Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It won't end with killing the gun registry

I won't bother writing a long obituary on the coming death of the long gun registry; I've made all my arguments previously and the issues pro and con have been well-debated. I will say this, though: if you think the anti-gun control lobby is going to declare victory here and call it a day, you're sadly mistaken.

This is an important victory for them, and will only embolden to continue chipping away in favour of what they call "gun rights" in Canada, and what others call legitimate controls and restrictions on gun ownership.

What's next? While one of their frequent anti-registry arguments was "you already need a firearms license, so the registry is redundant" there are signs that, you guessed it, eliminating firearms licensing may be next on their hit list. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation seems in favour:
“The bill introduced today (Ending the Long-gun Registry Act) is long overdue,” said CTF Federal and Ontario Director Gregory Thomas. “Our supporters would have preferred that the government go further, and also eliminate licensing for non-restricted long-guns, but today’s legislation addresses the most wasteful and unnecessary parts of the program.”
And the editor of Outdoor Canada magazine is sounding the alarm about a growing anti-licensing movement:
Now that the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, or Bill C-19, is before the House of Commons and all but certain to pass into law, should the shooting sports community take aim at also getting rid of non-restricted gun licences for individuals? The rumblings are out there, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation making the most noise.
Emboldened by their victory on the gun registry, anti-gun control activists will be pushing the Conservatives to use their majority to weaken Canada's gun control systems, and bring it more into line with the much looser regimes we wee in the U.S. The NRA has already been spending in Canada. Gun control advocates will need to be vigilant and mobilize public opinion to beat back the coming next wave, whether it comes around licensing or other areas.

In related news, it seems the pro-gun lobby is increasingly less and less about hunting, farm protection and the rural way of life, an argument I can sympathize with, and more and more about young men wanting shiny bang bang toys they saw on video games:
The consumer tastes of Canadian gun owners are fast changing, as shooters eschew vintage hunting rifles in favour of the latest "tacti-cool" military-style weapons - many of which appear in movies and popular video games, such as Call of Duty.
As a new generation of young men become interested in shooting, but not hunting, retailers are trying to meet the growing demand for sleek firearms.
Canadian authorities, meanwhile, facing the repeal of the long-gun registry by the federal government, are worried about the trend.
Gun-lovers accuse them of trying to stall the sale of legal military technology to the public.
A worrying trend, and possibly the next front in the gun control battle as the pro-gun crowd try to remove restrictions on realistic military-style (by design) weapons that can too easily be converted to full automatic fire.

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1 comment:

Mike-rra said...

Your post is a bit disingenuous. Equating Canada's "pro-gun lobby" (in your words) with the NRA? You don't even mention the name of that lobby (assuming it exists).

What is this lobby that you're referring to? What work have they done to date? Any articles or links you can provide?

The Edmonton Journal article doesn't mention any pro-gun lobby. They interviewed a few gun shop owners, but that doesn't equate to a lobby group. The only mention is the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, but the best they've done is get the gov't to compensate 50 owners of a particular gun, after the gov't banned that gun. Hardly on the same lobbying efforts as the NRA.

I'm not defending the government decision to scrap the registry, nor do I wish to see more guns allowed into the country. But if you're going to raise red flags and make a lot of noise over the subject, going so far as to make parallels with the US and the NRA, you'll need to make more convincing arguments than linking to interviews with a few gun shop owners, and referring to a mysterious, nameless "pro-gun lobby" which might not even exist.