Demonizing gun collectors

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I am writing today to respond to the comments of Owen Myers in the Oct. 26 Weekend Telegram.

Sir, you are obviously very ill informed about firearms and Canada's firearm laws. Fully automatic firearms have been banned in Canada for many years. There is a very strict process already in place for the ownership of all firearms, even stricter for the ownership and use of restricted firearms.

You say that the government failed to make a distinction between military firearms and hunting firearms. Obviously, you have no idea that one of the most popular hunting firearms in Newfoundland and Labrador,  the .303 Lee Enfield rifle, was the standard military rifle of Britain and the Commonwealth countries for two World Wars.

There are countless other examples of military firearms that are used for hunting. And to call legitimate gun owners “gun nuts with a with a weird infatuation” is an insult.

Legitimate gun owners are very careful people who only want to enjoy their hobby in peace. We have no desire to own rocket-propelled grenades or surface-to-air missiles, and for you to say this only shows how far uninformed people like you will exaggerate to try and make your points.

All firearms are dangerous if used improperly and banning any type of firearm will make no difference to crime levels.

The only people who will be affected are legitimate gun owners; they will be the people who will have to give up their firearms. People who have guns for a criminal purpose will not give up their firearms and no one knows they even have firearms until they are used in a crime. How do you plan on taking guns that no one knows about from people?

As you referenced the tragedy in C.B.S. as the reason for your letter, I will comment on that. Yes, the guns used were legally owned.

No one can predict when a person will lose it and do something terrible.

Human nature being what it is, there is nothing anyone can do to stop someone from doing evil, and if they don't have guns, they will use something else to do harm.

How many people have been murdered by knives, machetes, pieces

of pipe and countless other objects, including automobiles? It’s sad, but it’s how it is.

And to try and blame legitimate firearm owners for the acts of criminals and madmen is disgraceful.

As I said earlier, we are the safest people, as we know we are always being watched to see if we are doing things according to the law. We have to make sure we follow the law because we don't want to lose what we have and our hobby. And we know that every time a gun is used in a crime, we have to take flak about our hobby, even though we have done nothing wrong.       

Scott Manning

Torbay

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, Britain C.B.S.

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Recent comments

  • Ben
    February 19, 2014 - 12:05

    Well spoken, "Guns dont kill people, people kill people."

  • Scott
    November 03, 2013 - 20:35

    To Isaac, Again, your comments show a lack of knowledge of firearms and a hypocrisy that only further degrades the firearm hobby. To say that hunters are at a higher moral level than collectors (a lot of whom only shoot paper and do not want to kill anything) is misguided at best. And if you think governments are all there to protect your gun ownership as opposed to mine, just because you are a hunter, look at Australia and your vaunted Britain and see what they did for gun owners. Oh, I suppose you haven't heard about that.

  • scott
    November 01, 2013 - 16:50

    To Isaac, A semi auto AK is no more dangerous than any semi auto hunting rifle. Being of a mid range caliber, probably not as dangerous as most hunting rifles. It's your type of attitude that I will never understand "My guns are ok,but your type of guns are bad". I have more respect for non gun owners that think nobody should have guns than I do for hypocrites like you. What do you think will happen to your hunting rifle once the government gets finished taking my AK and handguns?

    • Bambi
      November 02, 2013 - 09:32

      ... and only by prying them from your cold, dead hands no doubt. Twisted.

    • Isaac
      November 02, 2013 - 23:55

      We have a hunting culture in Newfoundland, not an American killing thuggery culture...and as for that load of you know what about the government taking away all of our guns, the government has been really friendly to Canadian hunters...but they should not lump in "hobbyists" with us legitimate hunters Our heritage is a hunting heritage, for hundreds of years we have been perfectly content with our rifles and shotguns that we have owned safely an in accordance with sensible British and Canadian laws...however it is no secret that hunting rifles don't make gun companies south of the border a lot of money. They want to be selling more expensive products that expend a lot of ammunition and those expensive rifles are MODERN combat rifles like AR-15s ($1600 in Canada, plus add-ons) and AK-47s ($700 minimum). Not only do combat rifles pose a threat to anyone because they can be easily illegally modified to fire full blast, and modified even further to fire many bullets...they are importing an AMERICAN gun culture and destroying our Newfoundland hunting culture!

