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Team CSSA E-News – February 11, 2016


While it is true Canadian firearm laws restrict our rights and freedoms to a greater degree than we would like, we must also remember that even under our current laws we Canadians remain somewhat free to own and use firearms. We can legally own a thousand guns and a million rounds of ammunition. We have thousands of places to shoot, hunt and partake in our cherished avocation.

There are many other countries out there that do not have the same freedoms we do and would give almost anything to be in our shoes.

Across the pond, the United Kingdom – the birthplace of the Magna Carta and all of our British Common Law rights – tossed out those magnificent documents decades ago in favour of trampling on the rights of its citizens.

Want to own a handgun in the U.K.? Or purchase a self-loading rifle chambered in anything other than .22 calibre? Well good luck! The U.K. banned semis in 1988 and handguns a decade later.

You are hard-pressed to obtain permission to own a shotgun and almost all other firearms are banned. Their Olympic shooters face a bizarre regulatory scheme that means they must leave their country just to practice.

To own a shotgun you must provide a valid reason for ownership. The only acceptable reasons to own firearms are hunting, pest control, collecting or target shooting. As in Canada, “self-defense” is not a permissible reason to own a firearm, except for a chosen few.

The European Union is rapidly descending into the same silliness.

In the wake of multiple terrorist attacks in France last year, the E.U. proposed a ban on all semi-automatic firearms. Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is the U.K.’s Prime Minster, David Cameron.

Said Cameron: “We need to ensure that terrorists do not have the weapons with which they can wreak such tragedy. So at this week’s summit, I’ll be calling for a new EU-wide ban on all high-powered semi-automatic weapons and greater co-operation to crack down on the smuggling trade and to stop guns coming in from the western Balkans.”

The E.U. proposed to “ban certain semi-automatic firearms, which will not, under any circumstance, be allowed to be held by private persons, even if they have been permanently deactivated.”

This means they want to BAN all semi-auto rifles with cosmetic similarity to military firearms. Effectively, if it looks like an army gun, it’s BANNED! If it’s a semi-automatic of any kind, it’s BANNED! Calibre and functionality are meaningless. Cosmetics are everything.

Sound familiar?

Now if this firearm ban becomes law, the authorities can seize every legally-owned firearm in Europe, thanks to the gun registry already in place. For the European Union, that old maxim has held true: registration means confiscation.

That the E.U.’s proposal will impact only law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to stop the flow of illegal guns, is irrelevant. They are seen to be doing something and maybe that’s all a politician needs.

Illegal firearms will not be affected, nor will the crimes committed with them.

Accomplishment means nothing when optics are everything.

Notwithstanding the RCMP’s overzealous attempts to ban certain guns in a similar fashion, Canadians are generally free to own and shoot what they want.

We are not yet facing an all-out war on our semi-automatic rifles, shotguns or handguns.  And if common sense prevails, we never will.

Hunting, the most ancient of human traditions and our heritage, thrives precisely as it should. The numbers increase every year – Cecil the Lion notwithstanding. Alberta shows an 18 per cent increase in hunting licenses in just the past 5 years. In B.C., hunting licenses for black bears are up 58 per cent from just 8 years ago.

The number of people taking the firearm safety course has also risen almost every year since 2003, according to the RCMP. The number of licensed firearm owners is up 75 per cent nationwide in just the past five years alone, meaning more and more people are learning how to handle firearms safely. That’s a good thing for everyone. Knowledge is power and, as with any other area where we want to reduce accidents, education is key. Firearm accidents are at an all-time low according to Statistics Canada. Despite the endless sophomoric braying of the antis, crimes with firearms are the lowest they have been for many decades.

Our “gun games” are also alive and well. Trap and skeet shooting, IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) and IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) pistol shooting are all thriving shooting sports. Two and three gun shooting sports such as Cowboy Action Shooting and the Action Rifle League CQB matches run by two-time Canadian Service Rifle champion Ryan Steacy, are also gaining in popularity.

Biathlon gains ground every year as more and more Canadian stars break into the international scene. Having Nathan Smith as the reigning World Championship Silver Medalist for the 10K doesn’t hurt biathlon’s popularity here in Canada either.

