Blame it on the woodchuck, I guess.
Canadian gun owners can be forgiven if they’re feeling some peculiar empathy for Bill Murray these days. Back in 1993, poor Bill found himself doomed to repeat the second of February over and over, for all time, until he got it right.
When it comes to figuring out how to properly deal with the multi-billion-dollar white elephant that is the Canadian long gun registry (it should be taken out behind the barn and shot), we seem to be stuck in the same boat, reliving the same pains in our collective butts over and over, for all eternity, until we finally get it right.
This past Monday, Bill C-301 was to be debated in the House of Commons in Ottawa. That never happened. Instead, the bill, which seemed to have every chin wagging and which many argued had been circling the bowl for some time, took a header for the drain.
As David Akin reported in the National Post on Monday:
Garry Breitkreuz, who represents a riding in rural Saskatchewan, had introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons aimed at scrapping the controversial registry and the bill was to be debated in the House of Commons Monday morning. But Mr. Breitkreuz failed to show up for the debate and, according to rules of procedure in the House, that meant his private member’s bill now falls to the bottom of the priority list. MPs have introduced more than 190 private member’s bills and must count on a lottery system to have their bill advanced.
So what does this mean? Well, for all practical purposes, it means the Breitkreuz Bill is deader than Elvis. With everyone from the Coalition for Gun Control to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police lined up to oppose Breitkreuz’s bill, some folks aren’t surprised to see it quietly die on the House floor.
But hey, this is Groundhog Day, remember? Faster than you can say “bill C-what?” Manitoba Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner has come along with bill C-391.
Unlike the Breitkreuz bill, which included changes to ATTs, SAPs and 12(6) grandfathering dates, C-391 is a simple, straightforward shot at the long gun registry: no registration for non-restricted firearms. Period. That’s all.
And let’s not forget that we’ve still got the April Fool’s joke that is Bill S-5 stumbling and bumbling its way through the Senate, pretending to be doing something. To make things even funnier, the registry amnesty is still going on, having been extended to May 16, 2010.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go teach a gopher how to drive a pickup…