Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Informed Voice

Bellow is a letter to the Prime Minister written by Wendy Cukier of the Coalition for Gun Control. I have read the proposed bill c301 and have to ask did Ms Cukier even read the bill? Or is it the usual modus oporendi of the Coalition for Gun Control to make it up as they go along. To be frank and honest about the proposed bill it doesn't even come close to dismantling gun control in Canada. As usual there is a great deal of rhetoric and little real substance to the CCGC position. The proposed bill would only eliminate the registry of shotguns and rifles. It would still require one to have the proper licence and background checks.

There are some other inclusions into the bill that fall under what a normal person would regard as "Common Sense" issues. Whether you realize it or not some people have a licence for what are known as 12(x)s or prohibited firearms. They have these because the law has allowed them viz a grandfathering clause in the law. They are in lawful possession of these firearms. The previous Liberal Government pulled their special authorizations to shoot these on a licenced range. In pulling this authorization they effectively made having these firearms pointless. They did this for no other reason than they could but could not lawfully suspend their licences without just cause.

The goal of the firearms act is disarmament of the civilian population one class at a time. Bill 301 would restore what was already lawful before it would not create anything new. Another item to be streamlined was the registering of pistols, revolvers, and short barrelled long guns known as the restricted class. Instead of having a piece of paper for each it would be reduced to one piece of paper for all of them you own. Another item was the authorization to transport again each individual firearm in the restricted class has to have an ATT for each this was to be streamlined into one for all. No different than your automobile insurance you get one slip with all the cars you have insured on one pink slip.

These are only reductions in the amount of paper work that must be processed. It is premised in the fact that if you have a valid licence for the class of firearm it is logical that you are qualified to possess it and transport to the range, the gunsmith, and home. No where in the bill does it do away with the registration of the restricted or prohibited classes of firearms. Nor does the bill do away with the rigorous screening process in order to be licenced.

To have a restricted licence you must pass three levels of screening and have no criminal record. The first is local the second is cross Canada the third is with Interpol. To purchase and register a firearm in this class you must be a member in good standing of an approved gun club. So contrary to popular belief that any person can walk into Walmart or the corner gun shop and buy a gun and walk out with it. It is very strictly controlled and will remain so.

Now if you take for gospel what is being said about firearms in the Mainstream Media and the various gun control orgs you would be lead to believe that blood is running in the streets and guns need to be removed from society. However if you look at the actual numbers that statscan compiled you will actually be amazed. In all of Canada there were 594 homicides, this includes all methods. 188 shootings, 190 stabbings 116 beatings, 50 strangulations, 4 burnings/suffocations, 19 other methods, 27 not known, in 2007. 188 people shot sounds like a great deal but when you compare the total of the other categories 406 in total 188 isn't even half of the others and and is not even a third of total homicides. Putting it into perspective 406 people were murdered without guns.

I will not get into a battle of the sexes and who hurts who more. That is just childish and places a higher value of one human being over another. To me violence is violence and that is not acceptable in a civil society. It is no more acceptable than what a feminist of note suggested some years ago. That all males between the ages of 15-45 ought to be incarcerated in order to prevent violence against women. Yet these humanitarians fail to mention anything about violent women.

The one thing the statscan report makes clear about domestic homicide is the perpetrator has a long history of spousal abuse. By law they would be prohibited from owning a firearm. However it does not seem to impair their ability to kill the one they claim to love. It seems by Ms Cukier it is better they be beaten, stabbed or strangled than shot the sad fact of the statscan study is domestic violence has remained steady and unchanged 7% of all crime. Another sad fact is among suicides, her gun law hasn't changed that number either in the absence of a gun they chose another method. I really wonder where this woman's gets her sensibilities. Personally I would rather take a bullet than being beaten to death.

Friday, March 6, 2009
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON

Re : Do not dismantle gun control. Defeat Bill C-301 on April 1, 2009 Dear Sir,

The signatories to this letter are deeply concerned about Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz’s Private Member Bill C-301, which will relax controls on restricted and prohibited guns (including handguns, assault weapons and machine guns) as well as eliminate the registration of rifles and shotguns. Please ensure your party defeats this proposed legislation at second reading on April 1, 2009.