Yes we Canadian gun owners and sport shooters have a lot to be grateful for. Our gun laws, while a long hike from ideal, are far better than many countries around the world.

Even so, we must remain forever vigilant on the political front to ensure Canada doesn’t follow the vacuous lead of the European Union and try to implement a widespread ban on guns.

We know that Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette would like nothing more. Last year she introduced Senate Bill S-231 to do precisely that: ban all guns except those she deemed acceptable for hunting. It is a hard truth that guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians 

To be sure, dangers loom large. Don’t let the relative quiet fool you. Wheels are turning.

Now more than ever, it is vital that we support those who battle for our rights in Ottawa.  Now is the time to support the Canadian Shooting Sports Association by renewing your membership, buying a membership for your shooting buddy or by encouraging your gun club to formally associate with Team CSSA.

The more members we have, the louder our voice in Ottawa. Ultimately, that’s what protects gun owners and our rights.





Canada has a problem with political cops who think they shouldn’t just enforce the law but also make it, an example of which appeared in a rambling CP 24 column by former OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

Defying logic, he says we need more restrictions on legal gun ownership because criminals use guns.

Lewis opens his column stating the obvious, that Canada has much stricter gun control than the United States. He then points to an uptick in handgun shootings in Toronto (also obvious) which he follows by noting that most of the handguns used in those crimes are smuggled in from the United States (obvious again).

“Given that purchasing a handgun in Canada involves a fairly rigorous process, including background checks, many of the handguns that are used in crimes here have been either stolen from legal owners in Canada, or brought into Canada from the United States, where they are a dime a dozen.”

After telling us that handguns used in these crimes are very difficult to get in Canada, his solution is . . . more gun control in Canada?

“Canada needs to thoroughly study the legal handgun possession matter immediately and significantly tighten the laws around ownership to limit the number of handguns in society that can be used illegally or stolen to do harm.”

Lewis believes that only police, security guards, the military and maybe legitimate target shooters should be allowed to own handguns and he wants all of them stored in central locations, not in homes where they would be under lock and key.

To deal with stolen guns falling into the wrong hands, doesn’t rounding them all up in central locations just make it easier for criminals to steal large quantities of legal guns?

Lewis also muses about bringing back the long gun registry because, one supposes, gangsters using handguns for crimes in Toronto means that duck hunters in Red Deer need to register their shotguns?

That’s political logic for you.

Fact is, there is no logic in Lewis’ arguments but that doesn’t mean he can’t win. He’s making these arguments now precisely because there’s a government in Ottawa that shares his view that average citizens shouldn’t own guns, especially handguns.

Rational people know you don’t deal with gun crimes committed by gangs and mobsters, by cracking down on the law abiding gun owner who commits no crimes.

That’s the easy thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

See the story:



EDMONTON – It’s becoming a standard Alberta story; gun club sets up in the middle of nowhere, subdivisions crop up around gun club and new homeowners soon organize to shut down gun club.

And now, the Edmonton-area Spruce Grove Gun Club says it has become the latest group of firearms enthusiasts to fall victim to Alberta’s relentless urban sprawl.

“We’ve always tried to be good neighbours, even when we had no neighbours,” said club president Rob Hall in an official announcement that their final legal avenue had been exhausted.

But for other residents, some of whom predate the club, the hard-won victory now means they are free from having bullets whiz by their heads or spending Sundays listening to a Battle of Fallujah-level of gunfire.

We’ve always tried to be good neighbours

“Some sounded like machine guns, and then there were some like ‘boom, boom’ — it was just like a big cannon going off,” said Cheryl Ball, a longtime Spruce Grover still living on the family homestead.

Other residents have been digging out bullets from their homes or cars and have reported hearing the telltale “zip” of a bullet while they’re outside doing chores.

“We were hit twice in the 1980s; our car was hit, our granaries were hit,” said Allan Gamble, another long-time neighbour who remembers when the club first opened in 1972. “When you started hearing shots, you would intentionally walk in areas that were protected.”

