A little voting music, please…

GunNut©®™ rock!

Kidding aside, I fully expect C-391, the bill to scrap the Long Gun Registry, will croak today.   I also don’t believe for a second that anyone in any party will make good on any proposals to “fix” the registry.  As it stands it’s far too valuable a wedge issue to scrap, change, fix or otherwise fuck with.

That is the reality of Canadian politics in this foul year of 2010.

55 Responses to “A little voting music, please…”


  1. 1 FFIB Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I’ll second that, it truly is a foul year in Canadian politics.

  2. 2 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Thanks to Jack Layton, and Michael Ignatieff, I have no choice but to consider voting Conservative for the first time in my life.

    Thanks for taking all my real choices off the ballot guys.

    And Lizzy May, I’m not looking in your direction either, especially considering you’re green in name only.

  3. 3 ck Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    fhg1893: One track mind? scrapping a gun registry comes before, oh I don’t know, Jobs, pensions, educating your children, universal health care, Employment insurance, women’s reproductive rights; all things the Harpercons will be sure to scrap if they ever get that coveted majority. You’d be willing to sacrifice all of that because of refusal to fill in a simple form on line?

    And Lizzy May, I’m not looking in your direction either, especially considering you’re green in name only.

    If green is what you’re looking for, Steve has got to be the least green of all of them and quite proud to be that way.

    Just sayin’…

  4. 4 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

    ck – Ah, Sister Sage herself. Don’t you oppose private gun-ownership, or is that another Liberal blogger? – No matter, your comment is a fair cop.

    Yes, I do seem to have an especial hate-on for the registry don’t I?

    My experience has been that most Canadians are completely unaware of the bureaucratic process that accompanies gun-ownership in Canada, and I take it that you are among them. I’d like to go through it in detail, but this isn’t my blog. So, I’ll summarize by saying that it is long, stringent, and taxing. Registration is actually the easy part.

    But that’s not the point! It’s not a question concerning the EASE of registration!! It’s not about how easy, or hard it is to register a gun! It takes just two phone calls to Miramichi to transfer ownership of a non-restricted firearm!

    This issue is about CRIMINAL LAW and PERSONAL RIGHTS. I’m going to repeat that because most registry fetishists have no idea what this issue is actually about; this issue is about CRIMINAL LAW, and PERSONAL RIGHTS.

    Whatever do I mean? Well, I’ll illustrate by means of example.

    I bought my very second gun in September, a nice Mossberg 500 – that’s a pump-action shotgun for those of you who won’t know. It’s even got a camouflage pattern. I want to use it for two things: trap-shooting, and hunting. Trap-shooting sounds ominous, but it’s really about the same as skeet shooting – the only things being hurt in trap-shooting are my shoulder, and flying clay targets. I hope I don’t need to detail what hunting is.

    Well, an opportunity to go trap-shooting came up this past Sunday – I very much wanted to try out my new acquisition. But unfortunately, I was not allowed to do so. I was not legally allowed to take my shotgun to the range for some much needed recreation. The only reason I was not allowed to do so, is that the registration certificate for my shotgun was still in the mail. IF I had taken my shotgun to the range without the physical registration certificate, AND that fact had somehow been discovered by the police, they would have CHARGED me under the Criminal Code of Canada, and in violation of the Firearms Act.

    Nevermind that my shotgun has been duly registered, nevermind that all the law-enforcement authorities have instantaneous access to CPIC, nevermind they have a registry that will prove conclusively that the shotgun is registered, registered to me, and that I’m duly licensed to own it, nevermind the fact that they apparently use this registration 11,000 times per day, and that they could have used the database to prove that I actually had not done anything wrong, – because I didn’t have a piece of paper I could have been sent to JAIL, and ended up with a criminal record! In fact, I could have gone to jail for up to 10 years! All because I took a REGISTERED firearm out of my home without being in possession of the physical piece of paper that the law says I must have with the firearm.

    So, when a person chooses to become a gun-owner, whatever reason they may have, they inevitably and quickly learn how badly the law will treat them for such a trivial matter. So, when the risks to me and my family are THAT serious, you’d better believe that I’m going to support and donate heavily to any party that will make it just a little easier for me leave my house with my lawfully owned and duly registered property, no matter how I may feel about the individuals, or other policies of that party.

    So, now that Jack, Michael, and Gilles have decided to play politics with this issue, now that they have decided to ignore the justified objections of Canadian gun owners, I’m afraid that I am left with no other choice than to fully endorse and support a party that I would otherwise DESPISE.

    So yes, ck. Sadly, I have no alternative but to vote for someone who is actively trying to make me into something other than just another criminal-in-waiting, despite what other social sins they might be advancing. My family deserves nothing less than my continued and unwavering support, and voting otherwise puts my ability to provide that support in serious jeopardy.

  5. 6 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Live blogging just started at the Star. (Scroll down to the bottom.)

    Be back soon.

    EDIT: Or watch live on CPAC

    EDIT II: It’s aliiiiiiiiiiiiive! 👿
    Bummer. But not unexpected.

  6. 7 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    The battle is over, but not the war. This will come around again; Jack Layton might as well have given Harper a license to print money for the Conservative Party of Canada.

    Two things I forgot earlier.

    1) Compromise. What a joke. The only reason that Layton or Iggy are talking compromise is because the registry vote was this close. Ignatieff will NEVER pass a compromise bill if elected, I refuse to believe it! As for Taliban-Jack, sorry, but Jack has had well over four years to do something for gun-owners, but has done nothing instead. This is crass political opportunism, there’s no genuine desire to do anything for gun owners beyond saving some commons furniture.

    Jack, Michael, take your compromise, fold it until it’s sharp corners, and stick it up your oubliette.

    2) Elizabeth May and the not-so Green party. Hunting is one of the most ecologically responsible actions a person can take, yet Elizabeth May and the not-so Green party want to ban semi-automatics. Never mind that semi-automatic shotguns are very popular among hunters because of their low recoil, semi-automatics and handguns need to be banned, or so-say the not-so Greens. Well, there goes my vote…

  7. 8 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    FFIB – I never thought I’d see US-style wedge politics come to Canada in as big a way as they have this year. It’s always been done by both the LPC and CPC to a lesser extent (soldiers with guns in our streets etc.), but I’ve never seen it this bad.

