EDITORIAL: Keep kids safe
It’s hard not to be moved by the heart-wrenching scenes played out in the news coverage of last week’s horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.
The notion of a resolute gunman walking into a classroom and executing young innocent children, their teachers and principal is beyond comprehension. It shatters our very idea of school as a place of nurturing, learning and safety.
Sadly, it’s not the first time it’s happened. It likely won’t be the last.
It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of someone who could do such a crime; most end up killing themselves as their final act of violence.
The stories about them that emerge afterward often paint a picture of pained outcasts enduring some sort of mental illness or anguish.
Tortured by their own dark thoughts some eventually snap, lashing out at whatever or whomever they perceive to be the cause of their pain. In America, where guns can be bought over the counter at the local Walmart, that can involve bullets and bloodshed.
Fortunately we aren’t quite so liberal when it comes to firearms.
To acquire a handgun or other restricted firearm, Canadians must first obtain a possession and acquisition licence which requires a firearms safety certificate, references, a guarantor and a detailed personal history.
The bureaucratic process alone is enough to dissuade an impulsive gun purchase.
Not that there isn’t an underground market for those with nefarious intentions. It’s unlikely criminals file paperwork.
But the more difficult it is to acquire guns legally, the fewer guns are out there. And that makes it less likely some of those guns will eventually end up in the wrong hands illegally.