An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THERE’S NO SPORT in sport hunting. That’s just fact.
Animals and birds have only their instincts to defend themselves in this unequal contest, while hunters enjoy all the advantages offered by technology.
That includes high powered rifles and shotguns. As famed hockey goalie Carey Price, who likes to shoot ducks, points out, what he does is legal. As he says, he is not a criminal nor a threat to society.
Price’s comments unfortunately came on the eve of the 33rd anniversary of the shooting at Ecole Polytechnique that tragically took 14 lives, so the gun issue is particularly sensitive right now.
Nevertheless, Carey’s opinions, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments on Bill C-21 point out an important dividing line in the gun debate.
The bill was originally aimed at banning handguns but amendments add a list of rifles and shotguns that apparently includes certain hunting rifles.
A lot of it has to do with things like muzzle width, joules of energy, detachable magazines and so on that most of us without science degrees — or at least lack an expert’s knowledge of weaponry — don’t totally comprehend but the bottom line is that critics say the amendments to the bill sweep in some long guns that might be used for hunting.
That, says the prime minister, isn’t the intention, and the government will take a second look at the 458-page list. According to Trudeau, the government is targeting military weapons such as sniper rifles and mortars.
Which is really the key issue in the whole gun-control debate: protecting the legal rights of hunters and farmers while getting rid of guns they don’t need. Those are the ones that, as Trudeau says, are designed to kill a large number of people quickly.
It’s not about liking or not liking hunting. It’s about establishing a fair line between guns needed for legal purposes, like hunting, and those that are a threat to society.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.