  8. 9 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    fhg

    Thanks to Jack Layton, and Michael Ignatieff, I have no choice but to consider voting Conservative for the first time in my life.

    My voting days are done.
    I’m not a one-issue voter, but this vote has really highlighted the complete and utter futility of our system. They (all the parties) play us all year long, and we end up with the same old same old. Pointless.

  9. 10 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    JJ – That’s a good point… Isn’t that grounds for a revolution in the American style? If we the people aren’t being represented, doesn’t the rhetoric go that it’s time to do away with the old, and usher in something new?

    I’m no fan of the Harpercons. As I pointed out earlier, Steve has had the ability to fix a lot of what is wrong with gun-ownership, but has not done so. I REALLY HATE to be a one-issues voter, but when the stakes are so high, what choice is there for people who are just trying to “make it” in Canada? Moving to the USA seems like no choice at all…

  10. 11 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    ck

    One track mind?

    Unlike registry proponents with their non-stop bullshit about how the registry “saves lives” (which to this day nobody has been able to explain to me how it does so) 🙄

    You’d be willing to sacrifice all of that because of refusal to fill in a simple form on line?

    With all due respect, that’s horseshit. There’s a lot more to the opposition to the registry than being too lazy to fill out a form, as I have already explained to you (a few times) so I won’t bother reiterating since that’s clearly your talking point and you’re sticking to it. Good girl, have a biscuit.

  11. 12 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    fhg

    Ah, Sister Sage herself. Don’t you oppose private gun-ownership, or is that another Liberal blogger?

    I think it’s more than a few of them. But ck at least has copped to the fact that she wants a ban on private gun ownership — most of them are not that honest.

    Hey, how’s this for logic: Stephen Harper is a horrible nazi totalitarian dictator… so let’s give him all our guns!!! 😯 😆 Good grief.

  12. 13 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    fhg

    I hope I don’t need to detail what hunting is.

    😆 😆 😆

    As I pointed out earlier, Steve has had the ability to fix a lot of what is wrong with gun-ownership, but has not done so.

    None of them want it fixed. It is way too valuable to them the way it is. Chretien’s Liberals knew how to do politics better than anyone, and they knew what they were doing when they created this thing.

  13. 14 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    JJ – You make my day,

    “Hey, how’s this for logic: Stephen Harper is a horrible nazi totalitarian dictator… so let’s give him all our guns!!! 😯 😆 Good grief.”

    and manage to depress me at the same time:

    “None of them want it fixed. It is way too valuable to them the way it is. Chretien’s Liberals knew how to do politics better than anyone, and they knew what they were doing when they created this thing.”

    *sigh*

  14. 15 JJ Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry fgh, but I am just calling it as I see it. Believe me, I take no pleasure in such pronouncements 😦

    At the risk of really depressing you, it’s not even the government that’s the problem. The problem is a society of people so fat & complacent & asleep at the wheel & bought off by toys that they don’t care if the cops have the power to decide someone is a threat, invade their home and seize their legally-owned property. It’s an outrage and a vicious attack on liberty, but most people don’t care as long as they’ve got their ipads and playstations.

    They will start caring when someone comes to confiscate their toys 😐

  15. 16 fhg1893 Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    JJ – Not at all. I like this place because you call them like you see them, and you’re not a slave to blind ideology like many other bloggers. I try to be optimistic, but it’s difficult sometimes.

    And your comment about the dictator did make me laugh out loud. 🙂

    Yes, my wife and I have felt the thread of apathy in our society. We write letters, but they seem to fall on deaf ears. I suspect it may be a truism that the only thing that these elites will understand is force, though, I’m not willing to test that theory just yet.

    Perhaps people will pay attention if the Cons manage to ram that copy-right abomination bill down our throats.

    Also: Motor-city madman. Ted Nugent certainly looks the part like no other!

  16. 17 Terrence Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Fhg,

    That piece of paper you mention — the one still in the mail — do you need something like that for each gun you have?

    Christ, that’s absurd. I have my own reasons for opposing the registry, but having to keep track of a separate slip of paper for every gun, with criminal penalties if I forget — that would drive me crazy.

    I’m bad enough with paperwork as it is!

  17. 18 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Terrence – In short, yes. By law, you need a registration certificate for each gun you own.

    And yes, it’s quite absurd considering that the database has all the pertinent information anyway. They don’t even need to see a person’s PAL (that’s Possession and Acquisition License – it’s now the defacto firearms license in Canada), all they need to find out what a person owns is vehicle license plate.

    That’s why you keep hearing about “law-abiding gun owners” and farmers and duck-hunters all the time. That’s why they keep saying that the registry targets the wrong people, but sadly both sides of this debate are so entrenched, and belligerent that the message is completely muddied by the emotional cries of the registry fetishists. It’s completely absurd that the party thinking most clearly about this issue recently killed the mandatory long form census!

    Want more absurdity? Every time a person buys, or sells a single gun in Canada, the system generates 3 pieces of mail. One is a notification to the seller. One is a notification to the buyer. And the third is a new registration certificate. Each piece of mail costs $0.57 in postage alone! There are approximately 600,000 sales of registered firearms in Canada every year. So the registry system is costing the taxpayer 1.2 million dollars per year for postage alone! I have no idea what the materials cost looks like, but they must be absurd as well. The piece of paper, we discussed, the registration certificate? It’s not a regular piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper you’d buy in the store. It’s some kind of heavy archival paper or parchment or something. My wife had to print her thesis on that kind of stuff some time ago, and I’m reasonably sure that it costs about 3 times as much as regular paper. There are approximately 6 million registered guns in Canada. The taxpayer probably paid upwards of $500.00 to register each one!

  18. 19 Bleatmop Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 2:42 am

    I’ve decided that all sides of the political spectrum are only for liberty so long as it is convenient for them to be so. So basically, all side of the political spectrum are authoritarian thugs 99% of the time.

    Also, I have to agree, this hyper partisan bickering is what disgusts me and was my mission statement to avoid when I first created my blog. Following that logic initially lead me away from the CPC, but now it has lead me away from every other part as well. The NDP still has a slim chance with me if they actually try and implement this compromise they keep talking about. But they sure as hell better do it fast.

