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EDITORIAL – Instead of relaxing the laws on AR-15 rifle, let’s ban it

Cst. John Davidson.

An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

EVERY TIME the gun debate flares up south of border, we Canadians are drawn into it. So it is now, as funerals are arranged for the 26 people slaughtered in a Texas church this past weekend.

Police say the killer, a man named David P. Kelley, used an AR-15 semi-automatic, a civilian variant of the military M-16 assault rifle.

It has become the favourite weapon of mass murderers in the U.S. The National Rifle Association calls it “America’s rifle.”

Here at home, more than a few people would like to make it “Canada’s rifle.”

Currently, access to the AR-15 in Canada is much tougher than south of the border. Here, it’s a restricted weapon that is legal to buy, but only for target shooting and gun collecting. It isn’t legal for hunting.

And here, it can hold only five rounds, unlike the U.S. where it can hold 30.

Last year, a petition to un-restrict the AR-15 gathered more than 25,000 signatures but — thank-you Justin Trudeau — it was rejected by the federal government.

Legally purchased AR-15s have killed hundreds of Americans.

The AR-15 and variations of it have been used in the Las Vegas horror, the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, the Sandy Hook school massacre, the San Bernardino office party killings, and other mass murders.

Kamloops has had several shootings recently, and in some parts of the Lower Mainland it’s all too common.

In Abbotsford, a 24-year veteran of the Abbotsford Police Department, Cst. John Davidson, was killed Monday as he tried to arrest a suspect who had opened fire with a shotgun in a shopping centre parking lot.

Such tragedies are heart-rending. Now imagine if AR-15s were involved. Imagine the carnage.

Marc Lepine used a semi-automatic rifle at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 before our gun laws were tightened up; we don’t want more U.S.-style mass shootings in Canada.

Instead of AR-15s being removed from the restricted list, they should be banned altogether.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5078 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on EDITORIAL – Instead of relaxing the laws on AR-15 rifle, let’s ban it

  1. Tony old cock! I,m afraid I have forgotten my high school French and can,t be bothered looking for my French/Englih dictionary, What does Rigour,with a capital R mean. Oh yeh,I think they should prohibit old men in shorts and grey ponytales from attending and disrupting public meetings.I remember you well and your antics at Robert Bateman’s presentation.

  2. How about keeping the “tool” away from the madman????

  3. Silencers? No such thing… The movie image of a gun going ‘phht, phht phht’ is a myth.
    Supressors on the other hand, they are real… they don’t hide the sound of a gun shot, they merely reduce the decibels produced. That is the firearm is still loud, but the risk of unprotected hearing damage is significantly reduced.

  4. Oh yes, we have had no AR 15 illegal shootings …so we should ban it because some other country (which we take great snobbishness in being different from) does have a problem?

  5. By that logic we should ban Ford F-150’s. As they’re the most popular vehicle sold it stands to reason more drink or distracted drivers must be driving them. I’m sure if we ban one specific tool things will change. To blame the tool, not the mad man is a fools errand.

  6. I hate to do this to you Mr Rothenburger ,I think you have gotten out of the newspaper days of researching your material. I will say one thing, which shows that your argument holds no substance. The Ruger Mini 14 which Marc Lepine used at Ecole Polytechnique “before Canada’s gun laws were tightened up” (to quote you) is not only still legal to buy but is unrestricted thus legal to operate anywhere discharging a firearm is legal. Despite this lapse of law enforcement and sanity there have been no other cases of mass shootings with that type of firearm. PS , the RCMP does not make firearms have a 5 round sized magazine , they are full sized magazines that are blocked from holing more then 5 rounds.

    • Mel Rothenburger // November 8, 2017 at 9:18 PM // Reply

      The Ecole Polytechnique tragedy sparked demands for a tightening of gun laws. Subsequently, requirements for firearms possession were tightened, and the 30-round magazine used by Marc Lepine was banned. The Ruger Mini 14 is not restricted because there hasn’t been the political will to do it. Still, the banning of the 30-round magazine was a major improvement. After a mass murder in 1996, Australia banned semi-automatics.

  7. Now imagine the carnage if the NRA gets it’s way and silencers become “du Rigour” for mass murder officianados .

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