COMMENTARY – CSSA REGIONAL DIRECTOR CARON BALL HITS ONE OUT OF THE PARK.
Dispelling some myths about gun ownership in Canada (By Carl Hnatyshyn | Sarnia This Week | February 10, 2016)
Lambton Sportsman’s Club’s Caron Ball has always had a fondness for target shooting, ever since she was a young girl growing up in Lambton County.
“Some people golf, I like to shoot” she said with a laugh. “Basically, I grew up target shooting. It was something that we always did on weekends. As I got older, I got more interested in it.”
Learning from the example set by her father Ken, a Corunna-based gunsmith, Ball grew up in an environment where gun ownership and firearm safety were taken very seriously. After being a shooter for “the better part of 40 years,” the 48-year-old is now a certified handling and safety instructor, a range officer, a regional director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and secretary / treasurer at the Lambton Sportsman’s Club. Throughout her law-abiding life she has been a vocal advocate for both sport shooting as well as firearm safety.
According to Ball, attitudes towards law-abiding Canadian gun owners have changed over the past few decades, generally for the worse, a result of both shortsighted firearm laws introduced by the federal government and Canadians increased exposure to the vastly different American gun culture south of the border.
Ball spoke at the Golden K Kiwanis Club on Feb. 2, discussing the past, present and future of firearms ownership in Canada, explaining different categories of firearms and procedures necessary to obtain a license as well as the state of shooting sports in both Lambton County and across the country.
With a membership of 355 and three to four new members joining every month, the Lambton Sportsman’s Club is a great indicator about the growing popularity of shooting sports in the region, Ball said. Not only do shooters pick up some great mental and physical benefits from their sport - including upper arm strength, mental focus and improved confidence - but done properly, the sport is also one of the safest pastimes around.
“Target shooting is such a safe sport,” Ball told Kiwanis members. “It’s much safer than golfing, curling, skiing, running or boating.”
With the added attraction of archery at the club - made more popular by the blockbuster 2012 movie, the Hunger Games - the club is attracting new types of members as well. Namely, young people and women, Ball said.
“There’s actually quite a bit of interest in the sport,” she said. “There’s always been a lot of interest here in hunting. And since the Hunger Games, archery has taken off among young girls. There are a lot more women and young people picking up the sport.”
Yet in spite of the increasing popularity of shooting sports, in spite of the fact that 22 per cent of homes in Canada possess a firearm and in spite the fact that over 1,830,000 valid licenses have been issued in Canada for firearms, many gun owners are getting a bad rap, Ball said.
For one thing, Ball said, governments are using gun control legislation to score political points with voters in larger urban centres rather than actually looking at whether law-abiding gun owners are contributing to crime.
“We are not the people that they need to worry about,” she said. “Look, I’m a proponent of licensing. I’m not an advocate of just going into a shop and buying a gun once you’re over 16. I think there should be licensing, I think there should be police checks because there are real criminal or mental health issues with some people trying to obtain firearms.”
“And for the most part I think a lot of the legislation is somewhat fair,” Ball continued. “What I don’t think is fair is the things that have been taken away from legal firearms owners over the years in the name of gun control or public safety. Up until 1968 you could have a handgun but now you can’t. Why? (Misquoted: the previous statement was that up until 1968 you could hunt with a handgun, but now you can’t.) There weren’t really any issues with that, it was just that public perception of people running around with handguns that lead to the laws”
Ball mentioned the recent Canadian Firearms Registry as an example of gun laws gone awry. After spending an estimated $2 billion on the registry, which was introduced by the Chretien government back in 1995 and continued on until the Harper Conservatives ended it in 2012, the government really didn’t achieve anything that it set out to do through introducing the legislation.
“It didn’t stop crime,” she said. “It was a waste of money…that judged (legal firearm owners) under the criminal code.”
While Ball said that she is still waiting to see the attitude of the new federal government when it comes to firearm ownership, she said that the tone coming form the Trudeau Liberals was somewhat concerning.
“They’ve said they’re not going to bring back the registry, but they have spoken about record keeping.” She said. “ So we kind of look at that as kind of the same thing. If you have records, it’s a registry more or less. I know with the CSSA, they’re working diligently to show the Public Safety Minister that a new registry (is a bad idea).”
