Thursday, 27 May 2010

High Noon Nanaimo

Went to do my usual volunteer stint on Wednesday to see one of the neighbouring streets taped off with yellow 'crime scene' tape. Apparently two guys had a falling out over money and decided to shoot it out wild west style. One of the would be Wyatt Earps was killed. The other was wearing a bullet proof vest. A passer by was also shot in the leg during the melee which was reported as follows in the local press.

Now in a town where you can buy Rifles and Shotguns over the counter providing you've jumped through the permit hoops, this sort of thing happens once a lifetime, if that. On the mainland it's a different story, but even with the tightest of gun laws, if two fools want to play gunfighter for real, there's not much that will stop them. There is the odd incident where armed Police shoot a suspected or wanted felon dead, and a murder that would have happened whatever the implement. For the rest of us locals, gunplay is happily something that does not figure large in our lives. In the three years I've lived in the area, the only guns I've seen have been in sporting goods stores while I was looking over Archery kit, or at the Fish and Game protective society.

If this was the UK, no doubt there would be an outcry, and heated demands to 'get rid of all the evil guns'. Which doesn't really fix the problem of violent crime. My vote would be to look a little deeper. Were the weapons legit and licensed? If not, then a ban would be completely pointless. If said guns were legal, then perhaps enforcement should be beefed up and the bar for holding such a weapon tweaked upwards.

It is a sad fat that those who tend to ignore the mores of civilised society, to wit, no shooting people in the streets, also have a distressing tendency to ignore the gun regulations. Shock horror! Whatever those happen to be at the time. The UK is a salient example. Gun crime is still a big problem, but handguns are illegal and even the UK pistol team has to practice overseas. Yet shootings still occur.

As regular drug busts will attest; with every seized cache of dope semi-automatic weapons reportedly turn up. A ban would therefore be nothing more than a political sop to keep the wailing willies quiet. It doesn't take guns out of the hands of criminals or anti-social. Only attacking the root causes will do that.

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