As expected, there is the usual uproar about the availability of automatic assault weapons in the United States following the Florida school shooting. We Canadians, and the Canadian media, seem so smug when reporting the influence that the NRA has on American politics and their inability to control access to such weapons.
Listening to the news of the shooting on Wednesday and reading the Guardian I was shocked when the Cabela’s flyer fell out of your paper and there was an advertisement for a Soviet semi-automatic rifle, which looked similar to the one used in the Florida school shooting. I was surprised to find such weapons were so readily available in Canada and advertised in your newspaper.
I grew up in a farming community where 12-gauge double barrel shotguns were common for hunting and to protect farm animals from predators. My uncle took care to instruct me in the care and use of such a weapon when I was a teenager. I am not an anti-gun fanatic, but I cannot see a use for a semi-automatic weapon.
I am very concerned about the availability of such weapons and their potential use in mass shootings here in Canada. I would like to suggest as a first step the Guardian refuse to carry such advertisements in the future. And I would also suggest we start to lobby our government to take a serious look at the availability of these weapons before we start to see similar tragedies in this country.