Bang! Boom! Shriek! Owwwww!
Progressive Bloggers exhibits all the signs of a collective nervous breakdown as it spins into a frenzy of partisan rage over the long gun registry, with Liberal bloggers hammering Jack Layton and NDP bloggers returning fire. Check it out, but keep your head down and don’t get caught in the crossfire!
Ironically, most of the people slugging it out on the progressive blogs sort of want the same thing — to keep the registry happening. Layton himself will vote against the bill that would kill it… he just won’t crack the whip and dictate that his caucus do the same (which to me sounds like the populist, grassroots, democratic thing to do, but I would think that, now wouldn’t I?).
Apart from how ridiculous this all looks to us non-partisan types, and how awesomely wonderful it probably looks to Steve-o, it’s even more interesting that this burst of partisan fury should explode the same day as the publication of the much-vaunted Second RCMP Report that was expected to Completely Vindicate the registry and definitively prove that it “Saves lives!”. It was a report so explosive, so incendiary, so positive to the pro-registry case, that the officer responsible for it was sent away to Francais Camp, a move that seemed suspiciously designed to keep him from presenting it at a Coppapalooza shindig last week.
Um err yeah, okay. What?
UPDATE: Et tu, Heather?
Mallick’s column shows exactly what’s wrong with this whole debate — inasmuch as one could call two sides shrieking past each other a “debate” — the hysteria and perpetuation of myths. Consider these spittle-flecked little gems:
They will help turn Canada into an unregulated gun zone that is especially dangerous for women.
The corpses of the Montreal Massacre are silent and the yapping gun-freedom brigade is so very loud.
This is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. While she doesn’t come right out and say that ditching the registry would mean the End of Gun Control! or that the registry would have saved the Polytechnique victims, both provable falsehoods, the inference is definitely there and the uninformed eat it up.
I have said many times that I am not opposed to gun control in principle, just this registry. I think gun control is a valid discussion for Canadians to have. But it often feels as though this debate is dominated by two extremes: those who think their rights are being trampled if they can’t stroll through the mall with an AK47 strapped over their shoulder and claim the registry is totally useless, and those who insist that to oppose the registry is to spit on the graves of everyone ever killed by gunfire, and that the registry is so useful it does everything but give you a BJ. Most of us dwell philosophically somewhere in between, and that is really where the discussion should take place, don’t you think?
UPDATE II (Sept.2): In fairness, a few words from the other side of the spittle-flecked divide — CPC MP Garry Breitkreuz dons his tinfoil hat and without further ado, gets his freak on:
Why are the police chiefs so strident in their quest to keep the registry in place? They won’t admit it, but it appears they don’t want Canadians to own guns. To that end, they need a database that will help them locate and seize those firearms as soon as a licence or registration expires.
While there’s good reason to be concerned about police powers of search and seizure, Breitkreuz is engaging in some pretty frantic fearmongering there. Of course police would probably prefer citizens to be unarmed — it would make their jobs a lot easier. But so too would submitting our fingerprints, DNA and retinal scans, and opening our homes for weekly police inspections. And maybe microchipping our bad selves — why not? We do it to our dogs! Fortunately, I think we’ll start doing those things about the same time as police start confiscating guns due to lapsed registrations. It’s unlikely such an offense would merit any worse retribution than the good old “strongly-worded letter”, perhaps including the always-useful “veiled threat”. Oh and of course, the ever-popular “Fine”.
And anyone who wonders why this debate seems to generate so much more heat than light need look no further than those articles.