Letters to the editor – March 22, 2018

Guns offer protection

I commend Sgt. Colin Sawrenko and Staff Sgt. Greg Abbott for a fine job speaking to the crowd that gathered at the town hall meeting on March 5. It was very informative with charts, graphs, stories and advice proving what we knew anyway — that RCMP are an amazing team doing a fine job, in spite of having to play that time consuming game of catch and release.

Because they can’t be everywhere at once, they advised us to avoid confrontation if possible. My take was that we’re not to even shoot in the air unless we’ve been shot at first.

I would have got a failing grade for my action last August 2016. I came home just before dark and the dog was telling me something was in the trees. I saw a man dressed in a black-hooded balaclava and carrying a rifle. I ran to the house and called the cops.

I smelled marijuana outside the kitchen window, which told me he planned to get a clear shot through that window later that night. I got out my Winchester and headed out to find him in the trees.

It was dark, but I could hear him. I was determined to hold him until the police arrived, which they did, five hours later. But they didn’t even arrest him. They just did a report, walked towards the trees, then left. I asked to borrow a vest but they didn’t have one. I didn’t feel safe in the house and my wife wasn’t home at the time, so I spent the night out in the trees, rifle aimed where I thought he was. I was waiting for him to shoot first, then I’d know exactly where to shoot, but fortunately no shots were fired, the sun was breaking and I went home.

Not so long ago, it was a legal and a moral obligation for a man to keep a gun handy to protect his home, family and village. Horse thieves would hang at high noon. But thieves are the least of our worries. Many, knowing history repeats itself, know there is a much darker and sinister reason coming, that we may need to be armed. I liked the bumper-sticker that says, “God, guns and guts made America free. We need them again!”

There is an old saying, “For evil to prevail, good men need do nothing.”

Perhaps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was right: “We can and must do better.”

Ross J. Hingston
Landis, Sask.

Pipeline politics

Canada has a huge volume of undeveloped northern natural resources, including oil, natural gas, uranium and coal. Canada can match the energy resources of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Canadian northern wealth is not available as a result of pipeline transportation, neglect and poor management. A prime example relates to the Kinder Morgan-Trans Mountain Pipeline construction delay. (It’s intended to triple capacity.) These commodities are land locked by provincial boundaries and many regulations. If Pacific and European markets are expected to continue, Canada must amend its constitution whereby provincial boundaries do not obstruct sea port access and diminish foreign trade.

With the failure by the City of Burnaby to approve sea port infrastructure to meet international standards, Canada will experience a downward spiral in world trade. The Port of Burnaby and Canada will suffer incalculable financial loss in consideration of a 34-ship docking facility proposed by Kinder Morgan. In addition to transportation failure, an international sales loss of 800,000 barrels of oil daily is intolerable. Further energy transportation rejection will experience catastrophic results related to exploration, employment, housing, health, tax revenue and Canadian economic growth.

Canada’s lack off responsibility in the transportation industry will place a blemished image on foreign trade.

We must never forget the errors of the past. In 1974, the federal government rejected the Northern Gateway corridor and the McKenzie Valley pipeline projects. Now, 44 years later, energy profits would have generated a balanced budget for Canada.

Canada is one of the wealthiest countries of the world. However, according to the Fraser Institute, Canada currently carries a debt load that totals $4.1 trillion. It takes responsible people to properly manage financial and industrial affairs of a country like Canada.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that energy production and pipeline construction decisions should be made in Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Victoria — only where there is complete understanding of the energy industry, where Ottawa should render no western decision on energy development rights.

John Seierstad
Tisdale, Sask.

Grain transport

For a considerable period of time this winter the railroads have taken a great portion of the blame regarding grain movement, particularly to the ports.

They are 100 percent responsible for that grain movement. However there are other factors everyone should take into consideration when laying blame for the port movement of grain. Let us take a look. During winter and spring, weather conditions have a major voice in grain movement. This is not only from elevator to port, but also from farm to elevator.

Another avenue in this scenario is the type of grain in the elevator and the corresponding type of grain required at port to fill the present ships. Oh, this is leading towards a central authority to make certain the correct grain is present or in transport to the port at the correct time schedule. If memory serves me right, the Canadian Wheat Board had a division looking after that.

