COMMENTARY – CAN WE TRUST A GOVERNMENT THAT WILL NOT TRUST US?
There are few Canadians whose hearts do not go out to the people of France. The horrors they endured in the “City of Light” have touched the free peoples of our world.
Certainly, we have seen the face of evil before and, most assuredly, we will see it again. Most of us recognize the role of our citizens is to protect our elected governments as clearly as it is the government’s mandate to protect its citizens. As in the days following 9/11 in the United States, French military recruitment went off the scale with citizens volunteering to defend France in their country’s time of need. Predictably, France responded. The powerful French military has mobilized and has counter-attacked those that declared themselves to be enemies of France.
The evil terrorists that massacred innocent French civilians utilized the deadly combination of full-automatic AK-47 rifles, hand grenades and suicide vests packed with explosives. These weapons of war are prohibited in France, the European Union (EU), and virtually the entire western world. And while France clearly recognized who the enemy was, it certainly seems the EU remains a little confused.
The EU Commission tabled proposals to amend the EU Firearms Directive – a directive that defines the rules under which private persons can acquire and possess weapons – as well as the transfer of firearms to another EU country. The main elements of the proposed revision are:
- Stricter rules to ban certain semi-automatic firearms, which will not, under any circumstance, be allowed to be held by private persons, even if they have been permanently deactivated;
- Tighter rules on the online acquisition of firearms, to avoid the acquisition of firearms, key parts or ammunition through the Internet;
- EU common rules on marking of firearms to improve the traceability of weapons;
- Better exchange of information between Member States, for example on any refusal of authorisation to own a firearm decided by another national authority, and obligation to interconnect national registers of weapons;
- Common criteria concerning alarm weapons (e.g. distress flares and starter pistols) in order to prevent their transformation into fully functioning firearms;
- Stricter conditions for the circulation of deactivated firearms;
- Stricter conditions for collectors to limit the risk of sale to criminals.
As the late Yogi Berra was fond of saying: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Predictably, we see the “ninny factor” kick into high gear as governments pretend to attack a real enemy by attacking its own law-abiding citizens. The monsters of ISIS and al-Qaeda must be chortling with mirth over the useless basket of stupid put forth by the EU Commission.
Does this relate to Canadian shooters and our own government? It’s a valid question and one that is, or at least should be, the canary in a coalmine for Canadians.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, made a very profound statement:
“If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.”
Ironically, this is the very sentiment that Canada’s millions of law-abiding citizens have repeatedly expressed to Ottawa. All too often that sentiment has fallen on deaf ears.
Canada’s law-abiding firearm owners are arguably the most vetted civilians in our nation. These people face a barrage of background checks, character checks and ongoing license-eligibility checks, and yet they always seem to be the easy scapegoat.
“If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.”
We agree one hundred percent with the Prime Minister’s statement. Canadians DO need a government that trusts them. Where better to start than with our nation’s most law-abiding citizens.
And yet, when Justin Trudeau writes that he expects Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to: “Take action to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets by working with the Minister of Justice to strengthen controls on hand-guns (sic) and assault weapons,” we can’t help but worry about who will be the subject of those new controls.
We hope these controls will be directed at those who intend to victimize our people, and not at those Canadians who are statistically proven to be our safest citizens.
It’s worrisome. We’ve already seen a Liberal Senate bill in the last session with the sole intention of banning all handguns in the nation as well as all other firearms – except the few the Liberals deem “acceptable” for hunting.
The rhetoric does not look good for Canada’s trustworthy firearm owners. Handguns have been severely regulated in Canada since 1934, and they still are. As a definition, an ‘assault weapon’ does not even exist. Sadly, this term was invented by anti-gun groups in the United States, and it means any firearm that an anti-gun organization says it means.
We can only hope Justin Trudeau actually means what he says.