And while federal government legislation has been giving perfectly legitimate Canadian gun owners a bad name, so to have the vociferous gun lobby south of the boarder.
Attitudes towards gun ownership in the United States is vastly different from attitudes up here in Canada, she said.
“We’re bombarded with American attitudes here in Canada,” she told the audience. “Canadians as a rule don’t have the same attitude towards firearms as Americans. They seem to think that they need to have firearms for protection, while up here the attitude is about having a gun for hunting, target shooting or sport. It’s simply part of our heritage.”
While sport shooting is as popular in Sarnia as it is in large urban centres like Toronto - where Ball noted that there was a little - known firing range inside Union Station that operated for 150 years - attitudes towards gun owners seem to be different in both places, she noted. (Misquoted, the previous statement was the firing range inside Union Station operated for well over 50 years)
“Personally I don’t find an issue here. Everybody here knows I’m a shooter and I’ve always been very proud of the fact that I’m well-trained and well-educated,” she said. “ But if I lived in Toronto I probably wouldn’t have a CSSA bumper sticker on my car. It comes down to big urban centres compared to everywhere else.”
Notwithstanding some of the negative backlash against gun owners, Ball believes that the greater the awareness about the benefits of sport shooting and the incredibly safety-conscience, exhaustive training that gun owners go through to obtain their firearms will dispel many of the myths that currently exist.
“I don’t thing people understand the money, the courses, the time that’s required if you want to do it legally,” she said. “You do the course, you’re looking at $150 to $200 for the course, $15 for the book, $40 to write the test, $60 to $80 for a license, and firearms themselves can be very expensive.”
“It’s an expensive sport, it’s not something that people get into lightly,” Ball continued. “It really is a heritage thing. It’s hunting, it’s sport, it’s competition…and it can be a lot of fun.”
For more information about the Lambton Sportsman’s Club, visit www.lambtonsportsman.com
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TORONTO SPORTSMEN'S SHOW | MARCH 16-20, 2016 | INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, MISSISSAUGA, ON. Come join the Canadian Shooting Sports Association at the fabulous Toronto Sportsmen’s Show, Wednesday, March 16th through Sunday March 20th.
This year’s show is at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8, and it returns to a five-day format. FREE PARKING and easy access to major highways! Come on out and visit us and participate in our draw for a Benelli shotgun.
As always, we are looking for people who want to help out at the CSSA booth. If you are interested, please email Mike Duynhoven at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let him know what days and times you are available. See you there!
JUST OFF THE PRESS – THE INAUGURAL ISSUE OF WESTERN WOODS & WATERS MAGAZINE – WESTERN CANADA’S BEST OUTDOOR MAGAZINE
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Grab a copy, sink into your favourite easy chair and share the dream!
EDITORIAL LINE-UP FOR THE INAUGURAL ISSUE
* Best bear hunting across the West
* Hunting western wild turkey
* Step into the ring with Red River catfish
* Revisit trout fishing on the Bow
* Get insider info on finding deer sheds
* Test drive Honda’s Pioneer side by side
* Get the dope on Liberal plans for our guns
* Get the inside scoop on binoculars
And much, much more. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ISSUE!.
See us at the following outdoor shows: Abbotsford, BC Interior - Kelowna, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Parkland and Regina.
CHILLIWACK GUN SHOW | MARCH 19 AND 20, 2016 | HERITAGE PARK, CHILLIWACK, BC | Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | For information, please call Art Hoivik at 604-858-8039.
HE SURVIVED COLUMBINE. NOW HE’S PUSHING A BILL THAT WOULD LET TEACHERS CARRY GUNS AT SCHOOLS (By Natalie Johnson | DailySignal | March 01, 2016)
A Colorado lawmaker who survived the 1999 mass murder at Columbine High School is sponsoring state legislation that would allow teachers to carry firearms on school grounds.
State Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, said his bill would serve as a warning to armed assailants looking to take advantage of gun-free zones.
“People are not deterred by some flashy sign on a door,” Neville told The Daily Signal. “If we have a law like this, it’s going to make [criminals] find a different target instead of our schools, where we have our most vulnerable among us.”
