While John Thompson writes well, he glossed over some important facts about the bill to end the long-gun registry.
Larry Bagnell has been recently quoted about the handful of registry supporters, but Bagnell was elected under the premise that, if given the chance, he would in fact vote to end the registry. This is not a minor issue. What is democracy if an elected politician can’t stand by his word to constituents?
Second, because it is a private members bill, Ignatieff can whine all he wants about “whipping” his party Ã the truth is, Bagnell can vote his conscience, AKA vote to represent his riding.
Last, for those who did not attend the event, Candice Hoeppner dispelled three misconceptions about the bill by clarifying the following:
1) The bill is only to get rid of the long-gun registry, not the Firearms Licensing Program.
2) That long-guns are not the leading cause of spousal homicide; knives are the first method, and closely tied in second are battery and strangulation.
3) That while the chiefs of police support the registry; in questioning, they agreed the registry does nothing to prepare or protect our frontline police officers if called to disturbances or disputes. The reality is that criminals and violent persons don’t register their weapons. If a police officer comes to a disturbance and the registry states that there are no long-guns registered to the owners of the home, or the involved persons of a disturbance, will s/he go into the squabble assuming there are no weapons? Heavens no! Police, therefore, cannot rely on the registry to keep them, or other persons, safe.
An attendee to the event further mentioned: what about Yukon aboriginals? Those whose way of life depends on hunting? With the cost of registering long-guns, and a lack of practical application of the registry; it seems the Liberal party, or rather Ignatieff, is punishing Canada’s aboriginals, game hunters and farmers. Gun owners everywhere are being stereotyped in Parliament as ‘bad people.’
In my own opinion, the yearly cost of approximately $103 million could be better spent elsewhere: tightening up the process of gun licensing, education to prevent violence against women, resources for women who experience violence or other forms of abuse, and other social or health-related programs. When one is stereotyped in Parliament as a bad person by nature of owning a gun, and not in fact ever having been a criminal, being placed on this list leads to resentment by gun owners. It seems their very character is being called into question by being ‘the type who buy and own guns.’
Get rid of “the list” and put more emphasis on licensing and background checks. That’s what’s going to save women and that’s what’s going to make the majority of constituents happy.