THE CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES FORMER MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT GARRY BREITKREUZ TO THE CSSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS (CSSA News Release | November 23, 2015)
Etobicoke, ON – “They can lie louder, but I can tell the truth longer.” Those famous words were spoken in the House of Commons by Garry Breitkreuz during his tenure as the Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, Saskatchewan. For over 20 years, Mr. Breitkreuz served in Parliament as the resident expert on firearm issues and was honoured and acclaimed around the globe for his diligent work on behalf of lawful firearm owners. Respected by politicians of all stripes, Garry Breitkreuz was known by his House colleagues as a calm and reasonable man who told the truth and followed his convictions.
Mr. Breitkreuz recently retired from the federal political scene to spend more time with his beloved family after so many years serving Canadians. But his passion for firearm owners and their struggle to retain their rights and respect within Canadian society is something in which he truly believes.
Mr. Breitkreuz has graciously accepted a position on the CSSA’s Board of Directors.
Once again, Canada’s best firearm organization gets even better.
“Garry Breitkreuz is a welcome addition to Team CSSA and its Board of Directors,” said president Steve Torino. “He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that few people in our community can boast. It will be a pleasure to work with Garry in the years ahead.”
Speaking from his home in Springside, Saskatchewan, Mr. Breitkreuz said: “For many years the Canadian Shooting Sports Association has provided firearm owners with excellent representation. I am excited to be able to continue to serve our community of lawful and trustworthy Canadians under the auspices of our country’s most effective gun owners’ group, Team CSSA.”
“In the months and years ahead, we will face significant challenges. Canada’s target shooters, hunters and all others who own and use firearms, owe it to themselves to be part of the CSSA – to be part of the solution,” concluded Breitkreuz.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
DURHAM MP ERIN O’TOOLE NAMED PUBLIC SAFETY CRITIC (By Jennifer O’Meara | Clarington This Week | November 23, 2015)
CLARINGTON — Durham Member of Parliament Erin O’Toole was announced as the Critic for Public Safety in the Official Opposition shadow cabinet on Friday, Nov. 20.
“I’m quite excited to serve in this role. It will certainly be an important area in this day and age,” said Mr. O’Toole, who’s Durham riding includes Clarington, Scugog and the northern part Oshawa.
The public safety portfolio includes national security issues, the RCMP, border security and corrections. Given the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, Mr. O’Toole said public safety is top of mind for many people.
He said his background in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a lawyer will help him bring a well-rounded view to the role of public safety critic.
“That’s the balance we need to find between public safety and making sure we have a free and open society,” said Mr. O’Toole, the former Minister for Veterans Affairs under Stephen Harper.
He said while the Canadian government is moving to bring Syrian refugees into Canada, security has to remain important and that supports should be in place to help the refugees succeed in their new lives in Canada.
Mr. O’Toole was appointed security critic by Rona Ambrose, leader of the official opposition and interim leader of the Conservative party. Members of the Opposition Shadow Cabinet are responsible for holding the government to account in parliament and for helping develop the Conservative party’s positions on policy and national issues.
Reporter Jennifer O’Meara covers the Municipality of Clarington for Metroland Media Group’s Durham Region Division
MP ROBERT SOPUCK NAMED OFFICIAL OPPOSITION CRITIC FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND PARKS CANADA (Office of Robert Sopuck, MP | News Release | November 23, 2015)
Ottawa, ON – On November 20, 2015 Robert Sopuck, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, was appointed by The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition, as the Critic for Wildlife Conservation and Parks Canada.
“I am honoured to be named as the Official Opposition’s Critic for Wildlife Conservation and Parks Canada,” Sopuck said. “I look forward to serving as a strong voice in Canada’s Official Opposition to ensure the Liberal government is held to account.”
Sopuck has a Masters in Fisheries Science and Aquatic Ecology and has over 35 years of experience in conservation, natural resources, agricultural policy, and fisheries management. His expertise extends through the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including fisheries management in the Eastern Arctic and Manitoba and Vice President of Policy (Western Canada) for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Sopuck also has experience monitoring Alberta’s oilsands; was the Environmental Director of a forestry products company; was a founding Director of the International Institute for Sustainable Development; and was part of the Canadian delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1993. He also ran his grain farm and owned and operated an outfitting business near Riding Mountain National Park, which is in his riding.
