It’s getting shittier than ever to be a Canadian, and we are all hanging our heads and shaking them in shame. Because “free” trade (note the quotes) isn’t enough to sell our asses downriver, now Harpo & Co. have sold us out to the gun lobby.
The powerful Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle used in the 1989 Montreal massacre and this summer’s Norway bloodbath.
Sniper rifles that can pierce light armour from a distance of up to 1.5 kilometres.
Or one that can drop a target two kilometres away.
They are all weapons that will soon be declassified under the Conservatives’ bill to kill the long-gun registry and freed from binding controls that now see them listed with the RCMP-run database.
They fall under the class of “non-restricted” weapons and they are about to become unregistered. Restricted or prohibited firearms such automatic assault rifles, sawed-off shotguns or handguns are not affected by the bill and would remain under current controls.
But under Bill C-19, the law would no longer require a licensed gun owner to hold a registration certificate for “non-restricted” weapons.
The Coalition for Gun Control, which has mounted the fiercest defence of the long-gun registry, says many are not the workaday rifles and shotguns used by “law-abiding duck hunters and farmers” that the Conservatives say should be protected from Orwellian gun control laws.
The coalition is still analyzing the legislation. But in information sent to the Star, its researchers point out that under the Conservative bill the Ruger Mini-14, the .50-calibre sniper rifle known as the Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50 — a sniper rifle that can pierce light armour from a distance of up to 1.5 km — and the L115A3 Long Range Sniper Rifle, which can accurately hit a target 2 kilometres away will no longer require registration certificates.
It pointed out that Canadian on-line gun merchants clearly classify menacing guns like the IWI Tavor TAR-21 5.56mm as non-restricted.
So far, much of the public reaction has been focused on the Conservatives’ plan to destroy all records now held on long-guns in the registry.
It’s a plan that registry advocates say is a throwback to four decades ago.
No, these “non-restricted” guns are NOT hunting rifles. Unless your prey is human — in which case you are, by definition, a fucking murderer.
And yes, this makes the Harper Government™ (which is NOT the Government of Canada) stupid on crime. Very, VERY fucking stupid.
The Conservative government’s decision to destroy records from the soon-to-be defunct long-gun registry sets “a terrible precedent” for the retention of historically important documents, says an organization representing Canadian archivists.
The Conservatives are continuing to stick by the provisions that would require the commissioner of firearms to destroy the database, as part of legislation that ends the registration of most rifles and shotguns.
The bill, C-19, specifically says that it overrides the Library and Archives Act, which requires written permission of the chief archivist before shredding records. The Association of Canadian Archivists said the government should reconsider the provisions that require destruction of the records and bypass existing rules on records retention.
“It sets a very dangerous precedent for future legislation,” said association president Loryl MacDonald. “It’s not exactly transparent at all if the government thinks it can do what is politically expedient and override.”
MacDonald said her group’s concern is not with the nature of the gun registry records themselves, but with a process she said undermines the government’s own practices for keeping records.
Archivists and bureaucrats typically meet to determine how long different kinds of government records should be kept. The Firearms Act, MacDonald said, required the gun registration listings be kept for 10 years after the “last administrative action” on each record.
“The government might proceed to go about over-riding other records schedules, and records that might have long-term value might be destroyed,” MacDonald said.
She noted that the government has not yet agreed to transfer future censuses to Library and Archives Canada. Statistics Canada resisted turning over the 1911 census to the Archives and only agreed when the Statistics Act was amended, under pressure from historians and genealogists. Firearms advocates say the government had no business collecting the long-gun registrations in the first place so the listings should be permanently erased.
And who are those advocates who hate the keeping of facts, data and statistics so bloody much? I’ll give you a broad hint: They’re NOT Canadian.
The National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying group in the United States that advocates fewer gun controls, has been actively involved in trying to abolish Canada’s long-gun registry for more than a decade, CBC News has learned.
Documents and correspondence obtained by the CBC show the NRA has provided logistical and tactical support to organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CILA), established in 1998 to lobby Ottawa to shut down the registry.
The NRA provides the Canadian gun lobby group with “tremendous amounts of logistical support,” and while the NRA’s constitution prevents them from providing money, “they freely give us anything else,” Tony Bernardo, an Ontario gun advocate and CILA’s executive director, said in Canadian Firearms Digest in July 2001.
In 2000, the NRA paid $100,000 for an infomercial about what it called “the Canadian situation” that aired on The National Network in the U.S., according to Bernardo, who appeared in the video.
Read the collection of documents the CBC gathered for this story.
It cautioned gun owners the registry was a government plot to find out how many guns there were in order to seize them and leave citizens helpless to defend themselves.
Bernardo, a frequent guest on NRA chat shows updating U.S. gun owners on the fight to kill the Canadian registry, said the NRA was instrumental in helping him set up his Canadian lobby group, CILA, the lobbying arm of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), and a mirror group of the Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s lobbying arm.
There you have it. The Harper Government™. NRA puppet. NRA stooge. Soft on guns. Soft on crime (there’s a shocker). Soft on Anders Behring Breivik. Soft on Marc Lépine. Soft on James Charles Kopp. Soft in the fucking head.
And unCanadian as hell.
PS: And no, gun nuts, your I-have-small-nads crowing and bullshit-based “opinions” (note quotes) will NOT be tolerated here. Fair warning.
PPS: And just to rub the anti-registry cult’s noses further in it, the federal privacy commissioner says the registry is not, in fact, intrusive. Nor is there anything wrong with the provinces preserving the information therein for their own use.
Next up, the Harper Government™ will table legislation abolishing all federal and provincial privacy commissioners.