Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

A Cancer of the Soul

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2011 in Review

It is 2011, and yet another year is coming to an end. We now finally have a majority Conservative government in Ottawa, and Mr. Harper’s Government loudly trumpets their Bill C-19, “Ending the Long-gun Registry Act”.(1) But before Members of the Canadian firearms community begin celebrating, we need to ask ourselves; “Are we better off now than we were last year?”

We must remember the Conservative Government’s contract with Canadians:

A Conservative Government will repeal Canada's costly gun registry legislation and work with the provinces and territories on cost-effective gun control programs designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.
                           - The Conservative Party Policy - March 2005; Firearms Policy(2)

Yet Mr. Harper’s Bill C-19 only covers a fraction of the Liberals' C-68, the Firearms Act of 1995 and its accompanying Criminal Code provisions that make the mere possession of a firearm illegal.

Therefore, Bill C-19 is a but a very small segment of the Conservative Government’s promise to "repeal Canada's costly gun registry legislation." Mr. Harper says that Bill C-19 will provide for the destruction of all records pertaining to the registration of long-guns in the Canadian Firearms Registry and under the control of the chief firearms officer except for restricted or prohibited weapons. Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety proclaims:

The reason for this is the simple fact that we do not want to assist anyone to set up a back door registry. (3)

But with a Conservative majority government is the destruction of only the "long-gun registry" part of the Liberals’ gun control legislation praiseworthy? Many say that it is.

I ask, “Is that all there is?”

Bill C-19 is analogous to being short-changed at the store. You know you did not receive full measure. You bring the error to the attention of the sales clerk. The clerk recounts the transaction, sees the error, gives you the correct amount, and issues you an apology. Bill C-19 not only fails to provide full measure, it is an intentional fraud. With a Conservative majority government - attained on the hard working backs of the Canadian firearms community - the Harper Government refuses to rescind all of the Liberals’ "gun registry legislation" as promised in the Conservative Party Firearms Policy. This is unconscionable. Unfortunately it gets worse. The Conservatives are not only retaining but aggressively enforcing the bulk of the Liberals' Firearms Act upon the firearms community, an Act which is arguably the most unjust, civil rights oppressing, vile, misdirected, misunderstood, and poorly administered law in Canadian history.

Mr. Toews’ statement about destroying the gun registry records to prevent a back door registry is highly deceiving. Any government can easily rebuild the gun registry list simply by forcing licensed gun owners to comply with their requests.

Firearms registration is bad; gun owner licensing is worse. Only when this Government begins "respecting the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly" will it will be preventing anyone from setting up “a back door registry".

Inexplicably we now have junior Conservative MP’s like Shelly Glover blatantly stating,

The Conservative Party campaigned on the issue of repealing the long gun registry, and has never claimed to repeal the Firearms Act. (4)

Even more distressingly, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada now declares:

The Government of Canada supports the current Licensing scheme. (5)

Unfortunately the current licensing scheme is just the warmed-over Liberals' licensing scheme. Yet this is what Mr. Toews now refers to as "proper controls".

At the Conservative Party Convention in 2005 I heard Mr. Toews’ personally express concern to the delegates about the owner licensing scheme of the Liberals' Firearms Act being used by police to "track" innocent Canadians. Seven years later with a majority government, Mr. Toews considers it "proper." This is “progress” to be celebrated?

The Conservative delegates who framed the firearms policy in 2005 firmly believed that without the protection of these civil liberties, any government would have a free hand at destroying the Canadian firearms community and its rich heritage, culture and history.

The firearms community must hold Mr. Harper and the Conservative Government accountable for remembering, approving, and appreciating "the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."

We've been deliberately short-changed by a sales clerk, Mr. Toews.

We expect an apology from the boss, Mr. Harper, AND payment in full measure!

Joe Gingrich
Nipawin, Saskatchewan
02 December 2011

1. End to gun registry in sight
2. Conservative Party Firearms Policy
3. Vic Toews on Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
4. Letter from Ms. Shelly Glover, MP, CPC, August 15, 2011
5. Letter from Mr. Nicholson, MP, CPC, September 07, 2011