Gun owner chal­lenges MP on registry

The Compass - - OPINION -

The fol­low­ing is an edited ver­sion of an open et­ter to Lib­eral MP Scott An­drews (Avalon) Dear Mr. An­drews,

I am a con­stituent, as well as a re­spon­si­ble firearms owner. I’ve done ex­ten­sive re­search on the is­sue of guns, vi­o­lence and our cur­rent Lib­eral-penned Firearms Act. Your re­fusal, and that of your fel­low New­found­land MPs to even re­spond to pre­vi­ous, po­litely writ­ten letters on the is­sue of gun con­trol and the long gun registry has forced me to take a more pub­lic tact in hopes that a real de­bate can take place on the is­sue and that the rights of tens of thou­sands of law-abid­ing New­found­land gun own­ers will be prop­erly rep­re­sented.

You may not know this, but New­found­land has the high­est rate of firearms own­er­ship, on a per capita ba­sis, in the coun­try. The vast ma­jor­ity of these firearms are non-re­stricted long guns; hunt­ing ri­fles and shot­guns, along with tar­get ri­fles and sim­i­lar firearms.

Re­cently, your party switched tac­tics and is now ar­gu­ing that in­stead of hand guns and so-called “as­sault ri­fles” be­ing the root-of-all-evil; now it is long guns that are the prob­lem and must be con­trolled for the sake of pub­lic safety. This is a com­pletely face­tious ar­gu­ment.

If firearms, in par­tic­u­lar long guns, were at the root of firearms vi­o­lence in Canada, why does New­found­land en­joy one of the low­est vi­o­lent crime rates and homi­cide rates in the coun­try?

Other ar­gu­ments pro­posed by your party are equally friv­o­lous, such as the claim that the registry is re­spon­si­ble for low­er­ing the in­ci­dence of spousal homi­cide. Pro­fes­sor Gary Mauser, of Simon Fraser Uni­ver­sity, in sev­eral peer-re­viewed aca­demic pa­pers, clearly dis­proved such claims. His re­search re­vealed that such homi­cides have been de­creas­ing steadily since the 1970s, decades be­fore the Lib­eral’s much vaunted gun con­trol pro­gram was ever con­ceived of, let alone put into ac­tual op­er­a­tion. In fact, the long gun registry didn’t be­gin op­er­a­tion un­til 2001 and the re­quire­ment for uni­ver­sal reg­is­tra­tion of firearms did not en­ter into force un­til 2003. Yet fe­male spousal murder rates fell by more than 50 per cent from 1979 to 2000. This is a fact that Statis­tics Canada records can eas­ily ver­ify.

How can you, as my Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, ex­plain this dis­crep­ancy then? I would very much like for you to pro­duce equally well-re­garded and peer-re­viewed aca­demic pa­pers to sup­port the op­pos­ing con­tentions made by your party and your leader, Michael Ig­nati­eff.

For­get any­thing pre­pared by the Coali­tion for Gun Con­trol, as their ra­bidly an­ti­gun agenda is well known. If I wanted to be ex­posed to more pro­pa­ganda, I’d sim­ply turn on the CBC News for patently false “ news” ar­ti­cles al­leg­ing that the Amer­i­can Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion is some­how be­hind the move­ment to kill the long gun registry.

As a hunter, com­pet­i­tive tar­get shooter, and law-abid­ing cit­i­zen, I am of­fended by such bla­tantly man­u­fac­tured “news” and your party’s ac­tive part in per­pet­u­at­ing this fab­ri­ca­tion.

Ob­vi­ously, anti-gun el­e­ments within your party and the CBC are stu­dents of his­tory, since it was Nazi Pro­pa­ganda Min­is­ter Joseph Goebbels who once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep re­peat­ing it, peo­ple will even­tu­ally come to be­lieve it.” This is pol­i­tics of the low­est or­der and as a con­stituent, cam­paign vol­un­teer, and now for­mer mem­ber of the Lib­eral Party, I am dis­gusted and dis­mayed that this is the best the Lib­er­als have to of­fer in­formed and in­tel­li­gent vot­ers to­day.

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