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

A Cancer of the Soul

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Take the politics out of gun ownership
by Roy Green
November 30, 2011

Yesterday Matt Gurney, with one sentence in particular, nailed it as far as gun ownership in Canada is concerned. “As currently written, Canada’s firearms laws are a political exercise first, everything else second.” Bang on!

While I agree with Matt that once the registry is scrapped “Canada’s firearms community should demand an overhaul of the classification system and an end to criteria rooted more in a dislike of firearms than any semblance of rational policy”, I would submit the time has come for this nation’s licenced gun owners to take the offensive.

Combining “gun owners” and “offensive” in the same sentence will make it virtually mandatory for indefatigable registry fans to launch yet another round of “neo-con” laden accusations.

You see, it’s not really about the long-gun registry at all. The registry has over time become a significantly valuable tool for many who would support a complete denial of private gun ownership.

Don’t believe me? Ask the most vocal among the “retain the registry” crowd to discuss, using my friend Matt’s words “an overhaul of the (gun) classification system.” Let me know if there are any takers.

Over time it’s gun owners and gun ownership applicants who have become the ones classified.

Let “The Application For A Possession And Acquisition Licence Under The Firearms Act (for individuals aged 18 and over)” serve as a guide.

In the questionnaire section there’s this: “During the past two (2) years, have you experienced a divorce, a separation, a breakdown of a significant relationship, job loss or bankruptcy”? Excuse me? What business is that of the state?

What’s more, what’s the message to the novice hunter who unfortunately lost a job and perhaps a spouse or significant other during the two year period immediately prior to the application’s filing?

Might the message be “don’t apply”?

Let’s break this down a little.

According to the federal government’s most recently readily available stats, slightly north of 35% of marriages are expected to end in divorce. The average age at divorce was 43.4 for men and 40.8 for women. So everyone, male or female, in that group of Canadians gets a second look, at least, if applying for a firearms licence.

In July of last year 139,000 Canadians lost their full-time jobs according to Statscan. However, 129,700 part-time jobs were created. The federal firearms application asks if you lost your job in the last 24 months, but shows zero interest in whether you were able to acquire a new one during that same period.

Why does the application offer only two options for the job loss question, “yes” or “no”.

Then questions about your personal status. “Do you currently have a spouse, common-law or other conjugal partner”? If the answer is “yes”, you “MUST” complete section E.

Section E is where such a spouse or partner is required to sign off on your firearms application; and just above where your spouse or partner confirms knowledge of the application these words (in caps) “If you have any safety concerns about this application, please call 1 800 731-4000?. Implies what?

Section F mandates, that should you in the 24 months prior to filing the firearms application have co-habited with a person or persons other than the one named in Section E, that all steps of Section E be repeated.

So much for personal privacy rights of law respecting Canadians, should they wish to own a firearm.

However, when I enquired of Correctional Service Canada if serial rapist and killer Paul Bernardo was participating in conjugal relations weekends, CSC’s reply was “none of your business. Mr. Bernardo has his privacy rights.”

Oh, and for the record, the disappearance of the long-gun registry will not change a word in the Possession and Acquisition Licence application.

National Post

Roy Green is host of The Roy Green Show, syndicated nationally on the Corus Radio Network.