Neville lived through the April 20, 1999, massacre at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo., in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, both seniors, killed 13 and injured 20 before shooting and killing themselves.
Neville predicted more of his friends and fellow students would be alive today if even one staff member had been armed:
If you had this back then, I think it might have been a deterrent from the shooting ever occurring in the first place. If a criminal intent on doing harm knows that they might be faced with opposition, they’re going to think twice about it.
Neville’s legislation would eliminate Colorado’s ban on individuals who hold a permit to carry a concealed handgun from taking the firearm on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools.
Under the bill, school employees who wish to arm themselves would have to obtain a concealed carry permit if they do not already hold one. The process to receive a permit in Colorado includes background checks and fingerprinting. Staff also would have to complete a mandatory training class before getting the permit.
Neville said individual school districts would have the discretion to impose stricter requirements or to compel more rigorous training for employees who want to have a gun on school grounds.
“What I want to prevent is my daughter from having to go through the same experiences and losing friends,” he said. “I’m really tired of sending them to school in blind faith that they’re going to come home safe.”
Neville’s father is state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton.
Neville and his father co-sponsored a similar bill last year. It didn’t get out of a House committee on veterans and military affairs.
The newspaper The Hill reported that the new legislation would face a similar fate in the House, which, unlike the state Senate, is held by Democrats.
But Neville told The Daily Signal he is optimistic the bill will pass because of a shift in committee makeup. He said reaction across the state has been positive and called the plan a “commonsense” step toward deterring mass shootings on school grounds.
“If you empower people to protect themselves, you actually make society safer,” he said.
We Can't Trust The Media To Talk About Guns In America (By Bob Owens | BearingArms | February 29, 2016)
The mainstream media’s coverage of firearms in society is a blend of abject ignorance, irrational hatred, and a stunning degree of intentional deception.
There were “400 or so mass shootings” in the United States 2015, according to Ahson Saeed Hasan, a Washington, D.C.-based journalist in a recent op-ed. Other news outlets cite nearly identical figures to claim that the number of mass shootings is skyrocketing.
They are all lying.
More precisely, they’re redefining “truth.” Instead of using the long accepted and traditional definition of a mass shooting—four or more people killed in a single event that is not a familicide, terrorist attack, or a gang-related event—they silently and arbitrarily switched to completely different definition created by a self-described anti-gun propagandist.
Now, when Pookie does a drive by of a rival gang and wounds Miguel, Jose, and Clarence, but Clarence gets a round off in return and wings Pookie, that’s now a “mass shooting.”
Yes, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News and other news outlets have quietly accepted the lies of “Mass Shooting Tracker” as legitimate to push a liberal anti-gun agenda. We can now have dozens of “mass shootings” in a week without a single death.
The actual number of mass shootings in 2015 by traditional measures? Four.
The mainstream media is lying to their readers, and not by tiny degrees.
Sadly, this sort of deception is actively encouraged.
Last week, Tennessee adopted the iconic Barrett .50 BMG rifle as their official state rifle. Christopher Ingraham, an anti-gun activist writing for the Washington Post, ran an absurdly dishonest piece in response, with the requisite sensationalist headline.
Tennessee’s new official state rifle is so powerful it can ‘desstroy commercial aircraft’
Ingraham’s article is nothing more or less than a paraphrasing of a factually-false propaganda piece from the Violence Policy Center, with quotes from the more restrained but equally anti-gun Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Ingraham’s serial dishonesty has been heavily documented at Bearing Arms, but it’s clear that the editors of the Post are more than happy to have him continue deceiving their readers. It serves the Post‘s political agenda to mislead them.
Sadly, Ingraham’s deceptiveness is incredibly common in a mainstream media with heavy liberal bias, and is tame considered to the borderline psychotic rantings out of some media outlets such as the New York Daily News.
When you cut through the deception, the lies, and the very redefining of reality in the mainstream media’s Orwellian world, we see the truth in the cold, hard data.
The truth is that the American people have more firearms than at any point previously in American history. There are in excess of 300 million firearms in the hands of American citizens, and more than 100 million of those have been purchased during the seven years of Barack Obama’s Presidency.
