GUEST COMMENTARY: OUR COMMUNITY – THE COMING FIGHT AND DEADBEAT GUN CLUBS
by Garry Breitkreuz
Firearms are common in virtually every aspect of Canadian life, and they are owned and enjoyed by Canadians from every walk of life. We include politicians, lawyers, homemakers, hunters, farmers, teachers, professors, students, judges and professionals of every stripe. The list is endless.
The myriad firearms owned in this country include precious historic collectibles, family heirlooms, precision competition guns (used in an almost endless list of sport shooting activities) and everyday workhorses used for hunting, predator control and plain old plinking.
Shooting is one of the only sports where males and females, families, children and the physically challenged can all participate on an equal basis.
Canadian shooters enjoy an enviable safety record, making shooting one of the safest recreational activities in our country. There are instances where firearms are used for criminal purposes, but the same can be said for many commonplace objects in our society ranging from pharmaceutical drugs to motor vehicles. While it certainly appears that many in the left-wing media believe that guns pull their own triggers, under Common Law it is the individual who bears the responsibility for the misuse of firearms.
Participation in shooting can range from every day to less frequently – so does the involvement in supporting and protecting this historic activity. There are individuals who continuously contribute time and resources, people who are aware of the monumental challenges we face.
There are also those who have little knowledge or interest in the mountains of conflicting regulations and laws which have been imposed on Canada's gun owners and even less interest in the future of firearm ownership.
For the most part, they depend on a minority of caring individuals to promote and protect their sport. Clubs and associations reflect this same imbalance with some clubs joining, financing and supporting pro-gun organizations, and others who choose to meet the bare-minimum requirements of cheap insurance needed to continue club operations.
Some club members even think that because their gun clubs purchase cheap insurance from an organization, that they are somehow making a contribution towards the longevity of firearm ownership in our homeland. Sadly the truth is much less positive.
The organizations that provide this insurance, by their own admission, do not make any money selling to gun clubs. Yes, you read that right. NO MONEY. What does this mean for you, the gun owner?
It means that the group you think is fighting for your rights may barely have enough money to keep the lights on. It means that you may have less than good representation, not because of the unwillingness or inability of a group, but because you didn't give them the tools or the money to defend you.
And worse, it also means that others are paying for your fight to retain your firearm freedoms.
Apathy is almost an axiom in groups. Five percent of the people do the work for the other 95 percent. It has been this way for a long, long time. All of us see it all the time. Our friends in the hunt camps who don't belong to any group because: “the government won't take my guns because I'm a hunter” or “they won't take my guns because I've owned them for 50 years” or our very favourite, “those gun groups are just fear-mongering.”
Frankly, there is nothing in the world we would rather do than enjoy a day afield and promote new shooting activities. That sounds a lot more enjoyable than struggling to retain the basic rights and freedoms afforded to all Canadians except gun owners.
But those are not the cards we’ve been dealt. Retaining our rights and freedoms to responsibly use our firearms is seriously tough sledding, involving countless hours and energies against people who truly hate us and our avocation. If you don't believe that, you have been out of the fight too long or were never in it in the first place.
There are also those whose clubs have a different mandate. To be sure, our hunting and fishing organizations do fantastic work on conservation, hunting and fishing issues. That is critically important to many of our members and the CSSA strongly believes that if you hunt and fish, you should be a member of these superb groups.
But that doesn't replace the firearms issues – not at all. Do you shoot? Own guns? Go to a range? Are you a member of a club that has a range? If you answer YES to any of the foregoing, you need to contribute.
And just to reassure you that this is not just a CSSA membership spiel, feel free to contribute to any firearm organization of your choosing. Just do something.
Our friends to the south call this phenomenon of those who let others do the heavy lifting: “deadbeat gun clubs and gun owners.” They are also continually amazed that CSSA has accomplished so much with so little.
It doesn't have to be this way. The ability to change things is in the same hands that hold your firearms.
Encourage your club to participate at a higher level than the barest minimum. Yes, membership in an organization may entail that you pay a little extra in your club dues – about $30 per year more than basic insurance buys. Let's put that is perspective. That’s a half a box of decent beer, or two tickets to the movies with a small popcorn, or three packs of cigarettes, or one box of .270 ammo.
It’s just .57 cents a week.
If you choose to whine and complain about paying this tiny pittance more, maybe you need to be asking yourself some tough questions.
Recent political events have made the status quo unsustainable and threats to the shooting sports in Canada have rarely been greater than we face today. We all, individuals and clubs, need to seriously evaluate our participation and elect to get involved in supporting the shooting sports. We are in danger of losing our rights and our possessions to a government and bureaucracy with a public position of limiting, prohibiting and over-regulating the ownership of firearms out of existence.
