the evil ones in the Mother Church' since we are still arresting Priests and Bishops for the abuse of nuns and children.
Ie: let's clean up our own backyard.
The Holy Father, and I've made the pilgrimage to the Holy See, is surrounded by heavily armed men in dark suits.
There is truly a place for all kinds of firearms in the hands of the good when it comes to sports, protection and hunting.

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Daisy
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

So, you mention that Canada's gun laws have gotten 'more lax', yet fail to mention the lack of a corresponding rise in firearm deaths and injuries that those 'relaxed' laws would have prevented.

But that's ok though: you just go right ahead and...

So, you mention that Canada's gun laws have gotten 'more lax', yet fail to mention the lack of a corresponding rise in firearm deaths and injuries that those 'relaxed' laws would have prevented.

But that's ok though: you just go right ahead and keep beating the "ban!" drum while the rest of Canada continues to see the overall decline in violent crime that has been on a steady downward march for decades.

Banning semis in NZ won't keep weapons out of the hands of people who want to harm others. It isn't the warm fuzzy blanket you seem to think it is...but you don't know any better.

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Chig Walla
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you post is full of lies

gun-owner
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