Americans and guns
Re: American insanity, Letter to the editor, Nov. 14
Letter- writer Mahmood Elahi purports to understand the thought processes of the American founding fathers when he infers that Second Amendment rights apply only to single shot “muskets.” I would point out that the British regulars were equipped with the Brown Bess musket, a smooth bore muzzle loader with an effective accurate range limited to about 150 metres. As a result, the troops were organized to provide “volley” fire at the opposition, and hope that some of the rounds hit home. The Americans, on the other hand, were frequently equipped with a rifled firearm ( Kentucky rifle) that provided accurate fire to several hundred metres, and provided a huge stand- off advantage against the “oppressors.”
The founding fathers both recognized and appreciated the technological superiority of the rebel firearms that gave them the ultimate advantage and won the day. I suspect that the Second Amendment would be applied today to the same firearms used by military forces, and were civilians equipped with better, then those ownership rights would also be preserved. Every genocide in the 20th century was conducted by state agents of an erstwhile legitimate government, and the Second Amendment was a reasonable mitigation against such atrocities. It remains as important today as it was in 1777.
Robert S. Sciuk, Wellesley, Ont.
Re: Gun control advocates missed the point, again; dozens died in Sutherland Springs because of evil, John Robson, Nov. 13
Mr. Robson brings focus to the claim that the Texas assailant was prohibited from owning guns. He uses this as an argument against the need for further gun control laws suggesting, what’s the point if bad people who are not allowed to own guns can get them anyway? That is like suggesting that we don’t need to licence drivers because some people drive without licences anyway.
To obtain my possession and acquisition licence in Canada it took me a year and only after robust background and reference checks, and perhaps most importantly, after a twoday gun-safety handling and storage course was completed. The U. S. lacks a national firearms program like we have in Canada. Aside from that, one can bypass inadequate and varied state requirements by simply walking into one of the estimated 5,000 gun shows held annually and walking out armed.
The fact is that you don’t have to go to France to see what impact effective gun ownership laws have on death rates: The U. S. has more than nine times the gun homicides per capita ( using data from 2013/ 14) than we have in Canada. No wonder most Americans want more robust background checks. Who is missing the point?
David Laniado, West Vancouver