Coun. Jody Mitic is defending his right to own a gun after being called out for sharing an image of new his-and-hers Sig Sauer pistols on Twitter just days after a fatal shooting in the city's east end.
The former Canadian sniper, who lost both legs below the knee in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan in 2007, said the March 8 shooting that killed a 20-year-old on Jasmine Crescent did not factor into his decision to share his new purchases with his followers.
Mitic shared the image of the two guns, one for his wife and one for him, on March 10, two days after Ottawa's fifth homicide of 2016.
Ottawa Sun columnist Sue Sherring wrote a column about Mitic's tweet, saying it was "perhaps not the most sensitive of timing" for a civic leader who should be sharing "the load of the city's fight."
Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau was quoted in the article saying that advertising gun ownership is "probably not the best thing to do" and that it could make someone a target.
'Nothing irresponsible with what I'm doing'
Speaking with CBC News at a gun range in Stittsville on Wednesday, Mitic said he has "no regrets" about the tweet.
"I was excited to have received my purchase and I tweeted about it, and that's it. ... The tone of some of the discussion is that responsible community leaders don't do this type of thing, and I ... just don't like what that implies," he said.
"There's nothing irresponsible with what I'm doing. If anything, I'm trying to show what responsible, fun and legal gun ownership looks like."
Mitic also said his social media accounts are used to share content with his fellow legal gun users, as well as his constituents.
"Social media is there to show off, or to communicate what you're doing in your daily activities, and my followers were the only ones that saw the tweet until today, and now everybody in the city knows I'm a gun owner. So you can take from that what you will," he said.
"And as far as the chief [of police] commenting on my activity, in the chief's position I think he has to say that."
Mitic said he's received a lot of support since the article was published, and that legal gun owners shouldn't have to hide their interests.
"Be proud. If you're having fun and it's cool and you're following the rules, what's to hide? It's quite the issue to make out of something as simple as gun ownership," he said.
'Guns to me are like a hammer to a carpenter'
Later Wednesday, Mitic was interviewed by CBC News Ottawa at 6 host Adrian Harewood.
'I'm not walking down the street with them and shooting at anybody.' - Jody Mitic, city councillor for Innes ward
Mitic said he's a responsible gun owner who stores his guns in a secure place at home.
"It wasn't an advert. It was to tweet for people who follow me on Twitter and Instagram," he said.
"I'm not brandishing my weapons at anyone. I'm not walking down the street with them and shooting at anybody. I take them to the range where it's legal and transport them in a legally locked case."
He added that he was in the military for 20 years, and does not believe he should have to hide the fact that he is a gun owner.
"Guns to me are like a hammer to a carpenter. It's a tool of the trade," he said.