Monday, March 19, 2012

Is gun ownership normal?

One of the goal of the gun rights crowd is to try and persuade the rest of the public that such behaviour is not only beneficial, but normal. We can argue whether that is truly successful in the United States.

On the other hand, other cultures with a similar background show a decided dislike for firearms use and ownership. For example, an English friend said to me that she saw no reason for firearms ownership.

One doesn't need to cross the ocean to see a similar attitude. Just head north to Canada where a recent National Post Article is entitled:

Public stigma drives Toronto gun hobbyists underground

We find that people such as Ellen, a Toronto grandmother of two in her mid-sixties with a love of guns.

Ellen also won’t share her real name. The request for anonymity reflects a reluctance to disclose personal information in a city in which even legal gun ownership comes with a stigma attached. Ellen says:
“You have to be careful who you talk to,” she says. “It’s like religion and politics.”

People have called her “gun happy” or a potential threat, she says; still, she says their attitudes change once they find out about her recreational gun activities. Though she owns approximately 20 handguns and rifles, the majority of them inherited from her late husband, she has no expectation of using them for anything other than sport.

“I don’t even think I can fire a gun at a human being.”

Canadian gun fans are much more reticent to share their opinions, unlike US Gun loons who believe that forcing their opinions upon others will change their minds.

Maybe that works for a ferw moments.

Anyway, gun owners in Toronto realise they are far outnumbered by people who don't share their feelings about firearms ownership. Not to mention they don't have an eaasily misinterpreted Second Amendment out there to hinder dialogue.

Also, the argument that having guns around make for a safer society falls apart since they can have a more realisitc discussion of how many stolen firearms are out there.

At the end of 2011, Toronto counted 99,400 registered firearms, about three guns for every licenced person in the city. In 2010, 109 guns were reported stolen to Toronto Police; the year before that, 37.

A thief stole more than 10 guns, plus ammunition, from Ron, another club member, about 12 years ago. About half a dozen were recovered. He had kept them locked in a room at home. He was robbed again about two to three years later, but although the burglars took his ammunition, they couldn’t get his firearms, thanks to a new vault. He recognizes, therefore, the dangers of publicizing his hobby.

“You don’t put a sign outside of your house saying there are guns here,” he says. “You’re careful about you who tell. I believe somebody knew there was guns there.”

Unfortunately, the gun lobby wants to make sure that lost or stolen guns go unrepoerted in the US for some odd reason. Maybe people might think twice if the gun they bought for protection was far more likely to be used against them.

“Obviously there is a stigma,” acknowledges Mariana Valverde, Director of the Centre for Criminology and Socialegal Studies at the University of Toronto.

“In the countryside, obviously in rural areas, a lot of people have guns for hunting purposes. But in the city, I think most people would not see any legitimate use for guns.”

Nor does she understand the appeal.

“I know some people like sport shooting, but it doesn’t seem to me like much of a sport, personally. I think a lot of people would also think of it as quite peculiar as a sport, especially because where are those guns stored and how safely? A lot of people would share the view that you should get yourself a proper sport and go play hockey or something.”


  1. Laci, thanks for a reminder of how glad I am to be an American.

  2. Evidently, these people were Brainwashed by Eric Holder.
    orlin sellers

    1. And the gun grabbing side wonders how we could know what their real intentions are. Did you note that Holder cites Jesse Jackson and Marion Barry as having popular appeal? The good news is that this video is over fifteen years old, and his plan hasn't panned out.

  3. It's people like you that also tell homos to stay in the closet and not put it on display for everyone. Bigot.

  4. Thanks for a great post Laci. It made me think of how aggressive and abusive the pro-gun crowd can get in supporting each other. It's because they are a minority.

    1. Mikeb, I take it that your comment wasn't aimed at me or at Orlin Sellers. Or do you think that it's aggressive and abusive to tell the truth?

  5. Goddamned activist citizenry! When will the gummint of Canadastan step in to right this wrong!!?

    Greg Camp:

    Like you, the canadians are thrilled that you live here.

    Anonylouse @ 5:55PM

    "It's people like you that also tell homos to stay in the closet and not put it on display for everyone. Bigot."

    I'm assuming you're talking to Laci, in which case, fuck you, you lying sack of shit.

  6. Laci tells us that the Canadians don't have a Second Amendment to "hinder dialogue." Apparently, dialogue, to an authoritarian, means we talk about what the people in power want. This leads me to wonder if Laci worked for the Bush Justice Department.

    As I said before, I'm glad to be an American. Whatever the source--natural right, social consensus, whatnot?--we have a strong belief in basic rights and a strong oppositional character.