The “war ” between Canada and the U.S. over gun control, stimulated by an ex-cop’s kvetch, continues apace. Albertan Andrew Scrutton launched the most recent fusillade in a letter to the editor at mlive.com headlined Canada has guns but not a paranoid gun culture. “I want to start by saying that this submission is in no way meant to be a holier than thou, we’re better than you, kind of thing,” Mr. Scrutton starts, raising the specter of condescension that has typified Canadians’ take on the debate. “I love America. I have many friends who are black.” JK. He actually said “I love America. I have many friends who are American. We enjoy visiting your great country as often as we can. Some of y’all just confuse me sometimes though . . .
First off, I’d like to say that in no way do [I] oppose or dislike guns. Canada on a whole does not dislike or oppose guns. Per capita we have a similar number of guns to our American neighbors. What we don’t have is a paranoid, might makes right, shoot first and ask questions later, gun culture.
Does the missing personal pronoun indicate credibility problems? If not, it’s worth noting that America and Canada do not have a similar number of guns per capita. Wikipedia stats rank America number one in legal gun ownership at 88.8 guns per 100 citizens. Canada is number 13 with 30.8 guns per 100 citizens.
As for the idea that our gun culture is based on “shoot first and ask questions later” all I can say is bullshit. OK, I can say more. Mr. Scrutton first.
Is there crime in Canada? Of course there is. Are there times where a concealed fire arm might protect a person in a threatening situation? Of course. That said, there are also times where not wearing a seat belt and being thrown from the car is what may save you. Does that mean it’s smart not to wear your seat belt? Of course not. Those times are the exception not the rule. If you’re going to gamble with your life, a smart man plays the odds.
So . . . we’re done, right? A smart man carries a gun like a smart motorist wears a seatbelt. Not argument here. Oh wait.
Carrying a concealed fire arm is simply a false sense of security. If I am approaching you with ill intent and I know you may have a gun I’m more likely to carry a gun myself. If I’m looking to attack or mug you the likelihood is I’m probably nervous or on edge already. Since I’m on the offense and you’re in a position where you’re responding to my threat do you really think you’re going to be able to get to your gun before I use mine? Now, after I’ve shot you because you spooked me with your sudden movement to go for your gun (which I likely didn’t want to do in the first place) I’m probably going to take your gun because I know I can get a good buck for it on the street …and the situation snow balls.
I was talking to a gun guru yesterday about the most common and most dangerous mistakes made by citizens who carry concealed. Brannon LaBouef agrees with Mr. Scrutton: a lot of gun owner who carry are over-confident. This reduces their situational awareness and leads to strategic mistakes.
But Mr. LeBouef wasn’t arguing against concealed carry. He was arguing that citizens should carry with a more realistic idea of their own limitations. Because it’s true: Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms by bearing armsare playing defense. We are, after all, the good guys.
But there’s a big difference between acknowledging the challenges of armed self-defense and not being armed and not defending yourself. How does Mr. Scrutton deal with that conundrum? He’s glad you asked.
On the flip side, if I have no reason to believe you are armed then I have little reason to carry a gun either, especially knowing that our court system goes much harder on gun crime than non gun crime. Yes, unfortunately you’re likely to still get mugged but all you’re going to lose is your wallet, not your life.
Most police officers will tell you when being robbed, do as the perpetrator instructs, don’t make eye contact and try to get as much detailed information as you can regarding height, weight, blah blah blah. Resisting and fighting back is always a last resort.
And what does one do as a last resort? Mr. Scrutton doesn’t say. Which is the crux of the issue. It’s all well and good to suggest (however nonsensically) that not carrying a gun reduces your chances of needing a gun, but what happens if you do?
Perhaps Mr. Scrutton should read his own words re: seat belts. Meanwhile . . .
I for one am happy to live in a place where I don’t feel the need to carry a gun to feel safe and I’m even happier that our criminals don’t often feel the need to carry guns to feel safe either …and I’m also glad that Wawra wasn’t able to shoot what was likely just two stupid or innocent people who probably just had a couple beers in them, hyped up about a annual, citywide party.
Funny thing is, the ex-cop didn’t shoot. Because A) he didn’t have a gun (point to Canada?) and B) he didn’t need to. Which reminds me . . .
My housekeeper has an attractive granddaughter. She was walking through downtown Providence with her boyfriend after going to an under-18’s club. Five youths started following them. One of them asked her boyfriend if he’d like to watch while they raped her—after they beat the shit of out him.
The couple started walking faster. So did their pursuers. They rounded a corner and chanced upon a cop car.
I wonder if this sort of thing happens in Canada.