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NRA President David Keene talks with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation in Washington in this Dec. 23, 2012 handout photo. (REUTERS)
NRA President David Keene talks with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation in Washington in this Dec. 23, 2012 handout photo. (REUTERS)

What readers think

Dec. 24: Archie Bunker heads up the NRA, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Parody or prophecy?

The NRA’s call for armed guards in all public schools (NRA Calls For Armed Guards In Schools – Dec. 22) reminds me of Archie Bunker’s solution to plane hijackings: “Arm all the passengers!” and, back then, we laughed uproariously. Today we weep.

Carol Taylor, Kelowna, B.C.

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Surely a whole series of articles on The Great American Gun Debate – Dec. 22, would have at least a comment or news release or polling data from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the leading gun control advocates in the United States. Here’s a fact from the Brady Campaign: “There have been more than 70 mass shootings since the January 8, 2011, massacre in Tucson, Arizona.”

Nor did I see anything from the Million Mom March or Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Instead, The Globe carried two articles about the NRA. The media’s silence about gun control advocates is part of the reason the NRA is so powerful.

Penney Kome, Calgary

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The National Rifle Association finally held a press conference … at which it urged that America’s schools be armed. But then, it would, wouldn’t it?

Confine semiautomatics, not people. Turn gun ranges into armouries, not schools and minority religious sites into hyper-vigilant fortresses. In Canada at least, we don’t have the stark choice that confuses so many in the U.S.: Do we protect our people, or our guns?

Ron Charach, Toronto

GM’s gratitude

General Motors is extremely grateful for the investments made by Ontario and Canadian taxpayers in our company (GM’s Drive To Michigan Leaves Fumes Of Ingratitude – Report on Business, Dec. 21).

The decision to assemble the Camaro in Lansing Grand River, Mich., was based on a comprehensive business case built around lower capital investment and improved production efficiencies by consolidating the production of rear-wheel-drive vehicles at one facility. We look at the big picture in all our product allocations; this decision was best for the business.

GM Canada continues to be an important part of GM’s global operations. Since 2009, GM has announced investments in our Canadian facilities totalling about $1-billion. This includes spending in Oshawa to facilitate the launch in 2013 of the next-generation Chevrolet Impala, which will see the company add a third shift of workers to Oshawa’s Flexible Manufacturing Line.

We have no reservation about our ability to meet our restructuring commitments, and are absolutely committed to returning value to those that stepped up during our time of need.

Kevin Williams, president, GM Canada

Beyond charity

Margaret Wente says Canadians are among the most generous people in the world but that Americans beat us by a wide margin (Best Of The Giving Season – Focus, Dec. 22). She is basing this statement on individual giving to charities. This ignores the generosity of our society in providing medicare and other benefits to our general population which are far more effective than individual generosity.

This is the true measure of a generous society and we do it far better than the Americans. (Others such as Norway and Sweden do it better than us.)

Don Kerr, Collingwood, Ont.

Idle No ... mention?

A well-known first nation’s chief is two weeks into a hunger strike when thousands of young indigenous people hit the streets, the malls and the highways in a myriad of non-violent creative actions in solidarity and to demand change from an intransigent government.

When I opened The Globe and Mail on Saturday I hoped to see some in-depth coverage of the new movement Idle No More. There was nothing.

Judy Rebick, Toronto

Dividing the pot

Margaret Wente’s assertion that we “live in a world of shrinking resources” expresses a popular conservative theory (How The Unions Bully Teachers – Dec. 20). What shrinking resources?

Oil and other commodities? The same day’s Globe headlined slumping commodity prices, hardly an indication of scarcity (Alberta Feels The Pinch). Production? The OECD reports substantial gains in the GDP of the EU, the U.S. and Canada since 2006, notwithstanding the recession. Discretionary spending? The Globe reports on the popularity of art books selling for $3,000 and more (What Your $700 Art Book Says About You – Life & Arts, Dec. 20).

No, we are not in a world of shrinking resources but, in fact, inhabit a world (at least the industrialized portion) that is awash in wealth. The problem remains one of wealth distribution. Ironically, the teachers and their unions Ms. Wente assails are among the most privileged of those sharing in the wealth – but that’s an argument she fails to make.

Ray Argyle, Kingston, Ont.

Weak protections

As the Bank of Canada’s governor, Mark Carney must be independent from political influence, as well as maintain the appearance of that independence (Did Carney Forget About Caesar’s Wife? – Dec. 21). Mr. Carney failed to do so by vacationing at the home of a Liberal MP while being courted by the Liberals. This should be of concern to all Canadians.

Canada has very weak protections against conflicts of interest in its executive, legislative and judicial branches. This is a serious flaw in our democratic institutions: Witness the battle over robo calls and efforts to make the Privy Council Office a tool of the current government. Few may realize that the PCO ensures that the civil service can be relied on to serve all Canadians in a non-partisan manner. Without effective operation of the PCO, we will not receive independent data on how the government’s policies affect Canada.

Most people would accept that Mr. Carney has served Canada well and earned our respect. In any event, he is leaving Canada. But the current system remains. The fact that Mr. Carney suffered such a lapse in judgment with so few recriminations – either personal or public – should be a warning to Canadians that, if we do not protect our democracy, we will lose it.

P.E. McGrail, Brampton, Ont.

Monkey fatigue

I suspect Darwin the IKEA monkey will be just fine, thank you very much, in his new shearling-coat-optional home at the monkey sanctuary. End of story ... please?

Vicki Ziegler, Toronto

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