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Canada is all a-Twitter re: a letter to the editor from a retired U.S. police officer living north of the border. Walt Wawra was defending the right to keep and bear arms, citing an encounter with some potential perps (or friendly Canucks). Instead, Wawra brought down a s-storm of criticism, derisive of America’s second amendment protections. First, here’s the letter published in

I recently visited Calgary from Michigan. As a police officer for 20 years, it feels strange not to carry my off-duty hand-gun. Many would say I have no need to carry one in Canada . . .

Yet the police cannot protect everyone all the time. A man should be al-lowed to protect himself if the need arises. The need arose in a theatre in Aurora, Colo., as well as a college campus in Canada.

Recently, while out for a walk in Nose Hill Park, in broad daylight on a paved trail, two young men approached my wife and me. The men stepped in front of us, then said in a very aggressive tone: “Been to the Stampede yet?”

We ignored them. The two moved closer, repeating: “Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?”

I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, “Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.” They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.

I speculate they did not have good intentions when they approached in such an aggressive, disrespectful and menacing manner. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort, but rather concluded it was in their best interest to leave us alone.

Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another? Why then should the expectation be lower for a citizen of Canada or a visitor? Wait, I know – it’s because in Canada, only the criminals and the police carry handguns.

Walt Wawra, Kalamazoo, Mich.

At the time I was writing this post there were 189 comments underneath Wawra’s missive. Most of which don’t show much love for Mr. Wawra or The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave.

[Note: although I’ve bitched about vox populi as a journalistic genre, this story is about public reaction to Wawra’s letter.]

“God, this cop is a joke,” Torontonian_in_van writes. “Please go back to Michigan and never come back to Canada. Ever.” medicalguy11 is even less inclined to parse the point: “Hahahahahaha Americans.”

Needless to say, the Canadian punditocracy has piled on. The word “laughingstock” is being bandied aboat [sic] like a puck at a Flames game. Here’s Herald columnist’s Naomi Lakritz’s take.

Americans argue that they need to carry guns, because having a concealed weapon makes them feel safe. Their thinking seems to be that at any given moment, they could be under attack from the very next person they meet on the street, and they’ll need to shoot in self-defence. Whereas, when you walk down a street in Canada, you don’t assume that you’re at risk of being suddenly assaulted or killed. You just see ordinary people going about their day and you give their motives no further thought.

And so, Americans, unaware of just how sick their handgun mentality is, continue to fight like crazy to prevent any kind of handgun-control legislation from being implemented. A 9 mm handgun, purchased legally, was the weapon of choice in Oak Creek, Wis., on Sunday when six people were killed and three more wounded by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple. One might argue that if the worshippers had carried guns, they could have killed the guy first. But sitting in a temple armed to the teeth while listening to a sermon about brotherhood and peace is ridiculous.

Because . . . it is. I guess the temple’s murdered leader—a man who tried to defend his members with a butter knife against a Glock-wielding neo-Nazi—would have agreed that concealed carry in a house of worship is a ridiculous idea. Or, at least theoretically, not.

Not everyone up north considers Wawra a paranoid putz. Some Canadian readers understood that the former cop was making a point about what could have happened in his Calgary encounter and what an average Canadian could have done about it if it had (i.e. nothing much).

Of course, we live in transnational times, electronically speaking. So Yanks south of the border have weighed-in on the Wawra controversy. To no great effect. BusterBrown:

Sigh… I give up on you Canadians. You just don’t get it. You are ALL so anti-gun that you berate your own countrymen / women just for mentioning the evil firearm. There are several posters here that have said that they were mugged, beaten and raped but they made the mistake of saying that they wished that they had been able to defend themselves with a weapon. Looking at the vote buttons scores of these poor people, they were unanimously voted down. I guess it is better to be a living, beaten-down, subservient liberal with no dignity than it is to stand up against the thugs and protect yourselves and family. So keep on smiling and trusting strangers at close encounters. I am sure that in another decade or so, your whole country will be violence-free and full of rainbows and unicorn milk.

[h/t James Sutherland]

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    • I believe its a mistake to think of it as a Canadian (I am Canadian) vs. American thing. When it comes to the concept of gun control or gun culture Canadians and Americans have different ideas based on their social history. Canadians for the most part have no problem with rifles and shot guns and think of them as farm tools or for hunting. But show someone a hand gun and its like you pulled out the devils severed head. I don’t understand it as I own handguns myself. It has been beaten in to Canadians by the governments to never think of defending yourself. A gun owner in Canada would never use a firearm for self defense. You would be charged and arrested and your firearms seized. I prefer the American way myself.

  1. I’ve been to Canada once and was very underwhelmed. I have absolutely no desire to go back.

    Gun control – the theory that it is somehow more noble for a woman to be raped and strangled with her own pantyhose than it is for her to be able to explain to police how her attacker ended up with that fatal bullet wound.

  2. I wonder how the pro/anti gun responses divide by region. I know many Western Canadians who are as pro gun as their counterparts south of the border. Canada has a much different crime culture than we do. There was a time when Canadian gun ownership was about the same as in the US and they had a much lower murder rate then we did/do. Canada has a much different demographic with fewer (but growing) gang and racial issues that drive US crime rates.

    • Actually, Canada STILL has one of the lowest rates of violent crime and murder. We also STILL have near or as equal a gun ownership rate as Americans on a guns per capita basis.

      Where Canada differs from the US and the majority of the world is that, like it or not, we do operate on a day to day basis with a lot more mutual trust than almost anywhere on earth. We have never had pro carry laws. Ever. Owning guns is VERY Canadian. Carrying them all over the place is not.

      That being said, I am pro gun, just got my PAL now that the long gun registry died and EAGERLY await the opening of an indoor pistol range only a couple dozen miles from my house. Where you all screw this up both on perception of Americans and for us Canadians that would LOVE to see hand guns off the restricted list so we can shoot them in the woods or take them hunting is this:

      Americans have a stereotype of wanting everyone to do whatever they want or at least accommodate them. You also have a defacto position of 2A trumps all. It does in the USA, not in Canada. There is also a major issue in that this guy is a trained LEO in stereotypically, the nicest country on earth and the FIRST thing this guy is on about is where is my daily carry??? This does NOT help. One off incident not representative of the majority or not, the outcome now is rampant ridicule will be aimed at pro-gun people on BOTH sides of the border and surely from all over the world.

      This gentleman should have had the peace of mind to chill the hell out and not bother writing the letter he did. Sadly, this is the price you pay for freedom of speech, freedom to make an a$$ of yourself. Because seriously, if you can’t feel safe in Canada(generally speaking), you might as well give up on, well, something…

      • +1 for what Jason said. As a Canadian and a firearms owner who owns 4 handguns, all I could do was groan after reading this. We work hard here to convince our fellow citizens that we gun owners aren’t all red faced lunatics waving our guns all over the place. Unfortunately the visiting LEO has confirmed that (some gun owners) ARE red faced lunatics who wish they were waving their guns all over the place.

        The gentleman’s letter did not help our public face I’m afraid.

  3. ” I guess it is better to be a living, beaten-down, subservient liberal with no dignity than it is to stand up against the thugs and protect yourselves and family.”

    If this guy actually looked at the facts and figures of unintentional deaths as a ratio to those which occurred in self defense then their only reason for continuing with this line of thought if he was blind.

    Those are the kind of figures that need to be highlighted to those who insist on maintaining the status quo.

    Between those figures and the % of suicides by firearm it points directly at firearm availability.

    • If this guy actually looked at the facts and figures of unintentional deaths as a ratio to those which occurred in self defense then their only reason for continuing with this line of thought if he was blind.

      Those are the kind of figures that need to be highlighted to those who insist on maintaining the status quo.

      But we have, Tony.

      Lott and others have shown that the vast majority of criminals are…well, Canadian. Faced with the possibility that their intended victim might have a firearm that is easily accessible, they wet themselves in terror and go off in search of unarmed prey.

    • “If this guy actually looked at the facts and figures of unintentional deaths…”
      Less than 600 per year. At least according to the CDC, which can hardly be said to be pro-gun. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than accidentally shot.

      “Between those figures and the % of suicides by firearm it points directly at firearm availability.”
      Of course. Because to look at TOTAL suicides, regardless of method, wouldn’t fit your narrative so well.

      Tony, you’ve got an Italian name. Are you one of MikeB’s friends?

    • Well that explains the high level of suicides in Japan. Thanks for clearing that up Tony.

    • Actually, the lowest effort and easiest available tool for suicide is Tylenol. The downside is it’s slow, painful and often irreversible (death by liver failure). 20+ years working in mental health in a very gun-friendly state and I saw a whole lot of overdoses and only a small relative percentage of gun-related deaths (about as many as hangings and cutting, a bit more than jumping and vehicle-related). Even the suicides-by-cop tended to have more knives and fake guns involved. Guns do end up on the top of the “threat assessment” scale for suicide risk because of instant effectiveness (shotgun in the mouth earning a perfect 10/10, but I’ve even seen that fail), but O/C drugs are cheap and a short trip to the 24-hour minimart away when you’re having a bad night, so if you’re talking sheer numbers vs. what scares us most…

      Ban Tylenol. (Or at least require a waiting period and background check.)

      • There is no lack of guns in Canada. The 3 people I know that have got me into shooting have 16 guns between them and they are not the only people I know in general that have guns, by far.

  4. The government insists I wear a seatbelt in my car “for my own protection”. A helmet on my head when I ride a motorcycle or even a bicycle, “for my own protection”. Well I also will carry a gun with me wherever I go, “for my own protection”, and to protect my loved ones. Thankfully, I have never been in a situation where I needed any of them…………….yet.

    • In the same vein, you don’t where a seatbelt expecting that you will crash. You wear it in case the unexpected happens.

      Guess I’ll have to be politically incorrect and keep packing.

  5. It’s not that they’re anti-gun, it’s that they’re anti-American. I’ve talked with multiple Americans who have spent time in Canada, in some cases a long stretch of time working, and all have said that the majority of Canadians are openly hostile towards Americans, even (especially?) if they know they’re speaking with one. They do indeed wish that Americans would never visit Canada. The prior Winter Olympics wasn’t a fluke or bad media day — the vaunted Canadian niceness has passed into history.

    That said, the way Wawra presents the scenario in his letter does make him sound paranoid and a little silly. It sounds a lot more like the two young men were trying (badly) to promote some kind of local entertainment, and as he says they left him alone after he firmly asked them to — not something that would have me reaching for a weapon, unless it were 2am in Detroit.

    • You have a good point about the premise of the story, and I dont think Wawra was in any danger, but the idea is that IF they had nefarious intentions, he would have been unarmed.

      I think the real story here is how the Canadian public has responded to the story. Canadians can keep their false sense of security, Ill keep my guns.

    • I travel to Canada at least a dozen times a year. Just like the trolls painting all guns owners with a broad brush to state that Canadians as a whole are anti- american is patently false. I’ve had mostly pleasant interactions with them in a ratio similar to the interactions with fellow range inhabitants.

    • I grew up in Canada and moved to the US in my 20s. Young Canadains are indoctrinated in school and through the generally leftist mass media to feel superior to those violent, ignorant, fat Americans. Mostly it is compensation for a nation-sized inferiority complex. It’s really quite sad, but I’ve given up arguing the point, even with my supposedly well- educated friends.

    • Actually, the anti-American attitude is mostly from the “big 3”. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

      Many MANY of us have mixed families with Americans. My sister lives in Texas and is married to a Mew Mexican. Life long friends of my wife are a Canadian and American and their daughter married an American and lives there too. My pastor, American. The list just goes on if I wanted to.

      So, just like you all do not like generalizations, back the hell off…

    • You mentioned the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. I was there for that, and as an American raised in New Jersey, I found Calgary to be a wonderful city, filled with VERY friendly folks. I can truthfully say, I never once felt threatened, or that I was in an unsafe place. The city had a VERY different vibe to it than say Baltimore, Philly, or New York. Of course that was 24 years ago, under unusual circumstances (the Olympics) your milage may vary. My only complaint (and it’s a small one) was that it appeared that ALL pizza places were owned and operated by Asians, and the pizza didn’t taste very good to my east coast pallet.

  6. Wawra is laughable and pathetic. He’s so dim and demented that he can’t grasp that his mentality is the problem . His willingness and desire to commit violence against the two Canadian men is indicative of most American’s attitudes toward violence. In contrast, the two Canadian men’s behaviour is typical of Canadians – polite, friendly, and not prone to comitting crimes like the one Wawra wanted to commit.

    Pointing out single incidents of violence in Canada is stupid and dishonest. Violent person-on-person rates on a per capita basis in Canada are far below the US in every category (e.g. the US murder rate is three times that of Canada per thousand people, and many killed in Canada die by knives, not guns). And pointing out that western Canadians own a lot of guns is inane and idiotic. Canada has gun registration, and it doesn’t prevent any sane person from owning a gun. It only prevents looneytunes like Wawra from owning them.

    The US is a nation of trigger-happy, paranoid and sociopathic idiots with tighter licensing of cars and bank loans than the licensing for guns. I’m glad not to be from a country where people expect, anticipate and look forward to gun violence on the street. With any luck, American gun owners will end up shooting each other out of paranoia and leave the country to the sane.

    • Well P Smith it sounds like you have developed your own idea of what Americans are like without even stepping foot in America which is fine I guess its your right, for now to do that. I would say before you point your finger at us from your ivory tower you come to the good ol US of A and see why the gun culture is so strong here. Its not about being trigger-happy or being paranoid, its about rights that we as human beings feel we deserve. I have every right to feel that I am safe where ever I go either by myself or with my family or my friends. I do not go looking for some kind of an altercation that would require me to use my gun, in fact I would run first if at all possible but if I could not run I would defend myself, as would you.

      I like many people on this board am more than willing to offer someone that is either ill-advised or just unacquainted with guns to come down and get a first hand experence with guns. Not in our back yards of our houses but in a professional enviroment with propper safety equipment and supervision. You will see that not all of us are slackjawed, mullet wearing cop wanna-be’s. But I am sure you will brush this offer off and say yea right and continue with your assumption that we are just sociapthic idiots.

    • P Smith,

      Thank you for your arrogant and condescending opinion. Your willingness to immediately denegrate our society makes it clear that it is not worth reading any of your comments.

