London-Elgin-Middlesex Crime Stoppers: Strathroy billboard
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 is one campaign that we just cannot support.
It is inaccurate; misinformed; offensive; and perhaps, most of all, disappointing.
The message they are conveying in a billboard located in Strathroy, Ontario 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 licenced 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 as conveyed on this billboard doesn’t recognize that. Instead, the fear-mongering type of propaganda makes everyday, honest, hardworking firearms owners in Canada look like criminals.
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 asked for an opportunity to speak with the London-Elgin-Middlesex Crime Stoppers in hopes they will not only hear but understand the concerns that the firearms community has with this campaign and we will continue to do so until our voice is heard.
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