We register cars, why not guns?
W ell, Bill C-391 didn’t get shot down, though it should have been. Out of the air in the House of Commons, just like the unfortunate virtual fowls in Super Mario Duck Hunt.
Supposedly, American vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was around that day in the House of Commons, when the private members’ bill, sponsored by Tory MP Candice Hoeppner from Manitoba, passed Nov. 4. The bill in question? To kill the long-gun registry. For people who know nothing about firearms except for those in TV and movie shootouts, long guns are what hunters use to go after game.
Many hunters shoot game not just for sport, but for food. We all know how delicious moose and caribou are; sometimes we go duck hunting; sealers use rifles – not clubs, PETA – to kill seals for food and pelts; occasionally hunters even use guns to fend off coyotes.
Firearms are also a valuable tool in the arsenal of aboriginals who hunt game to feed families. And anyone who’s come across a polar bear knows how ferocious that huge animal can be.
There’s nothing wrong with hunting. Animals killed in the wild for eating expire quickly, and hunters generally are humane about dispatching their prey.
And isn’t it better for the critter who roams freely in the wild than the miserable Angus bovine factory farmed in Alberta? Why do I need to register my rifle, asks the hunter?
But dangers from some animals and hunting for food shouldn’t be the motivation to support a bill sponsored by the Sarah Palin of Canada’s West.
The Liberals brought in the original registry in the wake of the Montreal Massacre, where a gunman gunned downed 13 women 20 years ago.
Police associations don’t like the move to scrap the registry and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair claims it will make Canada less safe.
Police officers have every right to like a national registry. When they’re responding to dangerous situations, they can find out if the persons involved have guns, and they have more of an idea of what they’re up against.
Social workers, ditto. In many communities, they sometimes have to remove children from homes because of abuse or because parents and guardians are involved with criminal activities, and they may have firearms.
Women’s groups, whether they’re anti-violence committees, transition house boards or other organizations, generally support the gun registry because they frequently deal with clients who flee abusive situations. Some of the clients have even been threatened with the partner’s firearms.
Polls show two-thirds of Canadians support the registry.
A waste of money? Setting the thing up cost a lot to do it, but since then, the registry costs less than $9 million a year.
An attack on rural lifestyles? Rural people use vehicles, but those machines have to be registered. Why not firearms?
It’s not an attack on rural lifestyles, but a tool against domestic homicides. When people are killed in those situations, firearms are the preferred tool one partner uses to dispatch the other.
As for ‘the constituents want it’; sorry, but that doesn’t wash. We elected you guys and gals for your supposed common sense because some of your constituents don’t have any.
“ Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” – 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke.
There are times our politicians are allowed to think for themselves, and times when their constituents should come second.
For people who know nothing about firearms except for those in TV and movie shootouts, long guns are what hunters use to go after game.