One neighbour, Darren DeGeer, even launched a $1 million lawsuit against the gun club and the country after finding a bullet embedded in his house.

The gun club has countered that the bullets are coming from random yahoos firing at signs.

“No one’s been able to come to us and say ‘here’s a bullet that we know came from the range,” said Bill Newton, spokesman for the club.

There is no direct proof that the bullets came from the range, to be sure, but residents note that they all seem to be hitting a cluster of houses suspiciously in the line of fire of the club’s three rifle ranges.

“Isn’t it odd that all the bullets are hitting the south sides of these buildings, and that none of the bullets are coming from the east and north?” said Ball, who led efforts against the range.

Backed by 80 per cent of the roughly 120 homes surrounding the range, last year they succeeded in having the local county withdraw the club’s development permit, which ultimately lost the club the authorization to function as a live-fire range.

The club appointed range safety officers and commissioned acoustical studies showing that the average noise from the club was still below municipal bylaws. A petition to save the “safest outdoor shooting range in Canada,” meanwhile, has garnered nearly 5,000 signatures.

But this week, the Alberta Court of Appeals denied the club a chance to have the withdrawal reviewed.

“The rules make it hard to overturn these types of decisions,” said Hall in a statement.

Even since oil came to Northern Alberta in 1947, the steady crawl of new homes has been shutting down gun ranges or driving them indoors. In fact, many of gun range refugees have come to Spruce Grove.

First started as a family place for hunters to sight in their rifles and the like, Spruce Grove has now grown into a training facility for Edmonton Police and Brinks Guards, among others.

“Although they should have been aware that there was a shooting range there, they expressed ignorance to it and said, ‘you know what? We don’t like the sound of guns firing,’” said Newton.

And indeed, even anti-range campaigners report that many of their supporters bought property without knowing they were going to be living within earshot of a gun range.

As the local government allowed agricultural land to be zoned into acreages and touted its “quiet, friendly neighbourhoods” to Edmonton commuters, no risk assessment was performed for homes downrange of the club. Realtors are then said to have shrewdly toured prospective buyers at times of minimum gunfire.

“The expectation was that people and a gun range should co-exist, so it was set on a collision course,” said Ball.

The ultimate effect is that 900 people have effectively been cut loose to find other places to shoot, says the club.

The closure is particularly tricky for owners of pistols or prohibited firearms such as a Second World War-era Thompson machine gun. Canadian law requires the owners of such guns to be affiliated with a club, or the firearms can be seized.

The expectation was that people and a gun range should co-exist, so it was set on a collision course.

The Edmonton Shooting Centre, for one, is a soon-to-be-opened indoor range within Edmonton city limits that has been vocal about snapping up members from Spruce Grove — albeit at much steeper membership rates.

And of the remaining outdoor ranges, many have capped their membership as they face down their own problems with encroaching development.

“If you really don’t like the sound of gunfire, I get it,” said Newton.

“I have lots of empathy for how these people feel, it’s just I feel ucky (sic) because what I’d like to do is now gone.”

See the story:



NRA – Institute for Legislative Action

Fairfax, VA -( At the same time the European Union bureaucrats in Brussels are trying to foist further gun controls on the continent, Europeans are exhibiting a newfound interest in acquiring the tools of self-defense.

Though restricted by EU mandate and often severe national gun controls, following a series of high-profile attacks on women, Europeans are buying up whatever means of protection they can still legally obtain.

The surge in interest in firearms and other self-defense products dates back several months and relates in part to European unease surrounding mass immigration from the other parts of the world. In October, Fox News and others reported a marked increase in firearm sales in Austria. In the piece, Thomas Ortner, a spokesman for Austrian gun retailers, noted, “Nearly all shotguns are sold out because you don’t need to have a firearms permit to buy them… Registration courses for pistols are usually held only every five weeks but are now held weekly.”

By all accounts this trend has continued into 2016, spurred on by a scene of anarchic violence in the German city of Cologne. According to an account from the New York Times:

As 2016 neared on Dec. 31, however, some 1,500 men, including some newly arrived asylum seekers and many other immigrants, had instead assembled around Cologne’s train station. Drunk and dismissive of the police, they took advantage of an overwhelmed force to sexually assault and rob hundreds of people, according to police reports, shocking Germany and stoking anxieties over absorbing refugees across Europe.