  19. 20 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 4:55 am

    fhg

    And your comment about the dictator did make me laugh out loud.

    😛
    Too bad it was only partially tongue-in-cheek 😐 Talk about cognitive dissonance — it’s kind of mindblowing that anyone could hold those two positions simultaneously, but you’d be amazed how many do. I see it on blogs all the time…
    Blogpost #1, 8 a.m.: “Harper is an evil tyrant!!!”
    Blogpost #2, 10 a.m.: “Memo to Gun nuts: If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear!”
    Blogpost #3, 12 noon: “Harper is an totalitarian Stalinist Dictator!!!”
    Blogpost #4, 2 p.m.: “Only the police should have guns!!!11!”
    Blogpost #5, 4 p.m.: “Authoritarian thugs conduct mass searches and arrests at G-20 protest!!!”

    WTF?? I’m not a big fan of Harpie, but I am a big fan of Consistency.

  20. 21 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Terrence

    having to keep track of a separate slip of paper for every gun, with criminal penalties if I forget — that would drive me crazy.

    Yeah. I only have one gun that’s registered (a handgun), and over the years I still managed to lose the registration certificate. I know it’s around here somewhere, but I haven’t gotten around to tearing the house apart to find it.

    As for my long guns, they are and will remain unregistered (insert defiant-looking emoticon)

  21. 22 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am

    fhg

    The taxpayer probably paid upwards of $500.00 to register each one!

    😯 😐

    That’s pretty mind-boggling. What’s even more mind-boggling is that nobody cares. The emotional arguments for the registry have completely taken over the discourse: “$500? If it saves one life…” etc. Problem is, it doesn’t save any lives — if it did, after 15 years there should be plenty of examples of all the lives it’s saved, and I have yet to see one.

  22. 23 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Bleatmop

    all sides of the political spectrum are only for liberty so long as it is convenient for them to be so

    You nailed it.
    There are only certain issues and situations where any of them support freedom, which differ by party.

    The NDP is a good example — they’re about as socially liberal as it’s possible to be, but they are vehement nanny statists on other issues, and are usually the ones who come up with dumbass laws meant to protect us from ourselves.

    The Conservatives support freedom as long as it’s an issue their base cares about. But they’re all for enforcing government intrusion in citizens’ personal lives (although to be fair to Harper, he hasn’t acted on this impulse — yet), and enforcing laws against idiotic “victimless crimes” like pot smoking and the sex trade.

    Liberals go any way the wind blows 😐

    All this must be kept in mind when making that all-important decision of where to mark the “X”.

  23. 24 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

    JJ – It’s astonishing that we’ve allowed such a useless, such a costly program to continue for so long. For the two billion dollars we’ve spent on this clusterfuck, we could have given all 30 million Canadians a coupon for their choice of a session of fellatio, or cunnilingus, which I think would have done WAY more to enhance public safety than the moronic registry, and STILL had enough money to buy back the fucking Nordiques! Or you know… Pay for the stupid G8/G20…

    Maybe I shoulda been a politician… “Vote for fhg1893! The one with the blow-jobs!”

  24. 25 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    fhg – IIRC, this is about attempt #5 on the part of the CPC to give the registry a blow job and blow it away… which is why the CPC wins rural ridings (and probably will again in record numbers).

    But as we both know, the CPC’s attempts have been somewhat halfhearted, c-391 included. Combined with the volume of pro-registry hysteria, the CPC’s flaccid attempt at messaging and countering the propaganda made scrapping the registry a hard nut to crack.

    I rather think the CPC is quite pleased with the outcome. The fundraising machine has already gone into action and the population is angry, divided and election-ready. The CPC will undoubtedly scoop some more rural seats out of it, and contrary to popular progressive opinion, I don’t think they’ll suffer much in urban areas. Urban conservatives are not suddenly going to turn to the Liberals or NDP over something like the gun registry.

    But we’ll see, I guess.

    EDIT: Perusing blog posts & comments while this little Battle Royale has been going on, I noticed something about the quality of the “debate” taking place. I noticed that of the “ad hominem” type of argument (personal insults and general childishness) taking place, the vast majority was coming from the pro-registry side — in spite of the fact that gun owners are supposedly rude and ignorant rednecks. The insults continue today, even after the pro-reg side “won”.

    What do you make of that? I find it confusing.

  25. 26 Brian Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

    fhg1893,

    Seeking a clarification here.

    You point out (correctly, I’m sure) that all the info on the registration is contained in databases, so carrying it it redundant at best.

    But I realize that everything on your driver’s license is the same, it is all contained in databases.

    So do you feel it is appropriate to be required to carry your driver’s license while driving, but not to have to carry the gun-reg? How do they differ?

    I must say that I feel that if they are the same, and it is approp. to have to carry the D. lic., then it would be approp. 2B req’d to carry the gun reg.

    But by the same measure, the penalty ought to be on a par with each other for failure to do so…

    Of course, the whole question would be moot if there were no registry…

  26. 27 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Brian – a fair question.

    Yes, a driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance are required while driving, and those are all in the database as well.

    However, as far as I’m aware, the penalties are not at all on par. Driving, at least in Ontario, is governed by the Highway Traffic act, which, contrary to what our current Premier would like us to believe, is not supposed to impose criminal charges on a person. Except of course for actual crimes, like driving with a blood alcohol over the legal limit, something which is enshrined in the Criminal Code of Canada.

    As far as I know, if you forget your vehicle registration, or your proof of insurance, standard procedure is for the police to hand you a “duty to produce.” As far as I know, you’re required to take the missing document to the station within a reasonable amount of time, usually 7 days or something like that. The police can also charge you with a violation of the Highway Traffic act which can result in your car being impounded, and you can face fines, but since this means having to go before the courts, this isn’t the usual procedure; it’s too expensive for what is usually a trivial matter.

    The Firearms Act on the other hand however mandates criminal penalties for not having a registration certificate, which are reflected in the Criminal Code of Canada.

    “91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of
    (a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and
    (b) a registration certificate for the firearm.”

    http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-46/page-3.html#anchorbo-ga:l_III

    There is a minor exception for people in the process of obtaining a registration certificate, but even so, there’s enough wiggle room for the police to press charges, and possibly be convicted, despite an owner’s best intentions.

