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Urging a Change in Gun Law -- How Shocking! And She's Not Just a School Board Trustee, But a Woman!

The Globe & Mail (Toronto) reports (some paragraph breaks deleted):

Vancouver school board trustee Sharon Gregson [publicly argues that] Canadians need to broaden their thinking about handgun ownership. "There is a thinking that guns can only be bad and related to crime, and that's not my experience as a legal gun owner, participating in a gun sport," Ms. Gregson said, explaining why she decided to get a handgun permit in Utah....

But some of Ms. Gregson's colleagues have urged the trustee, a married mother of four, to stop shooting her mouth off. Trustee Clarence Hanson said her comments send the wrong message to kids.

"I was quite shocked," Mr. Hanson said after he heard Ms. Gregson on a morning radio program yesterday, in which she argued in favour of easier access for permits to carry a concealed gun, especially for women who feel threatened. "As a school trustee, my concern is basically, we have a number of children ... who sometimes feel harassed and bullied. I don't want them to get the impression that this is the way to protect yourself," Mr. Hanson said. "If they get a feeling that a school trustee who represents them thinks it's okay to protect yourself in this way, ... we're going down a dangerous road, I think." ...

Ms. Gregson said she did not mean to suggest that kids in the school system be urged to carry guns. However, she did suggest that the outcome of the Montreal massacre might have been different if any one of Marc Lepine's 14 female victims had been carrying a weapon.....

Mr. Hanson said he wants to talk to Ms. Gregson about her comments. "I think when we become a school trustee, you've raised the bar a little bit for yourself. So you have to help set an example out there."

The head of the Canada's main gun-control lobby[, Wendy Cukier,] denounced Ms. Gregson's comments as well .... "It's an absurd comment. It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions. It has no basis in fact, and for someone who is associated with schools to be making those comments is particularly alarming, especially a woman." ...

Thanks to lawprof Joe Olson for the pointer.

Ryan Waxx (mail):

It has no basis in fact, and for someone who is associated with schools to be making those comments is particularly alarming, especially a woman."


Just another remider that if you are a minority or protected group, you have an opinion assigned to you at birth.

We've come a long way, haven't we?
12.21.2006 5:57pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
how did a canadian get a gun permit in utah?

answer me, dammit.
12.21.2006 6:17pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
Uh-oh...somebody's going to lose their job! And just in time for Christmas.

Well, it's for the best really. Have to keep those dangerous ideas out of the children's heads. They hear an adult talk about guns, and what do you expect? Poor dears will just go out and shoot each other! And a School Board Trustee, no less. I heard she told children to bring guns to school! That's what they do in the US, you know. Just not Canadian; not at all.
12.21.2006 6:19pm
CaptDMO:
It's an absurd comment. It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions."



Huh?
Which traditions does she speak of?
How many Canadians share these traditions?
For how many generations?
12.21.2006 6:55pm
KeithK (mail):
Mr. Hanson said he wants to talk to Ms. Gregson about her comments. "I think when we become a school trustee, you've raised the bar a little bit for yourself. So you have to help set an example out there."
Personally I think she's setting an excellent example.
12.21.2006 7:04pm
PersonFromPorlock:

"If they get a feeling that a school trustee who represents them thinks it's okay to protect yourself in this way, ... "

Interesting. He apparently can't distinguish between children and adults. If he could, he'd realize you can tell kids "no, because you're not up to it yet."
12.21.2006 7:45pm
Jay Myers:
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

how did a canadian get a gun permit in utah?

answer me, dammit.

I'm just guessing, but I think she applied for it. Seriously, here are the listed requirements and residency isn't among them.

http://bci.utah.gov/CFP/CFNewApp.html

Who is Eligible?

