You can please some of the people, some of the time…
by Dennis E. Florian
Gun Owners’ Resource staff
As the saying goes, you can please some of the people some of the time, but a badger in your Stanfields probably doesn’t want to be there. Or something like that.
On Monday afternoon of this week, Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz (CPC) introduced Bill C-301 for first reading in the Canadian House of Commons (more on that here and here, in case you missed it). The Bill set out, amongst other things, to follow through on the long-made promise of the Conservative Party of Canada to outright scrap the $2billion white elephant that is the Canadian long gun registry. While there are also other provisions in the Bill (like cleaning up the ATT process), killing the registry is the one that’s gotten all the chins wagging away — on both sides of the fence.
It’s no surprise that gun-grabbers will have a hissy fit over this, but you’d think gun owners from coast to coast would be happy.
Well, most of them are. Just not all of them.
Earlier today, the Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) fired off a press release which shows how, for some folks, the powder horn seems to be always half empty:
SASKATOON, Feb. 12 /CNW/ – The Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) is extremely disappointed with the private bill Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz introduced to amend the Firearms Act and the related Criminal Code provisions.
“Some small improvements can be found in Mr. Breitkreuz’s Bill 301, but these adjustments pale in comparison with the bill’s shortcomings,” said CUFOA spokesman Al Muir from his home in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.
“The most significant flaw with this proposal,” Muir continued, “is that it does not question the largest and most unjust part of the Firearms Act, that is, personal licensing. This is the part of the law that has been responsible for most of the cost overruns.”
“The worst part of the 1995 law adopted by the Liberals,” claims Mr. Muir, “is not the so-called gun registry, but the people registry. And Mr. Harper and the Conservatives seemed to have swallowed it completely.”
CUFOA has consistently argued that only a return to the equally effective but much less expensive Firearm Acquisition Certificate (FAC) created in 1977 would be acceptable.
“Private member bills like Mr. Breitkreuz’s are unlikely to become law anyway,” explains Al Muir, “so CUFOA has serious concerns about the sincerity of the Conservative Party about terminating any adverse effects the Firearms Act on hunters, farmers, sport shooters, and self-defence.”
CUFOA fears that although well-intentioned, Mr. Breitkreuz is doing the Conservative Party’s dirty job of entrenching the 1995 Liberal law.
Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CUFOA is a national association of civil disobedience to the Firearms Act and its related Criminal Code amendments.
For further information: Al Muir, Nova Scotia: (902) 752-7877; Yvon Dionne, Quebec: (418) 598-3630; Kingsley Beattie, Ontario: (613) 523-6604
Before we proceed, perhaps I should make my own stance clear on this issue. While I find CUFOA’s statements in this case to be a bit unfair, particularly to Mr. Breitkreuz, I am an ardent supporter of the complete abolition of firearms licensing of any sort in Canada.
There, I said it. Let the mud fly; I’m a big boy, I can handle it.
Back to the issue at hand. I find it odd that CUFOA seemingly didn’t notice that Bill also instructs the auditor general to conduct a public safety test on all gun control measures every five years. That would include licensing. Care to guess what Sheila Fraser (aka Canada’s Favourite Pit Bull™) would find when if comes to the “effectiveness” of licensing?
Think about it. Fraser’s many things, but politically sensitive isn’t one of them. Licensing has never been found to reduce a single one of the problems that it claims to address: not gun crime, not accidents, not illicit trading… nothing. What it does do, however, is to act as a lovely little political placebo and provide some rather high paying positions to bureaucrats who would otherwise have go out somewhere and get real jobs.
Value for money = zero.
Fraser knows waste when she sees it and if there’s one thing she’s proven during her tenure, it’s that she’s not afraid to rain on anybody’s parade; not even the ones who pay her salary. It’s one of the reasons we like her so much.
My little bit of free advice in this matter — bearing in mind that you get what you pay for — is that some folks should quit their bitching and remember that 50% of something is a hell of a lot better than 100% of sweet-bugger-all.
Does C-301 do everything that it should? Hell, no. But that’s okay. If there’s anything at all that a keen observer of Canadian character will tell you, it’s that we are, by some deeply entrenched virtue of our national proclivity, incrementalists by nature. We do things one step at a time.
C-301’s a long way from being everything that needs getting done but for crying out loud, let’s at least give some credit where it’s due.