Volume 94, Issue 80
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Letters to the Editor
Re: There's gun-toting Yanks in them thar hills, Feb. 9
To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Marcus Maleus' Feb. 9 article regarding gun control. Although the column to which I'm responding had an American theme, we deal with the same issues North of the border.
The argument was made that strong gun control is a requirement, citing the "stupidity and danger of lax gun control laws." The fact of the matter is that strong gun control laws have no impact on reducing violent crime, preventing accidental death, or suicide.
England, Australia and New Zealand are some examples of countries that, in an attempt to avoid an "American Gun Culture," employed strict restriction, regulation and confiscation of firearms. They did, however, succeed at transforming the "Gun Culture" from law abiding, family-oriented hunters, collectors and sport/recreational shooters, to cops and criminals.
Another absurd reference was made that semi-automatic shotguns are not a requirement to kill an animal, and thus should only be in the hands of law enforcement officials. A firearm is a tool. Being semi-automatic simply imparts durability and reliability to that tool, and is no more dangerous, nor disproportionately used in crimes, than any other firearm.
It seems that Maleus supports gun control as a way of stigmatizing a disliked group and its culture. His pathetic use of stereotypes in regards to firearm owners ("mindless hicks and lunatics," "selfish gun-toters") is proof.
He believes accidental death of children "checking out daddy's sawed-off shotgun" has happened "a million times." Reality check: There were 49 deaths in Canada in 1995 due to firearm accidents, and this number has been steadily declining since the 1930s without any significant gun control.
Although I'd love to enlighten Maleus further on the reality of gun control, space constraints prohibit me. Disappointingly, his ignorance is only exceeded by his lack of knowledge on the subject he addressed.
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