Monday, June 15, 2009

Stockwell Day Says Shoot 'em if You've Got 'em

No I'm not so naive as to believe that merely making guns illegal will prevent gun crime. However, by having to register guns and take gun safety courses, it helps to make us realize that gun ownership is a privilege not a right.

I do believe, however, that no civilian should ever be allowed to own a handgun. You don't hunt with them or use them to to scare off pesky varmints. If you need to feel cold steel in your hands to make you feel powerful, embrace a lamp post.

The Reform/Alliance/Conservative party have always been almost militantly pro-gun, and yet almost militantly Christian zealots.

Obviously it's a different form of Christianity than the one I grew up with. For them it's like the Promise Keeper mentality: Pro-gun, pro-war, pro-intolerance and pro-hate. They strive to see a gun in every hand, a gay in every prison and a woman in every kitchen, and Stockwell Day has become one of their strongest allies.

No handgun ban, Stockwell Day says
Toronto Star
Tonda MacCharles
January 30, 2008

OTTAWA–Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day is flatly rejecting calls for a ban on handguns, saying the Conservatives government's support for more police on the streets, and tougher laws as yet unpassed, are already putting a dent in gun crime.

Day said yesterday his government's approach – including "increased (police) boots on the street" and a plan to kill the long-gun registry – has already significantly cut the number of victims of gun crimes "notwithstanding some very tragic incidents in Toronto."

Actually gun crimes had showed a significant decrease by 2005, before 'his government' came to power, but seems to be on the rise once again. In Vancouver, since January (2009) alone, there have been 45 shootings in the region, 17 of them fatal.

Conservatives reject ban on handguns
But Ontario attorney general calls on Ottawa to relent following shooting death of boy, 11
The Conservatives have long been in the holster of the gun lobby Michael Bryant , Ontario attorney general
Toronto Star
Jul 24, 2007
Richard Brennan

Despite renewed calls for a national ban in the wake of the shooting death of 11-year-old Ephraim Brown in Toronto on the weekend, the Tory government is not swayed.

"Effectively, there is already a ban on handguns in Canada. They are already extremely tightly controlled and are only available to those requiring them for employment purposes (such as police and armoured car guards), legitimate target shooters, and approved collectors," said a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day.

In addition to rejecting a handgun ban, the Conservative government wants to scrap the long-gun registry, saying it does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys. This policy is popular in many parts of the country where gun ownership is seen as a right.

"The Conservatives have long been in the holster of the gun lobby," Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant told the Toronto Star after he and Toronto Mayor David Miller called for a ban on handguns.

Bryant called on Ottawa to heed the outcry that something be done to curb illegal guns, including cracking down on smuggling at the border and restricting even more who can own handguns.

"We've got 215,000 (registered) handguns in Ontario alone and each one of them is a target for theft," Bryant said. "I say `no gun, no funeral,'" he added, referring to the deaths that have plagued Toronto in recent years.

The federal government maintains that handguns, which have had to be registered in Canada since 1934, are effectively banned now because of the severe restrictions.

But NDP justice critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) said her party supports an outright ban because "nobody needs a handgun in the city in Toronto." However, she said, "I don't think we can trust this Prime Minister to deal effectively with getting guns off our streets."

Dave Tomlinson, president of Canada's National Firearms Association, said a handgun ban would not reduce gun crime since many of the illegally owned guns are being smuggled in from other countries, including the United States.

"Taking the guns away from the people who (legally own them) is going to have absolutely no effect on the people who are carrying illegal guns," Tomlinson said.

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said a prohibition on handguns isn't needed. "Handguns are already effectively banned in Ontario," he said, adding Ottawa needs to beef up border crossings with more explosive-sniffing dogs to clamp down on smugglers bringing in firearms.

However, Tory distanced himself from Harper, saying he supported a gun registry and urged against scrapping it, calling the database "a sensible proposition."

The federal Conservatives have lamented that the Liberal-dominated Senate has held up two justice bills that would impose mandatory minimum penalties for individuals using restricted or prohibited firearms, including handguns, to commit serious crimes, or for any serious firearms crime that is gang- or organized crime-related.

"We stick with approaches that are tried and true and result in a reduction of gun crime," Day said in June when rejecting the idea of an outright ban.

Federal Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-GrĂ¢ce-Lachine) said the Conservatives should first live up to their election promise to increase funding to municipalities so they can hire more police.

"It's much too early to be talking about a handgun ban. First we should be ensuring the (long gun) firearm registry is maintained and enforced, not abolished ... and, secondly, proper resources should be given to our law enforcement so that they can actually enforce existing legislation," Jennings said.

