Firearms Owners Association
Saturday, 19 July 2008
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Dear Ms. Ambrose,
Re: Mr. Harper's Promises to Firearms Owners
I enjoyed meeting you Wednesday, 16 July at the Saskatoon Inn at the Luncheon in support of Ms. Kelly Block's bid to replace your colleague Ms. Carol Skelton as the representative for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar. I appreciated your remarks and especially the time you investing in talking to everyone after the luncheon.
However I was extremely disappointed in your reply to my stated concern about the Conservatives' handling of the firearms issue. You presented the standard reasons about the "limitations of a minority government” which our four local Members of Parliament have been saying since January 2006 - which I readily accept as valid. But when you started talking about Minister Day's "commitment to eliminating the registry" you looked genuinely surprised when I replied that was NOT what we wanted.
What the members of our Association want, Madam Minister, is for Mr. Harper to honour his promises to firearms owners while he was the Leader of the Opposition. That is, Mr. Harper promised to repeal the entire Firearms Act and replace that unjust law with effective legislation that respects our Canadian Right to own firearms for self-protection. Registration is indeed an extremely important irritant, but as Dr. Gary Mauser of Simon Fraser University says, "Registration is bad, but licensing will kill us." Firearms licensing makes citizens dependent upon the government's permission to obtain the means to defend ourselves. Government licensing of firearms owners is violates the scared compact between the government and the governed.
Just this past June, after over two hundred years of debate, the United States Supreme Court finally recognized that citizens have an innate, inalienable Right to possess firearms for self-protection. Canadians inherited that same Right from Great Britain although some of our Canadian courts are loath to even consider that argument.
You asked about our Association's suggestion to replace the Firearms Act. While Mr. Harper was in Opposition and Mr. Gary Breitkreuz had the responsibility for the firearms portfolio, Mr. Breitkreuz used to say, "Register criminals, not duck hunters". Our Association proposes that the Conservative Government do exactly that; construct a Firearms Prohibition Registry of criminals and other persons who have been prohibited by court orders from acquiring or possessing firearms. Keep tract of the criminals and leave responsible firearms owners alone.
As for safety training, all provincial governments have hunter safety courses which teach the basics of firearms safety. And, at least in Saskatchewan, volunteers teach the classes for free. We have no need for federal intrusion.
Madam Minister, some members of our Association are so disgusted with Mr. Harper that they are calling on firearms owners to turn away from the Conservative as they feel that Mr. Harper has betrayed them. If Ms. Block is to have a decent chance of replacing Ms. Skelton in a riding heavy with traditional NDP urban supporters, Ms. Block will need all the voters she can muster. I would like to encourage our members to help the Conservatives obtain a majority. But with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day endorsing licensing, we would look like fools working for a party that treats our often stated concerns about licensing with the same disdain as did the Liberals under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.
I truly hope that you, as a member of Mr. Harper's Cabinet, can reason with Mr. Harper. Before the next election the members of our Association need to know that Mr. Harper thoroughly supports our Canadian Right of "Armes for their Defense" as proclaimed by the English Declaration of Rights, 1689, and will once again stand with us in our fight to preserve our most basic Right and Freedom.
Again, I appreciate your consideration.
Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
CC: The Prime Minister, Minster
Day, and Saskatoon Members of Parliament
Firearms Owners Association