To the editor:
In the words of former President Ronald Reagan: “There you go again.”
In your Feb. 26 Our View editorial, you write a commentary on the RCMP investigation of the gang-related shooting at the Delta Grand. Giving credit is good. These are difficult cases to bring to prosecution, although early on it was not too hard to figure out the groups involved—just follow the bullets in the aftermath.
However, your words: “If we lived in the U.S., the NRA folks would say wouldn’t it have been better to have people armed and ready to confront the gangsters at the moment of shooting?”
On your part, this is idle speculation not based upon fact. It is your perception about an organization, and a country, that you know little about. I’m quite sure you made no effort to contact the NRA to gain knowledge that would substantiate your assumptions.
Our Second Amendment rights in the USA are very dear to many of us, whether you or anyone else agrees. Most states have concealed weapons permit laws which support these rights. These laws require background checks and comprehensive training. Many holders of permits pursue additional training and practise regularly. All law enforcement officers with whom I am personally acquainted support these laws.
US citizens have another important related right. This is the right to choose. We can choose whether or not to own a firearm, to carry a firearm, to take action, or not, if the situation warrants action. If I were at the Delta Grand at the time of the shooting, and was armed (which I would not have been because I respect the law of this land), I can say with fair certainty that I would have concentrated on being a very good witness. Nothing more.
Since I am an NRA member, you are probably amazed that I wouldn’t recommend shooting at the bad guy.
Carrying a firearm for defensive purposes requires sound judgment. Tactically, an armed citizen engaging this shooter would have been a bad decision for these reasons:
1. The shooter had superiority in terms of a much more deadly and accurate weapon than a handgun
2. There were too many innocent bystanders in the area to risk yet more rounds being fired
3. Obviously the shooter had specific targets, and he may well have had additional armed accomplices increasing the dangers of engagement.
One of the National Rifle Association’s magazines, American Rifleman, carries a page each month titled The Armed Citizen. This reports situations where a firearm was used legally, with good judgment, for self-defense. Sometimes shots were fired, and sometimes this was not necessary. In the interests of responsible journalism, it would be well for you to learn more about an organization you so freely criticize. In fact, I’ll drop off a couple back issues of American Rifleman for you to peruse.