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LETTER: Pointing finger at legal gun owners off target

The government needs to fix the problem with the 'right solution' by supporting law enforcement, says letter writer
Wes Winkel, owner of Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods, said that handgun sales have skyrocketed since the federal government introduced Bill C-21. Winkel argues that the new legislation unfairly penalizes legal gun owners without addressing the heart of the gun violence issue.

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor. The following letter is in response to a story, published June 14, titled 'New gun legislation sparks spike in sales at local shop' an recent letters about the federal government's controversial legislations.

I read the recent letters regarding Bill C-21. While I sympathize with those that have faced any form of violence, I believe before anybody supports a bill they need to review the facts. Nobody should support any government legislation based on a gut feeling or emotion. The government relies on these types of reactions to gain public support.

Many Canadians simply have not taken the time to look at the complete history of firearms and how they are regulated in Canada. Firearms and their use in Canada has been cause for debate for a very long time.

According to Statistics Canada's 2020 infographic on homicides in Canada, of the 277 firearm-related homicides in Canada in 2020, 49% were committed with a handgun. The Canadian government would like us to believe they have not kept records on whether the firearm used was from a legal gun owner or illegally obtained.

They claim they started tracking this information in 2021. This in itself is troubling. The government and police services have maintained records on handgun registration since 1934 and centralized these records with the RCMP since 1951. Why can they not tell the public where the guns used in criminal offences came from?

Through registration, the police services, more specifically the RCMP, have the ability to establish if the handgun is legally owned or if it is an illegal firearm. In my opinion it is very simple. If the gun is not registered to a Canadian citizen then by one means or another it came into the country illegally.

It’s easier for the Canadian government to blame the legal gun owner. This draws the attention away from the fact they have not supported the police services properly and made the necessary steps to protect our border from illegal firearms. They have not protected the citizens of Canada. Whenever there is an incident with a firearm its splashed all over the news.

Nobody ever asks “where did the firearm come from?” Everyone assumes it must have come from a legal gun owner.

Mr. Trudeau claims Bill C-21 is not an attack on legal gun owners. Who does he think a freeze on buying, selling, transferring a handgun will affect? The criminal? How many people truly believe a criminal is going to go through all of steps to obtain a firearm?

The courses, training, testing, the forms that have to be sent away before you can even get a licence to buy a gun. Then there is the additional course, testing and paperwork that must be sent away for review before you can buy a handgun.

Even after the purchase you must then wait again for more paperwork to be sent for a further review and registration before being allowed to take the firearm home. All of this adds up to months. What person is going to go through all of that, register their new firearm and then use it in a crime where it can be traced back to them?

Please tell me the Canadian citizens don’t actually believe this is what is happening.

People not familiar with the legal use of firearms have grown to believe everything the government tells them. For most it is easier than investigating the truth. The government relies on this ignorance to put false fear in the voter. Scare the voter and then give them an easy solution without facts.

To put this into perspective, there are 400 people killed a year in Canada texting while driving. Under the government's same logic, should they ban cellphones? The government will continue to raise the penalty for distracted driving violations until it is simply not worth while to violate the law. Should this same logic not be applied to firearms laws?

If the penalties were so extreme for using a firearm in a violent crime eventually very few people would use one. The government needs to fix the problem with the right solution. Most illegal guns will cross the United States/Canadian Border. Support law enforcement and fix the problem. Until our government does this, we all lose.

Mike Rolland