The Tory bill to abolish the long-gun registry was introduced in June 2006, but is a long way from being passed. The gun registry was set up in 1995 by the Liberal government, making it mandatory for all owners of firearms to obtain and file certificates with the federal government.

The registry was supposed to cost $2 million, but costs ballooned to about $1 billion. Even so, the majority of Canadians say they support the initiative and the system is used approximately 5,000 times a day by police across the country, according to the Canadian Police Association and figures compiled by the government's firearms centre.


  1. Happily for firearms owners the arguments made by the Liberals and the anti-gun lobby are little more than a political position that is unsupported by science or historical record. Their campaign relies on false science, emotion, propaganda and ignorance and fear of firearms. Quoted statistics are taken out of context and result in a misleading or false assumption. The question that should be asked is when does an exaggeration become an outright lie?

    The historical lie is that Canadians never had a right to private firearms ownership. The right of firearms ownership was written into the English Bill of Rights in 1689. Prior to that an armed citizenry was an obligation. Common law confirmed that right of ownership consistently over the next several hundred years. This right passed intact to all British colonies and dominions.

    The greatest fraud has been the anti-gun claim that bans and to a lesser extent registration, have made any demonstrable contribution to public safety. The international record indicates just the opposite. Bans have failed everywhere and violent crime increases after bans come into effect.

    Contrary to Liberal claims, Canada has always had a culture of firearms ownership and use as confirmed in common law. The current attack on firearms owners has more to do with gleaning votes from the ignorant than it does with demonstrated necessity If the cause against firearms ownership was just then why have the Liberals refused a televised national debate on the issues of ownership and the use of the long gun registry? Why did the Liberals consistently refuse a cost/benefit analysis of the program as required by Treasury Board? Why was the cost of the long gun registry made a cabinet secret? Yes, truth and transparency are lacking in the Liberal record of gun control.
    As a public safety tool the long gun registry and gun bans are a proven failure yet this is all they offer in the realm if law and order. A Liberal government that is willing to attack a law abiding minority; who presents a revised national history; who attacks private property and actively pursues a policy of civilian disarmament based on lies and propaganda is one to be feared and opposed.

    Opinion based on prejudice and ignorance has no place in this debate and neither do the politicians that pimp this anti-gun position based solely on a quest for power.

  2. In 1689 the need for colonists to bear arms was based on internal and external threats. Original census was taken as 'Muster Rolls' and included not only the number of inhabitants of a household, (with special interest in males over about 10 years of age) but how many guns they had, so I suppose gun registry also went back to that date.

    My own personal feelings about guns are not based on any 'lies' but the mere fact that guns are dangerous weapons and need to be handled with respect.

    We now have a military and police force(s) who can bear arms for us.

    I stand by my original belief that no Canadiasn civilian needs to own a handgun and that all long guns should be registered. My aunt was murdered by her husband with a long gun, so my opinion is not only based on rational thought, but personal experience.

  3. The Bill of Rights of 1689 A good backgrounder is found in Wikipedia. The Bill was framed for England and although applicable here was not aimed at the settler per se. Following your logic cars should be banned as they are frequently connected with criminal death and crime in general. Many things are dangerous but we do not ban them. Licensing, as with cars, does not preclude crime.

    I might comment here that I have to have all sorts of licenses and permits on my person to hunt or shoot on private property but you do not have to license a motor vehicle for use on private property.

    You may not shoot handguns but thousands do legally without incident. Why should their sport be prohibited when they have done nothing wrong? I call your attention to the mayor of Toronto closing two shooting ranges, both with long trouble free histories. My own U. of Toronto closed the Hart House range after 88 trouble free years because the activity was no longer politically correct. I am weary of politicians who are willing to give away minority rights, that thousands died for in the past, all for the sake of political power.

    Yes, we have police and military. The military have their role and the police theirs. Neither have anything to do with the historic firearms culture of Canadians. Why should I change my culture because a majority of Canadians don't own firearms and think everyone should buy into their urban values? This is not what Canada is about. As the Governor General said recently, "people have to accept the diversity of realities." You cannot cherry pick which cultures are acceptable and which are not politically correct. I have no respect for politicians who present a revisionist history of Canada in their quest for power. You may not subscribe to my culture of firearms ownership but you have to defend my right to enjoy it. Registration serves no public safety purpose. It does not solve crimes or prevent firearms crimes or suicides. Registration has never been shown to contribute to public safety. Registration historically has always been the prelude to confiscation. Less than 2% (Stats Canada) of legally registered handguns are connected in any way with crime. So a handgun ban will have no significant impact on public safety. While your experience with firearms is regrettable it nonetheless is a statistical anomaly rather than the rule. There are larger issues at stake here and as such the firearms community has only just begun to fight for our rights. Like most Canadians, I have voted Liberal most of my adulthood but no more as they have betrayed basic Canadian values by attacking the legal and law abiding firearms community for the sake of gaining power.

