COMMENTARY – STRANGENESS ON THE FIREARMS FRONT
Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette (L) has again taken the role of attack dog on the firearms file. While not unexpected, it is a little perplexing in relation to other events in the last few weeks.
Incensed by the fact that licenses for restricted firearms (primarily handguns) have jumped more than 75% since 2010, Senator Hervieux-Payette has renewed her call to ban all firearms except for those deemed “acceptable” for hunting.
While English-speaking media refuse to report on it, CBC’s Quebec wing (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/regions/quebec/2016/01/26/001-armes-restreinte-canada-popularite.shtml) is happy to report that the Senator’s plan to ban all firearms is moving forward.
Along with banning all firearms, her plan would also have all firearms stored in central repositories – not in individual homes.
Not to open the debate in the commentary, but would this measure ensure less home invasions since criminals will now have a one-stop shop for all their gun-theft needs or would they guarantee more home invasions with the knowledge that their victims are helpless? Inquiring minds need to know.
Senator Hervieux-Payette hates guns, including those in the hands of trained RCMP officers guarding Parliament Hill:“Every time I enter the Senate Chamber, I see two armed police officers at the door, one with a handgun and one with an automatic firearm. I must admit that this does not make me feel safe. On the contrary, I am frightened by the thought that a police officer armed with an automatic weapon could shoot it on the Hill.”
She then attacked the very notion of private firearm ownership, decreeing that a Liberal government would ban all firearms except those deemed “acceptable” for hunting purposes.
She proposed to do the following:
- Prohibit all firearms in Canada except hunting firearms;
- limit the definition of hunting firearms to the arms that are really used for the purposes of hunting;
- limit the transport of circumscribed firearms to transporters, thus controlling the movement of firearms in Canada.
That means banning all guns except the few she would “allow” hunters to possess. Of course, the criteria for which guns she finds acceptable for hunting remain thoroughly and purposefully unclear.
Not only would she ban all firearms but also hunting rifles and shotguns. If you are a target shooter, you would no longer be permitted to drive to the shooting range with your firearms. You would be forced to use an authorized (official Star Trek) “transporter” instead.
We couldn't make this stuff up. Apparently the good senator has already met the “phazer on stun.”
To add to the week’s craziness, the RCMP has declared classifications for two new-to-Canada firearms. For years the erstwhile technicians in the Firearms Lab have been burning the midnight oil to categorize two firearms, the Akdal MKA 1919 and the Norinco Type 81.
The Akdal MKA 1919 is a 5-shot self-loading 12-gauge shotgun manufactured in Turkey. It looks somewhat like an AR-15 but of course, being a shotgun, it functions very little like the older Armalite rifle. All the controls on the shotgun are in the same place as the AR-15 rifle making the Akdal very useful in 3-gun competition.
The Norinco Type 81 is a civilian 7.62x39mm self-loader based on a Chinese military rifle. Like most Com-bloc rifles, there is a resemblance to the AK although the rifle has far more in common with the ubiquitous SKS rifle. It looks pretty racy though and, of course, less than a year ago the Firearms Lab declared a blowback .22 (the Mossberg Blaze 47) to be an AK-47 variant because the Mitchell Arms AK-22 (another blowback .22) was also an AK-47 variant.
And the verdict is (drum roll here): Both firearms have been declared non-restricted.
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SURREY MOUNTIE GUILTY ON FIREARMS CHARGES (By Jennifer Saltman | The Province | February 1, 2016)
A Surrey RCMP officer has been found guilty of two weapons-related charges.
David Matthew Clarke was in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster last week for trial on charges related to gun possession, breach of trust and possessing stolen property.
He had initially elected to be tried by a judge and jury, but he changed his election last Monday, the first day of his trial, to judge alone. The trial was then adjourned for four days.
On Friday, Justice Elizabeth Arnold-Bailey gave her reasons for finding evidence obtained during the search of a Surrey home inadmissible at trial.
According to court records, Clarke was then convicted of two counts of possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized. The offences took place in Chilliwack and 100 Mile House. The remaining six charges against him will likely be stayed following sentencing.
When the charges against Clarke were announced in December 2010, police alleged that he possessed stolen goods and a number of weapons, including a semi-automatic FN FAL assault rifle, a Glock 9-mm pistol, a Colt pistol, a Mossberg pump-action shotgun, a Remington Mohawk semi-automatic rifle and ammunition.
Clarke has been suspended from his duties since October 2010 and remains suspended without pay. He had 41/2 years of service at the time of the offences.
Sentencing is scheduled to take place on March 24.
GUN LAWS STRICT ENOUGH: POLL (Star Staff | Sudbury Star | January 31, 2016)
When it comes to the issue of gun control in Canada, Sudbury Star readers want to shoot down any suggestion that tougher controls are needed.
As of early Sunday afternoon, readers who responded to this week's poll question -- Do you think Canada needs stricter gun control laws? -- voted 91 per cent (1,970 votes) no, while just nine per cent (190 votes) voted yes. No readers voted for the "not sure" option.
Readers who voted and left comments on the newspaper's hotline were almost unanimous in not wanting to see tougher gun control legislation.
"The government should get after the criminals and not us guys," said one man.
"Just hold people accountable who break the law with guns," said another male caller.
"People who need a gun will get it regardless of whether you have gun control or not," said one woman. "The only person it's hurting is the legal people who know what they are doing."
"We don't need more control," said another female caller. "We need more policing for illegal guns."
But one male caller said stronger gun controls are needed and felt the new Trudeau Liberal Government should reintroduce gun control measures dropped by the previous Harper Conservative government.
"The more controls there are, the better off we are," he said. "They say guns kill people. No. People who use guns kill people."
WHITE HOUSE WON'T SAY IF IT'S BEHIND FACEBOOK GUN BAN (By Nicole Duran | Washington Examiner | February 1, 2016)
The White House on Monday refused to say whether Facebook's recent decision to ban users from facilitating the sale of guns, parts and ammunition was the result of pressure from the Obama administration.
"We welcome this step," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday, just days after Facebook's Friday announcement. "We talked about how the Internet is a loophole" for people seeking to buy guns without undergoing background checks, he said. It's a "common-sense effort to prevent guns from easily falling into the hands of criminals or other individuals who shouldn't be allowed to access guns," he said.
The administration has met with social media and technology companies to discuss how to close the "Internet loophole" on gun sales, but Earnest said he "could not say" if Facebook's decision was the result of "any specific request" from anyone in the administration.
Facebook banned users from selling or facilitating private firearms sales, or sales of gun parts and ammunition, on the site. Licensed dealers may still post about their wares on Facebook but have to conduct the transaction elsewhere.
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – ALBERTA BUCKS N BULLS – February 6, 2016
This two part episode features Paul Beasley hunting moose and whitetails in Alberta in late November. The temperatures drop to minus 40 and severely challenge his resolve to finish the hunt.
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/alberta-bucks-n-bulls/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
A REVIEW: ARMS THE CULTURE AND CREDO OF THE GUN – IS AMERICAN GUN CULTURE RACIST AND PARANOID? (By Gary Mauser | Canada Free Press | February 1, 2016)
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”—Mark Twain
Canada’s leading newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and The National Post, recently gave sympathetic reviews to a book by A.J. Somerset that portrayed American gun culture as racist and paranoid. In his book, Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun, Somerset’s approach to American gun culture is to search for what he calls “the Wellspring of Crazy.” As he says, “This is the gun culture I am after in this book: the weird stuff.” Somerset dissects movie dialogues and relates juicy newspaper stories to paint a picture of Americans as driven by unreasonable fears to buy guns, or worse, as merely using their fear to excuse racist violence. He claims he is searching for cultural myths but his approach seems more like an excuse to rant than a serious attempt to understand actual cultural norms.
American gun culture
Somerset decries the NRA’s influence on American attitudes towards guns, and he slams groups in Canada that support gun rights as “importing the values of the American gun nut.” Claiming to have served in the military, Somerset says he likes guns but not “gun nuts.” He equates American gun culture with “that strange and paranoid corner of America represented by the NRA ...represented by wackos and weirdos (sic) and rednecks” who irrationally arm themselves to shoot “any animal that moves, and fantasizing about the day some criminal will walk up the wrong garden path where they lie in wait, armed, protecting their Second Amendment rights against their own government.” These are the kinds of lurid stereotypes that Somerset hopes appeal to Canadians who are made uneasy by the brash republic to the south. Ultimately, his rambling polemic against American gun culture fails to convince because Somerset relies upon bizarre examples and outrageous sources.
Somerset’s portrayal of American gun culture goes awry from the start because his search ignores history in preference to dialogue from selected movies and plays. This is not an honest appraisal of the role of armed citizens or American gun culture. Rather it’s a collection of stereotypes that journalists and Hollywood producers hold about American gun culture. Stereotypes are only loosely connected to reality. He spends many pages describing Western movies and even a Shakespearean play, but he ignores what armed citizens actually did as individual family members in settling the frontier, and as militia members in the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars.
To understand American gun culture, one must start with history. Even the most cursory reading of the American Constitution shows that, from the beginning, Americans placed their faith in part-time citizen soldiers to protect their communities—from threats foreign and domestic—because the founders steadfastly rejected standing armies, seeing them as an instrument of tyranny. Somerset wrongly imagines that the American public only became interested in firearms after the US Civil War under the influence of commercial advertising and the “frontier myth.” Here he merely echoes the discredited claims of Bellesiles and Brown.
GUNS SAVE LIVES - ARMED MARINE VETERAN SAVES DEPUTY, AUSTIN, TEXAS (Austin American-Statesman | Ammoland | February 2, 2016)
USA -(Ammoland.com)- Somewhere, everyday in the USA, 2100+ people use a gun for self defense, to stop a crime or save the lives of themselves or their family.
“We believe that the American public deserve to understand that on the average, guns save 2,191 lives and are used to thwart crimes every day,” says Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation
Most times you won’t see these tales on the news as it does not fit the main stream media’s story line of “Guns and Gun Owners are Bad”.
This is just one of those stories;
On January 19 2016, Bastrop County, Texas Deputy Dylan Morris attempted to pull over a vehicle due to the driver’s erratic behavior.
The driver did not initially comply, but eventually stopped at a gas station. Once the vehicle was stopped, Dorris attempted to arrest the driver, however, the driver resisted. While Dorris was struggling with the driver, the man reached for the deputy’s weapon. Thankfully, Marine veteran, and Right-to-Carry permit holder, Scott Perkins came upon the struggle and immediately intervened. Perkins drew a gun and ordered the driver to “freeze,” which halted the attack and prompted the criminal to flee.
Following the incident, Dorris said of Perkins to the Austin American-Statesman, “I’m alive today because of him,” adding, “There are no words to explain it. He’s such an outstanding citizen. He’s here for our country, our community and you really feel the love.”
Despite his heroics, Perkins remained modest, telling the paper, “Anytime somebody is in need of help you should assist them. It doesn’t matter whether your life is in danger or not, you should always assist anybody who is in need.
About the Guns Save Lives Series:
Every few days AmmoLand Shooting Sports News will be featuring a new report of stories involving self defense with a hand gun. Be sure and share, like and Tweet these posts and help spread the truth that “Guns Save Lives”.
LOOKING FOR UPCOMING GUN SHOWS AND MATCHES? Visit our website at: http://cssa-cila.org/upcoming-events-matches/
EUROPE HAS SOME OF THE TOUGHEST GUN CONTROL LAWS IN THE WORLD AND THEY'RE ABOUT TO GET EVEN TIGHTER. (CNN Money (London) | First published January 5, 2016)
As President Obama bypasses Congress to expand mandatory background checks for some private gun sales, European leaders are reviewing new restrictions on firearms, and should give their approval next month. If that happens, the changes would come into effect in July.
The European Union has been debating tougher laws for years with little progress. But the terror attacks in Paris in January and November 2015 gave new urgency to the discussion. EU leaders said in December they would "rapidly examine" the proposals, with the aim of approving them at a summit in February.
Europe already bans all automatic weapons, plus some semi-automatic guns widely available in the United States. But European officials say gun laws passed in 2008 are inadequate, and leave Europe "vulnerable to criminal activity" and terrorist attacks.
Here's what will change if the new law is adopted:
- More categories of semi-automatic weapons will be subject to an outright ban. The new ban will apply to "B7" weapons, or "semi-automatic firearms for civilian use which resemble weapons with automatic mechanisms." EU countries will still be able to issue licenses for some semi-automatic rifles for hunting, collecting and museums.
- Deactivated weapons are currently treated as pieces of metal that can be traded freely across European borders. That will no longer be possible. "Under no circumstances will civilians be authorized to own any of the most dangerous firearms (e.g. a Kalashnikov), which is currently possible if they have been deactivated," the proposal states.
- Gun brokers and dealers will have to be licensed to deal in weapons. Collectors will have to get a license and face background checks even if they only own deactivated weapons. There will also be new limits on the ability to buy gun parts and ammunition online.
- Tracing guns should become easier thanks to enhanced rules on how guns must be marked and registered. And blank firing weapons will be regulated for the first time because they can be converted to fire live ammunition.
EU law sets minimum standards for all member states, but some have gone much further. As have some countries outside Europe.
Britain and Australia adopted some of the strictest gun laws following a series of massacres in the 1980s and 1990s.
Canada has a ban on assault rifles and "military" style firearms like the AK 47. A firearm license is required for other guns. A safety test must be taken, and a third person character reference must be obtained.
Switzerland, on the other hand, maintains a traditional right to bear arms and reservists are encouraged to keep rifles at home. A referendum to enact stricter gun laws was voted down in 2011.
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