Firearms Owners Association
John Walsh, President
Subject: Wish Stephen a Happy Birthday
Dear Mr. Walsh,
Firstly, I do not wish to be a birthday grinch on this occasion, however:
I joined the Canadian Armed Forces on my seventeenth birthday, and served for forty years. I began as an Infantryman, and later became a Tactical Helicopter Pilot. I have also participated in two police helicopter trials (Peel Region 1999 and Toronto 2000). I have used firearms professionally for four decades, and have owned firearms privately for one year less than that. I have fought successive waves of ever-stupider "gun control" for almost as long.
While there are several other issues about which I care, there are none about which I care so passionately and deeply, and attacks upon my right to own and use firearms in a peaceful and responsible manner will always be the driving factor in my voting practices. And I do indeed vote.
I have voted in every election since I first became eligible. I voted Progressive Conservative up until Kim Campbell tabled her anti-firearms-owner legislation. On that same day, I sent an application form and cheque to the Reform Party, and, as indications of my disgust at their betrayal of those who previously supported them, also sent photocopies of both to Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney, and Harry Brightwell, my MP at the time.
This was prior to Reform becoming officially active in Ontario, wherein I was then living.
I have been a member of the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance, and the Conservative Party ever since, until my membership recently lapsed. I ceased donating to the Conservative Party prior to that, once it became clear that the Party was stringing firearms owners along for votes while not intending to follow through on its policies and promises to repeal the full Liberal (and now, apparently, Conservative) Firearms Act, formerly known as Bill C-68.
I have, as an example of the promises made, included a quote from Stephen Harper, made on 19 January 2002, eleven years and one hundred and two days prior to his most recent birthday:
I have lived under that "bureaucratic nightmare" for too long, including the seven years that it continued to exist under the government that I helped to install, in reasonable expectation of promises made actually becoming promises kept.
Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing, but while a resurrected sense of betrayal shares some things in common with it, they part company when it comes to the degree of warmth sparked by each.
And that legislation is far worse than a mere "bureaucratic nightmare". A "bureaucratic nightmare" would actually be welcome, compared to the harsh reality of the Firearms Act that made criminals of five to seven million law-abiding citizens and drove a wedge between them and the police, whom they previously supported.
During my military career, I worked closely with a variety of police forces in counter-drug operations, security for Pope John Paul II, security for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and other such activities. Many of my friends are or (increasingly) were police, yet I now completely distrust police due to their over-zealous enforcement of this hideous law against honest citizens who have committed nothing but political paper crimes. It should not be this way, and it saddens me, but that result was inevitable.
The promise made by Mr. Harper in that paragraph above was not simply stopping at a partial elimination of a registry (and by "partial" I mean the ignored section that survives, as the restricted firearms registry is equally error-ridden and useless), but to "repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."
The "long gun registry" was perhaps the least offensive part of that legislative monstrosity. The unconstitutional elements that strip citizens of Charter-guaranteed rights and freedoms simply for owning firearms, while murderers, rapists, and robbers receive greater protection, and the criminalization of all firearms owners by the licensing requirements are far, far worse.
The Liberals made me a criminal for owning firearms, and allowed me to remain free from prosecution as long as I obtained a permission slip to continue the crime of firearms ownership from them every five years. Seven years after they were finally removed from office, little has changed. Now, it's the Conservative government that keeps me a criminal for owning firearms, and allows me to remain free from prosecution as long as I obtain a permission slip to continue the crime of firearms ownership every five years.
Get rid of this whole stinking mess, as Mr. Harper promised, and I'll happily sign Mr. Harper's card next year, and also rejoin the Conservative Party and donate once more.
In the meantime, not that I trust him at all, Mr. Trudeau is looking for votes and has expressed an interest in listening to disaffected groups. Sounding him out on this matter may not be a waste of my time.
Mark L. Horstead