You have stated your commitment to ending violence against women, most recently in the letter many of us received on December 6th 2008. Our gun law is not only a monument to those who were killed on December 6, 1989 at l’École Polytechnique, but is recognized worldwide as an effective tool for reducing gun violence targeting women. Commitment to ending violence against women requires more than wearing a white ribbon on December 6th. As the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre approaches, it would be a travesty if the party you lead helps dismantle the gun law we all worked so hard to pass.

Our laws have made Canada safer.
· In 1991, more than 1400 Canadians were killed with guns. Now it is fewer than 800.
· The 2007 rate of murders with rifles and shotguns has dropped by more than 78% from 1991.
· Murders of women with guns have plummeted from 85 in 1991 to 32 in
2004 (the numbers of
murders without guns have not dropped as significantly).

· Suicide rates, particularly among youth, have also declined.
Policing, public health and victims’ organizations across Canada – including those from Polytechnique and Dawson College - support sensible gun control. On behalf of millions of women in Canada, so do we. As the Alberta Court of Appeal noted, gun control is a women’s
issue: women represent a small
percentage of Canada’s 2 million gun owners. But they account for a high percentage of the victims of gun violence.

Mandatory screening, licensing and renewal for all firearm owners as well as registration of all firearms are important measures for protecting the safety of women.
Renewable licenses reduce
the risk that individuals with a history of domestic violence will have access to firearms.
Registration ensures that the police can take preventative action. The proposed law extends the licensing period for 10 years for all gun owners (including those who own handguns and assault weapons), reducing the opportunities for review and ensuring that information is up to date. Canada’s licensing system, with spousal renewal, is essential for the safety of women.
Do not help undermine it and jeopardize our safety and the safety of our children.

Continued from page 1

Rifles and shotguns are the firearms most often used to kill women and children in domestic violence. Access to a firearm is the fifth leading predictor of female homicide in domestic violence. The proposed law also eliminates the requirement to register rifles and shotguns. The Supreme Court underscored the importance of registration as a means of enforcing the licensing provisions of the law. If a licensed owner can buy as many guns as they want without having their name associated with the guns through the registry, there is little to prevent them from giving those guns to individuals without licenses.
Information about the guns
individuals owns is essential to enforcing prohibition orders and supporting preventative action by Canada’s police agencies; they currently use the registry 9400 times per day. There are many powerful semi-automatic firearms currently classified as unrestricted firearms, including the Ruger Mini-14 used at Polytechnique. Repeatedly, inquests into the murders of women and children recommended the licensing of gun owners and registration of guns to prevent further tragedies.

There is no place for military and tactical weapons in the hands of civilians. Almost 400,000 Canadians signed a petition calling for a ban on these weapons and most countries in the world prohibit civilian possession of fully automatic and semi automatic weapons. The shooting at Dawson college taught us a bitter lesson =E
2 that the lists of prohibited
firearms have not been
updated since the law passed in 1995. We want more control on these weapons, not less. Bill
C-301 relaxes controls allowing fully automatic weapons to be taken to shooting ranges.
Canadian women continue to support overwhelmingly the licensing of gun owners and registration of all firearms. Polls have shown that while half of gun owners opposed the law, 77% of people living with a gun owner supported it. Women are rightly concerned about access to rifles and shotguns in cases of domestic violence and suicide:

· 88% of Canadian women killed with guns are killed with a shotgun or rifle, the very guns that opponents of the law say are not the cause of gun violence;

·Access to guns is the fifth highest of 18 risk factors in spousal homicides; · 50% of family homicides end in the suicide of the murderer, indicating that the key to protecting women and children is thorough screening in licensing and licence renewals for gun owners; ·When guns are used there are more likely to be multiple victims, often children; ·Although opposition to gun control is stronger where rates of gun ownership are higher (particularly in rural and western communities), women and children are particularly at risk from guns in the home in these areas.

Let us be clear: the stakes could not be higher for Canadian women.
Ending violence against women

requires more than talk. It requires action. We urge you to lead your party to reduce violence and suicide in our families and our communities, by defeating Bill C-301 on April 1.
Signatories listed on attached page.

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