Locals feels U.S. needs stricter gun control laws

John Brannen
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Bob Ferguson of Westville has owned and operated Ferguson’s Corner Store and Sports Shop for 35 years. He feels the U.S. needs to tighten their gun laws in the wake of the Newtown tragedy and should look to Canada as a starting point. John Brannen – The News

WESTVILLE – With the world still reeling from the shock of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting, reflection on the tragedy has now shifted to the U.S.’s gun control laws.

While both sides of the gun control debate mourn the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, they are very much divided on what it will take to prevent this kind of massacre from happening again.

Many are reflecting on our current gun control laws in Canada and the U.S. and whether they go far enough.

Bob Ferguson of Westville owns and operates Ferguson’s Corner Store and Sports Shop, which sell hunter rifles, shotguns and ammunition. “We’re way ahead here in Canada when it comes to gun control laws,” he says.

“You have to be responsible for your guns, which means going through mandatory safety training, mental assessments, criminal checks and ensuring your guns are kept locked up.”

As far as assault weapons are concerned, Ferguson sees little room for debate. “Semi-automatic weapons need to be removed completely,” he says. “There’s no place for them in this society.”

Jon Fisher of Moose River feels equally as strong. “The United States government must act without hesitation to ban the sale and use of assault weapons.”

“After what we have witnessed,” Fisher says, “can any American defend the legality of these weapons with a clear conscience?”

Ferguson says gun culture is different here than in the U.S. “[Americans] still go back to ‘the right to bear arms’ and they value that. It’s not so engrained in Canadian culture.”

“(For Canada), we’ve got a good balance of gun control. The U.S. should look to us for laws and regulations to strive for.”  

President Obama has already stated his intention to reinstate a federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. Numerous states are also assessing their legislation to see what else, if anything, is required.

The original law enacted in 1994 prohibited the manufacture of certain semi-automatic weapons, like the Bushmaster .223 – the weapon Adam Lanza used to kill 26 children and adults on Dec. 14.

Organizations: Sandy Hook Elementary School, Corner Store, Sports Shop

Geographic location: United States, Canada, Newtown, Connecticut Moose River

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Recent comments

  • Ryan Vargus
    January 05, 2013 - 22:58

    Will you then be returning your inventory of semi-auto rifles and shotguns to your distributor Mr. Ferguson? Only makes sense based on your opinion. Or are you a total hypocrite? If you are trying to appease the anti-firearm crowd by labelling semi-autos as unecessary Mr. Ferguson, it will not work. After semi-autos are banned they will come after your bolt action "sniper", oh I mean "hunting" rifles. You can buy meat at the store, who needs a hunting rifle? Is Mr. Ferguson totally ignorant or what?

  • Rick B
    December 31, 2012 - 18:25

    I find it funny that Bob Ferguson is saying we don't need semi auto's when he regularly sells them!!

  • NSConfused
    December 31, 2012 - 14:00

    - If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed - Mark Twain This article continues the legacy of a sensationalist media. I find it interesting that a veteran gun dealer has difficulty understanding the difference between an "Assault RIfle" and a Semi-Automatic though this is likely the result of a mis-quote by the author. I suppose however, there exists the possibility that we have a gun dealer educated by CNN. It is easy for Nova Scotians to dictate the way another country should live. That another country should selectively revoke portions of its Constitutional Rights of freedom paid for by the blood of the forefathers who's children built that same country. The rights specifically intended to prevent exactly what branches of government would now love to do - disarm and control the populace and remove their ability to defend themselves against crime and tyranny while providing distraction from the real problems they currently face - a bankrupt society. $15.6 Trillion of debt. 2012 marks the first year that US debt exceeds what the GDP is actually worth. Enough debt owed to China that within a year the interest alone can pay for the entire expenditure of the Chinese military. By the year 2020 the US expenditure on interest of their debt alone will pay for the total military expenditures of - China, Russia, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Spain,Turkey and Israel. Where does that leave citizens in a country where (unlike Canada) they actually have property rights? Will the US elect to disarm? In their bankruptcy it would be difficult to close down a $13.8 Billion/yr and 22500 private sector job contribution to their economy. Smith and Wesson projected mid-year a $400 Million in sales for 2012. Ruger Strum as of March declared nearly a $200 Million backlog of orders. The NRA is a $200 Million/yr machine. Tough income to refuse without a substitute. It is more likely that the US will impose increasingly restrictive regulation as Canada did with offensively expensive and ineffective forms of registry such as to create jobs paid for with borrowed money that the Obama-Care model is so famous for. In doing so they can retain much of their firearms related income as well as criminalize any of those who will resist compliance just as Canada effectively does. It is interesting that the US Federal Government currently has tenders out to purchase ammunition - enough ammunition in fact to shoot every man woman and child in America 3 times with plenty left over. This is not the US military. This is their internal Homeland Security and this is public information. Research the recently and quietly passed Patriot Act where amongst other things citizens can now be arrested without cause and may be monitored without warrant if they can be defined as a threat to national security. Who makes that definition? It is not defined. Citizens abroad defined as a threat to the state can be killed without due process. Citizens at home - Not defined. The recurring violence is a much larger problem than gun control but that is the story that sells papers and gets "likes". It is a symptom of a collapsing community. It is the failure of an entitled society to accept responsibility for an insignificant and inconvenient youth who fester in basements out of touch with real people and raised by Call of Duty (another $2 Billion industry) and glorification by irresponsible media ghouls. This obscenity will continue to happen - just as they do in gun-ban countries except with cleavers and knives. It will continue until the real problems are admitted and addressed. Could this be what is was like to live as a Roman or Mayan?

