Demonizing gun owners

The Montreal Gazette has been running a series on the Dawson College shooting and gun control. There was never any doubt that gun owners and gun ownership would take a hit and this article, in the October 24th issue and the 4th of a 5 day series,  only confirms that concern.

The article starts out reasonably, describing the people who are attending a shooting competition at a shooting range in Granby, Quebec. All average, respectable people who are serious handgun shooters and competitors. Then as the writer gets to the guts of his article, he makes this statement:

Whatever their place in regular society, the shooters share one passion: guns. They like the way they look and sound and function and they admire their weapons’ power and precision. They think of shooting as a discipline, an exercise in self-control. And they feel part of a misunderstood fraternity.

Proponents of responsible gun ownership, the shooters say they deplore the way Hollywood and TV glamorize criminals who shoot guns. But they also embody a paradox.

Though professing a message of vigilance and safety, they collect gun paraphernalia, troll the Internet looking for gun websites and wear T-shirts logo’d with the provocative names of gun manufacturers and organizations. One of them is called Canadian GunNutz, and its emblem is a beaver holding an assault rifle. 

 Now the comments and the language become leading. Somehow buying things that have to do with shooting detracts from the “vigilance and safety” of the sport. And wearing a shirt with the name of “Ruger” or “Smith and Wesson” on it is deemed to be “provocative”. The writer is specifically drawn to comment on a Canadian GunNutz shirt with its’ logo of a beaver carrying a rifle, obviously finding an armed beaver to be of particular concern.

When the writer describes the actual shooting competition he describes one set of targets as being “about the size of a human torso” and another as “the rough size of a child”. The intent seems to be that if you can’t find anything negative to write, then invent something.

After describing the actual compeition the writer notes that it is “not meant to be like real life” then writes:

But to an outsider, the match does seem to mimic something all too real: the modus operandi of a madman on a murder spree.

After all, weren’t gunmen like Kimveer Gill just as brazen and agile as these shooters aim to be in competition? Didn’t Gill fire his semi-automatics while out in the open and on the move? And didn’t he aim to hit his targets?

Ah, there’s the proof of the pudding. All of these average law-abiding people, these licensed legitimate firearm owners are really in training for the day when they can go forth and destroy.

He then tops it all off with his final question to one of the volunteers, asking him “what he would do if the police ever pulled him over for speeding while he had guns in the car”.

I guess that if you look hard enough and long enough you can twist anything to support your agenda. 

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