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Canada’s Gun Laws

The murder of 49 human beings in Orlando is a monstrous act. The killer, an unfortunate delusional person who was known to law officials, managed to buy guns and ammunition to carry out this massacre.

On average, 100 American individuals possess 112.6 guns. Is it the easy availability of guns in the US that explains why in 2015, 12,000 Americans were killed by guns—through homicide, suicide and accidental deaths. The US also recorded another 25,000 human injuries that were gun-related. In Canada on average, 100 Canadians possess 30.8 guns.

The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that Canadians, unlike Americans, do not have the constitutional right to bear arms. The Court also stated that “Most Canadians prefer to have their peace of mind and sense of security arrive from the knowledge that the possession of automatic weapons is prohibited.”

But Canadians will be saddened and disturbed to learn that in the past five years, our government’s political leaders have allowed the increased sale and export of weapons of war. Some of these weapons may have been sold to other countries like Saudi Arabia, a country that has an abominable human rights record.

It is absolute ignorance to argue that if we don’t sell these weapons to those who want to buy them, someone else will make that profit. Is Canada so poverty stricken that we have to sell weapons designed to kill human beings whom we do not even know?

In Canada, we expect our police departments to have the legal power to keep guns out of the hands of people who may or may not be responsible in handling and using guns. With fewer guns around, we all will feel more secure.

Canadians are a civilized people. We need to promote peacemaking and peacekeeping.

Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2016

Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2016, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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