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Canadian officers must curb gun horseplay, former military leaders say

HALIFAX, N.S. - Retired military leaders who viewed evidence from a recent manslaughter trial say officers aren't vigilant enough in enforcing strict rules on the handling of guns in Afghanistan.

HALIFAX, N.S. - Retired military leaders who viewed evidence from a recent manslaughter trial say officers aren't vigilant enough in enforcing strict rules on the handling of guns in Afghanistan.

One video entered as evidence during the trial of Cpl. Matthew Wilcox shows a Canadian master corporal pointing his pistol at another soldier's head.

In another video, the master corporal is pointing the pistol at the videographer.

Retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie says that rules in the Canadian military are clear on how to use weapons, and he says the problem appears to be a lack of leadership by officers.

Retired Col. Michel Drapeau - a lawyer based in Ottawa - says an independent inquiry should be done on the Wilcox shooting death and other incidents of misuse of weapons that emerged during the reservist's trial.

A spokesman for the military says the army can't comment on the videos until after Wilcox is sentenced in September.

But Maj. Mike Audette says that the military provides extensive training to all of its members in the safe use of small arms.

Wilcox was convicted last week of criminal negligence causing death in the shooting death of Cpl. Kevin Megeney of Stellarton, N.S., in March 2007 while the two were serving in Afghanistan.

 
 
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