Editorials - June 3, 2022
Good guys and other myths
For decades, the National Rifle Association of America and other pro-gun advocates have expounded the theory that guns don’t kill people, people kill people and that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That theory failed 19 children and two teachers on May 24 when as many as 19 police officers (good guys with guns) waited in the halls outside of the second-, third- and fourth-grade classrooms for at least 45 minutes while an 18-year-old shot 21 people to death on the other side of a door. The good guys were scared of the the two high-powered assault rifles the teenager legally purchased.
If the police are too afraid to confront mass shooters, then the NRA’s other ‘go-to’ solution of arming middle-school teachers and asking them to kill a murderous teenager doesn’t seem like a very reliable system.
We all understand that there are a whole host of societal issues that have resulted in America leading the world in gun violence, but what the rest of the world cannot fathom is the absolute denial of their lawmakers and political leaders to do anything about it.
Until the guns that are responsible for these mass murders are removed from the equation, the country can make little headway on any of the other issues that cause such incidents.
A single school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland resulted in powerful and effective legislation across the United Kingdom banning handguns and automatic weapons, with few exceptions. There have been 27 school shootings in the first five months of 2022 and over 100 since 2018, with no action by any government. If the mass killings of six-year-olds at Sandy Hook Elementary and now nine- and 10-year-olds at Robb Elementary doesn’t make an entire country rethink their love of assault rifles, there is probably little hope for that society. – DS
Failure to communicate
Huron East Council made very short work of the prospect of merging the Brussels and Grey Fire Departments last month. Many councillors decried the absence of consultation with members of the public. When councillors said they were open to hearing more about the potential merging of the two fire departments, several made it clear that no action should be taken until extensive consultation had occurred with not just firefighters, but with residents.
This came after Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts’ report made it clear that emergency response times for Grey residents would increase as a result of a merger. He said they were being brought in line with response times for Brussels and Seaforth residents, but if you’re a Grey resident, there’s only one way to interpret that.
Councillors are elected to make decisions for residents. We have our say at the ballot box every four years and those we elect have our blessing to make decisions on our behalf and spend our money. Some decisions are too big to be made unilaterally and the potential merger could easily be considered one of those decisions. This could simply be considered the opinion of this editorial board, but it’s not. It’s the opinion of the nearly 950 people who signed a petition to save the Grey Fire Department and of just about every member of Huron East Council who felt they had been told public consultation was coming, only to be surprised to find a recommendation to phase out the department in their May 17 council meeting agenda package.
Mayor Bernie MacLellan called it a chicken-and-egg situation, saying something had to be on the table before it could be debated but it’s hard to argue with Grey residents who felt unheard and unasked.
When councillors and staff members work to serve a community, those voices must be heard. You can’t hold a referendum every two weeks, but some issues clearly call for input from the public and this was undoubtedly one of them. – SL
Don’t delay! Invest today!
Huron East Council faced a difficult decision late last month as the renovations for the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre, which had already come in higher than anticipated, were once again forecast to cost even more.
The project cost has increased throughout the pandemic due to rising material costs and supply chain problems, leaving municipal councillors with a difficult choice to make.
That choice, however, should be whether to go forward with the project at all, not whether they should delay it.
The structure is an important one and the editorial board at The Citizen feels the renovations are needed to keep the centre, which is likely the most widely-used structure in the area, up to date with other community centres.
The Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre is a site worth investing in and further delay is just going to make it a more expensive and less palatable project for all involved. – JDS