Bill-391 – It‘s not just about Gun Control – It’s about our Charter Rights and Freedoms.It is hard for non-gun people to understand, let alone comprehend, that there are men and women of this country that take their responsibility as citizens very seriously, and realize that freedom is a fragile gift. These Canadians fully appreciate that the military pattern rifle they own and train with on civilian and military ranges every weekend across Canada, protects not only their country and family, but more importantly their Charter Rights. These are stories about real Canadians you are not likely to see on most mainstream media.
Like all Canadians I was appalled by the carnage at École Polytechnique de Montréal. Like all Canadians, I believed that something had to be done to minimize the chance of such incidents in the future. And in true Canadian fashion, I believed that there was a middle ground where a compromise could be struck between the need for societal safety and the right to property and our Constitutional right to the security of the person and our own self defence.
It became evident very quickly that there was to be no compromise. The government of the day saw gun control as a wedge issue that could be used to ensure electoral victory.
However, what the government did not count on was the massive cost overruns on the Long Gun Registry (LGR) and the many security breaches that would become the hallmark of the project. The government also underestimated the tenacity of the Auditor General to document the LGR’s cost or the inability of the LGR to generate demonstrable benefits. In addition, the wild ranting of a few claiming that gun control would lead to confiscation began to come true in Toronto and other places in the country as police officers seized guns from licensed owners. These were the turning points in public opinion.
Since then, we have seen the primary contractor for the registry, CGI, get exposed for contributing $115,000 to sponsor the CACP 2009 Annual Convention, and the Coalition for Gun Control, working through an Ottawa lobby firm with strong ties to the Liberal Party of Canada, secure $380,000 to be used to not only continue to lobby the government for further gun control, but to spread the success of the Canadian experience to other countries…despite the 2 billion dollar price tag at taxpayer expense.
What became evident to anyone that was paying attention was that the LGR was no longer about “safe streets”. While trying to be disguised by progressive politicians and the media as the divide between rural and urban Canadians, it quickly became known that many of those in opposition to the LGR not only lived in the east, but lived in urban settings. The LGR was actually about engineering a fundamental change in Canadian society. Every senior politician from Alan Rock to Sharon Carstairs touted how this was a fact and how the LGR would affect a fundamental social change in Canada.
However, many Canadians discovered that they do not want this type of change. In addition to the 7 million gun owners, many realized that the LGR is not solely about gun control and registration. It is not even about creating a safer society, (which mandatory training and licensing courses had long since accomplished). The real issue at stake is the fundamental difference between whether Canadians choose to take responsibility for their freedom and liberty or embark down an irreversible path that would place government and its various agents as the sole providers of all forms of security. In essence, turning over our individual Charter Right of security of the person and the right to self-defence permanently over to the government.
It is hard for non-gun people to understand, let alone comprehend, that there are men and women of this country that take their responsibility as citizens very seriously, and realize that freedom is a fragile gift.
Charter Rights since the Magna Carta through to the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (which I might add that the CACP was against) were established to protect individuals from the tyranny of government. And while today that perceived threat may be minimal, it does not alter or change the responsibility felt by these citizens or diminish the chance of tyranny emerging let alone prevailing.
It would be a violation of Charter principles to turn over any of these rights to government for safe keeping. But that is exactly what the continuation of the LGR does and why its dismantling is so important.
On Wednesday, there is likely to be a vote on the whether the LGR will be retained or dismantled. But what will truly be at stake is whether the Charter Rights and Freedoms that we currently enjoy, that have been fought for and preserved with the spilt blood of many Canadians on so many battlefields too numerous to mention, will be diminished by those who are slaves to party ideology or enhanced by those MP’s who were elected by their constituents, not their party leaders, on the promise to end the LGR and restore a measure of freedom for all Canadians.
h/t Bryan M.
note: The original publishing contained an incomplete paragraph. I apologize to the author. Last para fixed.