Some politician promised a producer vote regarding the CWB existence. I did not see a vote. Politicians get a portion of (the responsibility for) the poor port grain movement. Particularly because a transport authority was not in place after the CWB. To some degree everyone has a portion of responsibility for the reduced grain flow.

This happens to all things. A certain segment bears responsibility but there are always smaller avenues.

Delwyn J. J. Jansen
Humboldt, Sask.

Comments

  • Gord

    I sympathize with farmers who have to secure everything all of the time. However, to suggest that we are under threat of our lives from masked bandits in the trees is not accurate. No one has been shot like that. Knifed or beat up in the city, yes. I think the Western Producer should screen their letters a little better. If Mr Hingston wants to brag about his tough guy act he should make it a little more believable.

    Mr Hingston perhaps has more enemies than most farmers and is a little paranoid. What led him to the conclusion that the smell outside the window indicated the likely target area? Why didn’t the police arrest the prowler? Was he gone? Why did Mr Hingston stay out there until daybreak and then fail to catch or see the bad guy? Maybe the masked bandit was a skunk and that was the lingering smell.

    Hunting people in the dark is a risky project. If someone you can’t see is in the trees and they want to shoot you, they’ll get you first. Hoping for a miss and thinking you’ll get him based on his muzzle flash is stupid. Don’t imagine that owning a gun qualifies you to protect yourself.

    Thieves and vandals ARE the main problem, aside from all the drunk drivers. There is no sinister event in our near future that we should begin to fear.

    I believe that improved and focused policing, and technology will help reduce rural crime. I don’t want to live somewhere that packing a gun is necessary. I packed one for ten years in the Infantry.

    • Hi Gord,

      Thanks for taking the time to write.

      I would like to address your point about how the WP should “screen” our letters a little better.

      All our letters to the editor, and even the comments online, are “screened” primarily for legal issues and foul language. Online this task is largely handled by me.

      Beyond that, people are (and I would argue, should be…) free to share their thoughts and opinions on any subject we cover here.

      For us to choose NOT to publish a comment/letter simply because someone here at the WP might personally disagree with the substance of it is a VERY slippery slope toward censorship.

      It’s my personal hope that, in situations where it is warranted, other readers such as yourself will point out any flaws, errors, or omissions – in a respectful manner, of course – in the comments of other readers.

      It’s our hope as a newspaper to help stimulate productive discussion, that’s respectful of differing opinions, on subjects of interest to our readers.

      It’s not our place to judge who may be “right,” or “wrong.”

      Cheers,
      Paul – WP web editor

      • Gord

        Agreed, and I apologize. Meant to remove that line, as my concerns are with the trend toward people thinking they want to be able to blow intruders off their porch, and not you. Furthermore we need to hear via the media that these ideas are out there and not be surprised by them.

        • Harold

          Would you like the Media to direct your thoughts or would you rather they present both sides in fullness and you direct your own thoughts? In this case the author told his story and you provided the other side. With both sides now presented the media has done its Job. I read the Article as you did and drew some of the same conclusions but at the end of the day, that is his story and it has nothing to do with me or what I may face in the future. I am not sure why this author’s letter offered you so much stress. Separate from the letter, it is ordinary that people have wild thoughts when they are comfortable but it is quite another thing when confronted by its reality and thoughts become sober. Regarding intruders, is it any more attractive that a police officer blows an intruder off the porch? Draw a knife on a police officer and see if you get blown away. Why can a police officer, who has no stake in your property, do this – and you cannot? Is the police officer more equal than you are? The last thing that the police officer will draw is the gun and the last thing the farmer will draw is a gun. The perceived threat determines the tool one will use. Possession of a gun does not mean that a shot will be fired. Defensive use of a firearm saves lives when a criminal sees that you have one and then moves down the road to someone else’s property. If citizens took on the responsibility to arrest, the criminal would be stopped in their tracks and thereafter the police become the Perps cab ride to the Jail. If a badge were placed on your chest do you believe that you would become a different person and a superior mind? A police officer is no different a human being than you are. Notice what the perception of the police officers gun does. Your brain melts and you believe that they are of the superior mind. So there you have it; you have presented your side and I have presented mine and now the media has done its job.

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