Can Canadian Gun Owners Look For Protection In A Liberal Tent?

Liberal Gun
Can Canadian Gun Owners Look For Protection In A Liberal Tent?
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Canada – -( As Parliament reconvenes to kick off the final year of its current mandate, the Liberal Party of Canada is making cooing noises toward gun owners.

Could it be that the Liberals want to make friends with hunters, sport shooters and collectors?

Of course they want our votes, but that apple could be poison. While we can't hold a political party in 2014 for promises made in the 1970s, it's hard to forget an agitated Solicitor General Warren Allmand pontificating that gun control is a permanent plank in the Liberal platform. About 20 years later, Justice Minister Allan Rock said only police and armed forces personnel should have access to firearms. And more recently, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said he was glad to see Quebec retain its gun registry, having voted for it himself several times.

Bit of a trend here, eh?

It's interesting, then, to see letters now emanating from the Liberal party that state: “A Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau would not reinstitute the long-gun registry, however, like yourself we believe in balanced gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring that law-abiding firearms owners do not face undue treatment under the law. We will spend the time leading up to the federal election developing evidence-based firearms policy that is based on this approach.”

Gun control is a controversial file and every political party that's serious about forming a government is forced to both suck and blow as they shop for votes next fall (or sooner). For this reason, no party can afford to be either totally for or totally against gun control. Not surprisingly, a quick look at Liberal media lines over the past couple of years reveal a party that really, really wants your vote, regardless of where you stand on the gun control issue.

Here's the mixed messaging from Justin Trudeau in The Canadian Press from December 2012:

“I voted to keep the firearms registry a few months ago and if we had a vote tomorrow I would vote once again to keep the long-gun registry,” Trudeau told reporters. “However, the definition of a failed public policy is the fact that the long-gun registry is no more… The fact is, because it was so deeply divisive for far too many people, it no longer exists.” He repeated that definition of public policy, in both English and French. Trudeau said he would rather spend the next three years, before the federal election, trying to find evidence-based policies that will unite Canadians and not divide them.

With juggling skills like these, Trudeau could join the circus. But wait, there's more:

A Quebec reporter asked Trudeau about that province's legal fight to keep its portion of the registry and he replied: “I find it's a very good idea. Because in Quebec it was not at all as divisive as it was elsewhere in the country,” Trudeau said. “Perhaps a solution is to let provinces find different solutions. What's important is protecting Quebecers from gun violence.”

The performance earned him a scathing rebuttal from a prominent gun-control advocate.

A survivor of the Montreal polytechnique (sic) massacre, which occurred 23 years ago this week, Heidi Rathjen pushed for the creation of the federal registry. On Monday she blasted not only Trudeau's gun policy but also his broader approach to leadership.

“It's just political garbage,” she said of Trudeau's policy. “He's basically saying that the registry is a good thing only where it's popular, but that's not what a political leader does, that's not how you lead — by implementing a public safety measure only where there's no controversy…

“It's not clear, it's confusing and I think it's a cop-out because he wants to please everybody and then he ends up pleasing nobody.”

While Heidi Rathjen is herself a communications disaster, she does manage to undress Trudeau here for his exquisite deceit. Having been beaten up by both sides in the gun debate, he's beginning to learn that winning the gun control controversy and translating it into votes requires taking a position.

So, he will “develop fact-based evidence” to save Canadians from themselves?

Given the Liberal party's track track record for the last 40 years, it seems safe to assume that Trudeau will simply tear a page out of Allan Rock's Red Book and will present just the “facts” – if we get rid of guns, we get rid of crime. And all real evidence to the contrary be damned.

It's going to be a long year, folks.

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 competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website

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