      I will continue to enjoy my freedom, FLAME DELETED. Have a nice day.

    • I assume you are refering to me as inane and idiotic. I am half Canadian. My mother is from the Fort Qu’Appelle area in Saskatchewan. I have spent a lot of time in Canada and have many Canadian friends and relatives. You mostly find your kind of anti-Americanism in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. (In my experience the Frenchies hate us less than they hate you.) Your own Library of Parliament, a ripoff of TJ’s Library of Congress, conducted a study a few years ago comparing violent crime in the Prairie Provinces with Minnesota, the Dakota’s and Montana. Guess what? They found the demographically similar states had lower violent crime rates that Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. What makes the US a more violent place is the breakdown of civilizatiion in the inner cities. The rest country has crime rates comparable to North of the Border. Some these conditions are now showing up in your country and as pointed out elsewhere there are part of your major metropolitian areas that are showing the same criminal tendencies as ours.

      • Apparently Toronto is so envious of the US they decided to import inner-city street angs just to keep up.

        Canada as always had organized crime – from the Itlians to the mre recents Russians, Viets and Triads, but they’ve generally been well organized, and avoid killing non- criminals. Tht’s changing now, starting with the Jamacan gangs in Toronto.

    • Aw, what a cute troll, trying to be comprehensible and pretend he’s people! Can we keep him, TTAG?

      Boy, if I have had a hard time getting through a mikeb post without laughing, this guy had me in stitches by the third sentence. Though his actual post doesn’t deserve the dignity of a rational response, lemme just say I love Unintended Tactic number 1 out of the anti playbook, the staggering personal projection. Multiple paragraphs about how violent and crazy we poor Americans are, then the final line saying he wish everyone he disagreed with would kill each other. Classy! Guess we know who the real violent nutjob is.

    • Thanks God more people die from knife attacks then guns. I mean if you’ve got to die bleeding to death from knife wounds is so much better then bullet wounds.

      By the way pointing out that Canadians are typically nice is not only stupid but intellectually childish. But it is good to know that Canadian rapists, muggers, Child molesters, spousal abusers and the like are typically polite and friendly.

    • As a lifelong Calgarian, I can, sadly, confirm Mr Wawra’s paranoia as being grounded in reality. In several Calgary parks, I’ve encountered methamphetamine and crack-intoxicated individuals, swaggering young men–who were obviously gangsters–brandishing pistols, have been approached by extremely agressive panhandlers, and witnessed a sexual assault, as well as vandalism. As for Nose Hill, I’ve had so many very unnerving encounters with large, aggressive, unleashed dogs that I no longer walk there. I’ve seen open drug deals and people threatened with knives on the LRT. I’ve been struck with eggs and rocks at a bus stop. And I’ve had to chase a meth-addled man with a knife out of my yard, after I caught him urinating in my garden (the police were not overly interested in responding to my call). And I know women who break the law by carrying OC spray (a ‘Prohibited Weapon,’ when used for non-animal defense), rather than risk rapes and muggings.

      • Makes me sad to read about your experiences in Calgary. I was there in 1988 and saw a beautiful city. Sad that it has changed that much. All I can add is be safe and that I hope Calgary can some how clean up it’s problems.

    • “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

      I believe Sam Adams rather concisely summed up the differences between Americans and Canadians.

    • That’s strange, from what I could gather from reading the report, I felt the two young men were prepared to carry out what we in the UK would describe as a ‘happy slapping’.

  7. I love Canada. It is one of the most blessed countries on this planet. It is a nation formed from the same roots as we. Our ties go back to those origins. At one time we even battled toe to toe. Today, America is the result of vast migrations. An influx of numerous peoples and cultures. On top of that we have evolved amongst ourselves and created new cultures. Canada like all homogenous populations has seen little internal conflict though. Quiet, peaceful for the most part. Yet today as Canada is seeing migrations to its shores from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere, the situation is changing. If the Canucks are honest they will tell you that there are parts of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal that you don’t want to travel through. Violence by folks using guns is scaring the bejesus out of them. They don’t know how to deal with it. Their first reaction is to deny it. Close their eyes and pull the blanket over their head.

    Of course that is not all Canadians. There are lots of our northern brothers that understand what is going on. They realize that the system up North is broke and they envy us. So with time, and our help in bringing the message of natural rights, including self defense to them, we just might see change for the better. Most of you weren’t alive in this country 40+ years ago I suspect. You might have had a fatalistic attitude back then about us. But it took a little 5 foot woman, Marion Hammer to start the ball rolling to restore out rights. I’m an optimist. 🙂

    • The Canadians understand that we are NOT American. We have our own values and our own attitudes. Canadians know that we can solve our problems by communication and not violence. We don’t think that there are bad people lurking around every corner that are out to get us. Our attitudes are not influenced by the NRA, we can think for ourselves.

      The crime rate(per 1000 people) in Canada is tiny when compared to the USA and yet we have a very multicultural society here. We have learned how to talk, smile and accept. We do not think that we have a “right” to do anything we please. People help each other and if need additional assistance, you dial 911.

      We accept the fact that Americans have certain “rights” in America, because that’s the way things are done there. Well….Calgary is in CANADA and we do things our way. We love having Americans visit our country, and we love visiting your country, but please check your attitudes at the border and just enjoy our hospitality.

      • The per capital crime rate in Canada is HIGHER than in the gun-toting U.S.

        Per FBI statistics, the 2006 per capita violent crime rate in the U.S. was 479.3, and the 2006 per capita property crime rate was 3,346.6.

        Per StatisticsCanada, the 2006 per capita violent crime rate in Canada was 951, and the 2006 per capita property crime rate was 3,588.

        Canada, sans America’s “destructive” gun culture, has almost twice the violent crime and a slightly higher rate of property crime.

        • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA………according to your numbers, I live in a very dangerous place……and yet it’s the US that has 2.2 million people in jail in 2012. As of June 2012, Canada’s prisons house a whopping 15000 inmates. So………before you try to convince me of how correct your statistics are……do the math.

          In conclusion…Let’s all just be a little more tolerant of each others beliefs and perceived freedoms… each others countries.

        • Pete:

          Perhaps if you bothered imprisoning your felons your overall crime rate would be lower. More guns may not lower crime that much but more prisoners certainly does.

        • As always, Americans are right and everyone else is wrong. Let’s leave it at that………….

      • Hey lets go and take a tour of Toronto with the Galloway Boys? That should be fun…they capped how many 3 weeks ago? Two dead and 23 wounded in Scarborough….LOL enjoy your paradise with your rose colored glasses.

        • With all do respect, it’s a well known fact around the world that incarceration is not the answer. Majority of the everyday crimes are committed by an extremely small minority of people who commit them time and time again. Most of those people are drug addicts who will do just about anything for a fix. That is true in Canada as it is in America.

          I feel safe on the streets of my town, knowing that I can converse with people without confrontations. None of my American friends in Washington, Nevada, or Illinois carry firearms and yet they have no problems. Coincidence? Maybe….or maybe not.

