Our Government at Work

Gary Mauser, Firearms advisory Committee

The so-called private member’s bill to scrap the long gun registry issue will probably come to a vote sometime this month. I say "so-called" because this bill is in every way but in name a government bill. Put forward by Morden Manitoba's own Candice Heppner this bill is top of the Harper agenda. They have pulled out all the stops to get it passed.

It looks like the Liberals will insist that party's Mps vote against the bill but chances are it will pass to primarily because NDP leader Jack Layton refuses to "whip" his members into defeating the bill. How ironic is that?

This whole debate has been kind theatre of the absurd from day one. It has been hard for me to figure out what the whole issue is all about. Why are these guys so passionate about shutting down the registry anyway? The police chief's support it. The police associations support it. The RCMP supports it. Most reasonable Canadians support it.

The registry was put into place by the Liberals

I know, I know. Liberal legislation bad, Conservative legislation good.

The registry is too complicated for the shooters to understand and it is expensive.

If that is true isn't it the government's responsibility to cut through the red tape and make the process more streamlines and cheaper to use? How do we manage to issue drivers licences, marriage licences, and dog licences without bogging the system down?

The registry is ineffective because so many gun owners has so far refused to register their weapons

The only reason that people have refused is that the government have put an long gun registry amnesty program into place, refusing to prosecute anyone acting in defiance of the law.

The registry interferes with my right to bear arms.

Sorry Bubba, you have been watching too much American television. No such wild west Doc Holiday spirit here in Canada

A Leger poll taken in Quebec tells us that almost 75% of Quebecois want to keep the registry. Two thirds of Conservative voters want to keep it. In the 18 to 25 age group a stunning 85% want to keep the long gun registry.

So there you have it. It has been a phony argument from day one. It would be entertaining if is wasn't so chilling. The debate, if we can call it that has unleashed a kind of underbelly of Canadian society we usually don't see.

We saw Yorkton's own, MP Garry Breitkreuz refer to the Canadian Chiefs of Police Association as a cult because of their opposition to scrapping the registry and suggested that Liberals beat up Iggy because of his stand supporting the regiustry. Breitkreuz's communications staffer, Brant Scott, who wrote that release has now moved on and has landed a job heading up the new Canadian Shooting Sports Association's Communications Office in Ottawa.

That is the same group that anonymously hatched a poll asking questions like, "As a legal firearms owner, who are you more afraid of? Police of Criminals?". They then promoted to poll asking their members to respond. A majority, 58.85% said they were more afraid of the police. I don't know about you but all this makes me a bit nervous.

In addition, Stockwell Day quietly stacked the Firearms Advisory Committee almost entirely with pro-gun advocates including one who argued that more guns in the hands of students would have save lives in the Virginia Tech massacre in which 32 people were killed. Another described the gun used in the Dawson College shootings as a fun gun to shoot.

Did I mention that the members of the group's names have never been released by the government except once by accident in a letter by Breitkreuz. (Not the sharpest tool in the shed) Those names are secret Gary.

So hold on to your hats. It ain't over yet. Sometime in June this whole issue will come up for a vote. MPs have a choice. Let them know how you feel and let's put this whole issue behind us.


  1. It is absolutely baffling to me how committed the opposition to the gun registry is --- where does this passion to dissolve the gun registry come from? Also, I completely agree with your point that it is disingenuous of the Harper government to claim the gun registry is too expensive and complicated while there is a capacity for government to manage many other registries; however, the reference to the registry being too complicated for some may sadly suggest the need for the registry is greater than one may have first thought.....

  2. Wasn't this the same gun registry bill that ran what ... $70 billion CAD over budget only to be implemented incompletely by the same government that proposed it?

    If there's a coherent opinion about it from the groups that it matters to most -- namely, law enforcement -- if it makes them safer, makes it easier for them to get their jobs done, and has a measurable effect on crime -- without violating the human rights of Canadians -- then it would appear to both satisfy the means test of good legislation AND be favourably viewed by the community it affects directly, which is win-win.

    If it fails the means test, or opinion is divided about it significantly among members of the community it purports to help, then it's a bad law, and is yet one more piece of cruft on the books that is hard to enforce or yields no measurable benefit to Canadians.

    This kind of policy-making renders the law an ass, and is more about placating the anguished hand-wringing of a vocal minority -- the same kind of "WHY DOESN'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN" paranoiac bleating you hear when someone proposes liberalizing drug or obscenity laws. Unless there's PROOF of efficacy, laws like this are simply ostentatious grandstanding.

    Remind me again how we're to cultivate respect for rule of law when we make laws that appear arbitrary, capricious, and/or ineffective?

  3. If the registry is badly run, fix it. That is the responsibility of government. Simply abdicating that responsibility won't help a thing.

    Anonymous is right about one thing. The move to scrap the registry is trying to placate the whining minority, most of who are Harper supporters, the law breaking gun owners who refuse to register the weapons.

    It is simple to register. Just get it done.


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