Sunday, September 26, 2010

Much Phony Ado over the Long Gun Registry by Louis Evan Palmer

You might have been thinking that the Harper government did have some good instincts or was pursuing a couple of not-bad policies, but then they went and showed their true Reform-Republican colours by making a big deal of the long gun registry.

Yes, the cost was eye-popping and unfathomable but less so than the much shorter duration G8/G20 fiasco. The Tories, formerly anxious to portray themselves as the ally of the police, aligned against them this time because they had a more important target to set up – that is, the Toronto elites and their malign supporters; and, their victims – the poor rural citizen being treated like criminals.

There was always an implication in the Tory stance that their rural victims weren't that good at readin' and writin' and therefore making them fill out a form was a malicious imposition. And, of course, the country folk spend so much time shooting and loading and cleaning and tuning their guns, they can barely buy their ammo let alone stand in line and get and pay for a license for the dang thing.

It's never been clear from the Tory blather, if the other licenses our society requires are also to be gotten rid of. Doctors and lawyers need licenses. You need a license for your car. Do the Tory rural supporters want to get rid of that too? If they're willing to get a license for their car, why the big kerffufle over a rifle – a thing that is designed to kill?

What about the licenses for boats and planes and trains? Why do the rural folk get their hunting and fishing licenses without a squabble but balk at registering the long gun they use for hunting?

If it's okay to require a license for marriage, for liquor, for business and selling real estate and import/export and gambling, why is it a problem or an infringement of some kind to ask to register rifles and other long guns? The simple answer is “it isn't” and the real question is why they weren't being registered a long time ago. And all the so-called "fixing", both actual and proposed, of the registry has made it a hodge-podge shadow of its intended self - fix it by making it uniform and efficient.

Oh yeah, come next election, don't forget that the Tories were willing to play politics with public safety and social cohesion.

Much Phony Ado over the Long Gun Registry, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright 2010 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.