        • Oh, I really don’t want to keep beating you guys up, but your numbers are wrong. Geeze and you live up there? Have some pride in your country and get the facts right. Your FEDERAL prisons have 15K inmates. Just like our number of 2+ million includes ALL prisons. Canada has between 150K and 200K prisoners at any time. Gee…since your 1/10th our size that makes us about equal doesn’t it. You also love to lock up your native peoples way out of proportion to the population. They comprise 20% of your inmates. But like I said, I’ll leave this argument for others. I’m done now…gonna pop up a Molson and see if I can catch any classic hockey games on cable…. 🙂

  8. ” Their thinking seems to be that at any given moment, they COULD be under attack from the very next person they meet on the street, and they’ll need to shoot in self-defence.”

    Here is the crux of the issue. The smarmy anti-gun person who said this actually got it right but screwed up their conclusion. This statement is completely, demonstrably, and logically true in every way. The very next person you meet on the street could attack you. You can’t control other people’s motives or crazy. Only your response or ability to respond. Is it likely that you will be attacked in this way? No, no one claims it is, but it is certainly possible and certainly likely enough that it happens to people every day.

    Now, here is how the smarmy anti gun person screwed up their conclusion. The conclusion is as if instead of COULD, the statement was WILL. If our thinking was that any moment we WILL be attacked then we would be the crazy and paranoid people they delude themselves into thinking we are. This is fallacious straw man logic on part of the anti gun people. They are either too dumb to realize what they are doing or are doing it on purpose. My guess is dumb because the contrapositive statement “at any given moment you COULDN’T be attacked by the next person you meet on the street” is at minimum not true in that it is a statement of an absolute whereby one counterexample renders it false, and in fact there are numerous daily counterexamples which disprove it.


  9. Ohh Canada…an entire country of people that live in Condition White at all times.

    Ok. To each thier own.

    The condecention is the part that is troublesome. Its ironic how many liberals and “progressives” talk about tolerance for people who are different. Then when confronted with someone who has a legitimate difference they fall back on contempt and condecention to validate thier own views.

    They seem unable to view this situation (as described) as anything other than a paranoid american cop over-reacting. Maybe he was, but maybe he wasnt. It could very well have been a couple of young thugs (or maybe just garden variety jerks) trying to intimidate an older couple for a kick. As we say in Maine “Its hard telling, not knowing.”

  10. I’m a canadian… and I would carry if I could… and I wish one day we’ll be able to!

    Buy yes, a lot of people down here don’t like firearms.

  11. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms signifies something greater than *just* the ability to carry a gun legally.Its a codeified law which states in philosophy that the citizen has more worth than the government .As many with passing knowledge of foreign socieities understands,this idea opposes the foundation of nearly every other governing system in the world:where the government and community is more valuable than one life.Hence the foriegn vitriol against the ‘American Fascination with Guns’:how dare an individual proclaim themselves to live a life worthy of being defended by arms! Only the *community* rates protection by lethal force via designated agents such as police and military,as the common man is not worthy of personal protection.

  12. the canadians are absolutely right. you don’t need a gun. until you do. then it’s way to late for the facepalm.

  13. Meh, I have no use for all the subjects of the formerly Great Britain. If our guns scare them they can stay up in Canuckistan, I won’t miss them or their constant whining about our American beer.

  14. “At the time I was writing this post there were 189 comments underneath Wawra’s missive. Most of which don’t show much love for Mr. Wawra or The Land of the Free and The Home of the Brave.”

    I too looked through the first dozen+ follow-up comments and they were as RF wrote mostly anti-gun, in support of Canada’s anti-gun laws, critical of the American writer of the piece, and snide towards Americans in general. I think it’s interesting as many regulars here may have read my own (non-scientific) observations of earlier follow-up comments following anti-gun stories on the Huffington Post and elsewhere about other events. Those comments were mostly critical of those authors as loonies and either neutral or in support of American gun rights.

  15. My father once told me that no matter where you go, people are generally the same. I sort of disagree, but where he’s right is that I suppose people of the same type do exist everywhere, just in varying ratios. Where we here in the US have our own infection of gun-grabber and rights-disdaining filth, so do they up north, perhaps just in higher numbers.

    Alternately, it could be no more complicated than schoolyard resentment. The bully picking on the kid he’s jealous of because of smarts, or money, or he’s got two parents, or whatever. Given the US’s influence, our guaranteed rights (for the time being), and the fact that we’re able to arm and defend ourselves rather than cower like vermin, it’s no wonder where deep, even subconscious envy could come from. No matter what people say, it’s human nature to defend oneself and seek out the means to survive and feel secure. When one can’t, like in Canada, they can do one of two things: bury their heads in the sand and scream “Oh, Canada” as loud as they can, or take out their secret frustrations on those who possess what they naturally desire.

    Either way, Canada can kiss my posterior. And don’t worry, subjects of the north, you won’t ever have to worry about me going up there. I wouldn’t step into your polite tyranny if you paid me.

    • I think specific cultural values can be very different among different groups. However, I often find several similar overall types of individual temperaments for people can be found among the different groups. I’m not sure if that made sense the way I wrote it.

  16. Just a couple of quick observations. First, the condescension of Canadians in this situation is more than a little over the top, but somewhat understandable. The comments here back up the notion that many Americans feel unsafe in today’s society and have the sense that “packing” makes them safer. So be it. The response of Canadians to this story is largely due to the fact that, for the most part, Canadians do not assume that strangers are out to get them but are merely other people walking down the same street or wandering through the same shops. In Kalamazoo, where Walt Wawra is from, the number of murders committed in a recent year were 14 while in Calgary there were 15 during the same period. Kalamazoo has 74,000 people while Calgary has a population of 1,200,000.

    In 2010, the most recent year for which there are statistics, there were 554 homicides in the whole of Canada while there were 14,958 in the United States. Canada has 1/10th the population meaning that the US should have only had 5,540 yet there were three times that number. The article below may shed some light on things as far as unbiased statistics for anyone wishing to do the read.

    Second point, just for clarity, the two individuals who “confronted” Mr. Wawra were wandering through the park greeting people and handing out free Stampede admissions to anyone who wanted them. One can surmise that if Mr. Wawra had been carrying and drawn his firearm that there could have been unpleasant consequences for them as he personally comes across as more than a bit paranoid. During most of the year it is common for people to greet strangers with a smile and a friendly nod, perhaps a simple “Hi” or “Hello” in passing. During Stampede that approach goes off the charts as everyone assumes that everyone else is there to relax and have a good time no matter where they are in the city. It is a unique phenomenon that everyone should experience at some time in their lives.

    Frankly, I personally don’t give a rip one way or the other if someone feels the need to carry a weapon, but I do feel it’s a sad commentary on society. Most violent crimes such as rape, murder, child abuse etc. are committed by individuals known to the victim(s), not by complete strangers. It does happen, in both countries, but it is the exception not the rule.

    Yes, I am Canadian, but I have a large number of American friends. They are all wonderful people, and frankly I don’t know if any of them carry a concealed weapon. Don’t care, it’s their business not mine. But I will say that I don’t carry one, never felt the need and likely never will. There are indeed parts of my city where I wouldn’t go, and there have been gang related incidents where innocent people have been victimized. But in Canada the reality of gun control is that it gives the police the right to hold a criminal in custody for possessing a firearm without having to justify anything else. This permits them the time to build a case and get the idiots off the streets in the process. The assumption is that the only people carrying weapons are intending to commit crimes, which is exactly the case almost 100% of the time.