    The science is on our side. We may be passionate about our culture but we reject emotion, urban ignorance, personal prejudice and outright propaganda in defending our rights. We leave that to our detractors. Opinion and prejudice are a poor substitute for cold hard facts nor are they a good basis for decision making.

  4. If handguns are just for shooting ranges then let those ranges provide the guns. They are not needed in homes where they are vulnerable to theft or misuse.

    I cite the case of the little first grader in Michigan who brought his father's loaded pistol to school and killed another six year old. Sadly that is not that unusual.

    You pose some good arguments but the bottom line is that the majority of Canadians like the registry and hate handguns, so elected officials in a democracy must consider the will of the majority.

    Canadian culture is not the same as American culture when it comes to guns. We do not consider it an inalienable right.

    Your argument about cars is not the same. We need cars to get us to our jobs,etc. so there are many laws in place when it comes to safe driving and maintenance of your vehicle. We don't NEED guns.

  5. Your assertion that "a majority of Canadians like the registry and HATE handguns" is a stretch ALL RECENT POLLS FROM ALL SOURCES INDICATE THE MAJORITY OF CANADIANS WANT TO SEE THE DEMISE OF THE LONG GUN REGISTRY. Denying the fact is to live in denial. Hate is a strong word. Most urban Canadians don't own firearms and may never have fired one. Their opinion is not supported by the science nor is it concerned with minority rights. I have studied and worked with history for more than fifty years so it is against my nature to deny the facts or science behind an issue. The firearms issue is now similar to the abortion issue. You are either for them or against them and it has everything to do with emotion, personal bias or ignorance about the nature of the issue. Have you ever fired a handgun for sport or do you even know a handgun owner?

    Taking the Liberal Party line of presenting an alternate legal history of Canada or denying the historic culture of firearms ownership does not wash. Denying that the RIGHT of ownership never existed is also part of the lie. There is a history of firearms rights in common law. That is the fact. Your insistence that ownership is merely a privilege is not valid. At present there is a suit making its way through the courts the purpose of which is to have the right recognised once more.

    Wishing it so does not make it so. You talk about the will of the majority and I speak about the rights of the minority. If you were a student of history you would realise the lesson of the tyranny of the majority is not always just or even correct. Evil men have manipulated the majority to commit outrages against minorities, i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Mao the medieval church etc. You are making the same argument they did. That is why we have a Bill of Rights and seek to protect the minorities amongst us. Following your logic the majority could rid ourselves of Muslims, Jews, or any other group we did not agree with.

    If you are going to argue against firearms based on need then I could list all sorts of items that we don't really need beginning with cars. Why not just rent one for holiday trips? I grew up and worked in Toronto without a car. Think of the pollution we could prevent and the needless deaths by accident or design we could prevent.

    Quoting anomalous stories of gun deaths in the United States is most unconvincing. Check out the national statistics published by the FBI and the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Statistically you present a poor case and after all properly interpreted they tell the story.

    The caveat that comes to mind is the figure for daily use of the gun registry by police. If statistics can lie then there is a grand example. ANY sort of inquiry made by police registers at least one hit on the Registry. In the case of a firearm transfer there are three hits. THE FACT REMAINS THE REGISTRY HAS NOT SOLVED ONE CRIME NOR HAS IT DEMONSTRATED AN ABILITY TO PREVENT CRIMES OR SUICIDES!

    As a parting thought..........what could be more convienient for one stop shopping than an isolated gun club with an arsenal of firearms?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. There is no historical culture in Canada that ties in with gun ownership. Hunting - yes. But when I think of Canada I don't equate our history with the wild west, where everyone had a holster on their hip and a finger on their trigger.

    It's not who Canadians are. I've read some of Garry Breitkreuz'polls, and the questions are always misleading. Does the gun registry prevent crime? Does it help the police?

    Most citizens would answer no to those questions. However, police officers see things differently.

    Canadian police want to keep gun registry going

    "The Conservatives, the party of law and order, appear on a collision course with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

    Saskatchewan MP Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville), a fervent opponent of the gun registry, has introduced a private member's bill that launches the most sweeping attack on Canadian gun control since its inception.

    Bill C-301 not only has the full backing of the Conservative caucus, but also from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. If just 11 opposition MPs support it, it will become the law of the land.

    The police chiefs are dead set against it, as are a clear majority of Canadians. A 2001 Gallup poll found that 61 per cent want stricter laws governing the sale of firearms and 63 per cent believe gun ownership should be made illegal for ordinary citizens."

