Billboard in Southwestern Ontario wrongly targets legal, law-abiding firearms owners
PETERBOROUGH –The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters has worked with many Crime Stoppers organizations in the past and has a deep respect for the work done in each and every community. However, on behalf of our 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers and all firearms owners in Ontario and across Canada, the ‘GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM’ campaign being pushed by the London-Elgin-Middlesex Crime Stoppers in Strathroy, Ontario is one campaign that we just cannot support.
It is inaccurate, misinformed, offensive, and perhaps, most of all, disappointing.
The message they are conveying on a local billboard essentially says that guns are bad – all guns. The message paints everyone in possession of a firearm with the same brush, and that is not just misguided and naïve, but unfair to the 2.2-million legal and law-abiding firearms owners in this country that use their privilege to own a firearm to participate in activities like hunting and target-shooting.
These licensed firearms owners are some of the most responsible and educated people you will find. They’ve completed comprehensive firearms training. They store and transport firearms in a safe manner. And, perhaps most importantly, they respect firearms and have genuine reasons for owning them.
“Whether that was the intent or not, the message on this billboard is a fear-mongering type of propaganda that makes everyday, honest, hardworking firearms owners in Canada look like criminals,” says Greg Farrant, manager of government affairs and policy for the OFAH.
Despite the message promoted by this campaign, guns are not the problem in Canada. Misinformation, lack of education, ignorance and people are the problem.
“We have to remember that it’s illegal guns and the use of them by criminals that results in crime and that’s the issue that should be addressed first and foremost,” Farrant adds.
We have asked for an opportunity to speak with the London-Elgin-Middlesex Crime Stoppers in the hope that they will not only hear, but also understand the concerns that the firearms community has with this campaign and we will continue to reach out until our voice is heard.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 735 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit us online at www.ofah.org, follow us on Twitter @ofah and find us on Facebook.
Manager of Government Affairs and Policy
705-748-6324 ext. 236
Manager of Communications
705-748-6324 ext. 270