Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gun ownership and violence towards the RCMP

At the risk of sounding like the NRA, the possession of guns standing alone does not lead to violence.  If you look at world statistics, some countries with very high gun ownership rates have low murder rates.  That said, gun ownership (which is very high in Canada - it's only in comparison to the US it looks low) needs to be regulated and made safe:

Article here

Nunavut justice minister urges more support for police, more firearms safety
"We must work together to ensure the safety of our communities"

Nunavut’s justice minister Daniel Shewchuk says he’s “deeply disturbed by the recent gun-related violence towards RCMP members in Nunavut.”

“Acts of violence against those who are here to protect us are a matter of great concern,” Shewchuk said in an Aug. 13 statement. “These men and women risk their lives on a daily basis so that we can have safe communities.”

Shewchuk’s statement followed a period of slightly more than a week during which here three separate firearms incidents took place in Kimmirut, Igloolik and Hall Beach.

“We must work together to ensure the safety of our communities by supporting the well-being of our RCMP members. I urge all community members to take steps to make sure that firearms are properly stored, secured, and handled with care,” Shewchuk said.


sunsin said...

Two important points:

First, what type of guns? Hunting rifles and shotguns are tools. Handguns and automatic weapons are iron Viagra. If a lot of your guns are designed primarily to kill people, then people will be killed.

Second, what kind of attitude? If you have a Wild West fantasy running constantly in your head, and think that you're somehow going to "defend your freedom" with your own personal arsenal, then people will be killed.

James Morton said...

Fair nuff. In Numavut the guns are tools for hunting. Nothing more.

The Rat said...

James, I think your Nunavut friends might disagree with that statement. Hunting implies food or resource extraction. I am pretty sure a number of Nunavuters keep guns for defense against polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears and even moose. Now defense is entirely different from hunting and brings us directly to the oft used and utterly incorrect statement that hand guns are only used for killing people. We know that is false because the various provincial and territorial authorities can and do issue carry permits for handguns, called a Wilderness Authorization To Carry. Hand guns are useful for defense against wildlife. In fact, they are specifically allowed because people working in the wilderness are burdened excessively by long guns such as rifles and shotguns and are therefore much less likely to keep them close to hand. Hand guns are much easier to keep close at hand and are considered adequate for wildlife self-defence.

I think it wildly hilarious that we think it reasonable to carry a gun to defend against a bear but not a much more dangerous human. We can carry pepper spray for use on dogs but it is illegal to carry it for the purpose of rape defence.