No longer is it going to be sufficient to have been against the firearms registry for an MP to be considered to be good on gun rights. Now why in the world would that be the case? After all, wasn’t the firearms registry the biggest problem with gun control and the main problem with the Firearms Act?
Actually no, the so-called long gun registry was a political construct to be a small change to a big problem. Eliminating it was intended to pacify an angry part of the Conservative party base. Unfortunately that part of the base is not appeased, and as was made clear at the recent CPC convention in Calgary, that part of the base is demanding considerably more change than has been forthcoming.
There has been much discussion about an incremental approach to removing the problems with the Firearms Act and regulations. The problem with an incremental approach is that it is not going to be successful in the face of major legislative change which was brought in by successive Progressive Conservative and Liberal Governments. Removing pieces of the law is really tinkering which creates confusion and causes additional problems of interpretation and inconsistency in a highly convoluted and entwined legal quagmire. Canada’s NFA is happy to help “peel the onion” but it needs to be understood that removing pieces of a rotten vegetable doesn’t make the vegetable any better, and what is really needed is to chuck the whole thing out. It has been said many times but the peer-reviewed research is clear – none of Canada’s firearms control laws have affected the rates of violent crime or spousal assaults. (See Caillin Langmann’s work “Canadian Firearms Legislation and Effects on Homicide 1974 to 2008” in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence SAGE 2012)
For these reasons, we are examining MPs a little more closely and grading them a bit more carefully in our Voters’ Guide. If an MP overtly, or even covertly (and we find out about it), supports continued theft of property from Canadians in terms of the prohibited class, and expects to continue the criminalization of firearms owners in a harsh licensing program, then they are not pro-rights and will be graded accordingly. That means that some so-called champions of ending the so-called long-gun registry may find that their political capital from that effort is on the wane. Canadian firearm owners deserve and expect much more than the treatment that they have been getting from the government’s firearms control bureaucracy, enabled by a long list of punitive and unnecessary laws.