    For those of you thinking I don’t know how it feels to be victimized I will acknowledge that I am someone who was sexually abused as a teenager by a family friend and his friends, someone I trusted. It wasn’t a stranger I ran across somewhere, it was someone I knew. They were bigger, stronger, and caught me unaware. No firearm would have saved me, and it likely would have provoked them further than what they did to me.

    Hopefully those who read this will realize that there are simply differing views on the situation and that there are indeed cultural differences. I regret that many of my countrymen and women have taken to bashing the US over this, but I am equally disappointed in the militant response by many Americans in return.

    Nuff said.

    • This guy was a cop for 20 years. If you’ve dealt with the number of dirtbags he has you might be a little bit more cognizant of your own personal safety as well. The people calling him paranoid are being ridiculous.

      Take it from a detective who’s hunted armed robbers (who usually rob people by luring them into a false sense of security and being nicey nice in a manner these pamphleteers were):

      Armed Robbery and You – The Basics

      • We’re not being ridiculous. I suspect Wawra had a good point to make, but the problem is that he didn’t make it. What he wrote comes across juvenile and mall ninja-ish. “There were these two guys, and you know, and they could have been anyone, capable of anything!!!”. He may have had in mind to start a dialog, but what he actually did was more like throwing a rock. Not surprising it got the reaction it did.

        The other thing is that the breakdown of BGs vs. ‘mundanes’ is what it is, regardless of your level of cognizance of it. If as a long-serving officer (thank you) you see BGs every ten feet, then you should at least consider the possibility that your perspective has been distorted because you spent so much time effectively surrounding yourself with BGs.

    • Fraser: (too bad you aren’t B. Fraser!)

      This is a very reasoned response from a Canadian with a different point of view. One thing you have to acknowledge is that if the US had Canadian demographics we would have Canadian crime, particularly murder, rates. It turns out that the parts of the US that look like Canada we do have Canadian crime rates. In fact as I cited above in some places where we do look like Canada our crime rates are lower.

    • Nice response Fraser.
      I have to mention that Canada is different culturally than the US. Also If you were unaware of the Stampede going on in the town it might come across as odd. Throw in a few brewskeys and now it seems really off.
      I believe in our right to keep and bare arms, but also understand the cultural and political differences as well.
      On a side note people do have guns, mainly hunting rifles in Canada, just not hand guns so much.

      • Again, Canada is only ‘culturally different’ in the minds of people brainwashed by forty years of Trudeauist revisionism and social engineering. Turdeau and his fuddle-duddles were the worst thing to happen to Canada, and we are only now waking up from forty years of that pockmarked troll’s disco-era hangover. God help America if B.O.–your very own version of PET–gets another four years in office.

        • As an aside, in the part of the country I live, most wish Trudeau had never been born let alone been elected prime minister by the population domination in the eastern part of the country. No “brainwashing”, just informed self determination and personal choices out here.

      • In fact the national gun registry has been abolished and the only difference is that concealed weapons are still tightly controlled. If people wish to hunt, or farmers need to deal with predators, so be it, they have the ability to do so.

        I will personally still take my dog for a walk and smile at the people passing by, say “hi” as I go by and not worry about being mugged. Spending my life in fear of what could happen diminishes the enjoyment of what does happen.

        • @d Fraser

          I will personally still take my dog for a walk and smile at the people passing by, say “hi” as I go by and not worry about being mugged. Spending my life in fear of what could happen diminishes the enjoyment of what does happen.

          The only difference between you and those of us who CC: you can’t do anything to stop violence.

    • I wonder if the 437,000 victims of violent crime in 2010 would agree that it’s better not to have the means to defend themselves?

      “In 2010, police reported over 437,000 violent incidents…”

      It’s great that overall crime is low and crime in general is declining, but…

      “In contrast, increases were reported among firearm offences (+11%), criminal harassment (+5%), all levels of sexual assault (+5%), and abduction (+1%).”

      Trends don’t go in one direction forever. The general decline in criminal behavior will certainly reverse eventually. It’s interesting that even though it’s difficult or impossible for citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense, the firearm offenses rose 10%.

      When the sun is shining, it’s easy to say the hole in the roof isn’t a big problem.

  17. Jealousy-cum-moral-superiority. Like that’s anything new. Talk to any given Brit, Frenchist, Eurotard in general, and you get a rehash of the same old talking points.

    I must have missed the memo that outlined why we should give half a flying eff what such people think.

  18. Ok note to self. If I want to be a career criminal, go to Canada because the people don’t have guns!

  19. I used to spend a lot of time in Canada, mostly for the food (Montreal and Toronto) and the fishing (Ontario and Manitoba). Over the last fifty years, I’ve noticed a huge change in the attitude of Canadians toward Americans. To call the attitude condescending really underestimates the degree of antipathy. Worry not, Canucks. I have no problem taking my business elsewhere.

    Oh, and by the way, Canadian beer sucks, too.

    • Sorry you feel that way. AFAIK, Americans are always welcome here. And forget beer–try our whisky (Highwood, Crown Royal, etc.).

      Nose Hill Park really is amazing, and in a prairie town like Calgary, it feels like you are on the roof of the world. Along with Fish Creek Park, Nose Hill is actually one of the largest urban park-cum-natural areas on the continent. But the dogs (not just the creepy bipeds) make it scary. The adrenal rush of having a ‘friendly’ rotweiler come after be gets old after a while.

  20. Canadians are British. Yeah yeah, I know they have their own government and flag and stuff… but if the Queen of England is still on your money, you are British.


    • Don:

      They, at least in Ontario, aren’t British. They are American Tories. They are still sore we kicked them out after the Revolutionary War. It’s been 239 years, time to get over it and move on like our own Rebels did — and we burned their entire country to the ground instead of just the York neighborhood in modern Toronto.

    • Actually, Britain used to have far more liberal gun laws than even, say, Vermont. As in Canada, the social engineers took over, though. This was happening in the U.S., too. LBJ’s Gun Control Act was really the prototype for Turdeau’s legislation. And, unlike Britain and Australia, it looks like some of that failed progressive social experimentation is being reversed here.

    • This is exactly why Americans get such a bad rap around the world.

      Which is too bad as I have a lot of American friends AND family.

      • Oh get off it, it is a joke I heard, ironically, from my Canadian coworker. He said you can use it to detect really stuck up Canadians and Australians.

  21. Elsewhere, somebody suggested carrying a knife. Knives aren’t really an option because of the Michigan knife laws. There have been some efforts lately to clarify the laws, but I believe the strict no-carry and carry length restrictions still apply. You couldn’t carry most brands of rescue knife with a seatbelt cutter and windshield basher in your own vehicle.

    Canada apparently doesn’t have any restriction on knife length, but many useful kinds of “assisted-opening” (not switchblade) knives are banned there, along with the infamous “switchblades.” That won’t help him get it across the crossing, but apparently in Canada it’s OK to carry around a huge knife wherever you go, as if that’s not menacing or potentially dangerous either.

