Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Harper Chooses April Fools Day To Promote Pro-Gun Agenda

Nice try Mr. Harper, nice try.

To have your minions fire the first "real" shots in denying Canada decent and REQUIRED gun control laws, while you hide from Parliament, is a brilliant move (for a Conservative). Your party has long been the champions of the NRA (National Rifle Association in the USA) and guns, guns, everywhere.

You have for years rejected scientific research and common sense. You have rejected for years the evidence provided by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. You have rejected statistics which show an overall resounding drop in crime levels of all types. Yes, Mr. Harper, you've been able to BS the voters and media into thinking (at least some of them) that the registry doesn't help the police. Evidence shows otherwise. The RCMP and other police forces use the registry 100s of thousands of times a year (I believe the actual number is in the millions of "hits"). It saves officers' lives when they know what weapons are in a home when they are investigating an issue. You know, "support the troops" and all that crap you so fakely suggest... You don't want to stand by the police? How are they supposed to do their jobs? How can they keep people safe.

We know the Canada you want. You said it yourself a few years ago... that when you're done, we wouldn't even recognize it. You want guns available to everyone... cheap. You want legalized assault rifles and semi-autos (your last bill to break the registry said as much)...

Mexico recognizes the challenge - even when Canada doesn't: The US is the world's biggest producer and exporter of weapons. They don't care who they sell to: contras in Nicaragua, rebels in Columbia and Venezuela, druglords in Columbia and Afghanistan, gangsters in Quebec and BC. The problem is gun control. You can say many of the guns used in crime are stolen, but that just passes the problem along. That simply means that the ones who improperly store guns should be culpable. Many of the weapons are smuggled in from the US due to their lax gun laws. They even sell to minor, un-licensed Canadians - no questions asked. Mexico recently has shown public outrage at the US gun problem and the war-like situation it is creating along the border. That problem is slipping across to the US side, and finally SOME American law-makers are starting to think about gun control.

Canadians are dying in the streets (although at levels far below the murder rates of decades ago), and all you can do is "stand up" for the tools used to kill them?

Your "end-run" around The House of Commons is an interesting tactic. It still, however, doesn't change the fact that you are a supporter of the gun nuts. Your outcry against the registry was there LONG before it was shown there were some problems with cost estimates. You opposed the registry, NOT for the overruns, but because you are PART of the gun lobby... the NRA led gun lobby.

I'm posting most of the pertinent parts of the CBC story here. Once again, gamesmanship trumps concern for the public from the Conservatives and Harper;

"Van Loan said the bill was introduced in the Senate because the House already had a heavy legislative agenda.

Some observers said the move is likely more strategic — the Conservatives can blame the Liberal-dominated Senate if the bill is voted down.

However, Kory Teneycke, current Director of Communication for the Canadian Prime Minister's office, told CBC News, that with 18 new Conservative senators appointed in December, the bill stands a better chance of passing in the Senate than the House.

Change in strategy for Tories

Moreover, Wednesday's proposed bill marks a change in strategy for the Harper government.

It had been backing Bill C-301, introduced by Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville), a rabid opponent of the gun registry.

His bill proposed ending the registration of rifles and shotguns, as well as softening controls on machine guns, by allowing people to transport fully automatic and semi-automatic assault guns to public shooting ranges.

That bill has been contentious, however, and opposed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), as well as majority of Canadians, according to a 2001 poll.

The revised legislation introduced Wednesday would end the gun registry, but doesn't include the relaxation of controls on machine guns.

Strong opposition to Bill C-301

Observers said it is designed to be more palatable to Canadians, who had voiced strong concerns about Bill C-301.

Breitkreuz's bill is scheduled to be debated in the House of Commons beginning May 4.

It goes beyond ending the gun registry by extending the term of all gun licences to 10 to 12 years, as well as allowing licensed owners to get as many handguns and restricted semi-automatic tactical or military weapons as they want over a period of 10-year period without requiring approval from the chief firearms officer.

Wendy Cukier, co-founder and president of the Coalition for Gun Control, said that bill would effectively dismantle gun control in Canada.

Rifles such as the Ruger that Marc Lepine used to kill 14 women at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989 would no longer have to be registered if that bill is passed, she said.

In a March 9 letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, CACP president Steven Chabot said Bill C-301 "would seriously compromise a system that is working to the betterment of personal, community and police officer safety. (CACP is the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police).

"All guns are potentially dangerous. All gun owners need to be licensed. All guns need to be registered and gun owners need to be accountable for their firearms. We oppose Bill C-301 as a retrogressive proposal that cannot, in any way benefit the safety and security of Canadians."

Chabot pointed out that rifles and shotguns are the weapons most often used in domestic homicides and suicides.

A 2001 Gallup poll found that 63 per cent of Canadians believe gun ownership should be made illegal for ordinary citizens, while 61 per cent favoured stricter laws governing the sale of firearms." (CBC, April 1st, 2009)

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Anonymous said...

All of that and you still haven't convinced me why the rights of the people are considered after the rights of the state.

Canadian individuals are the owners of the company called Canada.

We Canadians have the right to bear arms and nothing in Canadian law even matters when it comes to your life.

Canadian justice by no means would replace my death at the hands of another individual.


KNB said...

Great post. This move defies logic.

WesternGrit said...

The rights of the "people" to own killing tools does not supersede the rights of the collective population to safety and peace.

The problem with the "all-out libertarian" "do not tread upon me" perspective is that you folks fail to consider certain "rights": the right to a safe place to live being one.

WesternGrit said...

PS: We don't have a "2nd Amendment" to a constitution up here (the 'gun-toting' amendment) - you're confusing us with the US (who can't even interpret their own constitution properly).

KNB said...

Where does this nonsense come from?

We have the right to bear arms?

It's disturbing to note how Harper and co. have actually convinced so many followers of truths (though debatable there too) that exist elsewhere as being somehow valid here.

These same people scream patriotism when necessary then decry Canadian values when they don't mesh with their twisted view.

WesternGrit said...

Thanks for the comments KNB. You're as curious as I am, about where they get their "facts" from. It's like they live in a fantasy world.

They take on the center of the political world like it's one of the wings. By calling the center "left wing", they can continue to work to move Canada to the right... When all the media and the loudest politicians talk of right-wing actions being "normal", you suddenly have a new normal...

WE are the ones who stand in the way, and must challenge these ideas before they go too far...


sassy said...

Anon at 3:58

You might want to consider weather conditions here is Canada before you exercise your rights