No glamour in guns, only money

Dear Editor:

In the next two-plus months, we will be faced with the caricature of what Conservative leader Andrew Scheer believes a politician should appear to be.

Scheer tells us guns are important to him. Mind you, he doesn’t know anything about guns. By his own admission, when he was taken out “hunting,” his companions had to repeatedly remind him to keep the muzzle down. As any rural person can assure you, someone needing an assault rifle to hunt with shouldn’t be out there.

Don’t try to con us with that drivel. The design and purpose of an assault rifle is to kill people — nothing else.

But, Scheer knows about the power of the gun lobby. He knows about the NRA. The mass shootings. Three in the past week.

In Dayton, Ohio, alone, police “neutralized” the shooter in “just one minute.” In that minute, nine people died, 26 more were injured.

According to USA Today, there have been 251 mass shootings in the United States in 216 days in 2019.

Those victims only wanted to safely do their shopping, or go to church, or raise their children and quietly live their lives unharmed.

Appallingly, Donald Trump again alluded to his immigration agenda in reference to these shootings.

In our country, the Conservatives are quietly fostering animosity toward immigrants, again playing to their base — “old- stock Canadians.”

Under the Stephen Harper Conservatives, of whom Scheer was one, contraindicating research regarding gun regulations, prisons and crime statistics interfered with the party line and their perceived moneyed supporters and so that annoying research was simply suppressed.

Do recent events in northern B.C. teach us nothing? Every time a toddler in the U.S. shoots its mother, from a shopping cart, does it tell us nothing?

There is no glamour in guns. There is money and that money is backing the Conservatives. That is the part that Andrew Scheer understands.

Do we have to pander to the lowest common denominator? Do we have to be the lowest common denominator?

Zoltan Lawrence

Kelowna

National park no help for wildlife

Dear Editor:

Agreement has been reached between local First Nations and various levels of government on a proposed boundary for a national park reserve in the South Okanagan.

An area which so desperately needs our intervention to protect, is inexorably on its way to exploitation and disruption. Creating a NPR will trade off one devil for another.

We’ll keep ATVs and apartment blocks out of the mountains and grasslands, and instead set up a national park and invite tens of thousands of people a year from all over the world to come and view the fourth most endangered ecosystem in Canada.

Nearly everyone apart from the development industry agrees that preserving the area in question is a must. After that, informed and rational thinking seems to disappear.

First, the issues: What is this whole debate about? How best to protect a 27,300 hectare area of semi-wilderness west of Osoyoos and running northward of Oliver?

One way is a national park reserve, another possibility is a Class A provincial park expansion.

A third possibility is to entrust the lands in question to organizations such as The Nature Conservancy of Canada and Nature Trust BC.

So far, the NPR voices are the only ones being heard. They are loud and they are many, but locally at least, those voices are beginning to soften as the misinformation, lack of transparency, lack of public input and fishy something about the Parks Canada process gives off an increasingly pungent odour.

The lands in question contain a diverse range of flora and fauna, many of which are unique in Canada and in some cases in the world, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The NCC records 52 species at risk on its 3,440 acre parcel at the southern end of the lands in question.

Climate change and past human activity in the area is making things more difficult for both sensitive plants and wildlife to avoid extinction.

Human intervention is necessary to give these endangered species just a chance at survival.

For perspective, consider this; the UN recently released a report stating that at the present rate of extinctions, the planet will lose up to one million species of vertebrate wildlife in the next 30 years.

That means that pretty much everything that you are familiar with – birds, amphibians, small animals, large ones, the lot – are going to quietly disappear from our collective experience, forever.

Our children and those following will soon face a world void of biodiversity. That is a fact.

Lyle Smuin

Penticton

Michael Moore hits nail on head

Dear Editor:

Filmmaker Michael Moore probably does not garner a lot of favourable admiration in his own country for his line of rational reasoning, but his quotes have a certain truth to them.

For example, the title of the “Dumbest Country on Earth” fits when you have the insane trajectory of gun violence in a country that in most endeavors is progressive.

The whole world is watching and wonders if “something is lacking in the United States of America.”

It seems to “go out of its way to remain ignorant and stupid” when it comes to the simplest of solutions in curbing the uninterrupted mass shootings.

Of course, the “Idiot-in-Chief” isn’t helping the situation either.

Paul Crossley

Penticton

Solve deer issue: castrate the bucks

Dear Editor:

After reading yet another deer control article, I have to offer my solution.

Many people oppose a cull, and it seems that an immunocontraceptive injection after tranquillizing a doe is acceptable, but likely expensive.

Here’s what I suggest: tranquillize the bucks, then castrate them. There’s no permanent harm to the male deer, and since each buck can impregnate up to five does, it is more cost-effective.

Why is it that the females are the subject of this latest sterilization program when the males can be sterilized more effectively and efficiently?

Gerry Gabel

Saanich

Environmental boogeyman

Dear editor:

Not only are plastic bags not the environmental boogeyman once thought (“reusable” bags are many times worse, says a recent study), banning them places an unduly harsh burden upon small businesses and likely raises our city’s carbon footprint through unintended negative environmental consequences such as the increased reliance on wood and cotton-based products, which each carry an enormous carbon footprint.

Reducing British Columbia’s environmental impact is a laudable goal, but it must be pursued through evidence-based governance, not the doctrinal pronouncements of the well-meaning, but ultimately mistaken, environmental lobby.

Evan Keenlyside

Victoria