FAILURE BASED ON BOLD DECEPTION
from Brian Rahilly (“Evidence is needed,” The Observer, April 9)
The letter from Mr. Rahilly of the Dawson College Committee for Gun Control is symptomatic of the superficiality of public debate concerning gun control.
In 1995, Justice Minister Alan Rock made three representations concerning his legislation: a very modest $2 million annual cost, easy compliance and effectiveness. Thirteen years later, the evidence Mr. Rahilly seeks is patently clear: gun control is a failure.
It is a failure because the representations made by the minister and his officials were peculation, a bold deception involving huge monetary expenditures, exceedingly complex registration requirements and unsatisfactory results.
It is a well-aired failure. Had it been a success, individuals such as Toronto Mayor David Miller and Mr. Rahilly himself would not be clambering for more legislation. Social engineering of this scale and type often collapses.
Mr. Rahilly’s assertion that “Government policy should never being (sic) driven by ideologues” is correct. Groups such as the Association of Chiefs of Police were fundamental in lobbying for the passage of the bill in 1995. Based on performance, the police chiefs’ views should now be regarded with distrust and suspicion, yet Mr. Rahilly accepts unequivocally all pronouncements from that group.
Finally, the present government’s attempt to amend the legislation is disingenuous. Presenting it first in the Senate is an indicator that the Harper government now regards that chambre equivalent to the Commons on matters of fundamental public policy and legislation. The chambre of appointed representatives, of sober second thought, now trumps the Commons, the house of elected representatives, as first base for government legislation. Mr. Rahilly might better search for evidence why this constitutional gerrymandering is in play.
— Roger Gallaway Point Edward