    In such circumstances, the authorities will almost always take steps to seize all of a person’s firearms, registered or not, and arrange for a prohibition order until the matter is settled in court, which as I said, could go either way.

    And here’s the best part:

    “117.11 Where, in any proceedings for an offence under any of sections 89, 90, 91, 93, 97, 101, 104 and 105, any question arises as to whether a person is the holder of an authorization, a licence or a registration certificate, the onus is on the accused to prove that the person is the holder of the authorization, licence or registration certificate.

    1995, c. 39, s. 139.”

    Someone accused of a violation of the Highway Traffic act is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The same cannot be said for Firearms owners.

  27. 28 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Brian – Addendum to my last: Straight from the RCMP Canadian Firearms Center:

    “Q. Do I need to carry my licence and registration certificates with me when I take my firearms out hunting?

    The Criminal Code states that you must be able to produce a valid licence and registration certificate for the inspection of a peace officer if you have a firearm in your possession. If you do not have these documents with you, the peace officer may seize the firearms. If that was the only reason the firearms were seized, and you can produce the required documents for inspection within 14 days, the police are required to return the firearms to you.”

    http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/lic-per-eng.htm#b11

    The closing platitude doesn’t fill me with confidence; it is no guarantee that a person WON’T be charged, though some provinces like Alberta currently refuse to fund criminal trials for registry violations. Somehow, I think they’d throw the book at you in Ontario, or *gulp* Quebec.

  28. 29 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    JJ – I don’t think it’s confusing at all. In actuality, most Canadians have absolutely no idea how our gun control scheme works, they just know that guns are a stereotypically American thing, guns are dangerous, and therefore, we need gun control. Anyone who wants LESS gun control therefore wants to be more like the Americans with all their God, Gays and Guns. There is therefore this idea that the registry IS gun control, and if we get rid of the registry, we’re actually getting rid of gun control in Canada. There’s the knee-jerk irrational fear that doing away with the registry will result in daily gun-battles on the streets of Toronto.

    Furthermore, many registry fetishists are ignorant of what it actually takes to be a gun-owner in Canada; they don’t know that a gun-owner needs to provide the RCMP with a level of detailed information that would make privacy advocates loose their minds, they don’t know that a gun-owner needs to be vouched for by two references, they don’t know that a gun-owner needs to obtain consent from all past and current sexual partners that have ever lived in their home, they don’t know that gun-owners must keep their guns under strict lock and key at all times, they don’t know that if gun-owners fail to comply with the most insignificant, most trivial regulation can result in the most serious family-decimating penalties that our system has on the books! This is compounded by the fact that if a gun-owner tries to educate them, if a gun-owner tries to open their eyes to just how much red-tape there actually is, many of them don’t want to bother with knowing; it’s much easier to label, accuse, ignore, insult and denigrate. They are quick to accuse the Conservatives of being a sort of Minitruth, but when it suits them, they’re very quick to claim that “Ignorance is Strength.”

    Or at least, that’s what I understand about the registry fetishists, perhaps one of them can correct me…

  29. 30 JJ Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    fhg – Oh, I know they’re ignorant. And completely unwilling to be educated if it calls into question their pro-registry talking points. I finally realized this after trying repeatedly to explain why gun owners oppose the registry — it’s obviously a lot more complex than being too lazy to fill in a form.

    But that’s their talking point — lazy paranoid rednecks — and it doesn’t matter what you tell them, they stick to their guns, so to speak. I’ve spent paragraphs explaining things to people like Ck at the top of the comments, only to see her later on at another blog, parroting the exact same talking point I just destroyed.

    I finally gave up 😐

    What I find curious is the fact that in any debate, most of the ad hominems and bad faith arguments seem to come from them, not us. This is a little unusual for people who pride themselves on their rationality and the ability to make a coherent argument. They’re still carrying on today about murderous brainless rednecks and blood in the streets, etc.

    We really need to put this divisive legislation behind us, it’s driving everybody crazy! 😯

  30. 31 fhg1893 Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    JJ – Sorry, I guess I got a little carried away there. 🙂

    I think maybe the registry fetishists are convinced that they’re incapable of throwing ad hominem at someone. In their own minds, they’ve already established an idea themselves as the tolerant, rational, diverse, respectful, educated, considerate and practical group. The other group, because of their difference of opinion must therefore be the opposite; intolerant, irrational, homogeneous, disrespectful, ignorant, inconsiderate and ideologically minded group. So because the other group is so obviously wrong; they are blinded by their own ideology, so there’s no method of arguing that’s unacceptable. The registry fetishists have failed to realize their own biases, and cannot understand that there is a reasoned, reasonable argument to be considered from the other side.

    Normally, the charge that the government is ideologically driven with no practical, or rational consideration has some merit: long-form census debacle (I mean, really? Were we THAT offended by the Census?), annual prorogation, Afghan detainee intransigence, a reputation for being absolutely intolerant of different opinions, the mysterious de-funding of Kairos and various women’s groups, I could go on…

    But this time, for some reason, the sides are reversed. This time, killing the registry makes a lot more sense than keeping it, so it’s such a pity that the Conservatives have wasted so much political ammunition on stuff that doesn’t really have a big impact on the lives of average Canadians, and makes them look so crazy that when they finally get this ONE THING right, nobody believes it because the Conservatives are so batshit about everything else. And if we doubt that OUR Harpercons are batshit, we just have to watch Fox News, or the Tea Party movement for about five minutes to remove all doubt.

    So, to the minds of registry fetishists, all the worst behavior of the Internet is perfectly justified, because if the Cons win this one, who knows what other crazy-bad idea they’ll bring in!?!

  31. 32 fhg1893 Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:45 am

    JJ – On second thought, my previous comment appears to have been overly optimistic concerning human nature. On second thought, I think the venom and ad hominem come from a single idea: there is a problem in this country, and that problem is, that people are allowed to own guns.

  32. 33 JJ Friday, September 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    fhg

    In their own minds, they’ve already established an idea themselves as the tolerant, rational, diverse, respectful, educated, considerate and practical group.

    😆 Right… until you don’t agree with them (err… I mean “us” 😐 )

    My experience is that most people don’t resort to ad hominems unless they’re losing a debate, and they know it. Which leads me to believe that they know good & damn well the registry doesn’t live up to all its supposed attributes, and there’s some other agenda.