    "I urge you and other members of your party not to support (Bill C-301)," CACP president Steven Chabot wrote in a March 9 letter to the prime minister. The police chiefs have been at the forefront calling for gun control since 1973, he noted.

    I'm with our police on this one. I've never fired a gun and have no desire to do so.

  8. The Chiefs Assoc. has to be recognised for what it is. Chiefs are political animals that reflect the position of their mayor or council. Even the Chiefs are not unanimous as evidenced by the London Chief of Police who refused to endorse David Miller's call for a national handgun ban. Rank and file police do not echo the chief's. When the Chief of Police of Toronto, Julian Fantino, contradicted the mayor he had to go. He is now the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police and still against the long gun registry and symbolic handgun bans.

    You make the common error or equating gun control with licensing and registration. Gun control would come about with the end of the violent urban gangs and the social conditions that breed them. The gun problem will not disappear until the demand disappears. The historic truth here is tied to our experience with alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Bans have done nothing to stem their demand and so it is with firearms.

    Licensing of individuals allows for a uniform level of training nationally as well vetting individuals for criminal convictions. Why did the Liberals not set up a national registry of those barred from firearms ownership due to felony convictions or mental disqualification???

    Registration has a record of failure in Canada and abroad as a tool for providing greater public safety. Registration also has an odious history as it has always preceded confiscation by the state and has been a practise of all previous totalitarian governments.

    It would now appear that Mr. Breitkreutz has thrown his support behind the new Bill C-391 which is confined to ONLY ending the long gun registry. His bill would have improved the administration of the Firearms Act but I have yet to see any opposition comment as to specific problems - all I get is the charge that it is an attack on gun control! More rhetoric and emotion but no facts to deal with.

    Public opinion has come a long way since the last Liberal government. The Conservatives actually made an effort to educate the public about the nature of firearms instead of the confusing rhetoric we were used to. I believe it was confusing for a reason. It is easier to sell an unworkable program to uninformed citizens. So far the Liberals are only offering more of a failed program. This realisation and acceptance by the MAJORITY of Canadians of that fact explains why ALL recent polls from all sources favour the end of the long gun registry. That is the result of education instead of propaganda and rhetoric.

    The 2001 Gallup Poll is exactly what I have been saying. If you have incomplete and confusing information then it is easy to manipulate a favourable outcome. The average Canadian in 2001 did not know what an assault rifle was and how it differed from a sport firearm. They did not know how few legal handguns there were in Canada and how strict the registration process was. They believed more of a failed program was the answer - after all that was the Liberal position. They did not know that Canada has always had an historic culture of firearms ownership and usage that is very different from the American model. In the American experience settlement went before the law while in Canada the NWMPolice went before settlement. That is why Canada does not have a frontier mentality.

    I can remember in the 1960s you could go to Hallums outdoor store on Yonge St. in Toronto and purchase all sorts of surplus military firearms including bren guns capable of automatic fire. There was no problem with the brens nor was there a problem with illegal handguns. The difference then was the fact there was no demand from violent urban gangs. Think about how these gangs came to be and why they still flourish - something over 80 gangs in Toronto!

    You may not like Mr. Breitkreutz's polls but you cannot fault the science he quotes and that is the difference between the science based Conservative approach and the propaganda laden rhetoric of the Liberals!

  9. You are right about the questions in a poll. You can bias a poll by slanting questions toward a desired outcome. For example. "Are you in favour of ending gun violence?" The obvious answer is yes but it can mean different things depending on whether it is the Coalition for Gun Control or the OFAH asking. Both want to see the end of gun violence but they have very different objectives in mind. Some questions have no right answer without bias, "have you stopped beating your wife. yes or no. Either answer will satisfy some agenda. On the whole you have to consider all the questions together and then decide if there is a built in bias. I try to find a fair 'third party' poll on an issue as they have no axe to grind. Timing of a poll can also manipulate the results. A poll carried out immediately after an outrage reflects heavily the revulsion against the act. Is the poll accurate? Probably not. It would be unreliable as emotion not reason would determine the responses.

    I spoke before about the use of scary numbers to press a point. Most of these numbers do not stand up to fair scrutiny such as is the case with hit claims for the gun registry. Investigation has shown the actual firearm inquiry per day is less than 20! Now that is a long way from the 5000 claimed by supporters of the long gun registry. Note that I specifically mention the long gun registry. No one has suggested ending the registration of handguns and yet this is the impression left from statements made by supporters of a long gun registry.

    You are not wrong to reject firearms as a part of your life. You have made that as a personal choice. I have chosen the other path. The difference between us is that I am defending my culture while you are willing to give away rights that do not effect you personally. I understand your circumstance but cannot agree with your conclusions.