Firearms Owners Association
Thursday, 17 January 2008
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Dear Mr. Harper,
Re: Why I will NOT vote Conservative
I am writing to express my displeasure with the Conservative Party of Canada's actions and inactions on the regulation of firearms owners and their legally acquired property.
It has been our great hope that firearms laws based on emotion and political gain would be replaced with rational, logical and effective legislation under your watch. It is with that in mind that I have voted for the Reform, Alliance and Conservative parties. Furthermore, through published letters, editorials and media reports, I have attempted to position the parties mentioned in the best possible light.
Minor concessions on reloading materials, United Nations mandated firearms marking and sitting on your hands when handgun bans are called for, pale in comparision, when judged against your legislation to punish gun owners who commit "crimes" with harsher punishment terms than knife and club owners. Mandatory sentences for gun crimes, while equally harsh punishment is not meted out for the same crimes commited with different tools, has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with crime and punishment.
The CPC has before the house a bill, C-24, that will retain licensing. For years, we have insisted that the previous Firearms Acquisition Certificate system, if adaquately enforced, would be an effective, inexpensive means to determine if one should be denied the right to purchase a fiream, at least in so much as it is possible to do so. Instead of this system, the Conservative Party through Bill C-24 has proven determined, like the Liberals, to subject law abiding gun owners to continuous monitoring by the state to retain ownership of their private property. Property that has been in their possession for decades without such expensive surveillance. Meanwhile C-24 appears to contain all the elements required to maintain a paperless registry.
The point at which your party requires me to carry papers to possess property that has been in my possession for decades without the encumberance of papers is the point at which we part ways.
Given the Conservative Party's track record to this point I have no reason to be hopeful they will place gun owner interests above votes in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. I will be in no way, shape, or form supporting any Conservative candidate. More to the point I will be actively proposing not electing them. At the present time we have a Firearms Act that in the case of licensing and registration infractions is largley unenforced. By electing a Conservative majority we will be insuring that C-24 or a facsimile will be passed ,resulting in a situation where we will be subjected to a law with no decernable difference from the Liberal legislation we currently labour under with the exception that it will be enforced.
I have expressed these concerns to my three voting age family members and they have agreed not to support the Conservative Party as they have in past elections. I can assure you that without a drastic turnaround in your party's actions that will continue to remain the case. It has often been said that conservative coalitions in Canada never coalesce for any amount of time and that is why they remain out of power over extended periods of time. It is not surprising that abandoning an essentially rural base of support in order to garner votes in urban areas would result in a decay in that original support.
Respectfully, an ex Conservative,