Canada – -(Ammoland.com)- It’s fascinating to watch the firestorm over Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent comments about rural Canadian gun owners at the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.
“My wife’s from a rural area and obviously gun ownership wasn’t just for the farm, but was for a certain level of security when you’re a ways away from immediate police assistance,” said the Prime Minister.
Stephen Harper simply stated the obvious; obvious to his audience at least, if not the mainstream media.
The national press went into spin-dry hysteria, claiming that Harper advocated vigilante justice and said Harper wanted to turn us into “gun-toting Americans.”
The Edmonton Journal editorial board wrote:
“[I]t is perfectly reasonable to worry about the minuscule chance of a home invasion in which police response times would be inadequate — but foolishly unreasonable to worry about the chance of accidents, poor storage and theft, and about the occasional soul who only appears ‘law abiding’ until he starts blasting away.” [Related: There’s No Such Thing As A Law-Abiding Gun Owner? )
If the Edmonton Journal editorial board is to be believed, Canada’s most trustworthy citizens, licensed firearms owners, are clearly only one bad moment away from being killers. As to backing up their position with facts? Why bother since “everyone knows” it’s true.
Except that it’s not true. Canada’s legitimate firearms owners are statistically the safest people in our country; only one-third as likely to commit a violent act as a citizen that doesn’t own firearms and only half as likely as a police officer. That reality doesn’t fit in the “unicorn world” of the editorial board at the Edmonton Journal though, so they content themselves with smugly vilifying honest Canadian citizens as “killers-in-waiting.”
The Edmonton Journal’s open-minded editorial opens with: “Someday, it will be a matter of gobsmacking astonishment that people were still allowed to own guns in the early 21st century.”
The gun owner slamfest continues with Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control. She claimed:
“The suggestion that rural people have firearms in case the police cannot reach them in time is not really consistent with Canadian law on lawful use of force but smacks of American arming for self protection.”
Apparently Ms. Cukier has never read the Criminal Code of Canada.
Then former Solicitor General Wayne Easter went even further down the waterslide stating:
“Someone who hears that might say, ‘Well, I don’t need to lock my gun up. I need to have it close at hand so that if somebody sets foot on my property and I think they are trespassing,’ away we go.”
Ludicrous. Every breathless, self-righteous, spin-drenched word. Harper did not say that at all, and for the Edmonton Journal to intimate he did is not merely over-the-top spin: It’s a lie.
Reality check: Rural Canadians face situations city dwellers don’t have to deal with. Bears, coyotes, rabid and/or feral animals all pose dangers. Farmers need the ability to quickly and humanely put down domestic animals that are sick, lame or loco. The police certainly can’t help, even if they were willing to drive out to deal with a pesky predator and fill out the mountain of paperwork that discharging a police firearm entails.
The Firearms Act even deals with this specific circumstance because police response times to rural homes are measured in half-hour blocks, not minutes. Moreover, if grave danger presents itself in Canada’s remote areas, it is unreasonable to expect police to be able to do much more than draw chalk lines.
That’s certainly no slam on our dedicated police officers. It is simply a reality in our vast (and mostly empty) land.
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website www.cdnshootingsports.org