As a January article from Reuters pointed out, a look at the best-selling products on the “Sport & Leisure” section of (the German immediately following the attacks revealed brisk sales of defensive sprays. The report also noted that the president of German defensive spray manufacturer DEF-TEC told the news outlet that sales of the products had “rose seven-fold in the final three months of last year.” On January 15, NBC News reported that so far in 2016 over 300 people had applied to Cologne police for licenses to carry gas pistols and imitation firearms; while only 408 such licenses were granted in all of 2015. Further, the New York Post pointed out in an article titled “Europeans stocking up on guns after mass sex attacks,” actual firearms are also in great demand.

More recently, German state news agency Deutsche Welle noted this trend. According to the article, “most customers want a pistol that can fit easily into a handbag or a small drawer in the night table.” Moreover, a “social media expert” told the news outlet, “There has been an increase of at least 1,000 percent or more in Google search queries for gun permits since January.”

To their credit, rank and file German police officers appear to support the decision many Germans are taking to arm themselves. German Police Union Chief Rainer Wendt told Deutsche Welle that the police do not intend to obstruct citizens in their attempts to lawfully arm and that he does not support new laws that would make it more difficult for the public to obtain self-defense products.

As we pointed out back in November and December, this all comes at a time when the EU is seeking to crack down on firearm ownership in its member states. Pursuant to the European Firearms Directive, EU nations are already required to adopt a minimum threshold of gun restrictions. However, on November 18, in the wake of terrorist shootings and bombings in Paris, the European Commission announced that it was expediting previously contemplated gun control legislation.

Under EU legislative procedure, typically the transnational government’s executive branch, the European Commission, drafts and proposes legislation. The proposed legislation must then be approved by the European Parliament, which consists of members of parliament (MEPs) elected by the citizens of member states, and the European Council, which consists of the leaders of the various member states, in order to be adopted. These entities may also provide amendments to the proposed legislation.

The centerpiece of the recent proposal would place semi-automatic firearms in the same category as automatic firearms, barring civilian use. Other provisions offend the privacy rights of gun owners with stricter firearm registration requirements, and “standard medical tests” for firearm licensing. Additionally, firearms licenses issued by member states could not be valid for a period longer than five years.

Predictably, the gun control-crazed United Kingdom government, led by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, offered their full-throated support of EU-wide gun control measures prior to a December 17-18 meeting of the European Council. In a December 13 press release that echoed the November 18 European Commission announcement, Cameron cited concerns over terrorism and noted, “I’ll be calling for a new EU-wide ban on all high-powered semi-automatic weapons.”

However, many EU member governments and shooting organizations have made clear they have no intention of caving to Brussels’ onerous dictates.

Revealing that many in the UK don’t agree with the efficacy of additional firearm restrictions, UK shooting organizations the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and Countryside Alliancehave worked in concert to oppose the current EU proposal. A February 2 article from the UK’s Western Morning News noted that the groups have shared their concerns about the proposed rules with several MEPs and UK government officials. In conveying their position to the news outlet, a Countryside Alliance spokesperson explained, “We believe the current set of proposals will have a serious effect on sporting and target shooting, collectors, museums, re-enactors and the gun trade, resulting in heavy restrictions and a great deal more work for the already overburdened police force… In fact it appears that the only group that will not be affected by these proposals is terrorists.”

Similarly, representatives from German shooting organizations have met with German government officials to explain their opposition to the new restrictions. A December 21 Deutsche Welle article noted that the German Interior Ministry invited the groups in for a meeting. Following the session, Director of the German Federal Association of Shooting Ranges Joachim Streitberger told the news outlet, “The proposal contains things that the [German Interior Ministry] said would be difficult for them, and where changes would be called for,” adding, “After this conversation I do not expect the draft to come into force in the present form.” Streitberger also noted, “The criminal doesn’t care one bit what is in the law. The paradox is to try to use the law to avoid disadvantaging the law-abiding, while regulating the law-breaker, and that’s a paradox that a lawmaker can’t solve. Which weapon used in Paris was legally owned?”