*Minimum requirements for application for a concealed firearms permit in Utah are:

•Applicant must be at least 21 years of age

•Proof of good character...whereas the applicant;

°has not been convicted of a felony;

°has not been convicted of any crime of violence;

°has not been convicted of any offense involving the use of alcohol;

°has not been convicted of any offenses involving the unlawful use of narcotics or other controlled substances;

°has not been convicted of any offenses involving moral turpitude;

°has not been convicted of any offense involving domestic violence;

°has not been adjudicated by a court of a state or of the United States as mentally incompetent, unless the adjudication has been withdrawn or reversed

*A criminal background check is conducted for all applicants
12.21.2006 7:55pm
logicnazi (mail) (www):
My god, people who think that owning guns is dangerous and anti-social actually think it is bad to encourage people to own guns for personal safety or suggest it might be a good idea. The only thing that makes this different than rants on the VC about people who 'irresponsibly' advocate taking people's guns away is the bit about 'especially a woman.'


As far as tradition goes it is hard to argue that Canada has a much more anti-gun attitude/culture than the US.
12.21.2006 8:01pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> As far as tradition goes it is hard to argue that Canada has a much more anti-gun attitude/culture than the US.

Is that like the "anti-death-penalty" attitude/culture of Europe?

I ask because that attitude is commonplace only among certain small, albeit very visible, segments of the population. It isn't as commonplace among the other segments. In fact, there is majority support for the death penalty in those segments. Those majorities and segments are large enough that the death penalty actually has majority support amongst Europeans.

Good thing they don't get to vote on it.
12.21.2006 9:01pm
Paul Johnson (mail):

Which traditions does she speak of?
How many Canadians share these traditions?
For how many generations?


For Immediate Release: Canada has a tradition against making any about guns that is not anti-gun. This tradition is effective immediately.
12.21.2006 9:10pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
logicnazi: Sharon Gregson is arguing for a change in the law, something citizens in a democracy often do. Why is it "shocking" and "alarming" that she would urge a change, even in a direction you dislike? They're not just saying she's mistaken -- they're saying that she shouldn't have expressed her views at all, because she's a school board trustee and a woman, and that they're shocked and alarmed that she had the temerity to do so.
12.21.2006 9:23pm
randal (mail):
This thread is based on the "we need guns to protect ourselves from other individuals with guns" theory.

There's another anti-gun-control theory which says "we need guns to protect ourselves from an overzealous government and/or militant invaders".

I'm ambivalent about gun control, although I'm much more sympathetic to the latter rationale than the former. I think the Second Amendment is as well.

I get the sense that most NRA types like both rationales, since they both achieve the desired ends. I'm curious, though, do people see a Consitutional basis in the "protection from individuals" rationale?
12.22.2006 4:03am
Pol Mordreth (mail):
Randal,
While I'm not an 'NRA type', I do agree with both rationales. I have (IMO) a basis for the protection from individuals in both the preamble, "Life , Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness" and in the 9th amendment. The 9th amendment claim should stand on its own, as it pretty much re-iterates the Constitution as a document that is only intended to limit the power and function of the federal government, not of the people. The preamble claim stems from the fact that our justice system is constitutionally constrained from preventing crime. The system may only avenge crime after the fact, and may in passing prevent an individual from committing another crime. It is predicated on the rule that it may take no action against a citizen until a crime has been committed, and it can prove it in court. Thus, i am responsible for protecting myself and my family from acts against their right to life, liberty, and happiness.

Anyway, just my $.02. Any other thoughts?

Pol
12.22.2006 7:08am
K Parker (mail):
Randal,

Regarding your first theory: it's not just "other individuals with guns" we might need to protect ourselves against. For some ideas of how criminal victimization can take place w/o the presence of guns, see the recent history of the UK. (Though an increase in criminal gun use seems also to be at work there.)
12.22.2006 10:33am
Houston Lawyer:
Guns can also protect you from people with blunt objects or sharp pointy objects.

Is it always lefties who assign views to people based upon their sex and race?
12.22.2006 10:55am
Andy Freeman (mail):
> I'm curious, though, do people see a Consitutional basis in the "protection from individuals" rationale?

