Friday, August 20, 2010

This One's For You Stevie: "Lies, Lies. I Can't Believe a Word You Say"

As one of Stephen Harper's latest victims, Marty Cheliak of the RCMP, is learning that even the police are not safe in a police state. They must also learn to Goose Step to Herr Harper's command or they are never heard from again.

And what was Cheliak's crime? Are you ready? He supported the gun registry. Yep. Fire shot from Harper's eyes, his head spun three times counter clockwise, and he began to froth at the mouth. It was not pretty.

How convenient. Not four months ago Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak of the RCMP sang the praises of Ottawa’s tough gun registry to the House of Commons public safety committee. This week, as Stephen Harper’s Conservatives move to gut the registry, Cheliak was dumped from his high-profile job as head of the Canadian Firearms Program and shuffled off to brush up on his français, of all things. Not to worry. RCMP Commissioner William Elliott’s decision to unhorse a vocal Mountie is just a routine “staffing decision,” the Prime Minister assured the nation Wednesday. Nothing “political” about it.

Of course not. Nor was there anything “political” about Tory efforts to attack, hobble or dump Pat Stogran (veterans ombudsman), Munir Sheikh (StatsCan), Kevin Page (parliamentary budget officer), Paul Kennedy (RCMP watchdog), Peter Tinsley (military complaints) and others who had the temerity to question the government’s wisdom. Apparently, this government has nothing but respect for independent-minded public servants.

And for the record, the "Lies, lies..." being told about the gun registry are mounting faster than Harper's empty grey hair dye bottles.

1. The Firearms Registry is a financial boondoggle & costs billions to run. Wrong: In 2009, it cost $4.1 million to operate the long gun registry.

2. There's too much red tape in registering a long gun. Wrong: Registrations or transfers are done over the phone or online in a matter of minutes.

3. It's expensive to register/transfer a long gun. Wrong: It's free.

4. The gun registry targets the wrong people. Wrong: As of 2009, 111,533 firearms were seized by police for public safety reasons or after criminal use. 87, 893 were long guns.

5. Criminals use handguns. Long guns are used by law-abiding hunters and farmers. Wrong: Not always. Of the 16 police officer shooting deaths since 1998, 14 were committed with a long gun. In 2007, about 15% of known firearm homicides in Canada were committed with a long gun.

6. Police don't support the CFP. Wrong: All of the major Canadian organizations representing police support the registration of all firearms in Canada.

7. Police don't use the gun registry or the CFP's other services. Wrong: Police across Canada access the Firearms Registry online on average 11,076 times a day, 2,842 of those queries for addresses involving community safety incidents.

8. The Firearms Registry online has no impact on Police. Wrong: It does impact officer safety as evidenced by the fact that police used it 4,042,859 times last year.

9. The CFP does not save lives. Wrong: The CFP does more than register guns. It's another tool that assists police in making informed decisions that contribute to community safety.

10. The "gun registry" database has been breached over 300 times by hackers - our information isn't safe. Wrong: The CFP's national database has never been breached by hackers. Information is safe and secure.


  1. I Hate Harper and his punishment crusade.

    Sorry but the gun registry is a joke Emily

    Criminals will not register there guns. It gives the public and police a false sense of security.

  2. I don't believe it's a joke. Canada's pre-Harper justice system was working, evidenced by our low crime rate.

    My aunt was killed by her husband with a long gun in rural Canada. No one will convince me that "gangs" commit all violent crimes.

    The gun registry helps to define who we are.

  3. Sorry to hear about your aunt.

    Now I understand your out look on the gegistry.

    But if you look at the big picture would it have stopped that tragic event. Sorry to say no it would not have.

    I stopped buying and using firearms when they did not fit my life style and it was also getting just plain hard to even buy ammo.

    You need a owners card.

    Not trying to belittle your the loss of a family member when I commented.

    We lost a family member to drugs but the war on drugs is what caused that issue.

    If the safer ones were leagle ( Cannabis ) then would that have happened I think not. He would not have delt with drug dealers.

    The events would pobably have happened with or with out changes in the drug laws or with or with out the registry.

    I would have to say you blog is very interesting and a enjoyable read in the morning when sipping my coffee.

    Just hope I did not offend you

  4. Not offended at all. And no the registry would not have saved my aunt, but for many victims and the families of victims of gun violence, that registry is a comfort.

    But more than that, it defines who we are as Canadians. We don't take gun ownership lightly. It is a privilege, not a right, to own a gun and registering it is no more an inconvenience that licensing your car.

    Police can use that licensing to track down those involved in all kinds of things, in the same way that they can use the gun registry to help solve crimes.

    Glad you like the blog.

  5. As an alumni of Université de Montréal who had a long-time boyfrioend and a husband Polytechnique graduates, I could have been one of the victims.

    I saw the 14 pink coffins with my own eyes.

    A lot of police officers are hurt when they go to intervene in family violence cases. It makes them safer if they know what they are dealing with.

    If violent (family violence) or unstable (suicide, "going postal") people are deprived of access to guns, everyone breathes easier.

    You register your dog, Barry, don't you?