    • Isaac
      November 02, 2013 - 23:58

      I voted for Manning in 2011 because the Tories did the sensible thing for hunters...but this is just ridiculous, allowing people to own killing machines...if they keep catering to "hobbyists" I'm pretty sure I'll stay home out of next election...

  • EDfromRED
    November 01, 2013 - 16:06

    Everyone I've ever met who have been obsessed with guns --or any weapons-- have been very, very strange and creepy. Pick up a book instead of a handgun, it's a lot safer and better for you.

    • Scott
      November 02, 2013 - 12:17

      To Ed, Do you think that gun owners don't read as well as collect guns? I read in excess of 30 to 40 books a year, as well as numerous magazines and other printed media. Don't be so quick to judge. We are not any different than anyone else, we just have a hobby that is usually maligned by people who don't understand it.

  • paul
    November 01, 2013 - 12:39

    Birdbrain, allow me to qualify my statement that private citizen's have no legal use for hand guns other than playtime on the range...of course there are a few exceptions and there would be no reason to include them in ban, any more than banning them from police and military. but answer me this...which should take precedence? increased public safety or playtime on the range...

  • Petertwo
    November 01, 2013 - 07:26

    Yes Scott. I think if guns ought to be banned they should be, for governments that is. The average gun owners do not start wars, governments do. Police in some cities are allegedly shooting down civilians with the flimsiest excuse, like the guy had a knife and was threatening them. One guy, so the report goes, with a knife, was shot eight or nine times, supposedly legally. What about those civilian, men, women and children in the Muslim countries allegedly killed daily by remote controlled drones--not a squeak--but one private gun owner goes off the rails and suddenly he becomes everyman, while, as already noted, cars mow people down all the time. There is a huge economy in weapons manufacturing for governments using tax dollars, why not get on their case for a change and stop picking on the easiest, general, typical and harmless, private gun owner? This is just plain bullying and cowardly.

  • Don Feltham
    October 31, 2013 - 20:24

    Jeff, sarcasm is wasted on the unintelligent, which begs the question, "How did you master such tongue with your obvious lack of intellect?". A firearm collector, is no different than a motor vehicle collector, postage stamp collector, hello kitty collector, etc. I suppose if one were to succumb from licking the glue from postage stamps, or asphyxiate from accidentally ingesting a hello kitty, or perhaps even run over the neighbours cat with a prised collectable car we could jump on the "these things should be banned ban wagon". But alas, these things are all inanimate objects, unlike the fire arm which loaded itself, jumped into it's inanimate car, and drove to the clinic in C.B.S. and killed two people and turned on its owner and killed him as well. Yes Jeff, I too have mastered the art of sarcasm. Did you detect it? Or are you one of the unintelligent? I suspect the latter. Ladies and gentlemen, it is very easy for us to lay blame on inanimate objects, for fear mongering, good news stories, and feel good legislation, however, let us wake up and smell the coffee. There are evil people amongst us, and no amount of banning will prevent them from perpetuating their heinous acts.

  • Will Cole
    October 31, 2013 - 17:04

    Gun-nuts creep me out.

  • Calvin
    October 31, 2013 - 13:33

    Haha, and still the ignorance persists. Nice rant there Jeff, I'm glad you also are very informed concerning this subject. No one is talking about stock piling rocket launchers and nerve gas. The point of the article was that 99.9% of gun owners are every day Joe's, you wouldn't pick them out of a crowd, and that they are very responsible with their weapons. They aren't maniacs looking to start another war. However, I would like to thank you for yet again validating my view that the ignorant shouldn't be allowed to comment on a topic, haha.

