Amer­i­cans and guns

National Post (Latest Edition) - - ISSUES & IDEAS -

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

JIM WAT­SON / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

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