    Most people are treating the story as if it is simply about the facts of this specific case – the officer felt himself in danger from some men who were probably just giving away free tickets to the Stampede. No, it’s about more than that. For the author of this article to say there was “no benefit of the doubt given” to the men, as if he would have shot them if he had the pistol, is beyond laughable. That is not what this is about and the author should be ashamed at her sloppy reasoning. Officer Wawra’s little encounter caused him to reflect upon what could have happened, and he’s right to point out that you generally can’t rely on bystanders or the police to help you. For an officer of 20 years, a handgun is just a tool available on the job along with everything else in the “spectrum of response,” including less-lethal options and the ability to just speak to people. I think he has paid his dues and, despite the various readings given to his article and his use of the word “menacing,” there is no indication he would’ve escalated the encounter with a handgun. As far as I am aware, he’s served his time without having shot anybody, and doubtless he has been in other situations that were genuinely threatening. We can complain about police being superstitious or profilers, but the fact is that most police become attuned to certain cues which will set off their suspicion. As faulty as this very subjective process might seem – potentially illegal, even – there is really no other practical way for officers (or any person, really) to react quickly enough to defeat criminals and protect themselves and the public. What this suspicion does not cover, however, is the response spectrum: Police should have it fairly drilled into them that shooting is a last resort, and I think the officer’s 20 years without having shot anybody would be an indication that he would not have made a different judgment here. In that case, the argument must become “well, it’s a bad thing for him to carry a pistol,” which ignores the potential and irreplaceable benefit of the handgun.

    I hope that he has had a moment to reflect on whether the situation really was as distressing as he depicts it, but at the same time all the yahoos on the sidelines were not there and none of us really have all the facts. It strikes me as potentially suspicious that two guys tasked with handing out free tickets to the Stampede would provoke such a reaction. If Wawra had intended to fabricate a story to make a point, he would’ve picked something less ambiguous and which didn’t transparently check out like this one seems to have. At the same time you have to wonder if they really were handing out tickets, and how event organizers could have people representing them who are scaring people. Have a sign or something, sheesh.

    What I find interesting is that his argument is for all people to be able to go armed, which is something that many prominent police chiefs have sought to reduce, in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere.

    What else the author doesn’t realize is that in Kalamazoo there have been some incidents where gangs of youths have nearly beaten men to death on multiple occasions. I don’t know if it’s still happening, but this was only a few years ago. There may have been a cultural difference here, but it seems odd to blame the potential victim of a crime when his suspicion merely lead to an awkward moment, rather than any real potential of crime. Barely over a year ago, a Kalamazoo police officer was shot and killed.

    As brentsg points out, if we could get away with it, we’d not even use pistols, but alas that option belongs only in a fantasy world. A rubber gun would be fine too, but you want it to be able to fire in case you are actually left with no choice.

    One last point: Most of the Michigan (Detroit at least) news blogs seem to be piling on, siding with the Canadians.

    • Pepper spray is also a ‘Prohibited Weapon’ in Canada, if used against HUMANS, but I know women who carry it anyway. And I carry a box cutter in my pocket–if the cops ask me about it, I’ll say it’s for clipping coupons.

      Cash in transit guards in Canada carry handguns. Typically, these are now .40 Glock 22s, or M&Ps. And trappers, geologists, wildlife photographers and the like can get Authorizations To Carry for handguns, for defense against animals. Thanks, again, to Turdeau, handguns are illegal for hunting. A very rare permit, the ATC Type-3, is issued in Canada for CONCEALED carry–typically, to Crown Prosecutors, political cronies, and the like. Our new Premier in Alberta, Alison ‘The Wicked Witch of the West’ Redford, also banned body armour, for most practical purposes.

      BTW, there is a story being circulated that these two men were giving out free passes to the Stampede. This is actually false…

      ..spread via Twitter by a left-wing ‘media consultant’ with an axe to grind with the current Conservative government:

      • Thanks for spotting that. I’ve always been dying to see a case of deliberate political misinformation – it looks like this might be it. It’s hilarious how stereotypically badly written that is, or that (even more so) it could be cited as evidence. That said, it still could have possibly been legitimate – but if so somebody from the Stampede ought to be able to confirm or deny it. My personal thought was similar to that of the officer – these guys might have just been using the name of the Stampede to get close to people. Hopefully some of this will actually get verified.

  22. I once spoke with a Chinese teacher’s assistant once on a number of subjects relevant to the circumstance we found ourselves in. But for some reason, the conversation turned to Chairman Mao. You know, the guy responsible for The Great Leap Forward, which is thought to have killed tens of millions of Chinese. I told him that I didn’t have much love for the guy. The TA, on the other hand, simply said “I think Chairman Mao was 75% right, and 25% wrong.” In some countries this is referred to as brainwashing. But I found it to be closer to Stockholm syndrome.

    That being said, that’s pretty much how I felt growing up. Then someone introduced me to the idea that maybe- just maybe- I might one day be accosted by a man with a weapon. THEN what?

    It is at that point where I concluded that most people would say that they would wish they had a weapon of their own on them, an equalizer. In my naivety, it left me shocked to know that some people’s rhetoric and ideology would so stubbornly disallow them the option of reaching into their pocket and pulling out a snubby. That was when I realized:

    Some people are just insane.

  23. I’m a card carrying NRA member and a Canadian. I fight for the right to own a gun every chance I get. I also live in the U.S.A. for about half the year. Because I am interested in the topic I tend to get into discussions about gun ownership and have met my share of downright idiots on both sides of the issue.

    While I am in the U.S.A. I am many times more likely to be killed by gunfire than I am in Canada (about 15,000 in the U.S.A and 550 in Canada last year). Rapes and other violent crimes have similar weights. If carrying a gun was the protection Wawra claims than why are the violent crimes so much higher in the U.S.A. Based on his thinking, you would expect that the number of incidents would drop dramatically in those states that allow pack and carry. But that’s not the case at all.

    On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder how many lives would have been saved had just one person been carrying in the Batman murders or in the Norway murders or even in our country where someone with a beef about the number of female engineers at his college decided to lower the ratio.

    We could all name incidents where a lone gunman reeked havoc on unarmed civilians for no more reason than they did it because they could.

    Where’s the middle ground? Where is the happy medium where gun ownership does not equate with the nutbars who go on a shooting rampages and the nutbars who live under the fear that guns could somehow take on a life of their own and start shooting people? One side wants everybody to have guns and the other side wants no one to have guns. In my experience, the problem on both sides lies with ignorance and fear. And fear is not an easy emotion to quell with mere talk except with the aid of professional therapists.

    In the interests of cutting taxes in my country and not raising taxes in the U.S. we have let a great number of mentally ill people loose on the streets because we say we can not afford it. Therein lies the problem. The Batman murderer’s psychiatrist tried to warn the police but it seems he was ignored. If we had the proper mental health facilities and programs in place we might be able to reduce the number of wacko shooting sprees. That might appeal to the gun control crowd but the gun owner thinks “what’s in it for me? It’s just more taxes and entitlements.” Is it? If the number and severity of the gun crimes were reduced substantially there wouldn’t be such a focus on legitimate gun owners. But you’ve got to meet them half way. It’s the mentally ill; the abject poverty; the widening gap between the rich and poor; and whole host of other social ills that work to make us all fell a little less secure.

    The one thing I have learned in the gun control debate is that those who are most against “social” programs and higher taxes are the ones who fear the most and pack the most firepower. The give has to start on our side or live in fear for the rest of your life.

