Today in a statement to the press, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Bill Blair said he would leave the decision to ban handguns to the provinces and municipalities and would forge ahead with a ban on legally acquired modern sporting rifles … the ones he calls "assault-style" - a fictitious term designed to terrify Canadian voters.
Blair has changed tracks on what that ban may look like, deviating from the Liberal norm of prohibition and grandfathering, and is convinced a buy back program may be in order. Has he lost his mind? In a Global News article, Blair himself estimates that there are approximately 200 000 rifles he considers to be "assault style". That's a very conservative (mind the sarcasm) estimate as many of these rifles are currently non-restricted, meaning they are not registered when purchased. Let's go with his number for the sake of this article. At an average cost of $1500 each (also quite conservative as some of these can run you up to $5000), that's a grand total of over $300 000 000 he'll be reaching into the public purse to buy used guns from RCMP vetted gun owners.
This is an embarrassment. It's appalling. Imagine the things this country could do with those kind of resources going to prevention programs in the community, at risk youth intervention, law enforcement and increased border security to prevent gun smuggling.
The signalling of virtues almost over-powers the incompetence.
And what exactly is the Minister trying to do here anyway?
Let's examine this.
If the intent is to cut down on typical "gun violence", most of those (60%) are committed with handguns, and yes mostly illegally obtained (almost exclusively in fact). But Blair has backed away from earlier hints of a ban and is happy to roll that down the food chain to the provinces and/or municipalities, washing his hands of the responsibility. This is American-style gun laws if we've ever seen it. So what about the AR-15? How often is it used in violent crime in Canada? Virtually 0% of the time yet here he is, digging into our wallets for hundreds of millions of dollars to send ours off to the smelter.
He thinks Canadians are stupid.
If the intent is to cut down on multiple victim public shootings I can't help but reflect on the tragedy we experienced here in Ottawa of the Parliament Hill shooting. A crime committed by a criminal using a lever action hunting rifle. The shooter made it from out in the street where he shot Cpl. Cirillo in broad daylight, across the street to parliament, all the way up the massive front lawn, up the stairs, into the building and past security and almost through the back at the library. What was the government’s response? To put more guns on the Hill, to arm Parliamentary Protective Services. More guns.
We simply can't support measures that are purely for political optics or posturing.
Canadians deserve better than to be insulted by this Minister, and his government into thinking their actions will make us all safer. The manufactured Minister has failed his country … again. Let's remember his assigned task, and promise; "to get handguns and assault weapons off the streets". None of this has happened. Even a ban and buy back doesn't do this because our guns aren't "on the streets", they're in our locked safes, in our locked homes, armed with trigger locks and kept hidden away. Why? Because we respect the law, no matter how ridiculous. Because we respect the tool, and what it can do. Because we are every day Canadians with an extraordinary sport.
Go ahead Bill, get guns off the streets, do the hard work of tackling crime and gang violence. The whole country would applaud you. You'd be a damn hero. But instead we get this. You can do something about this, you can vote. None of this happens unless they win the election. This writer is pretty confident that without a majority win in the fall, it is unlikely a measure of this magnitude would pass. Vote them out completely. Gather your family, and friends, your neighbours, anyone you can and vote hard.
Enough is enough.
Help us, help you keep your guns. JOIN THE FIGHT