    Here’s an interesting tidbit: since the vote on Wednesday, I’ve seen a new word popping up among the pro-reg folks: “accountability”. Apparently the registry was never intended to prevent crime or save lives, it was intended to make gun owners “More Accountable”. (You have to wonder what goes on in the feverish imaginations of these people: houses with guns in the bath tub, in the kitchen, getting lost under the couch cushions with lost dimes and quarters). It sounds like they’ve been called so many times on the “saves lives” BS that they had to come up with a new talking point.

    So what are they going to do with those “Save lives!” buttons? (Photoshop firing up even as I type.)

    there is a problem in this country, and that problem is, that people are allowed to own guns.

    No doubt. By continually asking them how the registry “saves lives”, I was hoping to get one of them to admit that it does so by facilitating pre-emptive seizure of guns by the police. But the idea that this is acceptable is apparently so odious that not even most pro-reg people want to cop to it (understandably).

  33. 34 fhg1893 Friday, September 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    “My experience is that most people don’t resort to ad hominems unless they’re losing a debate, and they know it. Which leads me to believe that they know good & damn well the registry doesn’t live up to all its supposed attributes, and there’s some other agenda.”

    You know JJ, I think you’re absolutely right.

    I haven’t heard a single shred of proof that the registry saves lives beyond as you point out, the pre-emptive confiscation of guns, and that could easily be handled by licensing alone.

    I guess that must mean that the only attachment to the registry that people have is purely emotional, and has no basis in logic, or at least, no basis in logic once they’ve learned how the system ACTUALLY works, rather than just assumed they know how it works.

    When pressed, it seems they shut down in anger…

  34. 35 Scotian Friday, September 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    “My experience is that most people don’t resort to ad hominems unless they’re losing a debate, and they know it. Which leads me to believe that they know good & damn well the registry doesn’t live up to all its supposed attributes, and there’s some other agenda.” JJ

    I’ve been avoiding doing commenting on this debate because I sit in an odd position, I favour strong gun control regulation yet am perfectly fine with people having firearms in private hands so long as the enforcement of those regulations and the penalties for not following them are stringent and stringently followed. I’ve commenting around it on specific things like how a registry can help prevent suicides but that is as far as I go, so please do not take the following as meaning I am on either side, because frankly I’m not (unlike my wife who most certainly is pro-registry).

    I have noticed one other time when ad hominem attacks occur besides that which the quote from JJ points out, and that is when people have been arguing for so long that what I would describe as combat fatigue has set in and they simply cannot be bothered to keep repeating what they believe to already be blatantly factually obvious anymore. I think it important to note that here because watching from the sidelines as I have I think that is at least a part of what I’ve seen coming from some of those on the pro-registry side online (not that this excuses this bad behaviour, nor am I trying to excuse it, just to point out there may be another reason besides dishonesty involved here). I have watched you JJ get treated quite venomously from some when you have tried to present reasoned debate, the problem for you I think is that most of those that have been arguing for abolition have been CPCers and because of that you and those like you have gotten lumped in together in too many minds and therefore not deserving of consideration.

    This is one of the main reasons I have always been so adamant about needing to defeat Harper’s way of doing politics from when he was still LOO, because this sort of thing is inevitable as a result of the culture war approach of Harper’s. The more you fight an enemy and the longer you need to the more you end up incorporating what worked for that enemy to fight him with, it is a sad fact of human history and true just as much in the political realm as in the battlefield. I think that is a part of what we see happening here, mind you I have been more than a little disappointed with some of those I’ve watched trash you JJ given I generally like their writings on other topics, which is also why I am taking the time to point out this alternate explanation for what is clearly bad behaviuor and nasty ad hominem commentary against you.

    It is also one of the main reasons I comment/blog in the lengthy manner I do because it makes it harder to slip into that mindset myself to have to “show my work” so to speak every time when I have something to say, not to mention makes it harder for people to simply twist my words into something else without it being obvious when you actually look at the original material/context. It makes for more work, and gets a bit tedious at times for me to write (let alone for those that have to read it as more than a few have argued over the years /chuckle) but I think it too important not to so as to remind everyone the importance of reasoned disagreement instead of simply shouting at each other.

    I hope you don’t take this limited interjection into this debate from me poorly, I just wanted to make the point that there can be another explanation for ad hominems being resorted to other than sheer dishonesty, indeed it is something I’ve had to remind myself about from time to time when dealing with some of the more articulate/relatively sane defenders of the CPC in the past (even though they always were a limited number and grown more so over the tenure of the Harper regime).

    That’s all I’ve got to say to this, as I said I am staying away from this particular debate/issue generally because of how hot feelings are running on it and because it is not a major concern for me compared to what I consider to be far greater issues and concerns that arise out of this government, many of which you already know. Besides, my health is not up to more than limited amounts of fighting intense battles online these days, which is why I’ve been so quiet the past couple of years. I just felt this was something important enough to speak to on this limited basis/point.

  35. 36 JJ Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 6:37 am

    fhg

    I guess that must mean that the only attachment to the registry that people have is purely emotional, and has no basis in logic

    That’s what I’ve concluded after sifting through many arguments over this topic. Here’s the trajectory of pro-registry debate:

    1. Marc Lepine used a long gun
    2. We spend money on lots of other useless shit so why not this?
    3. The police chiefs say the registry saves lives
    4. This chart shows the registry saves lives
    5. This RCMP report says the registry saves lives
    6. The Montreal Massacre victims’ families (and other assorted non-experts) say the registry saves lives
    7. The guy who lives down the street from me says the registry saves lives
    8. Now it’s time for some anecdotal tale about a little old lady who had the police seize her son’s long guns
    9. Abolishing the registry means THE END OF GUN CONTROL, (insert wild west scenario)
    10. The NRA!!!11!! Dr. Mauser’s scary picture!!! Gun nuts running wild in the streets, shooting at stop signs and executing liberal gun-grabbers!!! Etc.
    And finally, the coup de gras:
    11. Why are you pissing on the graves of the Montreal Massacre victims?
    Lather, rinse, repeat (with steadily increasing lather as each talking point is utterly destroyed.)