“Our strong Conservative Official Opposition will be holding the Liberal government to account,” said Sopuck. “In my role, I will be ensuring value for taxpayers’ money, tangible and beneficial results from Canada’s environment and fisheries ministers, and that the Liberal government respects Canada’s hunters, anglers, and trappers.”
Since being elected in 2010, Sopuck served on Parliament’s Standing Committees on the Environment and Fisheries and Oceans. His professional background was invaluable to the committee as they studied numerous topics related to the environment, fisheries, wildlife, and Canada’s national parks. Sopuck also founded and Chairs the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus, which is a group of Conservatives committed to ensuring government policy respects Canada’s hunters and anglers.
Sopuck was named the Conservation Legislator of the Year in 2014 by the Canadian Wildlife Federation for his contributions to conservation policies in Canada.
Visit http://www.robertsopuck.ca/about/ for Robert Sopuck’s full biography.
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – BRITISH COLUMBIA FLY IN MOOSE
Keith flies into the remote British Columbia backcountry and camps at the foot of some of the most stunning mountains known to man. With only what the crew can carry on their backs to survive, they hike for miles in search of the mighty Canadian moose.
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/british-columbia-fly-in-moose/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
SHOTGUNS HAVE ‘VIRTUALLY SOLD OUT’ IN AUSTRIA AS CITIZENS RUSH TO BUY ARMS AMID FEARS OF A MASSIVE INFLUX OF MIGRANTS, DEALERS CLAIM (By Allan Hall | Mailonline | October 27, 2015)
There are now thought to be estimated 900,000 firearms in Austrian homes
Police say around 70,000 guns have been sold this year alone in Austria
Dealers say shotguns have almost sold out because you don’t need permit
Women are driving the sales rush as fears grow amid influx of refugees
Weapon sales are soaring in Austria as citizens of the small Alpine nation become paranoid over the numbers of refugees crowding into their country.
In a country of 8.5 million people, there are now an estimated 900,000 firearms in homes.
And gun dealers report that it is women driving the sales rush. This year alone, police say 70,000 guns have been sold.
‘Virtually all shotguns are currently sold out, because you need no permit for them’, said Thomas Ortner, spokesman for an arms dealer in Upper Austria.
For every other type of weapon, a licence is required.
Licence courses, in which applicants must demonstrate knowledge of firearms, used to take place every five weeks but they are now held weekly because of spiking demand.
In cities like Salzburg, a line of people outside the necessary government office to get the paperwork to buy a gun is now an everyday sight.
Broadcasters and local media say the numbers of refugees – coupled with a fear of break-ins as a result – is fuelling the arms race.
‘Because of the social change, people want to protect themselves,’ one arms dealer told the broadcaster oe.24. He said ‘many women’ were among his customers.
The flood of ‘refugees’ into Austria is continuing without interruption.
The Hungarian route has become less active, and traffic is now flowing at a rapid rate through Slovenia instead.
Czech Independent TV also reported on the arms upsurge. As of Monday most rifles in the country are out of stock.
The daily paper Heute reported recently: ‘The cash registers are currently ringing loud at local gun dealers.
‘Figures of the Ministry of the Interior prove it: more and more people are buying guns and rifles.’
A Central weapon register was introduced in June 2014 to record all legal firearm sales.
This year over 14,000 new weapons have been purchased.
Dealers reported that women are also driving up sales of pepper spray because of their fears for personal security in the midst of the great migration of refugees heading to Germany.
‘We cannot complain about a lack of demand,’ said Stephan Mayer, a gun merchant.
‘People want to protect themselves.
‘The most common purchasers of arms are primarily Austrian women who are also buying tear [pepper] sprays, which are much in demand.’
The new trend is in stark contrast to previous business which was driven by the hunting brigade.
A Viennese sociologist, Roland Girtler, said: ‘Migration, in all of human history, comes with many worries.
‘Many see danger in these foreigners among them. But this fear is unfounded.’
EU GUN CONTROL PLANS UNDER FIRE – THERE ARE ABOUT 81 MILLION ILLICIT FIREARMS ACROSS THE EU. (By Benjamin Oreskes | Politico | November 20, 2015; Update November 21, 2015)
The European Union made headlines with new gun control rules this week, but experts say implementing them across the 28 member counties could prove a moving and potentially hazardous target.