Consider making a financial commitment to give the needed resources to those that fight for you. If you belong to a shooting club, ask what is being done to ensure that yours is not the last generation to use your facility. Many clubs are sitting on substantial financial reserves that are earmarked for a rainy day. That day has come, and there is no better use for that money than to assist those who are at the leading edge of the fight.
Editor’s Note – Garry Breitkreuz is the former Member of Parliament best known for his work on behalf of Canada’s law-abiding gun community over his 22-years in Parliament.
WE'RE STILL LOOKING …
Do you want to tell your children and your grandchildren that you were “on the front line” protecting their rights?
Are you in the following geographic locations: BC Mainland, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Eastern Canada and Quebec?
Team CSSA is working to re-energize and re-focus our corps of volunteer regional directors. Would you like to be part of our exciting new RD Program and help represent Canada's greatest firearm organization across the nation?
It will require some definite, but modest, time commitments. Time well spent with friendly firearm owners representing the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
If you're interested, please send an email to Christine Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – WE NEED YOU!
The CSSA is reactivating our letter-writing teams. This group of articulate scribes is needed to counter inaccurate or biased media with fact-based points of view. Our previous letter-writing team was very effective in helping Canadians understand the many problems with the now deceased long-gun registry. Some basic training is provided. As well, this group will also be schooled in Access to Information requests and how to properly prepare and submit them on the CSSA's behalf.
If you are interested, please send an email to Christine Scott at email@example.com.
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
In honour of Remembrance Day …
DECORATED CANADIAN VETERAN JOHN MACISAAC FOUGHT AT D-DAY (By Allison Lawlor | Globe and Mail | November 10, 2015)
“At approximately 9:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944, John MacIsaac, then a lieutenant serving as a gun-position officer in the 14th Field Regiment of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA), landed on the beaches of the Normandy coastline with four self-propelled field guns.
He was one of 155,000 British, American and Canadian troops to land on what is now known as D-Day, to begin their fight to liberate France and the rest of mainland Europe.
“I saw people being wounded, taken off the beach,” he said, recalling the landing in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen newspaper in 2004. “I saw a lot of dead soldiers lying around. I saw landing craft immobilized … like sitting ducks.”
After successfully landing on Juno Beach, it was the job of the young officer, who died in Ottawa on Oct. 22, a week after his 95th birthday, to take compass bearings and inform his fellow troops where the guns should be fired. Through heavy fire, Lt. MacIsaac and his battery of Priests, an artillery vehicle nicknamed for its high, pulpit-like machine-gun mount, eventually made their way off the beach and into the fighting around the town of Bernières-sur-Mer. People who lived along the beaches remembered how shells rained down on their homes.
“The sound of the guns was like hell,” George Regnault, a fisherman in Bernières-sur-Mer, told reporters on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. “You could hardly breathe because of the dust, and tanks shook the ground.”
While under intense fire from the Germans, the Canadian Forces were able to move nine kilometres inland from their beach landings. But by the end of D-Day, 359 Canadians had died, 574 had been wounded and 47 had been taken prisoner. “The German dead were littered over the dunes, by the gun positions,” a Canadian journalist reported at the time. “By them, lay Canadians in bloodstained battledress, in the sand and in the grass, on the wire and by the concrete forts. … They had lived a few minutes of the victory they had made. That was all.”
Unlike many of the men in his regiment, Lt. MacIsaac survived the landing at Juno Beach as well as the subsequent battle at Caen, a city which remained firmly in Nazi control. In the days after D-Day, Canadians helped to carefully clear Caen of its snipers and mines. He remembered waking in the trenches in the morning surprised to find himself still alive. “Yes, I had some fear,” he would later tell his grandchildren. “But I had a job to do, and I was a soldier.”
Lt. MacIsaac continued to fight with his regiment through France, Belgium and the Netherlands before returning home to Canada. In Holland, he recalled the desperation of the people after he helped liberate a town. Terrified civilians would come out of hiding, having not eaten for days. Lt. MacIsaac and his fellow troops would share their meagre supplies with them.
On the day he died, Mr. MacIsaac, wearing his blue blazer, with a row of medals pinned above his Royal Canadian Artillery badge, joined other veterans at Rideau Hall for the launch of the 2015 national Poppy Campaign. After receiving his poppy, speaking with Governor-General David Johnston, and receiving a short tour of Rideau Hall, Mr. MacIsaac returned home to the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. Later that day, he had a heart attack and died.
About this project
Because your right to bear arms is as Canadian as maple syrup.
Canadians are passionately attached to their rights. Free speech, freedom of association, free and fair elections … and the right to bear arms.
Lately that last one has been portrayed as somehow un-Canadian, even sneered at as distinctly American. But actually it’s a fundamental part of our heritage.