Additionally, the article cites Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, which reported, “confidential EU reports suggest that the German government – along with its Austrian, Czech and Finnish counterparts – is keen to put the brakes on the EU’s plans.” Der Spiegel’s contention is in line with December statements made by Finland Security Minister Petteri Orpo regarding the importance of civilian semi-auto use to their national defense, and reports that the Czech Republic has significant concerns with the proposed changes. Further, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain have all issued formal comments on the proposal.

Having been adopted by the European Commission, the proposed changes to the Firearms Directive are currently under the jurisdiction of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), chaired by MEP Vicky Ford of the UK’s Conservative Party. IMCO has released a timetable for their work on the proposal. The next major event in the timetable is a scheduled “first exchange of views” on February 23, followed by a hearing on this matter March 14-15.

It is deplorable that the EU would seek to further restrict access to firearms when so many Europeans are finding it necessary to exercise their human right to self-defense. Thankfully, diverse members of the European shooting community, including shooting and hunting organizations, members of the firearms industry, and military officials are coalescing to oppose the changes to EU firearm law. NRA has been, and will continue to be, in contact with members of the European shooting community regarding this matter.

Moreover, NRA will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds in the European Parliament and keep our members informed of important developments.

About the NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

For more information, please visit: Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.

See the story:



Kevin Beasley heads into the beautiful territory of Nunavut to chase Central Barren Ground Caribou! With not much cover in the open tundra, Kevin has to use the rolling hills and what trees there are to get into range.

See the teaser:

Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit:



Safety » Voluntary program would teach kids to alert an adult if they find a firearm.

The Utah Senate gave its first vote of approval on Tuesday to a bill to create gun safety training for middle school students.

Under the bill, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, eighth-graders at participating schools would opt-in to the program, which would encourage children to alert an adult if they come across a firearm.

“It doesn’t bring guns into the classroom, it doesn’t teach children how to fire weapons or how to use guns,” Weiler said. “It basically teaches them how to respect guns and not point them at their friends.”

Senators voted 18-7 in favor of the bill, which would require an additional Senate vote before advancing to the House.

The bill would set aside $75,000 from the state’s General Fund to create the gun safety program, which would be optional for both schools and students.

“There’s no mandate at any level of this bill,” Weiler said.

But Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, questioned the bill’s use of General Fund money, rather than the state’s Education Fund.

The Education Fund, which is supported by income-tax revenue, is currently showing a surplus, while the state’s General Fund is expected to break even or potentially hold a deficit this year.

“Education is the one that’s got all the money,” Jenkins said.

And other lawmakers remarked that the gun-safety training could lead to children being taught to avoid or fear guns.

“Some of us grew up with guns our whole life,” said Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights.

Weiler said the bill would require training to be apolitical.

He said the training is necessary because even children whose families do not own guns are likely to encounter a firearm at some point, and they should know not to pick up or play with weapons.

“This would not teach kids to be afraid of guns,” Weiler said. “It would teach them to respect a gun and assume it is loaded.”

See the story:



USA –  -( Somewhere, everyday in the USA, 2100+ people use a gun for self defense, to stop a crime or save the lives of themselves or their family.

“We believe that the American public deserve to understand that on the average, guns save 2,191 lives and are used to thwart crimes every day,” says Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation

Most times you won’t see these tales on the news as it does not fit the main stream media’s story line of “Guns and Gun Owners are Bad“.

This is just one of those stories;

92-year-old World War II veteran Joe Milspa was at home in San Jacinto, Calif. when he heard a suspicious noise. It was a man attempting to break through his door with an ax. Milspa retrieved a pistol and went to the door, at which point the would-be home invader attempted to break in through a window. Milspa responded to the threat by firing at the intruder, prompting him to flee.

Milspa told CBS Los Angeles that he still frequents the shooting range. (CBS Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif. 02/01/16)

About the Guns Save Lives Series:

Every few days AmmoLand Shooting Sports News will be featuring a new report of stories involving self defense with a hand gun. Be sure and share, like and Tweet these posts and help spread the truth that “Guns Save Lives”.

