I am responding to the letter you published by Scott Manning on guns, Mar. 3, 2018. ("Anti-gun content was ill-informed, and typical.")
I am appalled at the content of his letter, and its lack of facts...and truth. My impression is that it is a rabid defence of talking points sent to its members by the NRA (National Rifle Association), or a verbatim reproduction of NRA propaganda. Australia made a large number of their guns go away, Mr. Manning, or did you not notice?
Firstly, let’s be clear, the AR-15 is an extremely dangerous weapon, originally designed as a military rifle, and developed into the M-16 and the M-4 used by the U.S. military today.
The only substantive difference on the M-16A4 is the option to select semi-auto, (one round each pull) full auto, (continuous discharge until trigger released) and burst (three rounds at a time with one trigger pull). The fact that the civilian AR-15 is on the prohibited weapons list in Canada, seems lost on Mr. Manning. Here is a link to that list. It is lengthy.
The AR-15 as a semi-auto weapon, is sold in the U.S. with a 30-round magazine capacity. This weapon was designed for one purpose ... to kill and maim humans, and it does this extremely well.
I am a vet ... from the days when Canada used the Belgian FAL FN as its military rifle (also on the prohibited list). The FN uses the 7.62 NATO round, is selectable to auto, or semi-auto ... is fairly heavy, and very effective.
The AR-15 is light, uses the 5.56x45mm NATO round, (same as the M-4) or the Remington .223 round.
There are several manufacturers. It has a high rate of fire as a semi-auto and discharges a deadly round with accuracy, and a muzzle velocity twice the rate of a semi-auto .40 cal. handgun.
It does unimaginable internal damage to the human body. I cannot even attempt to visualize the agonizing deaths of little children at Sandy Hook, and the Florida high school students, due to the ravages of an AR-15 in the hands of an 18- or 19-year-old mentally ill kid, legally purchased in the Parkdale case!
This weapon is designed for killing humans in battle. It has no place in civilian hands. Guns and easy access are the problem Mr. Manning, not mental health or system failures, which are merely deflections by the NRA — and in very poor taste.
The rest of Manning’s letter is simply NRA drivel. Metal detectors, harden the school fortresses and arm the teachers ... is the war cry of the NRA. In my opinion, the NRA, headed by Wayne Lapierre and his screaming spokesperson Dana Loesch, are nothing but dangerous front for the gun manufacturers, a second amendment (adopted in 1791) notwithstanding.
One thing Manning had correctly: there are actually about 1.1 guns per person in the U.S. today — more guns than people. The U.S. leads the world in this dubious distinction. Canada has about 0.3 guns per person — which is high. We rank 10th out of 175 countries.
The U.S. also has the highest rate of incarceration of any country on Earth, greater than Russia or China, with about 2.1 million people in jails, a large number connected to gun crimes. The NRA wants to better all these statistics, by selling more guns.
Thank God I live in a much better country, with sensible gun laws, and few people with opinions like Scott Manning.