Are you asking about self-protection, effective self-protection, or suggesting that guns are not effective self-protection, or at least not more effective than other things, or that the benefits of guns as self-protection are outweight by their costs?

Even gun prohibitionists say that they believe in self-protection and effective self-protection. They mostly argue a mix of "guns aren't (more) effective" with a smattering of "the benefit, if any, is outweighed by the costs". (That priority is understandable because the "guns aren't effective" position is easier to argue.)
12.22.2006 11:21am
Deoxy:
"Is it always lefties who assign views to people based upon their sex and race?"

No, not always, but they certainly are better at it... practice makes perfect, you know, and they practice all the time.

Not that logic even remotely relates to the moron who said that, but really, a woman is the MOST reasonable person to say that, as women have the most need of protection. (I've never remotely understood why most feminists are anti-gun.)
12.22.2006 12:02pm
David Cohen (mail):
From my roost here in Massachusetts, I'm constantly surprised, when I go to the pistol range, at how many of the shooters are women and how many are public school teachers. I think that the communities around here would be astonished to find out how many teachers have carry permits.
12.22.2006 12:12pm
Edward Lunny (mail):
" (I've never remotely understood why most feminists are anti-gun.)"......Blind stupidity comes immediately to mind. And, secondly, the absurd belief that the "government" knows best how to run your life. Hmmmmmm......blind stupidity on both counts.
12.22.2006 1:11pm
john w. (mail):
Randal:
To me, that sounds like a false dichotomy. All threats come from 'individuals' ( not counting pit bulls, grizzly bears, rattlesnakes, etc.). When your life is being threatened, it is kind of irrelevant whether the individual that you are confronting is an employee of a rogue government or whether he is a free-lance thug.

I do think, though, that rogue governments are potentially a far more dangerous threat than individual street-criminals. If you look at the history of the 20th century, approximately 100 MILLION innocent civilians were murdered by their own governments over the course of 100 years. I don't have the statistics, but I doubt if street crime even comes close -- not even in the most Hobbesian of societies.

So, my position is that, even if we could somehow wave a magic wand and eliminate all street-crime, the 2nd amendment would still be necessary as a last-ditch protection against a government-gone-bad.

P.S.>> FWIW, I'm not an NRA member -- but only because I think the NRA is too wimpy. I feel like I get more bang for the buck (no pun intended) by sending my membership donations to Gun Owners of America (GOA).
12.22.2006 2:06pm
whit:
women are among the fastest growing group of gunowners and CCW holders. it's the GREAT equalizer

this is one step further in canada's step towards complete control of their "subjects"

the hate crime laws say you can't say mean things. and truth is no defense.

the anti-gun laws say you can't have a handgun and carry it to protect yourself.

and now, you can't express opinions in opposition to the gun laws. it's un-womanly and un-canadian after all
12.22.2006 2:12pm
Len (mail):
Why own a gun? You are a human being and have the right to protect yourself from ANYONE! And anyone who cannot see this is either brain dead or a liar who wants to control others. Len
12.22.2006 10:52pm
_Robert (mail) (www):
I think someone is fooling themselves thinking a student is going to be doing something just becasue one of the cool school trustees is doing it...
12.22.2006 11:00pm
Sam Paris (mail):
Mr. Hanson said he wants to talk to Ms. Gregson about her comments. "I think when we become a school trustee, you've raised the bar a little bit for yourself. So you have to help set an example out there."

Quite right. You should not propose blatant immorality such as disarming victims.

Sam Paris
12.23.2006 12:23am
MartyB:
re: "(I've never remotely understood why most feminists are anti-gun.)"

Let me try to help. Modern organized Feminists (capitalized) are no more true advocates for women than modern Civil Rights spokespersons are advocates for minorities.

Their real goals consist of generalized leftist principles, such as the centralized accumulation of power. Else they would demand immediate retribution for the rape of Juanita Broderick, the sexual assault of Paula Jones, etc.