Case in point: A decommissioned firearm in Denmark means the weapon has been sawed in half. In Netherlands, its parts have been welded together. In Slovakia, decommissioned guns can easily be restored to kill.
“The Commission took a couple of steps more than I expected. I think this is direct result of [the attacks in Paris],” said Nils Duquet of the Flemish Peace Institute, adding that national police report seeing more military-style guns.
While Europeans tend to see the debate on gun control as a U.S. preoccupation, especially in the aftermath of mass killings, there are as many as 81 million illicit firearms across the European Union, according to a Commission study last year.
Dealing with deactivated weapons will be the first and almost immediate change to the 2009 EU guns directive. The other proposals, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons, will have to be debated and approved by the European Parliament and Council.
Lawmakers should brace for strong resistance from hunters and sportsmen, who fear it will seriously restrict legal owners.
“It seems to be that the Commission now wants to show quick activism after these terrible attacks, but they are going too far,” said Hans Schollen, a lawyer and president of a German sporting association, the VDS.
One of the amendments, for example, calls for “stricter rules to ban certain semi-automatic firearms, which will not, under any circumstance, be allowed to be held by private persons, even if they have been permanently deactivated,” according to a Commission press release.
What’s more, the guns directive doesn’t offer immediate solutions to the most pressing problem of improving coordination and information sharing among law enforcement so guns can be more easily tracked.
Interior ministers from across Europe met Friday in Brussels to discuss security and information sharing, and the illegal guns trade.
This reactivation of firearms has long been an issue in Europe, with guns moving from countries with lax rules in Central and Eastern Europe to countries like France and Belgium, which both have strong gun laws.
The flow of illegal weapons to Belgium is well-known. Over the last couple of years, national police forces have observed an uptick in the number of military-style weapons like AK-47s being used by criminals and terrorists. The weapons usually come to Western Europe from the Balkans in small quantities, but move easily between countries in the EU Schengen zone.
Cédric Poitevin, an arms researcher with the Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security, said the rules for deactivated guns, which take effect in three months and must be enforced in every member state, will raise the standards for how countries decommission weapons. They will bring many EU countries — particularly those in Eastern Europe — into line with the guidance of international organizations like the International Commission for the Proof of Small Arms.
However, some of the other proposed changes to the directive seemed vague, Poitevin said. Along with semi-automatic weapons, there are proposed directives on how guns will be marked so they can be traced, on more information sharing between member states about weapons registries and “tighter rules on the online acquisition of firearms.”
“It’s a real challenge for member states to control online acquisition of firearms,” Poitevin said. “They say they’re intending to do this, but they don’t say anything about how they’re going to do this.”
Hans von der Burchard contributed reporting.
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IT’S NOT THE GUNS THAT PULL THE TRIGGER (By Murray Martin | Whitehorse Daily Star | November 20, 2015)
Since the age of 13, I have been shooting guns. When I was 13, I shot my first groundhog and rabbit. At age 14, I got my first pheasant; my first moose (with a bow and arrow) at age 27.
When I was a conservation officer in Ontario, come hunting season, I met thousands of law-abiding people with all sorts of firearms.
Later, when working for Winchester Arms, one of the world’s largest firearm manufacturers, I shot millions of rounds of ammunition in rifles, shot guns and handguns.
I also had a Canada-wide carry permit. I have shot at amateur shooting tournaments as well as professional.
I am a law-abiding person like a few million or more Canadians like me.
Yet, former prime minister Jean Chretien felt that to reduce crime, he should establish a gun registry so he and his Liberal counterparts, along with the police, would know where all legal firearms were being held by law-abiding, honest people.
For some misguided reason, with little or no collaboration with the honest hunters and target shooters, the Liberal gun registry, at a wasteful cost of millions upon millions of dollars, was established in Canada.
Odd that Hitler, in his conqest of the people of Germany, established a similar law. Then, once they knew who had legal firearms, the Gestapo moved in and seized them all.
