Monday, May 18, 2009

More pretend Conservative action on the gun registry

I'm down in Orlando covering EMC World for my day job so my blogging will likely be limited over the next few days. I did want to mention though that once again the Conservatives seem to be trying to placate their base by pretending to take action on the infamous gun registry while in reality continuing to do nothing serious to get rid of it, just as they have for years. Once wonders if their base is really this gullible.

Here's the latest, from the story the other day about their again extending the amnesty for long-gun owners that haven't registered yet.

Treasury Board President Vic Toews said the Conservatives still intend to do away with the registry the Liberals created, which he argues does nothing to reduce gun crime.

"The government believes that gun control should target criminals, not law-abiding citizens," Toews said in Winnipeg. "It should save lives, not waste money. And it should promote safety on our streets, not frustrate hunters in the bush or farmers on their land."

(snip)

The Tories moved toward dismantling the registry Friday in Ottawa when Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Hoeppner introduced a private member's bill that would abolish the requirement for Canadians to register their non-restricted firearms.

"It's a clear bill that would eliminate the long-gun registry," Hoeppner said. "I'm really hoping to build consensus and bring the opposition on board. We're a minority Parliament. We can't do it on our own."
Come on Vic, are you really serious here? We've been down this road before, now haven't we? And another private members bill? Gary Berkuitz has had one going for years that hasn't gone anywhere. If Vic were really serious, he'd introduce a government bill rather than offering support for a bill from an obscure backbencher.

In their last big pretend splash on the gun registry, the Conservatives did introduce a government bill ... in the Senate. That house of unelected unaccountables they so routinely mock. And then to no one's surprise, after the initial media flurry passed you announced the Senate bill was dead in the water, to no one's surprise and after no real effort on your part.

Frankly, the Conservatives have yet to convince me they want to do anything more than half-hearted pandering on this issue. They've yet to make a real, serious push on what supposedly is a deeply philosophical issue for them.

I think that's for two reasons. One: they don't want to do too much to piss off the urban women they need to grow their seat count, and nearly won over last election. Two: they like having the gun registry issue as a political stick, a fundraising tool, a rallying cry, falsely blaming those dammed Liberals for their inaction on the issue.

If they were serious, we'd see a government-sponsored bill narrowly focused on long guns, and we'd see a real, genuine effort at building support for it by the CPC from members of the Liberal and NDP caucus. That could be an interesting vote, if they handled it right. But they'd rather have the issue, so we get half-hearted private members bills and lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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4 comments:

Prairie Kid said...

To date I have not met a single police officer, nor have I read a single story or article where a police officer has actually benefited from this inane registry.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Well, read this one and then you will. Sorry I can help you with introductions though:

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/control+vital+part+strategy+address+violence/1490909/story.html

Jennifer Smith said...

They extend the amnesty year after year, and then complain that not enough people register their guns to make it effective. They reduced and reduced and finally waived the license fees that were intended to pay for the thing, and then complain that it's costing the taxpayer too much.

Isn't this precisely how our government works, though? If you don't like a program or a department, you don't kill it outright - you just slowly starve it to death. Choke off its funding bit by bit, staff it with incompetent hacks who are ideologically opposed to the thing, and sit back and wait. Eventually, it will become so completely dysfunctional that the people will rise up and demand that it be done away with.

The Conservatives certainly aren't the first to go about it this way, but they sure are getting good at it. It's happening with the CBC, it's happening with the Senate, the PBO, AECL, the Information and Privacy Commission... the list goes on and on.

The gun registry is just one more program that may never die but will never, ever be allowed to succeed.

The Rat said...

Yup. Can you believe that? A political party playing politics! You're absolutely right, Jeff, the CPC has no intention of getting rid of the registry and they're really pissing off a lot of us gun totin' rednecks.