Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bang! Bang! It's 1812 according to the CONs.

During the 1812 edition of Winterlude .... sorry, 2012 - the CONtempt Party is so early 19th century - children were encouraged to play war games with replicas of vintage weapons.

Little about these activities held at a family-oriented park has appeared in the anglophone press, but a number of articles* in Le Droit and other francophone media have raised questions. Many parents were disturbed at the military presence and sponsorship at this event and found it intrusive.

The MP for Hull-Aylmer, interim NDP leader and grandmother of 9 children, Nycole Turmel found it inappropriate that the Harper government promoted its pro-gun agenda in this manner, encouraging the use of mock weapons as well as casually facilitating such activities with young participants.

The majority of parents surveyed by Le Droit seemed uneasy that the activity was sponsored by Parks Canada. "Who had this idea?", asked Julia Robinson of Ottawa, "When you put a gun in the hands of a child, even a replica, it trivializes violence. "

Other parents said war re-enactments performed by adults belong in military museums and not in a park dedicated to families with young children.

In the print edition of Le Droit, the vice-president of the National Capital Commission Jean-François Trépanier shrugged off parents' concerns. "We all played cowboys and indians when we were kids."

Such words betray a stunning ignorance of the reality of child soldiers and stats on children killed by guns.
A survey of 26 middle-upper income countries by the Centers for Disease Control showed that Canada is fifth among industrialized countries in the rate of children under 14 years killed with guns, following the US, Finland, Northern Ireland and Israel.
As someone remarked on Twitter: "Toto, I don't think we're in Canada anymore."

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