When Canadians fought for self-government in the 1830s they were following a tradition dating back not just to Britain’s Glorious Revolution but to Magna Carta and even the end of Roman Britain.
The Canadians who fought for liberty in two world wars handled guns as familiar objects, tools deserving of respect but part of the natural inheritance of free-spirited, independent people.
In A Right to Arms we examine this Canadian tradition, the reasons for it, its history, contemporary challenges and arguments against gun ownership and why it is these arguments, not guns, that are un-Canadian.
The Right to Bear Arms tells the distinctly Canadian story of a people who have carried weapons in self-defence, including defence against tyranny, since time out of mind. It confronts the arguments against gun ownership today, on grounds of public safety or cultural inheritance, and shows that gun ownership is as Canadian as maple syrup or free speech.
Learn more about the project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robson-pellerin/a-right-to-arms
* This is a great project and a very worthy cause for donation - Team CSSA
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – THREE TOMS DOWN
In this week's episode, Keith Beasley takes his dad out into the turkey woods of Ontario Canada, in the hopes of getting his dad his first ever Tom! In this same episode, Paul Beasley goes out and has an aggressive Tom come in and destroy his decoy!
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/three-toms-down/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
MARYLAND GUTS GUN-CONTROL ‘BALLISTIC FINGERPRINTS’ PROGRAM AFTER ZERO HITS IN 15 YEARS (By Andrew Blake | The Washington Times | November 9, 2015)
Maryland has quietly ended a requirement that firearms manufacturers fire their handguns before being sold and submit the “ballistic fingerprints” to state authorities after the program failed to provide investigators with unique data in 15 years.
The Responsible Gun Safety Act of 2000 was intended, in part, to provide police investigators with a database of bullet fragments and shell casings to help trace the ownership of handguns used in crimes in the state. Maryland State Police collected and cataloged hundreds of thousands of casings and fragments at a cost of millions of dollars over the past 15 years.
But during that period, the ballistic fingerprints program provided matches in about two-dozen cases in which investigators already had linked a gun to a specific crime using other evidence.
“It’s fair to look at it after 15 years and see how effective it was,” state Attorney General Brian Frosh told The Baltimore Sun. “I don’t have a problem abandoning it.”
The gun safety law’s ballistic fingerprinting provision was repealed Oct. 1, ending the requirement that spent casings be sent to a warehouse beneath Maryland State Police headquarters in Pikesville.
The facility accumulated some 315,000 shell casings over the course of a decade and a half. Until 2007, investigators had photographed each fragment in order to keep records in a digital database that authorities could refer to after recovering spent bullets from crime scenes.
But even after the state agreed to stop funding the photograph aspect of the program eight years ago, state police had continued to receive from gunmakers envelopes full of shell casings until early last month.
Maryland’s General Assembly has authorized the state police to sell off its collection of casings and fragments for scraps, ending an effort that fell all too far from the intended goal of connecting crime scene evidence to the state-run database.
Mr. Frosh, who voted for the gun safety law as a Democratic state senator, told The Sun that he had tried to repeal the ballistic fingerprinting program several times in the past, but was routinely rebuffed by law enforcement officials.
But after state police issued a report last year showing that zero crimes had been solved with the database at a cost of millions of dollars a year, ballistic fingerprinting was taken off the books.
The database “was a waste,” Frank Sloane, owner of Pasadena Gun & Pawn in Anne Arundel County, told the newspaper. “There’s things that they could have done that would have made sense. This didn’t make any sense.”
Gun-control laws passed in 2013 prompted a surge in sales that in turn created a backlog so immense that state police hired eight staffers to organize the 60,000 casings received that year, The Sun reported. Despite an estimated lifetime price tag of $5 million, however, the program matched only 26 firearms to crimes that police already had linked by relying on other evidence.
According to a 2014 state government report, Maryland was the only state with a ballistics fingerprinting program. New York had enacted a similar provision in 2000, but it was repealed in 2012 and its collection system was disbanded.
Back on August 18, 2009, the CSSA responded to Ottawa Police Chief Vern White's
ill-considered plan to employ failed “Ballistic Fingerprinting" technology: http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/2009/08/Test-fire_all_guns_before_sale.html
Senator Vernon White – Conservative Party of Canada:
LOOKING FOR UPCOMING GUN SHOWS AND MATCHES? Visit our website at: http://cssa-cila.org/upcoming-events-matches/
UNITED STATES OF ADDICTION (By Abby Haglage | The Daily Beast | November 10, 2015)
Pills Kill More People Than Guns and Car Crashes
These numbers make it the leading cause of injury-related death in America, killing more than 46,000 people in 2013 alone.
In a now-viral video, New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie made a heartfelt plea to Americans about our treatment of people with drug addiction. “We have to stop judging,” he said. “And start giving them the tools they need to get better.”
