Monday, April 16, 2007

And now for something a bit lighter...

Not sure if this is where this belongs, but I'm in shock and really saddened by the massacre at Virginia Tech. I feel for the families.

First off, I'll put my very unbiased point of view out here. I've seen guns, but mostly on my travels and on security men. I don't see a lot of guns in my day-to-day life (except at Shawarma Palace, because there are always some sort of officer of the peace in the place, be there Ottawa cops, RCMP, or military police). I don't see much of a need for them, and those that might "need" them are those that are out hunting for sport (and the aforementioned officers of the peace). So I'm pro-gun control and pro-gun registration.

This massacre begs two questions:

1) Will this be enough for America to do some serious reflection on its gun culture (my guess is no, if Columbine didn't do it)?

2) What should we be doing in Canada about guns? Is the registry effective? I keep in mind that I've heard that Robert Pickton's farm was initially searched on a gun registry warrant (can anyone find corroborating evidence on this? I can't in my initial search), and the horrors at that farm may have been cut short by that search (if I'm right, which I can't guarantee).

This is also in light of what happened at Dawson College, and, reflecting on the attack that probably affected Canadians the most, the Montreal Massacre.

I always viewed the gun registry in parallel to an automobile registry. Cars have utility to many people, but in the wrong hands, can be deadly. Same with guns. Thus, it's worth tracking the existence of both tools. Is this a fair comparison?

1 comment:

joncormier said...

Adrian, I'm mostly there with you. My opinion, and that's what it really is (just an opinion) is that we are required to register to be able to drive cars because they require a certain degree of knowledge and responsibility in order to operate them safely. Guns are made solely to kill whereas automobiles have the potential to kill. Granted a lot more of the population will have access to an automobile because they're the dominant form of transport (other than walking).

I do think guns need to be registered and no I don't think it will end all gun crime - people who want to kill others will always find a way, hence the term "criminal." Where I see the current gun legislation falling short is for families that inherit weapons as heirlooms - a grandfather fought in a war and kept his service revolver or captured luger and suddenly you're getting fined for not having the registry papers. I think those sort of exceptions need to be handled better.

I think Pickton was identified as a suspicious character and the warrant was for some kind of noise violation or utter threats to a neighbour with the possibility of weapons - I've been purposely avoiding a lot of that, not that I think ignorance is good but I don't want to treat yet another tragedy as entertainment.

Now that's all a bit too serious when really I'm just shocked and saddened by yet another tragedy that will change little in American politics other than some immediate hand wrangling that eventually leaves the families of the victims with very little.