    Their default position is that we should have the registry until someone can prove we don’t need it; rather than the more logical default position of not having such legislation until it’s proven that we need it. A lot of this is just good old-fashioned statism — if it’s a government program, it must be good — combined with Harper Derangement Syndrome — if it’s a government program that the conservatives hate, it must be REALLY good. There is very little critical thought involved, which is why they rely heavily on charts and reports that don’t say anything relevant, anecdotal evidence and emotional blackmail.

    They remind me of the anti-abortion people: they’re true believers and there’s not much point in engaging them 😐

  36. 37 JJ Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Scotian – Well hello, stranger! Good to see you back here again 🙂

    when people have been arguing for so long that what I would describe as combat fatigue has set in and they simply cannot be bothered to keep repeating what they believe to already be blatantly factually obvious anymore.

    That’s a valid point, as anyone who’s engaged in this debate will attest. And to be fair, there is ad hominem coming from both sides: but the vast majority of it comes from the pro-registry side. I find this odd coming from people who I know to be perfectly capable of reasoned, cogent arguments on other issues.

    I have watched you JJ get treated quite venomously from some when you have tried to present reasoned debate

    No really?? 😉 😆 The last few months has taught me something about that mythical progressive “tolerance”. You can be liberal on most issues, but go out of lockstep on the gun registry and it’s “Teabagger!! Gender-traitor!!!” (I should note, though, that most of these aspersions were NOT cast by my feminist sisters, for which I am appreciative.)

    most of those that have been arguing for abolition have been CPCers and because of that you and those like you have gotten lumped in together in too many minds

    Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day 😉
    I’ve never been secretive about the fact that, while I generally lean left, on specific issues my political views are all over the map. This includes some fairly conservative views — not on social issues, those are non-negotiables, but on some fiscal issues and definitely re gun rights. So I was a little astonished to find myself being called a teabagger and even getting kicked off a couple of blog rolls during this toxic little debate.

    Not only that, but I’m not the only “progressive” who opposes the registry, not even the only one on the Progressive Bloggers site. There are about 9 or 10, including two very prominent progressive bloggers, who oppose it, and have posted about it, but I don’t recall them getting the same blowback as I did. (I am, however, the only female progressive blogger who opposes it, so make of that what you will 😐 )

    It is also one of the main reasons I comment/blog in the lengthy manner I do

    And don’t ever change 😉 Your comments are always reasoned, informative and add a lot to whatever discussion you choose to participate in.

    And you’re right — the culture war kind of politics is utterly poisonous. Obviously the CPC has seen what works in the States and think it will work here, and so far they seem to be right. But it isn’t just the CPC — although they do it more blatantly than anyone else (“Toronto Elites!!!!), the Liberals engage in it too. They created the Long Gun Registry for that very reason, because they knew it would be a political football that could be tossed endlessly back and forth, sometimes benefitting them and sometimes benefitting the conservatives.

    I wish we could clean house of all these stenchy opportunists.

  37. 38 fhg1893 Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 8:14 am

    JJ – I know you were being mostly serious, but that was good for a laugh, especially steps 7, 8, 9 and 10! 😆 😆 😆

    Your comment does lead me to what I feel is a pertinent question.

    As you may be aware, I attempted to explain most of this to someone who appears to be suffering from a rather acute case of HDS. (:lol:! Harper Derangement Syndrome heh heh heh!)

    My question is, what’s a guy to do? What other options are there? Do we really believe that Jack, Michael and Gilles have REALLY listened to gun-owners, or are they just scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging, and the funds flowing into the coffers of their political rivals? Incidentally, I’ll bet that flow will increase sharply over the next few weeks.

    If the Conservatives are the only party that is offering a real compromise on this issue, then, what is a voter to do? Please don’t misunderstand me, I know that you have chosen not to vote, and I respect your decision. I however, have chosen to vote, and I hope you’ll respect my decision to vote, whether or not you agree with what I mark on the ballot. My time to waste, yes?

    Is there any sort of real alternative on this issue…? Perhaps I’m naive, or foolish, but, I just don’t see any other options…

  38. 39 Scotian Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    “And you’re right — the culture war kind of politics is utterly poisonous. Obviously the CPC has seen what works in the States and think it will work here, and so far they seem to be right. But it isn’t just the CPC — although they do it more blatantly than anyone else (“Toronto Elites!!!!), the Liberals engage in it too. They created the Long Gun Registry for that very reason, because they knew it would be a political football that could be tossed endlessly back and forth, sometimes benefitting them and sometimes benefitting the conservatives.” JJ

    I was with you completely until this last point. I am not as convinced as you that this was primarily created for that reason, that there was not a good faith basis for trying to be seen as doing something about long gun violence (since lets face it there isn’t much else that can be done regarding handgun violence given the level of stringent restrictions already in place) and that there was a sincere basis in many of its proponents within the Lib party at the time that was doing what they thought was right. Now, since then that it has been used as a wedge issue by the brain trust that is the leadership of the Libs (and it would not surprise me too much if there were those in that brain trust that saw the potential for it from the outset too, my point is simply that this was not something I think from my recollections was designed with that as a primary purpose from the outset, an important difference from what we see today), that I could go along with, but even so I would argue it is not the same thing as the culture war approach to politics that we see out of the Harper CPC.

    No, JJ, that is something else, wedge issues have always existed in politics, along with regional divisions, hell I live in an area that gets trashed all the time as worthless and forgettable (Maritimes) by the rest of the country, not to mention being the home of the “culture of defeatism” as Harper put it back in the 90s. What we see from Harper though takes anything along those lines that we have known and cranks and torques it all out of recognition to prior Canadian partisan politics and recognizes no lines which not to cross, while there generally was an unwritten agreement that certain lines were not crossed lightly if ever (like the sovereignty issue for example). So I can’t agree with this last paragraph of yours, although the rest of your comment to me I certain if sadly have to concur with fully. I do find it disturbing that you are the only female progressive blogger getting this treatment though, probably because in the minds of many proponents this is also a feminist issue and you are selling out the sisterhood with your position to their thinking (something I am glad to note you saying your fellow sisters generally have not been doing, good to see that even if the rest is not)

    As to that mythical progressive tolerance, well I’ve known about the limits of that too for far longer than I’ve been a blogger. Still though there is a large difference in my opinion between the periodic flareups on particularly emotional issues such as this one has been for so many for so long and what we see out of the political right. There we get this kind of intolerance across the board except when they are trying to portray themselves as tolerant of diversity expressly to gain/hold votes. Like yourself JJ I am not simply all progressive in the context of our political spectrum, I am a complex blend of liberal, centrist, and conservative (in the traditional sense of the term of course, not the modern version I have denounced for years) views depending on things on an issue by issue basis. Indeed, much of the greatest opposition to Harper in me comes from my conservative side being appalled at his utter contempt for our precedents and rule of law process issues where our self governance is concerned even more than my social welfare and justice liberal side is appalled by his policies.

