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Want some idea what the "pro-gun" crowd really wants? Read the following tirade:…
Okay - Alberta Press Leader is pretty much hardcore Alberta conservative on everything, so the content and tone of the letter isn't surprising to me. After all, 97% of the respondents to this poll said they wanted open carry:… /2
I want to address a few things in more detail, but I'll start off with the claim that firearms = $9Bn in economic activity.

If that makes you suspicious, it should. The firearms market in Canada simply isn't that big. What this number appears to include is "soup to nuts". /3
In other words, they're including money that would largely be considered "tourism dollars": airfare, accommodations, meals, etc. associated with hunting. /4
They toss in a nod towards "sport shooting" activities like biathlon as well, but as a friend of mine points out, that sport is moving towards laser "rifles" because of the difficulty in transporting firearms across international boundaries. /5
48,000 jobs? Again, that depends on how you partition things. I doubt that outside of hunting lodges that one could attribute the majority of traffic at any one hotel solely to hunting. Maybe yes, maybe no. /6
But the issue here isn't about whether firearms activity creates jobs or not. So do fishing poles. So do a lot of other things. Industries tend to spring up around ideas. /7
It's when I started reading the list of demands at the bottom that I think you get a real feel for how ridiculous these people can get. /8
First, they seem to think that by appointing a CFO, that Alberta suddenly exempts itself from Federal laws and regulations. This is false. The CFO would be responsible for implementing the federal regulations. /9
Equally obvious is that they want the CFO to be "one of their own" - presumably so that the CFO could be directed on what to implement by the NFA and other organizations. /10
However, the regulatory suggestions are downright terrifying: /11
If you think you've heard this before, it's because this is the NRA talking.

One of the biggest mistakes the US ever made has been allowing open carry of firearms. That will not enhance wilderness protection. /12
Silencers? Please, dear world, explain to me in what scenario a law abiding civilian needs a silencer? We don't live in a James Bond movie. /13
Start off with both concealed and open carry are a hard no for me. (and likely a lot of other Canadians) /14
While on the whole I agree that proper training is necessary for anyone who wants to possess firearms, the training specified here is inadequate.

A 'Use of Force' course is oriented around how to "use force", not de-escalation (which is a whole other set of skills). /15
What's clear here is that the push is for a US-style "everybody has a gun" model, and few or no restrictions on what firearms are available.

Given what we are seeing south of the border with firearms, I find it hard to see such a situation as a "net public good". /16
In the last 20 years, we've watched mass shootings go from horrifying, but relatively rare occurrences to daily events in the US.

Is that what we want for Canada? /17
To some extent I agree with the Gun Lobby that Canada's regulations around firearms have become a hodgepodge that don't make a lot of sense.

However, I disagree that the solution is to say "well, law abiding gun owners are fine", and open the gates to whatever they want. /18
It's very hard, in my mind to justify many of the demands. Anyone I've talked to about firearms is quick to admit that handguns are not good hunting weapons; /19
Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are fundamentally unnecessary for civilian use. I'm sure it "feels really cool", but that doesn't make them useful or necessary in any context a civilian might be using a firearm. /20
Likewise, large capacity magazines, and silencers (oops - sorry - noise suppressors) are not something which are needed for civilians. /21
Open and concealed carry I oppose on the fundamental grounds that civilians (myself included) simply do not have the requisite training in situation management required to not be a danger to themselves and others. /22
I have enough difficulty with the way that our police forces conduct themselves these days - they do not exercise situation management skills very well either - more training is needed if the last time I got a traffic ticket is any indication. /23
Recent events in Nova Scotia, and Alberta, have demonstrated that firearms can, and do, present a danger to both the person with them, and those around them - even when legally acquired.

Not once have I seen the NRA's mythical "good guy with a gun" stop a bad guy with a gun./24
Canadian law does not create a right to own firearms. We need to remind ourselves of that.

Unlike other creations, firearms are fundamentally designed to kill. It is not unreasonable that we as a society restrict their availability and use to ensure the safety of all. /25
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