New gun rules needed

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The Brian Dawe tragedy illustrates the totally confused state of gun laws in Canada.
Simply put, all handguns (pistols) and automatic weapons should be illegal, except for law enforcement authorities and the military.

These weapons should not be just restricted but absolutely prohibited for ordinary citizens. You can put a pistol in your pocket and nobody knows it is there. It is a concealed weapon with only one real purpose: to shoot another human being.

Automatic weapons shoot all the bullets in a magazine when you hold down the trigger.

You need neither type of weapon to shoot a moose or a duck or a rabbit.

Gun nuts try to excuse their weird infatuation with these anti-human weapons by such rationales as “target practice” or being part of a “shooting club.” That rationale could be used for the legal possession of rocket-propelled grenades or ground-to-air missiles.

Simple possession  of these anti-human weapons by ordinary citizens who are not the police or military must be absolutely prohibited.

Hunting weapons such as rifles and shotguns are completely different.

Where the previous federal Liberal government and the people who are afraid of guns went wrong is to not make the distinction between a hunting gun that is three feet long and can only fire one bullet at a time and concealed pistols and automatic military weapons.

The legal hunting rifle or shotgun cannot be hidden in your pocket.

That is why there is a legal prohibition about sawing off the barrel of shotguns. The sawed-off shotgun that can be tucked under your coat is a criminally concealed weapon. A pistol serves the same purpose and is even harder to detect.

A simple example is try going down to George Street on a Friday night carrying a hunting rifle with a telescopic sight and see how long before you are arrested.

On the other hand, if you have a pistol in your pocket, nobody will even notice you.

That is why pistols were invented.

The failed gun registry, which has fortunately been scrapped, was a ridiculous effort to criminalize all legal hunting rifles and shotguns.

We need law reform to prohibit civilians from possession of any pistols or automatic weapons.

Owen Myers

St. John’s

Geographic location: George Street

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Recent comments

  • H Jefford
    November 01, 2013 - 08:09

    I don"t think the gun registry was a bad idea , I have a No. of guns that are listed or were listed with the gun registry, Shot guns, and high powered hunting rifles, I think when the police are called to a disturbance in a home , its good for them to know there are several guns registered at that address

  • Scott
    October 29, 2013 - 17:13

    I have been leaving a number of comments about this and other stories, but for some reason, none of them have been published. Most were quite respectful and the only common thing was that they were pro firearm hobby. I always thought the media was supposed to entertain both sides of an issue. I guess when you have a monopoly on something you can print the opinions you agree with, and any opinion you don't agree with, no matter how valid, will never be heard. That's quite an abuse of power. Adolph and Joe would be proud of how you have handled this issue.

  • Scott Manning
    October 28, 2013 - 20:18

    What is the point of making comments? The Telegram will only publish the comments that they agree with. As a news organization, one would think that both sides of an issue would rate equal representation. But, unfortunately, The Telegram only choses to publish the opinions that they agree with. On the gun issue, I have written letters and posted comments on stories in The Telegram. For some reason, even though I have been quite respectful in most of my comments, none have ever made it to print. But for some reason, anti gun comments have no problem being printed, no matter how biased or outlandish they are. It sure makes a person have confidence in the only paper we have left. Isn't it sad that this is the only paper we have left. It's funny what a monopoly does to a supposed independent news agency.

  • Hank
    October 28, 2013 - 19:50

    The gun registry is doing what it is suppose to do, "If a call is received from a residence of a disturbance , The police can check their records to see if any fire arms are registered at that address, or if a call comes in to a police station of a person causing a disturbance, They can check their records to see if that person owns a fire arm. A person that has a legal fire arm has nothing to hide.

    • Colin Burke
      November 04, 2013 - 08:45

      So, Hank, if the police are called to a disturbance at my house and their records don't show I have a firearm, those police are going to show up here without being armed to the teeth with firearms? I can expect, if I choose to resist arrest on some principle they are too dense to grasp, a fair fight with my trusty shillelagh against one cop with a police baton? You don't see much news, do you, Hank?

  • Krista
    October 27, 2013 - 17:36

    Do you really think tougher gun laws and a law that states sawing off a shotgun is illegal is going to stop a potential murderer? If they don't care about human life they sure as hell don't care about the gun law about sawing that off. They will do it anyhow. It won't change anything.

  • Tom
    October 27, 2013 - 11:47

    Automatic weapons are already "absolutely prohibited" in Canada. Prohibiting handguns in Canada would make no difference when it comes to gun violence considering the fact that most of theviolence is committed using "hunting weapons". Are we to believe that Brian Dawe wouldn't have committed that horrible act with one of his semi auto hunting rifles or a shot gun if handguns were prohibited?

  • Scott
    October 26, 2013 - 21:55

    Once again you choose to print anti gun drivel. This person, obviously has no knowledge of firearms. To say that a hunting rifle is totally different from a military rifle is pure stupidity. Especially, considering that 75% of hunting rifles in NL are .303 Enfields which were the primary military rifle of the British Commonwealth countries in the two world wars. Obviously, this person has no idea that fully automatic rifles have been prohibited in Canada for years now. And to call legal gun owners, "gun nuts with a weird infatuation" is nothing more than an insult to law abiding gun owners who obey the law and do nothing to hurt anyone. For your paper to publish such an insulting piece of trash as this, is an insult to all law abiding gun owners in this country. In the coming days, I intend to send your paper a letter outlining gun owners side of this issue. I hope you will be so quick to publish our side of this issue as you have been to publish the anti gun side. I know, from your lack of response to e mails and comments that I have sent you, that your paper has no intention of giving both sides a fair chance to explain why they feel as they do. News organizations, such as yours, are there to present all sides of an issue fully. Then the public can make a fair assessment of the available information and come to their own decision. But when you promote and publish only one side, people don't have the information to make a fair decision. It is morally reprehensible to use your vast resources to promote your biased views, and to not let anyone else have their fair say. One Adolph Hitler had a similar hold on what the public was allowed to hear. And look what joy that brought the world. I don't expect you to agree with my opinion, but I do expect for a supposedly free press to give me an equal chance to express it. A response from you would be appreciated.

  • Frank
    October 26, 2013 - 18:57

    Well the latest killing in Airport Heights was by a vehicle. Are you advocating banning vehicles also? If someone wants to kill they will find a way. You are sounding like a drama queen.

  • Colin Burke
    October 26, 2013 - 10:19

    Yes, Mr. Myers, of course, because our law enforcement officers always show such courage and restraint when enforcing the law against citizens who who have no firearms at all, don't they? They aren't mercenaries enjoying high wages to impose the will of politicians and others who are unwilling to fight their own fights, but rather they are true knights always ready to risk their lives in a fair fight for the very reality of justice: almost every year we hear in the news some story confirming that, don't we?