  • Paul James
    October 31, 2013 - 12:11

    the thing about hand guns in particular (and assault rifles) that needs to be kept to the forefront of every discussion about them, is that they have no legal use in the hands of a private citizen in Canada, other than play time on the range. yes, I say playtime because that is what it is. A hand gun ban surely would not stop crimes, will not stop murders, but hand guns are the weapon of choice for alot of criminals, and hand guns ARE stolen from licenced owners, and retail outlets...responsible gun owners might not use them in crimes but criminals just take them from them and use them in crimes. I don't get the dilemma, which should take precedence? improved public safety or playtime on the range? its really a simple question.

    • Isaac
      October 31, 2013 - 19:28

      Hit the nail right on the head. Most gun owners in our province own a mossberg or a ruger for hunting moose...these are rifles made for people who just want to go into the bush and hunt like their fathers and grandfathers did. An AK47 is a gun that was made to kill humans by firing as many bullets at the enemy without having to pause. Yes these people are law-abiding now but I cannot guess as to what reason a law-abiding civilian would want to spend $600-$1400 on a very efficient human killing machine! As for handguns they have no place in our province in my honest opinion except for trained police officers and security guards who need to use them to deal with criminals and crazies.

    • Isaac
      October 31, 2013 - 19:29

      Hit the nail right on the head. Most gun owners in our province own a mossberg or a ruger for hunting moose...these are rifles made for people who just want to go into the bush and hunt like their fathers and grandfathers did. An AK47 is a gun that was made to kill humans by firing as many bullets at the enemy without having to pause. Yes these people are law-abiding now but I cannot guess as to what reason a law-abiding civilian would want to spend $600-$1400 on a very efficient human killing machine! As for handguns they have no place in our province in my honest opinion except for trained police officers and security guards who need to use them to deal with criminals and crazies.

    • Dick Birdbrain
      October 31, 2013 - 19:45

      "no legal use in the hands of a private citizen in Canada, other than play time on the range" People carry sidearms in remote wilderness situations i.e bear country. There are private security contractors who also require sidearms for work domestically (Brinks guards), and international. People with fatwas on them... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/who-may-carry-handguns-in-canada-1.1135084

  • david
    October 31, 2013 - 11:17

    Collecting guns. How could that possibly be a bad idea? If not for the private collector, these marvels of engineering would surely end up being destroyed, and their contribution to building our society completely forgotten. I say thank you to people like Scott, who help make sure we'll always have guns on our minds and within reach of anyone who loves them.

    • Scott
      October 31, 2013 - 19:53

      To David, You are quite welcome and I most certainly intend to do everything in my power to keep firearms around forever.

    • david
      November 01, 2013 - 13:43

      What a relief.

  • Cashin Delaney
    October 31, 2013 - 11:17

    Let's start with taking the bb guns and shit out of princess auto that look just like handguns. Well, they are pistols, and serve the same purpose as a 9mm when protruding from the pocket of a tweakers windbreaker. What happens when a gas station attendant gets their eyes shot out by steel shot? Just call him or her a trooper, just like that other cat,and carry on? Small measures to start with, get rid of the $20 bb guns that look like props from republic of Doyle. No dad wants to buy his son a 20 dollar bb gun. No gun collectors want to conform to a liberal mentality that ignores the simple and obvious measures to protect us from the hysteria of gun cult indoctrination in an American Hollywood value pantomime. NL has its own gun culture and it may be bizarre now to think that our cops were gunless bobbies not to long ago, and a shotgun on the schoolbus, for show and tell day, was not cause to invoke martial law. It is great to call for major reform, but, like the senate, we are blaming the chamber itself, not the ones who manipulate the hammer. As far as human nature and evil can be defined, and attached to individuals - chaos rules, and no matter what flag you wrap a nation in, this sheer fabric of democracy only shrouds anarchy. Democracy is rooted in anarchy. Look at the NDP, reverting to their human nature. So, anarchy makes us all responsible. My God, the implications. I applaud both these gentlemen for a great letter exchange that leaves room for a moderate to interject a modest middle ground. There are more outlets for an 18 yr old to buy pellet guns and Bowie knives than there is for a 19 yr old to buy a flask of rum? Anarchy, by democracy. No HOA sitting for the week of the liberal leadership convention?