On the other side of the coin, the criminal could easily get an illegal firearm; only due to the gun registry, the cost was a little higher through criminal distribution that the gun registry had no effect on whatsoever.
I accompanied many a police officer on searches of homes for one reason or the other, but never knew any police officer who approached a house that relied solely on a gun registry for his or her safety.
When a former Liberal government brought the registry in, it was to reduce crime, but it failed miserably to do so.
What it did do was to chase the legal gun manufacturers to leave Canada at the cost of thousands of jobs.
First of all, the sale of firearms fell due to the fact that many refused to become paper criminals, jumping through too many hoops even though they obeyed the law.
What it meant was getting a police check to ensure we had no criminal background. But the criminals didn’t have to go through this, as they just bought illegal guns in their growing market, which, incidentally, exists to this day.
The law-abiding person then had to pay a growing fee while registering their legal firearms. Then he or she had to buy a steel cabinet to keep his or her guns in, along with a lock.
The criminals just carried their illegal guns in their pockets anywhere and at any time.
The Conservative government got rid of the billion-dollar boondogle and the registry was supposed to have been cancelled and background data trashed. That remains questionable.
During the last election campaign, now-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated he would not bring back the registry. That is true and factual. But he did say the Liberals would bring forth further legislation on firearms.
What well-informed professional shooters are saying is that the Liberals plan legislation that will be even tougher than the registry.
Trudeau said he would put together a special committee that would include women, police officers and lawyers to bring in proposed legislation.
Just who would these people be? Women from the committee who have been against firearms since the Montreal massacre. Police officers would be on the committee, and that could lead to a police state regarding the control of legal firearms.
There has been no mention of having professional shooters as well as hunters on the committee – people who have been using firearms for most of their lives.
Lawyers will be on the committee who, of course, know the law, but that does not say they are professionals in the knowledge of firearms.
Personally, I resent a law-abiding citizen who enjoys legal hunting and target shooting being portrayed as a potential criminal, but nothing to actually curtail the criminal from having a gun.
Gun laws have no bearing whatsoever on illegal guns or criminals using them.
A hunter or target shooter is no more a potential criminal than a baseball player swinging a bat, which could be classified as a weapon of choice in a crime.
Nor no more a potential criminal than a butcher who uses a knife in his daily place of work. A knife is actually a weapon of choice in murders in Canada.
How about a person who goes to a liquor store, buys his choice of booze, then goes out, drives his car and kills someone? Such a drunk driver killed my brother back in the 1970s.
So, to prevent drunk drivers from killing someone, the government should register beer and liquor bottles.
Once purchased, the liquor should be taken directly to their home.
They should not stop off at a Walmart parking lot, as someone might break open their trunk, drink the booze, get in their car and kill someone.
Crazy, but that is one of the laws the Liberals want to bring into place with firearms.
Also, register all shot glasses in bars.
Booze should be kept in a locked steel cabinet. Would doing so reduce drunk drivers killing people?
That is no different than registering legal firearms. It does nothing to reduce crime, but costs millions if not billions of tax dollars.
The present Liberal government wants to put the police in charge of saying what guns can or cannot be used by law-abiding people.
Nothing is said about the guns criminals use. Anything dealing with a registry or gun legislation should be done by the elected politicians we put our faith in.
The politicians could get far more professional knowledge from gun owners than they could get from the police department, and without the threat of our society becoming a police state.
After all, the politicians are elected, under the Canadian Constitution, to represent the will of the people. Anything other than that is unacceptable, and that should be made clear to all politicians who the people of Canada put their faith in.
Next in line, the government should not be posing specific sentences in our courts.
Most of those officials have never been in the Department of Justice, know little about court procedures and are not judges within the court system. That is what professional judges do, and they know far better on what punishment fits a crime. If a person feels unjustly convicted, let him or her appeal.
The fact remains that “guns do not kill people”; rather, people kill people.
The weapon of choice is that of the person committing a crime, be it with a firearm, a knife, a baseball bat or a motor vehicle.
The trigger does not pull the finger; the finger pulls the trigger. People kill people, and that is indisputable.
Let’s get together and be ready for the next election, just in case the politicians are not listening.
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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CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION | CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
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