Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Missing Middle Ground

   It is an increasingly polarized world in which we live. The search for middle ground through intelligent debate has gone missing. One example:
   Dick Metcalf, one of North America’s best known gun journalists, has been shunned and banished. He was fired from Guns and Ammo magazine where he was the back page columnist. His TV show on firearms was cancelled.
   Metcalf became a pariah in the sporting arms community because he wrote a column last December titled Let’s Talk Limits. It raised the argument that some gun regulation is not an infringement of the U.S. Second Amendment granting the right to bear arms.
   “The fact is all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be,” he wrote.
   Guns and Ammo fired him after hearing from readers and a gun industry that  will not tolerate discussion of gun regulation. Metcalf received death threats.
   He isn’t the first gun journalist banished for trying to broaden the discussion on regulating guns. Jim Zumbo, one of the more famous names in sport shooting and hunting, was banished after he posted in 2007 an Outdoor Life blog saying that military style weapons are terrorist weapons best avoided by hunters.
   The Canadian gun control debate has followed the other extreme: regulate every aspect of guns in an effort to make all guns disappear. Fortunately, debate has been allowed and has resulted in some sanity being restored to gun control. The federal government has dismantled the stupidly bureaucratic and costly gun registry while maintaining licensing of gun owners and rules for training and safe storage.
   More changes are needed in Canada to create a system that is fairer for legitimate sporting arms owners while ensuring public safety. One change needed is to remove gun control decisions from the RCMP and give it to a competent civilian authority. 
    Meanwhile, how Americans deal with their gun issues is their business and they will work them out in their own way.  The shame is that any discussion of gun control is smothered even when it comes from gun enthusiasts and Second Amendment defenders like Metcalf and Zumbo.

No comments:

Post a Comment