  • Jeff
    October 31, 2013 - 08:31

    I truly sympathize with your plight. We hear so much about those who suffer just trying to get through life despite all the obstacles. Your story of repression and discrimination really touches my heart. What has happened to a world that turns its back on the most vulnerable people on the planet? While children in the Congo are happily running around with these weapons, we remain oblivious to those persecuted collectors. I can only hope to live in a world where gun collectors will be admired, worshipped and encouraged, yes encouraged, to amass as many weapons as they please. I, for one, would love to have a set of rocket launchers or start a collection of nerve gasses – just as a hobby, mind you. (Of course I’m not talking about collecting pieces of pipe or matches – that’s just dangerous) I can imagine a world where everyone is a ‘hobbyist’ only then can we truly say that we are a civilized society. Thank you for addressing this crucial issue. God speed, man.

    • Scott
      October 31, 2013 - 19:41

      Well Jeff, Ignorance truly is bliss, isn't it.

  • Calvin
    October 31, 2013 - 08:01

    I think you kind of missed B Scott's point there Ang. The old saying is true, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Lay a loaded gun on a table and see how many people it kills before someone picks it up. Your comment reinforces my first comment, not everyone should be entitled to an opinion, lol.

    • Paul
      October 31, 2013 - 12:17

      "guns don't kill people, people kill people..." what a silly statement that is. guns make it a whole lot easier to kill people, hand guns in particular. how easy is it to kill people with a loaded hand gun lying on the table (as per your example?) versus no loaded gun on the table... hand guns are easy to conceal, easy to use and easy to misuse and have no purpose in private hands but playtime. ban hand guns, even if they are fun to play with.

  • Calvin
    October 31, 2013 - 07:57

    See this is why I don't agree with the sentiment that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, haha. Obviously Owen Myers doesn't have the first clue about firearms laws in Canada, and has less than a clue concerning the general population that own guns. The tragedy that happened in CBS would have happened whether the perp. owned a gun or not. The only people who should be entitled to an opinion are ones that are knowledgeable and educated on a subject, plain and simple.

    • Paul
      October 31, 2013 - 12:22

      we have no way of knowing if those two people in CBS would have been killed, if he did not have hand gun. We DO KNOW that he did use a hand gun to kill them. one is an assumption, the other a fact. stick to the facts.

  • B Scott
    October 31, 2013 - 06:30

    You hit the nail on the head. Some people watch too much CNN learn a few buzz words and think they know it all and the fix over night. Drunk drivers kill people with cars so I guess we ban cars...

    • Ang
      October 31, 2013 - 07:50

      People use cars every day for a legitimate purpose B Scott you dummy! How would the economy function without cars? You don't make any sense. Would the economy shut down if guns were banned? I don't think so!!! The only effect would be some adult boys who can't play with some of their toys.

    • P F Murphy
      October 31, 2013 - 09:09

      Again in Ang's comment we see ignorance, i.e. calling Scott Manning a dummy, at work in a failed attempt to defeat his quite valid points. I fact, guns have an economic function as they provide food for people's tables throughout our province each and every year and have do so for centuries. They also have an economic function as a sport and in tourism by attracting thousands of hunters and shooting match competitors to our province each year.

    • Jeff
      October 31, 2013 - 12:24

      Hey, PF, they've got these places now where you don't have to kill the food yourself. They have it right there for you and it's already dead! No longer do we have to hop in the car and drive out to the country to shoot ourselves a cow for supper on our way home from work. These dead-meat stores are everywhere and it's so much easier than spending the evening carving up a pig in the living room. Now if only we can find a way to communicate without having to use Aldus lamps...