  24. Now, now. You must not, hold the fact, that the canadian people are really subjects, against them. Yes, they have a monarchy, with a constitutional form of government.

    Canadian’s don’t understand, that the american people, don’t just arm against threats of criminals on the streets. We also arm and have a responsibility to REMOVE the government by force, just like we did the British over 200 years ago, if the need arises.

    We understand what the founding fathers knew. You can see it in their writings.

    Thomas Jefferson:” And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    The first thing tyrants do, is disarm the people, for it’s the people who are the threat to their power.

    We get it and the Canadian’s don’t. They are in fact socialist, who love their free healthcare and enjoy their safe lives, due in part, to their ARMED neighbor to the south. As the American bashers often forget, Europe is peaceful, because of the generation who fought and bled, to make it so.


    Canada is not just lower than the US, Canada is exceptionally lower than many many nations in the world. We are an outlier.

    Canada, even the WORST part of Canada is NOT Michigan OR Detroit.

    For the record, Trudeau is as hated as he is loved. He is the most divisive PM we have had in a LONG time. He wrecked our military, started the multi-cul crap, started the majority of the programs that caused our debt to explode into the 1980s and a whole laundry list of other issues.

    Also, what is an undeniable fact is that every nation that has totally or near so, disarmed their population has seen an explosion of all crime, especially violent. Fortunately, there is a conservative gov’t in Canada and a total lack of statistics to back the antis stance that was truly ONLY caused by the 1989 shooting in Montreal, a one off incident that, to this day, would still not have been prevented even with the 1995 Firearms act in full effect.

    Canadian laws going back a LONG time (About 200 years), have never been friendly to handguns so there is a long impact on our culture because of that. Long guns, however are VERY Canadian. We have as many per capita as you all do, if not potentially more. It is not that we do not want a relationship with guns, we just want something different out of the relationship.

  26. As a Canadian who lives in the most anti gun province, I hear ludicrous comments every time any gun violence happens. Guns are bad, guns should be banned blah blah blah. Fortunately, more Canadians are starting to grow frontal lobes and accepting that firearms aren’t instruments of the devil made exclusively for the murder of orphans and baby animals. Just stay away from the big cities and almost nobody is a hoplophobe.

  27. You Americans are paranoid idiots living in fear. There is no purpose of living in fear. If somebody DOES decide to shoot you, you’ll already be shot by the time you know what’s happened, and carrying a gun will be of no use. It will be too late.

    Living in fear and assuming someone is “out to get you” is no way to live your life. Carrying a gun around in public is no way to live your life. It does not make you safer. Indeed, per capita rates of murders and shooting in the United States are several to many times higher than every other developed country. If guns made you safer, the USA would be the safest developed country on Earth, rather than the most dangerous.

    • In the US 13% of the population commits over 50% of the murders. The remaining 87% has a murder rate just slightly higher than Canada. When Canada’s gun laws were virtually the same as in the US you had 1/4 the murder rate as in the US. You are now up to 1/3 the rate with restrictions on guns.

      Your assertion that a gun won’t protect from being shot is refuted on almost a daily basis in the United States. Carrying a gun doesn’t make you paranoid, it makes you prepared. Perhaps that is why violent crime in Canada is twice as high as it is in the US. As I pointed out above, there is no difference in the murder rate between the US and Canada until the fifth significant digit. However, when it comes to violent crime rates you are twice as likely to be a victim in Canada as you are in the United States. While you and Mr. Bonomo doesn’t care if women are raped and people are assautled in the street or in their homes but most Americans do. That is why overall the US is a safer place than the other major English speaking countries.

      Demographics are destiny and where US demographics look like Canada, the US is a safer place.

    • Does having a fire extinguisher, helmet, seat belt, health insurance, tool kit, eraser mean that one is “living in fear” of arson, bike crashes, car accidents, getting sick, stuff breaking, spelling errors? Of course not. There is no difference with self defense. No one is “living in fear”. I have noticed that people respond most harshly to the lifestyles of others if that lifestyle illustrates a comfortable delusion is false, and that response is usually projection. I think people who choose to believe this “living in fear” nonsense about others actually just fear the uncertainty of a world where they must admit to themselves that a person is ultimately responsible for themself. Seeing others take that responsibility makes it harder for you to ignore it. So sorry, but not…

  28. Only fools give up tools of self defense. Let me put it at a level even a Canadian can understand. Even a mother goose defends herself and her young. With 150,000 bears roaming Ontario, even a mama bear defends herself and young with the best tools she has-claws. Tell us you don’t need a powerful handgun while walking yourself and child down a rural road in Ontario and any other regeion. Why should a human not be able to do the same. This is waht happens when a people are a no longer a free people. They fight for the ability to be disarmed.

  29. Wow. I am a policeman in Canada myself, and cannot for the life of me, believe this letter. This is a perfect example of we are who we are, the best country in the world, and they are who they are……you want to come and visit this beautiful country, then roam FREE as you please, and dont worry about someone confronting you with a handgun. Canada has been voted the best country to live in many times, for obvious reasons. Low crime rate, pleasant people, beautiful places, and the list goes on. So, keep living with your guns by your side, and we’ll keep welcoming and greeting strangers, including Americans, with open arms.

    • You have low murder rate, not a low crime rate. There is lots of violent crime in Canada. You had a low murder rate when your gun laws were essentially the same as ours. I live Arlington Virginia. We just had our first murder in two years. That makes our murder rate per 100,000 .25, much lower than Canada, and we have lots of guns in the county.

      You also have a good healthcare system as long as the United States does. After Obamacare takes full effect you won’t be able to come South for needed treatment and then your healthcare will become third world like the UK.

  30. >>As I pointed out above, there is no difference in the murder rate between the US and Canada until the fifth significant digit.

    U.S. murder rate: 4.8 per 100,000
    Cdn. murder rate: 1.6 per 100,000

    Nope. Thats the first significant digit (4 vs. 1) where there is a difference, not the 5th.

    And you mention rape:

    United States: 28.6 per 100,000
    Canada: 1.5 per 100,000

    You guys have a rape rate per capita 19 times as high as we do. So much for your little theory that more guns equal less rapes.

    The violent crime rate per capita comparison is meaningless. The vast majority of violent crimes in Canada are simple assaults that either would go unreported in the USA, or if they were reported would not be considered violent crimes.

    Also, the United States will usually only consider one incident of assault against multiple people to be considered one violent crime. In Canada or England one incident of assault against 5 people will be considered 5 separate violent crimes.

    The rates are not at all comparable. Of course you being a pro-gun nut will disgree, but you are wrong.

    As for murder, you can talk about how the USA is ONLY three times as high as compared to four times as high as it used to be, but three times as high is still three times as high.

    There is no empirical evidence that the USAs loose gun laws make it safer than other developed nations with tight gun laws, or in the case of Japan, basically an all-out banning of guns.

    • Ahh, Wikipedia. The lazy man’s answer to crafting a semi-intelligent argument.

      Did you bother to even check the link to UNDOC re, e.g., the rape stats? It links to a completely different chart on incidences of child sexual assault, which chart has no stats for the U.S. and unflattering ones for Canada.

      Quit being lazy and look at StatisticsCanada, YOUR government’s database. 2010: 63 sexual assaults per capita in 2010. Per the FBI, 27.5 incidents of forcible rape and attempted forcible rape per 100,000.

