FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In the wake of the Orlando, Florida nightclub massacre this month, the debate over the sale of assault weapons rages on with both the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada suggesting it hurts the fight against terrorism.
By the end of last week the FBI was now saying, it hadn’t found any clear evidence to suggest Omar Mateen, the slain nightclub gunman was a committed jihadist, but investigators have conceded that during his murderous rampage, Mateen took time to post on Facebook the US would face more ISIS vengeance.
Following confirmation that an AR-15 rifle was Mateen’s primary killing weapon, the debate crossed the border again with NDP leader Tom Mulcair picking up a left-wing online press attack directed at Fort St. John’s Bob Zimmer.
Arguing he supports it, the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP, had tabled a petition in Parliament last month on behalf of an Atlantic Canada firearms advocate, saying lawful owners should be allowed to use the restricted weapon to “Lawfully participate in the Canadian cultural practice of hunting in Canada.”
Mr. Mulcair seized the massacre moment to go on the attack against that position calling the petition, “A monumental error” and adding, “When a weapon like that can produce a massacre like this, you don’t need to be convinced that you shouldn’t liberalize access to that weapon.”
Supporters of the AR-15 petition argue you don’t effectively counter terrorism by simply focussing on one potential killing weapon of choice, and they add what’s needed is to drastically step up efforts to eliminate terrorists who use weapons to kill, like the 25 year old killer of two French Police officials who was killed a week ago today, by police after he knifed to death, two French police officials.
Blair Hagen is the Vice-President of the National Firearms Association.
Meantime, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office has been quoted as saying the Liberal government has no plans to change the classification of the AR-15, meaning, in this country, it will remain restricted to shooting range use.