    I was also more than a little disgusted to see you get branded a “tea-bagger” by those that should have known better. Just because I haven’t been commenting much over the past several months does not mean I haven’t been reading the blogs, I just haven’t felt up to the effort and strains of getting into arguments with people takes on me these days. I agree with you that in terms of the progressive opponents of the registry versus the supporters of it the nastiness has been generally lopsided in the manner you describe (only in progressive versus progressive though), in part because it seems for some this is a litmus test of whether you are truly a progressive person or not (personally I find such litmus tests a bit foolish, dangerous, and divisive and therefore should be limited to all but the most serious and basis/core issues myself).

    Indeed, if I did not think you had been getting shafted would I have come out of hiding long enough to have left my first comment in this thread? I wanted you to know that for what it was worth I thought you were piled on without good cause, that people should have disagreed with you based on their own beliefs but that they should never have gone as venomous as some clearly did as well as the point I made about combat fatigue. It is one thing to disagree with a fellow traveler on a specific issue, after all one of what is supposed to mark liberals/progressives in this country is the understanding that we will not always agree on all issues, but so long as we agree on many/most and the core values of tolerance, diversity, and respect for the rule of law then we are all fellow travelers even when we have to diverge from time to time while on that road together.

    Alas, one of the results of the Harper culture war approach working for as long as it has is the way too high emotional states exist in too many opponents of his, which in turn clearly got spilled onto you. Which I might add is another reason the culture war works for conservatives, it makes this sort of internal disagreement more likely because of this phenomena in progressives, it is one of if not the most disturbing, disgusting and dangerous political tools I have ever seen used in this country and was why I’ve fought it since I first realized it was being imported. I had already watched for years the damage it did in the USA where it was born and knew just how destructive it would be to our political culture/environment, a point I was making prior to Harper becoming PM I might add.

    We (all of us) need to remember that this country worked on the basis of consensual politics more than confrontational overall prior to the importation of the Harper culture war model. It was never intended to face the far more combative and aggressive tools created to work in the much more combative American model, and the culture war is extreme for the American model. It is no wonder we are seeing the amount of damage we are from it. It is also why I argue there is a real difference between the wedge politics of the past in the Canadian mode and what we face with the culture war of the Harper CPC.

    On a personal note, glad you still appreciate my tendency to write tomes…:) Seriously though, it really is nice to be reminded that my style while lengthy is still of value, I don’t write for the sake of seeing my writing, anymore than in life I speak just to hear the sound of my own voice (despite what many of my critics over the years have claimed). I actually want to try to contribute meaningful content and I have a very strong dislike of the sound bite model of communications, I see it as information poor, easy for manipulation and contextual revision and something that deteriorates political discourse, not enhances it.

  39. 40 JJ Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    fhg

    I know you were being mostly serious, but that was good for a laugh

    Happy to oblige 🙂 😛 😆 Sometimes truth is funnier than satire (I had to restrain myself from adding in #7(b): “My dogs & cats unanimously agree that the registry saves lives” because unlike all the other points, nobody has ever implied such a thing).

    As you may be aware, I attempted to explain most of this to someone who appears to be suffering from a rather acute case of HDS

    Good luck with that 😆 The HDS runs strong in that one 😐
    I don’t especially care for the guy either, but I wouldn’t say he’s a dictator comparable to Augusto Pinochet 😆 (And never mind that dictators tend to love gun control… how else would they get to be dictators?)

    If the Conservatives are the only party that is offering a real compromise on this issue, then, what is a voter to do?

    Interesting you should say “compromise”. That’s what a lot of registry proponents fail to realize when discussing compromises: that abolishing the registry IS the compromise.

    As far as voting, I respect anyone’s choice whether it’s Liberal or Conservative or NDP or Rhino, or nothing — it’s their choice and their right. I can see why people who are active with firearms are tempted to vote CPC — however, my gut feeling is that the conservatives don’t want to get rid of the registry any more than the Liberals do. All the parties have played us very nicely for the last year or so, and now everyone is fired up and ready to vote.

  40. 41 JJ Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Scotian

    I was with you completely until this last point.

    That’s cool, I’m good at agreeing to disagree 😛

    Maybe it boils down to me being a little more cynical than you. The Liberals won a huge majority in 93, after 8 years of Tory glory, and they obviously wanted to keep it that way so they needed something to get their base all fired up. Following the Montreal massacre, activists had been demanding harsher gun control laws. This is right up the LPC’s alley, so it was a natural issue for them.

    But instead of doing something that would actually prevent gun crime (ie. clamping down on cross-border traffic in illegal handguns) or help women in distress (open more shelters), they picked a softer target and a program that was easier to have in place before the next election.

    Looking at these factors, it seemed obvious that this was the Liberals pandering to their urban anti-gun base, since virtually nobody outside of the big urban areas wanted this thing, and no gun groups were consulted about it while it was being created (AFAIK). I was also a little offended that they’d use the Montreal massacre to sell it, given that it wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy. The whole thing smacked of “Here you go little girls, you’ve got your gun law, are you happy now?” (It didn’t help that everyone played right along…)

    And that’s before you even get into the meat of the program, which includes some truly draconian measures and alarmingly expanded police powers, and the outrageous cost overruns. And to this day, nobody knows what happened to all that money! 😯

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the registry was created to pander. Whether it was also expected to be an ongoing culture issue that could be used to “divide & conquer” is up to speculation, I’m guessing Yes. They had to know that most conservatives would fight it tooth & nail for years to come, positioning the Liberals as Strong On Gun Control.

