Opinion Column

Leave B.C. hunters alone

By Laila Yuile, City Hall

Guns recovered by police agencies. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)

Guns recovered by police agencies. (FILE PHOTO/QMI AGENCY)


This week’s topic:

Do we need tighter controls on guns?

The issue of gun control is once again on the radar as details emerged last week that organizers of the B.C. Rod and Gun Show felt “sabotaged” by city bylaw restrictions that put the show planned for Surrey in jeopardy. While the issue is one of zoning and usage, organizers felt it had more to do with the word “gun” than anything else.

The show is geared towards outdoors enthusiasts and features all types of equipment used for hunting, camping and fishing. A small part of the show is a swap where the public can buy and sell their old outdoors equipment — including guns. And while you might think I would be strongly opposed to this, you’d be wrong.

Growing up in a rural area north of Prince George, rifles were as integral to the sustenance of our family as the garden that provided pounds of vegetables to be stored over the long winter. We’d go hunting in the fall for moose that would provide our family with meat for a year, and a rifle was standard protection against predators in the backcountry. Even today, sustenance hunting for duck, geese, moose and deer is a normal way of life for some in B.C.

I’m thankful that Canada has restrictive laws and good gun control regulations governing who can qualify to buy, use and even transport a legal firearm. It involves extensive background and criminal checks, taking a firearms safety course, and licensing. The vast majority of licensed gun owners in Canada are responsible, law-abiding citizens – no American-style, purse-packin’ ladies here.

That’s why it’s not hunters or outdoors enthusiasts with guns I fear, it’s the unending stream of illegal guns entering the country from other sources that end up being used by thugs to commit crimes on our streets.

Read Brent Stafford's response here.

We don’t need tighter gun controls on legal guns and gun owners, we need to tackle the issue of the gangs and cartels who are behind the supply and demand of illegal weapons used in the drug trade, and stiffen sentences for the criminals using them.

We need to stop budget cuts to Canada Border Service Agency and law enforcement, who are first in line for getting those guns off our streets, and pressure the U.S. to tighten their nearly non-existent gun laws.

It’s time to look at the facts and deal with the real threat to public safety. Leave the hunters alone.

Laila Yuile is an independent writer, blogger and political commentator. You can read her blog at lailayuile.com.



Who wins this week's Duel?

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions