COMMENTARY – GUNS, OUR CULTURE AND OUR GOOD PEOPLE
Team CSSA has been busy. We’ve been working at the Toronto Sportsmen's Show and the Chilliwack Gun Show. Last week, we were at the Atlantic Outdoor Sports and RV Show in Halifax. Next week, we’re at the massive Calgary Gun Show.
These wonderful exposures to our community renew our vigour and give us the opportunity to reflect on Canada's firearm culture. It is an annual ritual for the staff and volunteers of the CSSA, and it’s a good reminder to us of those people we labour for.
After many years of doing this work, we have certainly formed a few opinions. We would like to share those thoughts about our community and the people in it.
Firstly, there are no finer Canadians than those who rise to the responsibilities of firearm ownership. They can be opinionated and argumentative to be sure. But at the end of the day, there is an underlying sense of decency that pervades their hearts with a forgiveness and acceptance rarely seen in other segments of Canadian culture. They are honest to a fault, and you can always count on them to tell you the truth as they see it. They also expect no less from others.
They do not forget easily. The media, certain political parties and other groups have slighted the fine members of our gun community, and they have long memories. Perhaps this is because as individuals they are so morally good that they cannot conceive that others believe them to be evil – and that hurts. Perhaps that’s because they value honour as a human quality and are consistently appalled that others don't. Either way, there is a certain humble pride they feel in knowing that they are good people.
They are horrified by the violent actions of bad people. While gratuitous violence has been with humans since we first climbed down from the trees, our people abhor this aspect of humanity. They are particularly dismayed that some misguided fools attribute this violence to them.
Law-abiding gun owners are responsible – more so than any other segment of Canadian society. We always remember that when our 20,000 people left the front lawns of Parliament Hill during the Fed-Up rallies, they picked up their garbage and left the lawn cleaner than they found it.
This sense of responsibility is clearly reflected in our community's children. No temper tantrums or spoiled brats to be found here. No groups of foul-mouthed teens moving through the shows – just polite, respectful young people enjoying the bounty of our great land. Truly, the future of our country is demonstrated by these wonderful young Canadians. If these great kids are to be our legacy, we can rest easy. Canada's future is bright.
As stated in the beginning of this missive, these shows renew our faith in our members and our mission to preserve, promote and protect the lawful ownership and use of firearms in our country. Thank you for the many kudos, honest and constructive suggestions and your unfailing support for the work we do. CSSA's members are the best, and you should all be very proud of your outstanding character. You are the finest of Canadians, and the CSSA is very proud to represent you!
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
AACCA CANADA’S LARGEST AND FINEST GUN SHOW | MARCH 25 AND 26, 2016 | BMO CENTRE, STAMPEDE PARK, CALGARY, AB | Hours Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Admission for adults: $10, ladies and children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.
COUILLARD RULES OUT FREE VOTE FOR LIBERALS ON LONG-GUN REGISTRY (The Canadian Press | March 16, 2016)
QUEBEC - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says there will be no free vote for his Liberals when the legislature eventually votes on whether to adopt a bill creating a provincial long-gun registry.
Couillard said today those votes should be reserved for exceptional cases such as dying-in-dignity legislation or on moral issues that are deeply personal, spiritual or religious.
The province tabled a bill last December aimed at setting up its own long-gun log a few years after the Conservatives abolished the federal database for non-restricted guns.
The Quebec proposal is being met by grassroots opposition from those who want the government to abandon the initiative.
Hunters and sports shooters generally oppose the registry and say Canadian regulations pertaining to the licensing of weapons are sufficient, while gun-control advocates counter that a majority of Quebecers want a registry and that licences aren't enough.
Public hearings into the bill begin March 23.
Members of the Parti Quebecois and the Coalition for Quebec's Future have acknowledged caucus strife on the matter and there are reports the governing Liberals have their own divisions.
The Liberals say the registry will cost about $17 million to start and $5 million yearly to operate.
The province fought a protracted legal battle against Ottawa in a bid to preserve the Quebec data from the federal registry, which was eliminated in 2012. It ultimately lost at the Supreme Court.
Quebec has often been cast as being more bullish about gun-control legislation than anywhere else in the country, partly because of major mass shootings such as the Montreal Massacre in 1989.
Opponents argue the registry might end up just as costly as the defunct federal one.
Sylvie Roy, an Independent member of the national assembly, has tabled a petion with the signatures of 58,000 people who are against the registry.
POLICE, VICTIMS RIGHTS ADVOCATES SUPPORT GUN REGISTRATION BILL (Canadian Press | March 15, 2016)
The Quebec Association of Provincial Police and the Association pour la santé publique du Québec said the long-gun registry was abolished by the federal government, which means they can now be “purchased and transferred without leaving a paper trail.”
Bill 64, which goes before a parliamentary committee next week, calls for non-restricted firearms to come with a registration number and for business owners to keep a chart that tracks the sale of their weapons.
The organization said Tuesday that 94 per cent of guns in circulation in Quebec are non-restricted — a category that includes hunting rifles but also assault weapons.
Pierre Veilleux, president of Quebec’s provincial police union, said these tracking measures are crucial to ensure that guns “don’t fall into the wrong hands.” Bill 64 would be a useful tool for police, he said, because they can better manage interventions knowing if a person owns weapons or not.
Yves Franceour, the president of Montreal’s police brotherhood, said gun legislation is an “essential component” that would help police who cannot otherwise rely on a federal gun registry.
Public health advocate Louise Soulière said the proposed law would have “concrete and positive impacts on the public health and safety of Quebecers.”
Heidi Rathjen — a coordinator for the PolySeSouvient victims’ rights group — took things further Tuesday, saying the Liberal government should not hold a free vote on the question, as some Parti Québécois MNAs had asked this month.
“Gun control is a question of public safety that can mean the difference between life and death,” Rathjen said. “There is no question of a moral dilemma.”
GIRLS WITH GUNS (Tracy Smith reports | cbsnews.com | March 13, 2016)
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, women are the fastest-growing group of gun owners in the United States - and gun dealers are catering to this discriminating demographic. Tracy Smith reports.
See the video: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/girls-with-guns/
Q&A: GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATE SANDY FROMAN (Sunday Morning | cbsnews.com | March 13, 2016)
In a rare interview, National Rifle Association board member and past president Sandy Froman explains the organization's opposition to many proposed gun control laws.
JODY MITIC HAS 'NO REGRETS' AFTER TWEETING PICTURE OF HIS AND HERS GUN PURCHASE. TWEET CAME 2 DAYS AFTER FATAL SHOOTING — OTTAWA'S 5TH HOMICIDE SO FAR IN 2016 (CBC News | March 16, 2016 – updated March 17, 2016)
Coun. Jody Mitic is defending his right to own a gun after being called out for sharing an image of new his-and-hers Sig Sauer pistols on Twitter just days after a fatal shooting in the city's east end.
The former Canadian sniper, who lost both legs below the knee in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan in 2007, said the March 8 shooting that killed a 20-year-old on Jasmine Crescent did not factor into his decision to share his new purchases with his followers.
Mitic shared the image of the two guns, one for his wife and one for him, on March 10, two days after Ottawa's fifth homicide of 2016.
I got @ALANNAHGILMORE and I matching @sigsauerinc P320's.
Because 2 is 1 & 1 is none. #NoZombies #pewpew pic.twitter.com/SpILzsWfa4
Ottawa Sun columnist Sue Sherring wrote a column about Mitic's tweet, saying it was "perhaps not the most sensitive of timing" for a civic leader who should be sharing "the load of the city's fight."
Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau was quoted in the article saying that advertising gun ownership is "probably not the best thing to do" and that it could make someone a target.
'Nothing irresponsible with what I'm doing'
Speaking with CBC News at a gun range in Stittsville on Wednesday, Mitic said he has "no regrets" about the tweet.
Just in case @SusanSherring or @Eli_ElChantiry or @ChiefBordeleau care I'm off to shoot my legal guns at Stittsville gun range.
"I was excited to have received my purchase and I tweeted about it, and that's it. ... The tone of some of the discussion is that responsible community leaders don't do this type of thing, and I ... just don't like what that implies," he said.
"There's nothing irresponsible with what I'm doing. If anything, I'm trying to show what responsible, fun and legal gun ownership looks like."
Mitic also said his social media accounts are used to share content with his fellow legal gun users, as well as his constituents.
"Social media is there to show off, or to communicate what you're doing in your daily activities, and my followers were the only ones that saw the tweet until today, and now everybody in the city knows I'm a gun owner. So you can take from that what you will," he said.
Innes Coun. Jody Mitic says that, if anything, his tweet was an attempt to show people what responsible and legal gun ownership looks like. (CBC News)
"And as far as the chief [of police] commenting on my activity, in the chief's position I think he has to say that."
Mitic said he's received a lot of support since the article was published, and that legal gun owners shouldn't have to hide their interests.
"Be proud. If you're having fun and it's cool and you're following the rules, what's to hide? It's quite the issue to make out of something as simple as gun ownership," he said.
'Guns to me are like a hammer to a carpenter'
Later Wednesday, Mitic was interviewed by CBC News Ottawa at 6 host Adrian Harewood.
'I'm not walking down the street with them and shooting at anybody.'
Jody Mitic, city councillor for Innes ward
Mitic said he's a responsible gun owner who stores his guns in a secure place at home.
"It wasn't an advert. It was to tweet for people who follow me on Twitter and Instagram," he said.
"I'm not brandishing my weapons at anyone. I'm not walking down the street with them and shooting at anybody. I take them to the range where it's legal and transport them in a legally locked case."
He added that he was in the military for 20 years, and does not believe he should have to hide the fact that he is a gun owner.
"Guns to me are like a hammer to a carpenter. It's a tool of the trade," he said.
OPINION: LINKING MITIC'S GUN LOVE TO CRIME A MISFIRE (By Solomon Friedman | Ottawa Sun | March 16, 2016)
One dark and rainy evening, a police officer came across a drunk man, fumbling on his hands and knees underneath a streetlamp. When the policeman asked him what he was doing, the inebriated fellow responded that he was looking for his keys.
Happy to help, the policeman joined in the search. After a few minutes of unsuccessful searching, the policeman asked the drunk if he was sure that he had lost the keys over here. The drunk shook his head and replied, no, I lost them in the park down the road.
Why then, asked the officer, are you looking under the streetlamp? “Because,” responded the drunk. “The light is better over here.”
When faced with difficult issues of social policy, there is a temptation on the part of both the public and politicians to look for the answers where the looking is good, rather than where the answers are likely to be hiding.
Unfortunately, the otherwise usually on-the-ball Sun columnist Susan Sherring falls into this same trap in her latest column, “Gun tweet bad timing for councillor.” In it, she calls out Ottawa city councillor Jody Mitic for tweeting proudly about his latest purchase, a pair of legally owned and registered handguns, one for him and one for his wife — both licensed firearms owners.
Chief Charles Bordeleau also piled on, while claiming not to be “against legitimate collectors”, he questioned the propriety of Mitic’s tweet. He also stated, rather authoritatively, that, “having firearms in your residence increases the likelihood of your house being targeted.”
Fascinating point of view. Unfortunately, what Chief Bordeleau states so matter of factly, stands in direct contradiction to the government’s own statistical analysis.
According to the Department of Justice’s review of firearms related crime, “There is no evidence that households containing firearms are necessarily targeted for burglaries.” In fact, that same report reviewed 16 analogous jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and Wales that clearly “revealed the unlikelihood of firearm owners being specifically targeted by offenders.”
The conclusion that, in the wake of Ottawa’s five recent shootings, Mitic is somehow not “shar(ing) the load of the city’s fight,” is not only contrary to common sense, but has been rebutted — time and again — by empirical evidence and statistical research.
First, the research. In his peer-reviewed study, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Dr. Caillin Langmann found there was no beneficial association between stricter gun legislation and the rate of homicide by firearm between 1974 and 2008.
Common sense tells us the same thing. The fact of the matter is simple — there is no correlation whatsoever between legal gun ownership and the gang-related violence that Ottawa is currently experiencing. After all, laws are only for the law-abiding.
By and large, the firearms — almost exclusively handguns — used in gang shootings are smuggled into the country illegally. They are almost never registered, let alone owned by law-abiding gun owners. Those who possess them are completely outside the system of lawful gun ownership.
Gun owners such as Mitic are subject to the most stringent background checks known to our law — and are automatically reviewed on a daily basis by the RCMP.
The problem of gang violence engages some of the thorniest and most complex issues that our society faces — matters of youth alienation, poverty, drug abuse and trafficking and cultural integration.
While it may be tempting to point the finger and demonize the nearly two million law-abiding gun owners in Canada for the acts of lawless hooligans, we do so at our own peril.
And, we risk being like the drunk, searching for his keys under the lamppost, ignoring the true source of the problem for the sake of the politically lazy and convenient solution.
Solomon Friedman is an Ottawa lawyer and firearms law expert.
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – COVERED UP WITH MARITIME MOOSE (Airing March 19, 2016)
Paul Beasley was drawn for a coveted New Brunswick moose tag and with only a 5-day season and the moose rut in lockdown phase, he had to use some unconventional tactics to get it done.
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/covered-up-with-maritime-moose/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY PASSES THE FULL SENATE ON A 27-8 VOTE! (By Justin Stakes | AmmoLand.com | March 16, 2016)
Canyon County, ID -(AmmoLand.com)- In yet another historic vote for Idaho gun owners, the Idaho Senate has passed Constitutional Carry (SB 1389) on a 27-8 vote!
The vote was mostly along party lines with 1 Republican, Senator Bart Davis, joining the Democrats in voting no.
The bill now moves to the House side of the Idaho Capitol where we are expecting a hearing and vote from the House State Affairs CommitteeTOMORROW!
From there, if it passes, we expect a full House vote on Friday!
That does not leave much time for you to take action and make your voice heard to BOTH of your Representatives in the House.
You may only get one chance to get a hold of them and tell them you want a yes vote on SB 1389!
To find out who your Representatives are, you can click on this link: http://www.idahovotes.gov/AbsenteeBallot/Default.aspx
You can then find their “332-xxxx” office phone number and legislative email by going to legislature.idaho.gov and in the middle of the Home Page you will see “2016 Legislative Directory”. Hit CTR F and search for their name!
We saw Bloomberg’s lobbyist today as we were coming out of the Capitol and we have been told he is also continuing his robocalls and emails to kill SB 1389, Constitutional Carry.
Things are moving VERY RAPIDLY now as the session draws to a close. While we may never be able to raise Bloomberg style money, any generous contribution you afford will help us fund our efforts!
Media blitzes on Facebook, newspapers, and if possible, radio ads, would go a long way to helping us ensure that SB 1389 becomes law in the State of Idaho!
Please consider a generous contribution of $200, $100, or even just $50 today and help the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance continue to fight for your rights in Idaho!
Executive Director, ISAA
Idaho Second Amendment Alliance:
The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance exists to fight for the 2nd Amendment rights of all Idaho citizens. Even in a gun friendly State like Idaho, the 2nd Amendment is under constant threat.
For more information, visit: www.idahosaa.org.
BOOMING FIREARMS SALES DRIVEN BY 'TINY GUNS,' CONCEAL-CARRY LAWS (By Hollie McKay | FoxNews.com | March 15, 2016)
It’s the little gun with big appeal.
The .380 semi-automatic handgun has become all the rage in firearms, as more states relax conceal-carry restrictions and men and women alike turn to a palm-sized gun that easily fits into a handbag, pocket or ankle holster. Production of the super-small handgun is at a 16-year high, with nearly 900,000 made in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And those numbers come even as production and sale of long guns and large-caliber handguns are actually down, according to the pro-gun control news site TheTrace.org.
“The .380 is generally a smaller frame and much easier to conceal than a more bulky 9-mm. or .40 caliber pistol – particularly under summer wear,” security consultant and host of the National Rifle Association “Defending Our America” campaign, Del Wilber, told FoxNews.com. “Yet it still possesses the knock-down power needed in a potential life-or-death shooting situation.
“It is especially suited for women as they generally have smaller hands,” he added.
“It is especially suited for women as they generally have smaller hands.”
- Del Wilber, security consultant
Often referred to as the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) or a 9-mm. short, the .380 -- which first hit the market in 1908 -- features a pistol cartridge even tinier and lighter than that of the popular 9-mm. handgun. But despite its surging popularity, there is debate over the .380’s utility as a weapon of self-defense.
“The smaller, more compact frames are more difficult to shoot and their durability is lower than the slightly larger sub-compacts,” noted Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, which specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. “The accuracy component is also lower due to a more challenging platform to shoot.”
The .380 is easily concealed in a purse or ankle holster. (PersonalDefenseWorld.com)
Other critics agree, saying that relying on such a small gun in a high-pressure, self-defense scenario requires training beyond the typical point-and-shoot sessions at a range.
“The difficulty largely stems from the smaller size; which ironically is a main reason for purchase,” Gonzales said.
Historically, the .380 has had a reputation for poor quality that earned it the derisive nickname of “Saturday Night Special.” In the 1960s and '70s, the tiny weapons were cheap and associated with criminal acts. Subpar materials and production made them susceptible to accidental discharge incidents and jamming.
Today, the gun is generally well-made, retails from $300 to $800 and typically holds between six and eight rounds. Major manufacturers from Glock, Bersa, Walther, Colt and Kahr to Kel-Tec, Ruger, Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson are all producing at least one .380 model.
“The latest models are of high quality,” said Dennis Santiago, a California-based gun expert and firearms instructor.
Earlier this month, West Virginia passed a law allowing gun owners 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit, making it one of eight states – Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Vermont, Maine, Montana and Wyoming are the others – to have adopted such a policy. Thirty-three other states, have “shall issue” laws in which a person meeting specific criteria must be issued a conceal-carry permit. Only nine remaining states – California, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maryland – have “may issue” regulations, which give state or local law enforcement agencies discretion in approving or denying permits.
Some 26 states currently allow open carrying of guns without a permit, and another 17 have a “shall issue” open-carry permit policies.
Eric Poole, editor of Guns & Ammo magazine, said that in the past, .380 ammunition was routinely challenging to find in store, but that problem has improved in the last few years due to the manufacture improvements. He said anti-gun political rhetoric has largely backfired, and driven sales of guns to historic highs.
“With tragedies playing out in marked ‘safe’ places, Americans realize that no place is off-limits for the criminal mind. This is why people are interested in becoming self-reliant for self-defense and less dependent on the response time of an armed police officer to save the day,” Poole said.
But while “thin is in” right now, firearms enthusiasts anticipate that much like cellphones, the preferred size of personal protection guns is cyclical.
“The thing about guns in the hands of consumers is that they are like dresses and shoes,” said Santiago. “The fashion comes and goes.”
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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.
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