See the story:



Crocs snappy at T-Shirt gun ban

For more than a decade an air-powered piece of PVC pipe has, without fear or favour, fired t-shirts into a delighted crowd at home games of the Townsville Crocodiles.

But no more.

The National Basketball League team was this week forced to surrender its homemade t-shirt cannon to police, after it was deemed a category B weapon.

It was an order that left many at the club scratching their heads, general manager Rob Honan said, after it had enlivened home crowds with the promise of free t-shirt for more than a decade without incident.

“The ballistics unit informed the venue that essentially it was a category B weapon and it needed to be handed in, otherwise people in possession of it would be prosecuted,” he said.

“It was bewildering but it is what it is. But it makes it harder for people to have fun.

“There is no mechanism that engaged the crowd as much as the t-shirt launcher, which is almost a foundation piece of game day entertainment.”

Another person’s query about obtaining a launcher similar to that owned by the club reportedly alerted police in Townsville to the weapon.

In a statement, Queensland Police Service said subsequent inquiries determined it to be a category B weapon.

“A recent determination has been received from the QPS ballistics section that they are category B weapon,” the statement read.

“Category B weapons need to be licensed and registered, having established a genuine need for possession.

“Weapons of any category can only be manufactured by a licensed armourer.”

The determination puts the homemade pipe launcher in the same category as a single shot centre-fire rifle, a double barrel centre-fire rifle, a repeating centre-fire rifle, a break action shotgun and centre-fire rifle combination.

Mr Honan said the cannon was powered by a compressed air cannister that could shoot light items, such as t-shirts, about 40 metres.

He believed it would struggle to shoot anything heavier with any significant force.

“I think you would be clutching at straws to think you could hurt someone,” he said.

“I think you would not get enough buildup of gas, it’s just a PVC pipe, so it is not like a gun as such. This is really just a mechanism to get giveaways to the back of the crowd.”

With the club’s next home game due to be played on February 11, Mr Honan said the mad scramble was on to replace the popular weapon.

“There’s a lot of brainstorming happening at the moment, there is no easy solution,” he said.

“There is potentially a slingshot version, potentially we just pull people from the crowd and gives things away but it really did engage the crowd.”

See the story:




THE DAY I LEARNED TO SHOOT A GUN (By Jen Gerson | National Post | January 18, 2016)

I was cooking eggs when I heard the bang from above. “Must be the landlord,” I thought, thinking nothing of the sounds from the apartment on the top floor of the house I had rented. Then I heard the bang from the side, near the door that led to the basement suite.

I continued to stir my eggs.

Then I looked outside my own door and saw movement in the backyard through the blinds.

“Wonder what Doug is up to?” I thought, as I put my scrambled eggs on dry toast and ate them with hot sauce. “Painting?”

Then I went to work.

Half an hour later, I got the call from my landlord. Crackheads had broken into the apartments above and below me. That banging was the sound of the door to the top floor apartment being taken off at the hinges with a crowbar; they did the same thing to the side. They would have broken into my main floor apartment next except they saw someone moving inside and ran away instead. They must have panicked, the police told me later, taking a few electronics and not much else.

I had been very lucky.

There are three ways to deal with the knowledge that someone has broken into your house. My top-floor neighbour, a man about my own age, shrugged it off and continued to enjoy the cheap rent. The young woman in the basement moved away.

I learned how to shoot a gun.

Of course, this wasn’t because I was afraid — perish the thought. No, this just seemed like the right time to learn some life skills — like gun shooting — and to prove that fact to myself I also signed up for some First Aid courses.

Anyone who wants to purchase a gun in Canada has to sit for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. Mine was taught by a grey ex-cop named Wayne or Pete or something likewise monosyllabic and straight out of central casting. He told us stories about the most common gun used in crimes in his experience — a sawed off bolt-action .22, the most seemingly benign and prevalent gun in the country. The sort of gun that hangs at the back door of every farm house and is mostly used to shoot cans. Most of my dozen other classmates for the weekend course were hunters. I was the only woman.

