An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE GUN LOBBY AND HUNTING have, in my mind at least, always been two different things.
Although it’s been many, many years since I stopped shooting animals for fun, I believe most sport hunters to be ethical people who respect their prey and do their best to treat them humanely.
They’re in it for the experience, not just the guns. Firearms training courses focus heavily on safety, ethics and lawful pursuit of the sport-hunting past-time.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation’s mission statement, in part, promotes respect for fish and wildlife and “outdoor recreation in the wise integrated use of the province’s natural resources.”
I see nothing about the promotion of assault-style semi-automatic weapons. Yet, according to current federation president Bill Bosch, who hails out of Kelowna, the new federal ban on the ownership and use of assault-style firearms casts its net way too widely.
A point worth arguing, perhaps, but listen to this mind-blowing quote from a letter he sent to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair this week. After some confusing references to T-shirt cannons, anti-tank weapons and the Olympics, he goes on to say:
“It is important for Canadian national sovereignty that Canadian civilians be prepared to participate in military activities in times of national need. Times like world war II, Korean War, Viet Nam, and more recently, in Afghanistan.”
Seriously, what do wars in foreign countries have to do with the private ownership of semi-automatic firearms here at home? Is the hunting of deer and moose preparation for war? We have highly trained and highly skilled armed forces to protect our international interests.
This sounds very much like the “right to bear arms” stuff we always hear from south of the border. Mr. Bosch does a disservice to the cause of sport hunting by sounding like just another gun lobbyist.
The fact remains: hunters, target shooters and farmers have no need for military-style weapons.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.