While the number of guns has risen dramatically, violence and accidents with guns have not. In fact, accidents with firearms for both adults and children are on a consistent multi-decade decline.
“Gun violence”—which thanks to a dishonest media, includes acts of self-harm—also continue to more guns have entered society. According to FBI data, criminal homicides committed with firearms continue to plummet, to a low of just over 8,100.
We are now experiencing the lowest per-capita homicide rate ever recorded in the history of the United States.
You won’t hear that undeniable fact in the mainstream media, which is manufacturing an “epidemic of gun violence” which simply does not exist.
We can’t have an “honest discussion” about the role of guns in society when the Democrat Party and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) continually and intentionally lie to the American people about the subject at every possible turn.
The data suggests that Robert Heinlein was indeed correct. An armed society is a polite society.
It’s too bad those who (undeservedly) imagine themselves to be “our betters” simply refuse to deal with that reality.
See the story: http://bearingarms.com/cant-trust-media-talk-guns-america/
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – BLACK BEARS BY BOAT (Airing March 5, 2016)
Kevin Beasley jumps into a float plane to get to a remote lake in Northern Ontario to hunt black bears with Agich's Kaby Kabin's. With giant bears on the trail cameras, Kevin knows that this is going to be a week to remember.
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/black-bears-by-boat/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
AACCA CANADA’S LARGEST AND FINEST GUN SHOW | MARCH 25 AND 26, 2016 | BMO CENTRE, STAMPEDE PARK, CALGARY, AB | Hours Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Admission for adults: $10, ladies and children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.
HAVE YOUR SAY ON FIREARMS LICENSING (By Robin Scott | ShootingUK | February 26, 2016)
Typically and true to form, the EU mistakenly think that heaping more legislation will reduce attacks by militants, says Robin Scott
It’s heartening to hear that MEP Vicky Ford appears to be listening to BASC and the Countryside Alliance (CA) over proposed changes to the EU’s Firearms Directive. Ms Ford is heading up a study into the proposals.
Both organisations want EU politicians to steer clear of knee-jerk new gun controls that will make life even harder for UK shooters, who already adhere to some of the toughest restrictions not just in Europe, but worldwide.
Politicians want to tighten gun laws in the EU following the terrorist atrocities in Paris last year. Typically, and true to form, they mistakenly think that heaping more legislation on legitimate gun owners will reduce attacks by militants, Islamic or otherwise, and combat the illegal trafficking of firearms at the same time. What nonsense!
Not too long ago David Cameron went on record saying the authorities here couldn’t be expected to protect the public from every random terrorist attack of the sort experienced in the French capital. Well of course they can’t. He was simply stating the obvious which, roughly translated, means hard luck if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, unable to defend yourself. Yet, more gun legislation? If we are to brace ourselves for more attacks across Europe and can’t rely on the state to gallop to our rescue every time, then isn’t there a case here for actually easing the rules on gun ownership and their licensing so that we can arm ourselves for self-protection?
Of course not. It will never happen, just as a ban on the unchecked sale of swords, machetes, carving knives and other lethal blades every day from high street stores will never happen.
And what are we to make of EU calls to introduce a standard medical test to check out everyone applying for, or renewing, a firearms licence? What earthly use is that going to be unless the shrinks have found a way of spotting signs that duck shooters or deer stalkers have been radicalised and likely to be buying a one-way ticket to Islamic State any day soon?
Fingers crossed MEP Vicky Ford isn’t the only one with a vote in Brussels now taking on board the wider “unintended consequences” of the EU proposals. If not, we’re going to end up in a bigger bureaucratic mess than we’re in now. And none the safer for it.
Kate Gatacre, Editor of Sporting Gun adds
“New statistics from Parliament show that there are more than 40,000 semi-automatic .22 rimfires held in England and Wales, as well as more than 12,000 section 1 shotguns (which would also fall under the ban). So if you hadn’t already realised, there is a very real chance that you could lose the right to your .22 semi-auto. Make sure you write to your MEP about this. The Countryside Alliance and BASC have set up a lobbying page together with FACE, and it’s well worth signing. To lobby your MP visit the FACE campaign page.
THE CSSA THANKS YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competitions, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor youth programs and competitions that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
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