Downtown anti-social behaviour needs to be controlled

And better COVID-19 prevention measures needed

Dear Editor,

I have been a devout shopper at Reitman’s, Safeway and Shoppers Drug Mart for as long as I can remember.

But security measures need to be taken at the Lakelse Ave shopping centre immediately.

Without exaggeration, every time I visit the shopping centre, I am either approached by a person asking for money or yelled at by people shouting obscenities. I’ve witnessned shoplifting, and people drunk or high and laying on the sidewalks, sometimes close to the store entrances.

My grandchildren see this and are terrified and don’t understand.

I am getting concerned for my health and safety. During this time of crisis with the COVID-19 virus, people are more so on edge. I have witnessed numerous altercations in the parking lot of people being scared as they are approached on foot as well as in their vehicle by people that appear to not be hygenic and are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I have had to call the police in the past when trying to visit my bank which is in a different location on Lakelse Ave., due to people sleeping in the lobby.

I don’t know if it’s up to the RCMP to be patrolling more often, the mall management team or the merchants themselves to provide security.In the case of the bank, I was a bit offended to see a sign on the lobby window saying that due to the safety of the bank’s staff, it will be closing the ATM access for certain hours.

The sign has since been changed. But my first thought was: What about my safety? I am the one having to use the ATM after hours not the staff, and for how much money the bank makes off of me for fees and my investments, maybe they could provide a security guard like they do in the larger city centres.

I have a full understanding of addiction and all that comes with it, but I will not become subject to my health and safety being violated.

I am asking the RCMP, our MLA, Ellis Ross, and the merchants of Terrace for their assistance in this matter.

Terri Bahr,

Thornhill, B.C.

Debate needed in gun debate

Last Friday the prime minister of Canada announced the prohibition of 1,500 guns in the Dominion. There is so much to say about this alarming development in the country that I could probably write a book. If we are going to criminalize up to 2.2 million of our neighbours and confiscate their legally acquired property we must do so with facts and compassion. Anti-gun advocates and the prime minister are inclined to propaganda, fear mongering and outright lies. Firstly, and most importantly, gun owners are not serial killers in waiting. In fact, you are one-third as likely to be killed by a legally owned firearm owner as you are by a regular citizen. That puts the odds in the range of being struck by lighting. There are no laws that would have stopped the Nova Scotia tragedy, or for that matter any of the other gun related tragedies that have happened in this country. Gun owners also grieve for the victims.

Second, ‘no one needs guns that are designed to kill people’. Cars aren’t designed to kill people either, but they do and often maliciously. Look, guns like the infamous AR 15 and mini-ruger Varmint are excellent guns in that they are reliable, easy and relatively cheap to shoot, have lots of accessories and are used to hunt small game. Farmers love the mini-ruger Varmint to shoot coyotes and other small pests (yes these guns are used for hunting). Neither of these guns are used to hunt large game because, ironically, they are not lethal enough. Lethality of a gun is largely dictated by its calibre. Regular hunting rifles are far more lethal than these now prohibited guns. The AR 15 is involved in so many U.S. tragedies (none in Canada) because it is such a popular gun, i.e. common. Neither of these guns are ‘assault’ weapons. In fact, most variants of the min-ruger are not even ‘assault-styled’.

Even if I were an anti-gun advocate, or apathetic, I would be very concerned how this policy was implemented; no public representation, no real consultation, during a pandemic, the use of propaganda, fear mongering and outright lies, and the criminalization of millions of citizens in a manner in which tyrannies enact laws. In two years the police will be breaking down the doors of your neighbours looking for these guns instead of protecting you from criminals.

If we are going to confiscate our neighbours’ lawfully acquired property after unilaterally making them criminals, it is important that we do so with real facts and real debate, including some sort of parliamentary oversight and public education. Gun owners should also have the right to defend their beliefs in the public forum. The media has a responsibility to allow this debate and for the education to happen.

Martin Barker

Duncan, B.C.

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