      Now this may be an entirely apples to oranges comparison, as StatisticsCanada reports three levels of sexual assault, but doesn’t segregate them by rape versus other types of sexual assaults. And the FBI
      reports forcible rape and attempted forcible rape as one stat, but doesn’t seemingly include other types of sexual assaults in the statistic.

      So where did Wikipedia get it’s rape statistic you blithely quote? We don’t know. But if you want to be so smug about Canadians’ alleged superiority, start by using a reliable source of statistics rather than a pop culture phenomenon.

  31. “”As I pointed out above, there is no difference in the murder rate between the US and Canada until the fifth significant digit. However, when it comes to violent crime rates you are twice as likely to be a victim in Canada as you are in the United States.

    When it comes to murder, you are THREE TIMES as likely to be a victim in the United States as Canada. THREE TIMES. When it comes to rape, you are NINETEEN TIMES as likely to be a victim in the United States as Canada.

    Get out of here with your TWICE nonsense. TWICE pales in comparison to THRICE, or NINETEEN times.

  32. “That is why overall the US is a safer place than the other major English speaking countries.

    Demographics are destiny and where US demographics look like Canada, the US is a safer place.”

    This is an absolute lie. The US is far more dangerous than any other developed country in the world. You need to look only at the murder rate, the shooting rate, the rape rate, etc.

    You looking at total crimes, which includes minor assaults like someone getting punched in the mouth, is ridiculous. You cannot compare such crimes to murder. Your country has a murder rate three times as high as ours. I dont care how you spin it, those are the facts.

    • Here are the findings of your own Library of Parliament on crime comparisons with parts of the United States that are demographicaly similar. It contradicts your statistics.

      Shall we talk about the effect we have on a bordering country?

      A Comparison of Violent and Firearm Crime Rates in the Canadian Prairie Provinces and Four U.S. Border States, 1961-2003, Parliamentary Research Branch of the Library of Parliament, March 7, 2005.

      Google it, you will pull it up. It is your own Canadian government study proving what again, oh your wrong.

      “Comparing average crime rates for 2003 in the three prairie provinces and in the four bordering states as presented in the report for those crimes that are similarly defined and measured in both countries, we found that, in total, both violent and property crime rates were two thirds higher in the Canadian prairie provinces than in the four border states. Average crime rates were higher in the Canadian Prairies for all crimes with comparable definitions and statistics in the U.S.A.: Homicide – 1.1x higher; Aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and attempted murder – 1.5 x higher; Robbery – 2.1x higher; Breaking and Entering – 2.3x higher; and Motor Vehicle Theft – 3.2x higher.”

      Of course there are other countries that have recently tried strict gun control/bans, what effect did that have on their violence?

      1997 Australia, Canada, England

      Australia 1997 629 VCR per 100k 2007 1,024 VCR per 100k, a 32 person reduction in murders by firearms, exactly replaced by murders with knives. Funny how that trend was mirrored in England (ref AIC.GOV)

      Canada 1997 980 VCR per 100k people 2009 1,324 VCR per 100k people, murder rose from 560 to 610 (Ref Statcan)

      Canada $2 billion dollar plus registry, that hasn’t solved one crime, such a common trend.

      England 1997 820 VCR per 100k people 2009 1,667 VCR per 100k people, murders have reduced to 1997 levels after a 25% increase.

      So much for less gun equals less violence, a trend found in every single gun ban country, prove otherwise. Oh, use government data to try if you want, the above references ARE their government databases.

      We see from US Census, and an average of NSSF & PEW surveys, that in 2009 40% of households have a firearm. That is an increase since 1997 of 9 million households to 80 million law abiding gun owners as recognized by the BATF.

      We see that since 1997 per FBI UCR, that violent crime has gone from 611 VCR (Violent Crime Reported) per 100k people to 429 VCR per 100k people in 2009.

      That is a 30% reduction in violent crime. Did we forget to mention that the same data shows a 20% reduction in murders?

      All while at the same time we see 12-15 more states implementing concealed carry to 48 states total, and 34 plus states implementing concealed carry in eateries that serve alcohol. Then 3 states and 71 universities implementing concealed carry.

      All without the predicted and much cried about blood baths predicted by such pundits as Mouldy.

      So much for the more guns equals more violence BS.

    • Yes, let’s not muddy a debate with things like statistics or facts. This will be much more enjoyable and productive if we keep slinging pejorative terms like “hillbilly Americans” and “pacifist Canadian” at one another. Why make cogent points when you can hurl insults?

  33. Add one more thing. Do you think our definition of assault only count violent beat downs? We count every incidence of assault ranging from a simple shove all the way through a physical beating.

  34. This debate could go on forever, and no one would win. So, having said that, you americans continue to live with your gun laws and we ll live with ours. We are quite content with that. As you say, guns dont kill people. People kill people…..mmmmm sure. Keep believing that and you will do just fine 🙁

  35. >>Add one more thing. Do you think our definition of assault only count violent beat downs?<<

    It's not really relevant. If you are going to look at which country is the "most dangerous", surely you would agree that you have to weigh different crimes by the severity. A simple assault is not the same as a murder. And surely you would agree that a murder is MANY, MANY, MANY times more serious than any other violent crime, as it means the end of a life. So let's say we weight 1 murder = 5 million assaults in terms of severity index.

    If that's the case, you might as well look ONLY at murder rate, since murder is so much more serious than any other crime. So if the United States has a higher murder rate than Canada (three times higher), it is the de facto more dangerous country. If the United States has thrice the murder rate of Canada, it wouldn't matter if Canada's overall violent crime rate is 10 times as high as the United States. Murder is millions of times more serious than any other crime. So if you weight by severity, non-murders are statistically insignificant in the formula.

  36. I lived in the United States for two years by the way. Trust me, your country is NOT safer than Canada. Not by a long shot. I’m curious as to how many countries you’ve lived in. I’m curious as to whether you’re speaking from experience (of living in different countries), or if you’re just talking out of your ass. There is no option C. Those are the only two options.

    • You lived in the ENTIRE United States for two years? That’s amazing! I am assuming that because only someone who lived everywhere in an entire country would purport to rely on their own experience as a reliable representation of social conditions there. How were Alaska and Miami? Big difference between those two, I bet.

      If you only lived in one place or a couple of places, and maybe drove through a couple more, then your “living” in the United States informs you of jacksh*t.

  37. Mr Wawra, you are correct and I regret you being criticized by sheeple from “Canuckistan” as stunned as the damnocrap deadheads of the USA. You have Joe BIDET, we have TURDO. Turd City (Toronto) is a place of seething stupidity where the problem is gangs using illegal handguns who shoot anyone who look at them the wrong way. Turd City is fast becoming like Chitcago, and the mayor of that place (Lightfoot) is as bad as the mayor of Turd City, John Tory who like most mayors of big cities worldwide has the IQ of a pile of gravel and the appeal of dried dog snot on a cold door knob. I love the USA, the greatest nation in the world but now being dragged down by the damnocraps who identify with the libbie loons up here except the libbies here are a special kind of stupid, as proven by the malignant morons here who criticized Mr. Wawra. Do as I do, ignore the hoplophobic head cases and treat their ravings as the buzzing of flies in your ears.

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