Post San Bernardino et al, Barack Obama took to the airwaves, helplessly, tearfully pleading for sanity and reform. In the National Post, Jonathan Kay noted that America’s gun-love looks, even to staunch conservative Canadians, look like a suicide cult.

On the whole, he’s right to note that having a gun in the house is not strictly rational. Statistics are conclusive on this point. I’m more likely to shoot myself than an intruder. Science suggests that I’d panic and wet my pants in the face of a violent criminal, even though I think I’m different. Everyone thinks they’re different.

Crime is on the decline. I have the luxury of living in a high-trust society, in an urban area where I can generally rely on prompt and diligent police protection. (The degree to which this is less true in the U.S. is correlative with an increase in their affection for lethal weapons, unsurprisingly.)

But that’s all rather missing the point. Owning a gun isn’t about what we would actually do on that horrible day when someone breaks down the door: it’s about how we want to live our lives every day that someone doesn’t. I didn’t want to be afraid and I was too proud to move.

Women like myself are the best advocates for gun ownership the arms industry could hope for and they know it.

Shortly after Obama’s speech, a mother by the name of Kimberly Corban confronted the president, recounting the tale of her own rape. Her assailant was caught, but she suffered PTSD as a result of the assault.

“As a survivor of rape, and now a mother to two small children — you know, it seems like being able to purchase a firearm of my choosing, and being able to carry that wherever my — me and my family are — it seems like my basic responsibility as a parent at this point,” she said. It’s a position that’s almost impossible for any feeling creature to rebut.

A gun offers the illusion of control. It’s a tool to overcome the horrible inequities of biology. It may not actually prevent violence, but it makes us feel as if we can. A gun gives Kimberly Corban the power to move on with her life without having to fear every unlit room or bang at the door. You can cite all the logic and science and statisitics and laws and rights that you like, because it’s not really about any of that.

As for me, I passed my firearms course with flying colours. Whether or not I actually purchased a gun, well, that’s my own business.

See the story:


MORE WOMEN BUYING, SHOOTING GUNS (By Christina Mora | | February 9, 2016)

Women pack heat for protection, self-defense

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —More women than ever are buying firearms, according to gun shop owners in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Many gun ranges now offer classes and training geared toward females only.

At Open Range in Crestwood, Thursday is considered “Ladies Night” and the women come armed with the essentials.

“I have a .38 special Smith and Wesson,” said Denise Littrell.

“It’s a .357 Magnum revolver,” added Lisa Warren.

And Sonia Robinson said, “Too many to count.”

Thursday’s “two for one” special at the range means two women shoot for the price of one. Over the past year, the number of women buying and shooting guns at Open Range has doubled, according to CEO Barry Laws.

He said guns are a power equalizer for women.

“If you want to take the assumption that maybe you’re not the biggest person in the world, and I might be strategically stronger than you in certain areas, with a firearm, we’re equal,” said Laws.

Sissy Caye, 65, and Janet Pfeister, 68, are preparing to apply for Kentucky’s concealed carry license. Like most of the women at the range, their main reason for learning how to handle and shoot a gun is self-defense.

“I leave work late. I go in early and I just like to have protection if I need it,” said Littrell.

“If I ever need to have that option, I have it and I’m comfortable with using the gun and handling it,” said Warren.

Just last month, police said a man with a knife approached a woman in a downtown Louisville parking garage demanding everything she had. The woman pulled out a gun and shot him.

“I thought it was really empowering for women, in that she could do that, and that she had the confidence to do that,” said Emily Mattingly.

“You have to protect yourself, being vulnerable, being a woman, you have to really protect yourself, I felt like it was justified,” said Pam Stiger.

Rick Fach, at ESR Tactical in Jeffersonville, said many of his new customers are women.

“We’re seeing a lot more people, probably four times the amount of people we had before,” said Fach.

Pew research shows women make up just about 25 percent of gun owners in the U.S. but experts say that number is growing. And women, they said, have better aim.

“Women, when they’re shooting, you tell them what to do, they process the information, they do it, they get a bulls-eye, and then it’s like ‘lets go eat something,'” said Laws.

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