Tuesday morning I made the long drive back to Minneapolis from Waterloo. Not even ten minutes into my drive, the morning news update was aired.
The first story reported that a woman from the Kitchener area named Nadia Gehl had been shot in early February while at a bus stop close to her home. Waterloo police finally apprehended three suspects last week-her husband and two of his friends. The second story aired described a deadly shooting in Toronto.
Over the summer, the pro-gun community in Canada incessantly argued that gun violence in their country is so low that legislation to decrease and prevent it is not warranted. This assertion, clearly, is easily challenged simply by listening to or watching the news.
The correlation between gun control and domestic violence cannot be ignored, nor can the correlation between gun control and crime more generally.
Domestic violence is a gendered issue, and unfortunately is always likely to be. As a result, the use of firearms in domestic violence is also a gendered issue; this is why IANSA launched the Disarming Domestic Violence campaign this summer.
Canada is one of four countries with harmonized gun control and domestic violence laws. As such, Canada’s Firearms Act has been internationally recognized as good practice and is being used as a model for other countries looking to implement similar laws.
It is not perfect. Nobody is pretending it is. There were cost overruns in its implementation, and some existing loopholes need to be closed. That being said, its imperfections are very small, and eliminating any portion of the Firearms Act would result in a decline of public safety and increased accessibility of firearms to perpetrators of domestic violence and other dangerous individuals.
While reflecting on the Firearms Act and my time in Canada, I feel the need to address the treatment I received from the pro-gun community this summer, specifically from members of CanadianGunNutz.com, described as Canada’s largest firearm trade and discussion forum.
According to the pro-gun community, I was in Canada trying to take away their rights. The gunnutz community repeatedly accused me of attacking their personal freedoms, namely their freedom to carry firearms with them at all times, no matter where they are or what they are doing. If they want to carry their gun with them to run errands or even just to buy a pack of a smokes, this should be their prerogative, is what they argued.
They told me I should be ashamed of myself based on my ‘sickening’ attempt of emotional appeal when linking gun control and domestic violence. Newsflash, Gunnutz: Domestic violence is emotional. It is horrifying and it is unfair. Pretending the issue does not exist does nothing to help make it go away.
Not only did the pro-gun community constantly try attacking the legitimacy of my work and research, but they also attacked me personally; I have never experienced such degrading language or inappropriate behavior by people who claim to be adults.
What was most laughable about the treatment I received was the fact that the entire time the pro-gun community was trying to discredit my work, they were also trying to get me removed from the country. Paranoia and fear runs rampant among the gunnutz, and as such they try to ‘stomp out’ (their words, not mine) any opinion that differs from their own.
Among other tactics, the pro-gun community tried to get me removed from Canada by searching for me as a registered lobbyist, looking into ways of getting my Visa revoked (I did not need one, which none of them were able to figure out), starting a letter writing campaign to the dean of my school based on my ‘lack of academic integrity’, and beginning the process of filing paperwork with the Ontario Human Rights Commission claiming that I was an American terrorist in their country attacking their rights.
They even posted the link to my Facebook page on their forum and suggested that everyone try to befriend me. Making futile attempts to get me kicked out of Canada is one thing, but seeking me out on Facebook is disturbing and scary (especially when the screen name of the person posting the link is Nightmare). I was forced to take down the picture I had of me a friend laughing, because some individuals began making lewd and suggestive comments about it.
I was warned before arriving that the treatment I would receive would be aggressive and mean, but I honestly did not expect it to be as bad as it was. Gunnutz.com and the pro-gun community are doing themselves no favors by attacking rather than debating those whose opinions vary from their own.
While their constant attacks were frustrating this summer, their tactics of aggression and bullying did not work on me, and have not worked on Parliament. The Firearms Act was passed into law for good reason, and Parliament continues to recognize its benefits by upholding the legislation in its entirety.
If you don’t want to be found? Don’t post yourself on the net.
If you did some research about Nightmare? You’d see some things that would wipe out your “scared” issue as groundless. Unfortunately I can’t supply you with some character references, except in an extenuating circumstance. If you figure it out what it is? You don’t want to go there… I can confidently lay my hand on a bible and raise my right hand…
It’s OK to not like me. I freely admit to being an a**hole. I scare “bad people”. You are behaving exactly as those “bad people” have in the past. To a “T”. The “good people” know they have nothing to fear.
HINT: I teach “good people” things. Especially women because of how I was raised. I’d even teach you if you asked, regardless of our adversarial positions.
The Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 )
“…is a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization…”
This act makes an interesting read. It may not be applicable in it’s entirety. More so as an example of “little known laws” that most people are unaware of and their conduct could be unknowingly in violation of those laws. That would be subject to interpretation. Sometimes interpretation is done by a judge when an individual has been charged. I think it would be safe to say that in the current political environment, it wouldn’t be used. But then there’s that statute of limitations thing that applies to many laws.
Political environments change. Sometimes in 4 years. Most times 8. We live in interesting times and you just never know anymore what’ll happen.
Now… Mr. Breitkreuz is an MP in the Canadian Government. I’m confident that gun issues are discussed between Canada and the US Government in the interests of both nations. Did you have the US Government’s authority to contact Mr. Breitkreuz in an attempt to “interview” and possibly “influence” him? The same would apply to Ms. Hoeppner or any other Canadian government official you had contact with or attempted to contact.
See the boldface above Liz?
You failed to do your research. Again. You say my doing some research and finding a public link and then providing that same public link to others is scary and disturbing? Can you clarify that for me?
You make the statement about “debate”. You might want to do some research that shows that other’s attempts to debate you have been censored on your part. It’s been noted and filed. You are entitled to an opinion. When you say you want debate, then cut and run and engage in censorship when the facts are overwhelming against you? That speaks volumes about honesty and integrity.
You want to be involved in politics and policy? You are a very naive little girl to think that you won’t be scrutinized and researched. Or challenged. Had you been intellectually honest enough to interview and honestly publish the interviews with fellows like Tony Bernado and John Evers? I might not have such a sckeptical and adversarial view of your approach to a problem that I also share concern over (violence against persons). You didn’t. So I can’t be bothered to cut you any slack as being a mutually interested party in the search for a real solution to the issue of violence against persons. The anti-male bias was too thick. I won’t call you a bully, even though others might hold that view.
You were in a sovereign nation to which you have no claim of citizenship.
If mere words and the exposing of your position as wrong and the simple use of facts to refute and disprove your information is bullying and aggression? You are insulting anyone that has endured much worse in their lives when it comes to bullying and aggression. Especially any woman you say you are advocating for. It’s an insult to true victims of those acts. Reviewing your comments that you have been heroic, stoic or otherwise honourable in this entire issue? I am sorely tempted to say “delusional”. It would seem rather appropriate. Your use of victims as a soapbox to promote the “victim industry” is what’s scary and disturbing.
Rosa Parks is a heroic woman in my eyes. She didn’t lie, smear or mislead to convince others of the righteousness of her position and beliefs.