They do not want to empower women so much as make them dependent upon the state for their power. If a few women get butchered because of a 20 minute police response time, it's a reasonable price to pay for the greater good of a dependent population. Same as the "civil rights" types who oppose parental choice in schools. Or so it seems to me, am I stretching the comparison?
12.23.2006 12:35am
John B Holdstock (mail):
There were a number of disturbing elements to the attacks on Sharon Gregson. One was the provincial solicitor general, John Les, reportedly contacting the local daily that printed the story to launch a personal attack. The newspaper didn't contact him for a comment, he volunteered.

And yes, we licensed Canadian gun owners with our registered firearms can qualify for a concealed carry permit in the US. It seems that the US government trusts us more than our own government.

Go figure.
12.23.2006 1:58am
Xrlq (mail) (www):
The head of the Canada's main gun-control lobby[, Wendy Cukier,] denounced Ms. Gregson's comments as well .... "It's an absurd comment. It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions.


Well gee whiz. Since when is "contrary to Country X's traditions" a substantive argument for or against anything? Quick, someone tell Paul Helmke, the head of America's main gun-control lobby, to disband his organization immediately because just about everything it stands for is completely contrary to American traditions.
12.23.2006 8:08am
pst314 (mail):
"It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions."

These so-called traditions are a very recent invention. If you had told the people who settled Canada that they did not have the right to own a gun for self-defense they would have looked at you as if you were insane.
12.23.2006 10:41am
cjb (mail):
This incident isn't about guns or gun control. It's about telling her to sit down and shut up, and that if she continues to speak her non-PC position they imply that she is not suited for her job. Is that a threat? Probably.
12.23.2006 11:27am
The Monster (mail):
It's an absurd comment. It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions. It has no basis in fact, and for someone who is associated with schools to be making those comments is particularly alarming, especially a woman.
Notice the assumption that the 'fact' of guns being useful only to commit crime is so well established in 'tradition' that it is 'absurd' to question it. It must be nice to be so certain of the Received Wisdom as to not require any evidence to support it.

I have an acquaintance who favors gun control. Here's what I told him. (To understand my starting premise, one of the reasons I'm known as 'Monster' is that I'm 6'6", 300#. He's quite a bit smaller than that.)
If I had a gun I could kill you. But I could also kill you with my bare hands, or with any handy blunt object. I could break your neck or crush your skull before any policeman could arrive to defend you. If I had a concealed handgun, I could maybe produce the fatal wound a few seconds faster, or from a longer range. So why do you fear the gun? It's not my lack of a gun that is keeping you alive right now, it's the fact that I'm a civilized human, and even absent that internal moral compass, I could derive insufficient satisfaction out of killing you to balance the punishment the state would exact upon me. The only reason I would ever kill is to defend myself or someone else from attack, which you seem unlikely to do. In fact, should someone else decide to try killing you right now, I'd defend you to the best of my ability, because I believe it's my responsibility to do so.

If anything, I should fear you having a gun, because it gives you the same ability to kill me that you don't have unarmed. But I don't fear you having a gun, because I know that you're a civilized human, too. Of course, a law that forbids carrying of weapons isn't much of an impediment to someone who is already going to break the laws against murder, robbery, etc., so neither do I fear the uncivilized people having guns as a result of the guns being legal. They'll have weapons regardless.

Hoplophobia is easy for people whose lives insulate them from the need to get dirt under their fingernails, and who don't appreciate that someone else did the scut work on their behalf.

Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat. - Larry the Cable Guy
12.23.2006 5:52pm
Ed Minchau (mail) (www):
"It's completely contrary to Canadian traditions."

Xrlq, you're right, that is a bad argument. And pst314 is also correct, these so-called "traditions" are extremely recent - so recent that they make the quoted statement above a bald-faced lie.

There are more guns in Canada, per capita, than there are in the United States. It wasn't that long ago (WW2) that Canada had the world's third-largest navy. It wasn't very long before that (WW1) that Canada fielded a million-man army, out of a population of 11 million. If anything, Canada's tradition is bloodthirsty as all get-out.
12.24.2006 5:28pm