The horror of the mass shooting in a Newtown, Conn. elementary school caused each of us to pause and reflect. The inevitable question kept coming up: How could this have happened to these 20 innocent kids and their six teachers?
In obvious reference to the gun culture in America, U.S. President Barack Obama forcefully asserted in his address at the memorial service for the victims that “things must change.”
The Canadian government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are moving in the opposite direction. The Conservatives are very supportive of the gun culture, as evidenced by their gradual loosening of gun control regulations in Canada.
For example, after the Conservatives killed the long-gun registry, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews met with the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee. To appease these gun industry lobbyists, the Conservatives eliminated certain gun show regulations. The concern among law enforcement agencies is that the lack of regulatory oversight of these hundreds of gun shows has the potential to facilitate the leakage of even more weapons into the wrong hands.
As one Newtown resident poignantly stated, the question is not how this massacre could have happened, but rather, “Do we love our guns more than our kids?”