The video is increasingly relevant with the release of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which found drug overdoses have surpassed firearm- and car-related deaths every year since 2008. These numbers make it the leading cause of injury-related death in America, killing more than 46,000 people in 2013 alone.
“Sadly this report confirms what we’ve known for some time: drug abuse is ending too many lives too soon and destroying families and communities,” acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a statement. “We must reach young people at an even earlier age and teach them about its many dangers and horrors.”
Rosenberg’s statement falls in line with the DEA’s zero tolerance view on drugs, which focuses more on anti-drug education than treatment. Many—including drug policy experts—have argued that statements like that one are problematic, suggesting that those who use illicit drugs deserve what’s coming to them.
Christie reacted similarly by using an example of his mother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer at 71. Her disease, the direct result of her use of tobacco, was treated as a tragedy; medical problems that heroin and opioid abusers get, he said, are treated like a punishment.
“We know the lung cancer was caused by the smoking,” Christie said of his mom’s diagnosis. While she tried “everything” she could to quit, she was unable to—something he said she, rightfully, wasn’t penalized for. “No one came to me and said, ‘Hey, listen, your mother was dumb. She started smoking when she was 16. She’s getting what she deserves’…No one said that.”
Christie argued that heroin and opioid abusers, who have tripled in the past three years, should be given the same sympathy—but aren’t. “Somehow, if it’s heroin or cocaine or alcohol we say…‘Well, they decided. They’re getting what they deserved,’” he said. Those who are pro-life, he argued, should be pro-life all the way, even when people make bad decisions. “The 16-year-old teenage girl on the floor of the county lockup, addicted to heroin, I’m pro-life for her too.”
According to the DEA’s report, America’s current treatment of heroin and opioid addicts isn’t working. An estimated 120 people die each day as the result of drug overdose deaths, most of which are the result of heroin or opioid use. Over 16,000 people died in 2013, the most recent year for which there is data of an overdose from opioids. That’s more deaths than cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. The number remains high despite a slight decrease in the use of opioids, which the study found to directly correlate with an increase in heroin use (a cheaper, often easier to acquire option).
Heroin overdoses will continue to be a growing problem in the U.S., with DEA chief Rosenberg stating that the levels of opioid and heroin overdoses have reached “epidemic levels.” Part of the growing problem with heroin appears to be the increasing availability of the drug, with heroin seizures in the U.S. doubling since 2010.
Besides the wide availability, the drug can sell for as low as $3 on the black market, a far lower number than the $30-$60 per pill that’s charged for painkillers. The NDTA found the majority of these drugs—as well as cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana—to be supplied by Mexican cartels.
At the end of Christie’s speech, he zeroed in on the personal story of a good friend from law school who became addicted to opioids after suffering a back injury. Christie detailed how the spiral into addiction ruined every aspect of his friend’s life, causing him to lose his marriage, his law license, his ability to see his three daughters, and his home.
After a decade-long battle to fight the addiction, including many stays in rehab, his friend died of an overdose at age 52. Christie said his story speaks to the universality of addiction, and the need for treatments rather than penalties. “It can happen to anyone,” he said. “So we need to start treating people in this country, and not jailing them…because every life is precious.”
HOW CAN GUN OWNERS PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM UNFAIR CHARGES? WITH FIREARM LEGAL DEFENCE INSURANCE.
The maximum benefit payable is $100,000 per occurrence or up to $500,000 for multiple occurrences in the same policy year. For details see www.firearmlegaldefence.com. The price is just $95 per year and CSSA members are eligible for a $10 discount – click on “Buy Now” and enter the following exclusive club code to access your savings: CSSA001. You are not required to disclose any information about firearms in your possession.
Firearm Legal Defence insurance covers:
- Defence from prosecution should you be charged with an offence arising out of the use, storage, display, transportation or handling of a firearm;
- cases where a firearm is used in self defence, the defence of a person under your protection or the defence of your property;
- appealing an event where a licensing, regulatory or judicial authority refuses to renew, suspends, revokes, cancels or alters the terms of your firearms license. Note that this provision does not apply to new license applications.
It will pay for:
- The cost of retaining a lawyer or other appointed representative, including court fees, experts’ fees, police reports and medical reports;
- costs awarded by the court to opponents in civil cases if the insured person has been ordered to pay them, or pays them with the agreement of the insurance company;
- lost salary or wages for the time the insured is off work to attend court or any other hearing at the request of the appointed representative, up to a maximum of $500 per day, and $10,000 in total.
* NOTE - FLD is not a CSSA product but is highly recommended by the association and is used by our staff and directors. - Tony B.
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competitions, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor youth programs and competitions that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
To join or donate to the CSSA, visit: http://www.cssa-cila.org
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