Handguns revisited: Time to arm citizens?

I wonder how things might have turned out in the Charlie Hebdo newsroom in France on Wednesday if the employees had been armed? Might they have thwarted the terrorists? Might they have prevented the massacre by killing the terrorists?

Ditto for the kosher market on Friday, where one gunman took hostages and killed four of them before he was killed. If the hostages had been carrying weapons, perhaps they would be alive right now.

So, in light of the incidents this past week and of the threats by terrorists to commit more of the same, do you now think it is time for average citizens around the world to be armed and trained in the use of handguns, and be ready to use them against terrorists?

Personally, my answer to that question is Yes.

What do you think?

— Jillian

8 thoughts on “Handguns revisited: Time to arm citizens?

  1. No. Why not have our children carry them? Because this is where this line of “logic” is leading. Horrible as the actions of the deranged are becoming one is no different. Think Sandy Hook, Charles Taylor of Liberia and of course Marc Lépine

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  2. What is it with you and guns? Just look at the USA – do you want Canada to have so many murders by gun that they don’t even make the newspaper. That’s what happens when guns are as easy to get as they are here. Last year there were 32,000 gun deaths in the US. That’s 87 a day. That’s the equivalent of a large airline crash every two days. They are so commonplace that the news doesn’t even report most of them. You want this for Canada by arming everyone? That is just the worst possible idea yet.

    And to you Right-Wing gun nuts who like to say that handguns often do good, how many of the 87 people murdered today were criminals shot by a “good guy with a gun”?

    The Charlie Hebdo people were ambushed. Even a trained police officer in the room couldn’t react fast enough to stop them. And you want to arm the cartoonists and editorial staff? They would likely shoot innocents as well as the attackers. Who were wearing vests.

    We don’t know yet who shot the hostages, whether it was the attackers of crossfire from the police. Armed citizens? Really? And when the police show up, which person with a gun is the bad guy? I can just see the headlines now that the hostages were killed in a shootout with the police.

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  3. The Charlie Hebdo journalists were having an office conference – why would they have had their guns ready on the table? More likely they’d have left them in their jackets or their deck drawer, so it wouldn’t have done them any good anyway. As for everyone going armed all the time, how about the Florida mother shot dead by her two-year-old at the supermarket when the child fumbled in her handbag and the weapon went off? How did that protect democracy?

    If you carry a gun then you are walking around prepared to kill someone. Do you really want to live in a society whose individual citizens can act as judge, jury and executioner on a whim? Do you really trust everyone you see on the street to have sufficient judgement as to who deserves to die and why?

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  4. It is tempting to think that would have made a difference. After all,they knew they were under threat. But several individuals would have had to have been trained to use a gun and have it readily available on their person,at all times. So that option was not really practical either

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  5. Jillian, really, handguns and naturism…. tan lines over one shoulder (or do you prefer hanging off one hip), yuck. Other than that the problem of too many guns is not solved by more guns.

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  6. Amour sacré de la Patrie
    Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
    Liberté, Liberté chérie
    Combats avec tes défenseurs !
    Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
    Accoure à tes mâles accents
    Que tes ennemis expirants
    Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire.

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  7. BTW, this what the Canadian law says:

    20. An individual who holds a licence authorizing the individual to possess restricted firearms or handguns referred to in subsection 12(6.1) (pre-December 1, 1998 handguns) may be authorized to possess a particular restricted firearm or handgun at a place other than the place at which it is authorized to be possessed if the individual needs the particular restricted firearm or handgun
    (a) to protect the life of that individual or of other individuals; or
    (b) for use in connection with his or her lawful profession or occupation.

    2. For the purpose of section 20 of the Act, the circumstances in which an individual needs restricted firearms or prohibited handguns to protect the life of that individual or of other individuals are where
    (a) the life of that individual, or other individuals, is in imminent danger from one or more other individuals;
    (b) police protection is not sufficient in the circumstances; and
    (c) the possession of a restricted firearm or prohibited handgun can reasonably be justified for protecting the individual or other individuals from death or grievous bodily harm.

    4. A chief firearms officer shall not issue to an individual an authorization to carry a particular restricted firearm or prohibited handgun that is needed in the circumstances described in section 2 or paragraph 3(a) unless the chief firearms officer determines that
    (a) the individual has successfully completed training in firearms proficiency and the use of force that is appropriate for using the firearm in those circumstances; and
    (b) the firearm is appropriate in those circumstances.

    But in practice it’s much easier to get it for a purpose of protecting someone’s money then someone’s life.

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