City taking resolution to FCM
By KEVIN CRUSH
Replica firearms should be banned in Canada, suggests the city in a resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
The replicas are far too dangerous to have on the streets, said Grande Prairie RCMP operations NCO Staff Sgt. Karen Simon.
"Locally, we've responded to several complaints in regards to replica firearms, Some of them have been involved in robberies that have taken place. Some of the others we have are people in the city who are shooting around paintball guns or whatever and people aren't aware of what it is. We've had issues in the schools, of course the one that locked down the Comp school."
That incident took place Oct. 12 when a 16-year-old boy brought an air pistol without its cylinder to the high school. He also admitted to showing some female students in the hallway 33 pills of ecstasy and asking them if they wanted any. He then showed them the pistol and said he would shoot the teen who had threatened him when the noon hour came.
The boy, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was sentenced to one year of probation that includes a curfew, house rules, counselling and a firearms prohibition.
It was the second replica-gun incident at the Comp in less than a year.
On Nov. 9, 2005, the school was locked down after a staff member saw a male youth with what appeared to be a handgun on school property. Two young offenders were eventually arrested and a replica handgun was seized.
In the city's resolution, which may be debated at the annual FCM conference later this year, the city will ask the organization to lobby for a national ban on the sale, production, and carrying of replica firearms.
Municipalities can enact their own bans, but they would be difficult to enforce.
In response to security concerns, the United Kingdom has a similar ban.
Replica firearms can often be made for collectors, for paintball or BB guns, or even as toys.
But all too often, criminals are using the replicas and that is putting people in potential danger, said Simon.
"It's dangerous for all of the public as well as the person who has the replica firearm. As a police officer, you don't have that time to say, 'Stop and let me look at that firearm.' It's not 'if' it's a real firearm or not, you assume that it is."
If police officers come across an incident and someone happens to have a replica, officers have no choice but to treat it as an actual firearm, said Simon.
That can all too easily lead to someone being shot.
"Those decisions are made in a split-second to deal with the situation at hand. If you truly believe someone could cause significant injury or death, then deadly force will be used," said Simon.
The resolution, passed by city council in a special meeting on Tuesday, remains broad in describing replica firearms to ensure that it refers to objects that resemble the real thing. Ald. Bill Given said he just wants to make sure that items like water guns that don't resemble firearms at all would not be banned.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Political Stupidity on Steroids
Today I found the following article in the Herald-Tribune. Read and weep. Sometimes I really have to wonder how far this zero-tolerance-politically-correct nonsense will go and how long it will take for the normal people in society to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.”