CALGARY – The American-based National Rifle Association (NRA) has announced that it is opening up a Canadian chapter, initially based in Calgary, in order to lobby the federal government to reverse decades of gun control legislation. After a series of shooting massacres in 2012, the NRA has ramped up efforts to successfully combat the threat of any gun-control legislation in the United States.
Despite the NRA’s success in loosening gun regulations in America, the organization stated that the country was still vulnerable to foreign threats.
“While we are cautiously optimistic with our victory here in the United States, we firmly believe that Canada’s strict gun-control laws are a worrisome ‘import threat’,” explained Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the NRA. “Gun-control advocates in the United States frequently cite statistical evidence about lower levels of Canadian gun violence, and extensively quote Canadian political figures and journalists. Canadian urban elites, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, do not share our core American values of freedom and individual responsibility and look down upon law-abiding citizens who responsibly use firearms.”
“We consider this ‘anti-gun’ culture a foreign threat because we have already seen elements of this culture seep into our country, particularly in urban areas in the Northeast. The best strategy for us is to fix the problem at the source, so to speak, by expanding our organization into Canada and fighting them over there rather than fighting them here.”
The NRA chose Calgary for its initial presence due to Alberta being Canada’s most gun-friendly province, which would provide for an instant and substantial membership base. LaPierre indicated that the organization would push for the same policies in Canada that it has pursued in America, including arming teachers in schools.
“Absolutely,” responded LaPierre, when asked if it made sense to implement those same policies in Canada. “Having armed teachers in schools who are responsibly trained in firearms will make Canadian schools safer. The next time a nutcase with a gun enters a Canadian school, they’ll be put out of their misery before any innocent kids get hurt. Look, that unfortunate incident in Newtown pained me as much as anyone else…I don’t want to see any kids get hurt again. Those kids that died…they’re martyrs for our cause. I would even like to see older kids in school be trained to use guns responsibly as well…kids at least in Grade 6 for example. Look at our enemy, Al Qaeda….they’ve been training young kids on how to use firearms…if our kids battled their kids…right now we would actually lose. And I find that to be quite frightening.”
A continual thorn in the NRA’s side has been critics’ insistence that statistics demonstrate that deaths due to gun violence are much lower in countries where there is strict gun control. LaPierre shot back at the critics.
“Liberals keep saying that gun violence is lower in these other European countries. Well, these countries don’t value freedom and individual responsibility the way Americans do. Gun violence may be lower, but at the cost of core human values. We believe that it is more important to protect our freedoms, and we will not give them up at any cost. If you’re worried about being a victim of a gun crime, then get your own gun, get yourself trained, and protect your family…it’s up to each of us to step up.”
The Harper government issued a short press release stating that it was willing to work with the NRA, and other groups, to help determine Canadian gun control policy going forward.