  • Omi
    December 31, 2012 - 12:01

    People like Bob Ferguson are fooling themselves if they think that by throwing other gun owners under the bus, they will save themselves. Don't be naive, even if one day semi-autos are prohibited, the anti-gun lobby will not stop there. Because who really needs a pump action shotgun or lever action rifle to hunt? Ban those too. Also, aren't scoped bolt action rifles basically "sniper" rifle? Ban those too! This will continue for years until black powder gun are finally banned.

    • Al Muir
      December 31, 2012 - 14:13

      You are correct OMI. To expand on this, an interesting point is the other gentleman quoted in the article, Mr Fisher, wrote the following comment in a letter to the editor a few days before this article. "If children cannot be stoped from playing with guns, take the guns away". Mr Fisher did not expand on that comment but the jist is quite clear. In the end this is not about only semi-auto's.

  • Allison
    December 31, 2012 - 09:10

    what a hypocrite Bob Ferguson is.

  • Sonny Days
    December 31, 2012 - 08:25

    I live in a free country... I own guns... If you don't like guns keep buying lattes. I don't like $8 cups of coffee so I buy guns. I voted we won and the long gun registry was shut down. Semi Automatic rifle is no more or less dangerous then a drunk behind the wheel, or a reporter with a pen and a deadline to sell papers. I have owned a semi automatic since I was 13 (26 years of legal ownership) and it never jumped up and shot anyone, because it is a lifeless object, and I am a hard working decent man. Lately the media has been trying to make all hard working decent gun owners crazed killers. Your efforts are failing because of men and women like me... Hard working decent people.

    • Al Muir
      December 31, 2012 - 11:07

      Well said Mr Day. However I must take exception with your contention that we have won anything. The Conservatives original promise was to repeal the Firearms Act. They did not. The now Conservative Firearms Act contains provisions that allow for any firearm type to be banned by a simple Order in Council. If you think it will take a Liberal Government to use these provisions you might not be familar with an article that was published in the Ottawa Citizen a few years ago. In that article our local Conservative MP, the Honorable Peter MacKay opinions that the Conservative Government may have to review the classification of semi-automatic firearms.

  • Yosemite Sam
    December 27, 2012 - 17:44

    IF you feel so alienated Bob Loblaw then move to where old white men cling to their Assault Rifles in Texas. The exercise in semantics is typical of Gun Nuts from the US who are posting such comments on practically all newspapers with online comment sections on the topic . An AR 15 bushmaster has one purpose high rate of fire that is meant to kill people. As to Bob Alienating a customer base , exactly where does one get a firearm aside from Fergusons ? His customer base like most Canadians would not be offended what so ever because we know what Bob is referring to unlike a Troll named Bob Loblaw. I don't desire a weapon but if I did that would be the first and perhaps only place I would go to. Reason Bob isn't talking like a a gun nut or idiot.

    • Dawn
      December 28, 2012 - 16:13

      The US suffers from a gun fetish problem.....You can't even talk rationally with these people. Definition of FETISH: 1. a : an object (as a small stone carving of an animal) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly : a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence b : an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion : prepossession c : an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression 2 : a rite or cult of fetish worshipers 3

    • Al Muir
      December 30, 2012 - 18:07

      Valhala gun shop outside of Truro, Leaves and Limbs in Antigonish, our local annual gun show, by mail at Cabelas and a large number of other places including private sales. I can give you a more comprehensive list if you wish. PS If you want to be taken seriously you may want to dial down the emotion. Someone that does not share your views being labeled a gun nut or troll because of it only serves to devalue your opinion.

    • Homer
      January 01, 2013 - 01:26

      Your yammering about a AR15 and high rate of fire just show that you know nothing about firearms at all and just parrot what you are hearing on the news, Become better informed about what you are talking about and people might take you seriously. What is a Bushmaster and a high rate of fire? While your at it look up assault rifle, you might be surprised. Bob is what is commonly called a "FUDD" he's a hypocrite that sells semi automatic firearms in his store just like the ones used in Newtown, That's right "semi automatics"!!!!!!

    • Eddie
      January 01, 2013 - 12:32

      When i read Mr Loblaw's comment and then yours,it seems to me that the term nut or idiot applies more to your ramblings.Gun action bans are never specific to one model.Start the ball rolling on a ar type rifle ban and it will soon encompass your deer rifles and your waterfowl guns etc.

  • Bob Loblaw
    December 27, 2012 - 12:21

    Ferguson is on a slippery slope here. Although he is entitled to his opinion and it would be a popular one to a large segment of the population, he sells firearms and supplies as a business. A lot of people in the sport shooting and hunting world bristled at the long gun registry and fought long and hard to see it removed. For him to state there should be ban on semi automatic weapons is poorly thought out. You can walk into his store today and see all kinds of semi automatic rifles. There are no "assault rifles" but lots of firearms that will fire one round for each pull of the trigger. The only difference in the basic mechanics of a semi auto deer rifle or rabbit gun and a bushmaster is one looks like a hunting rifle and the other is black, capable of using a high capacity magazine(illegal in Canada). The mechanisms are the same. If he is going to represent the gun owning community, he should chose his words more carefully or risk alienating his customer base. Confusing assault rifles and semi automatic rifles is territory for the either the media or the uninformed gun control lobby. Not a self proclaimed expert

  • Max Powers
    December 26, 2012 - 21:20

    Sorry to be grammar police but, 'Local feels' for one persons feelings. 'Locals feel' for plural feelings. Locals feels just sounds funny and can't be right. sorry if my grade 11 education is off..