    But then, maybe I’m just cynical…

  41. 42 Scotian Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    JJ:

    Fair enough. One could argue it either way with some validity I would say. I just don’t think that it was set up the same way CPC legislation is set up in terms of always looking for divisions first without any good faith from at least some of its members is all, and that good faith and good judgment are not the same thing too often alas. As for cynicism, I grew up around professional politicians JJ, trust me on this, you cannot look at them with any more cynicism than I do, but I also know from that same exposure that there really are those who also genuinely believe in what they are doing too in the mix. The problem I find is with the leadership more than the ranks, and I really do think there was some good faith in the original legislative attempt (and yes, as I noted in my prior comment I also think the leadership/brain trust also saw the political advantages to it as well, I always assume some of that in any party no matter how principled they claim they are being human nature being what it is). The fact that it was poorly drafted, implemented and turned into a massive political wedge issue (remember that the PCPC had been reduced to two seats, I don’t think they were that worried about a resurgence anytime too soon, or I might be willing to give your point there more weight) since then does not take away from that and that is all I was saying.

    Believe me, what I know about the details of the registry I do not like, but I also have to say I do not think the way this got turned into a binary issue is anywhere near one sided in terms of responsibility either, and I think that is at least as much why this has been left as the disaster it has been all along. It is hard to get meaningful compromise and substantive fixes to legislation when both sides have turned it into a binary issue all or nothing matter. These days I don’t discuss it because both sides are too entrenched in their positions and few are willing to not get too heated about it, you being an exception in my books which is why I’ve been willing to discuss it to this extent with you here, and even there I’ve been staying on the fringes of the debate itself I would say. It is not as bad as trying to discuss Israeli-Palestinian issues online but it comes a lot closer to it than I am comfortable with for intensity and binary thinking from most on both sides from where I sit.

    Anyway, with this I am going back to lurk mode I think, thanks for taking my interjections in the manner I expected yet confess was a little nervous about given all that had been dumped on you recently by some I suspect you thought to be better than that. I much prefer disagreeing with people than fighting with people even on issues that matter greatly to me, one is more likely to actually get somewhere if one does even though I admit it is not the easiest thing to do and even I get swept up in emotions from time to time (although I usually realize this soon after and apologize as required for my excesses, I don’t understand why that is so hard for so many people, it really baffles me and doesn’t help things at all IMHO) and need to calm down a bit.

    Take care and be well JJ…

  42. 43 JJ Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Scotian

    you cannot look at them with any more cynicism than I do

    😆 😆

    But you could be right about them not having to worry about a resurgence — back then the conservative party was on life support, even when combined with the reform party. And whatever the original purpose of the legislation, I agree that it likely wasn’t done with the same kind of malicious intent and overt diviseness that we see from government nowadays. Our CPC has learned a lot from watching the last decade south of the border.

    yet confess was a little nervous about given all that had been dumped on you recently by some I suspect you thought to be better than that

    Hey you never have to be nervous about the kind of reception you’ll get here. I don’t care if people disagree with me — everyone has their own opinion, and as long as rationality and respect are maintained, we can be agreeable in our disagreement. The hysteria and name-calling gets a little old, but obviously that’s not where you’re coming from.

    It is hard to get meaningful compromise and substantive fixes to legislation when both sides have turned it into a binary issue all or nothing matter.

    Oh, this debate is so toxic it’s not even funny, which is one of the reasons I doubt it can ever be resolved. Far too much heat and not enough light being generated, and it’s ended up being incredibly divisive even among progressives. It’s the reason I cut way back on my blogging — finding out what people really thought of me, just for differing on this issue, was discouraging to say the least. There are bloggers I will never engage with again over this, because of the things they said about me. I’ve got a lot of patience but not that much.

    Stay well, Scotian, and guard your health. Although these overheated discussions need more of your kind of rationality, I can’t say I blame you for keeping your own counsel.

  43. 44 Scotian Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 1:13 am

    “Hey you never have to be nervous about the kind of reception you’ll get here. I don’t care if people disagree with me — everyone has their own opinion, and as long as rationality and respect are maintained, we can be agreeable in our disagreement. The hysteria and name-calling gets a little old, but obviously that’s not where you’re coming from.” JJ

    Normally I wouldn’t have been nervous, but I did see the flaming you got from more than a few on this issue, and I would have understood it if you had been a bit touchy because of it. That being said, I still thought I would get the reception I did from you because it is consistent with everything I have seen from you directly and towards others as well. Like yourself, I am fine with those that disagree with me so long as they keep it civil AND demonstrate a reasonable connection to reality (one of my tests for conservatives for example is whether they believe in the liberal media myth, if they do I already know it will not work out because that creates too wide a gulf to allow for truly fact based discussion, analysis, and speculation).

    As to the name calling and such, that has never been my gig. I rarely do use profanity in general in my writings, I even then like to try and be less inflammatory when I do like using male bovine excrement when I want to say bullshit for example. I really try to not call people derogatory names because that does nothing to enable real discussion/debate/disagreement, and I dislike labeling people for that matter too. After all, human belongs tend to be more complex than they appear especially in this medium, and frankly I find generalizations a rather limited tool of comprehension easily abused and majorly limited, and worse those limits tend to be ignored or worse not understood by so many that use them freely whatever their social/political backgrounds might be, and it is to my way of thinking encouraging sloppy thinking.

    If I thought my voice would have been paid any serious attention on this issue JJ I would have brought it to the table, but between what I know I would get from many on the anti-registry side (both because of prior history with opposing Harper and because I am very much a strong proponent of regulation itself with firearms, just that so long as once those regs have sufficient penalties and proper oversight to them then I am fine with private ownership and use) and especially after watching what happened to you from many we would normally consider our natural allies, well it simply didn’t seem worth the energy for me, not on an issue that does not directly affect me at this time nor is likely to in the foreseeable future, unlike a lot of other issues regarding what the Harper government does. If my health were stronger, then I may well have, but these days…*shrugs shoulders sadly* I have to pick my battles more carefully than I used to, and I especially want to keep my strength up for when the next election happens so as to do all I can do to aid in the removal of the stain of dishonour that is our current PM.

    Well, you will probably see me around from time to time here as well as elsewhere, alas though I doubt I will be writing much of anything for Saundrie anytime soon (although if something hits me I might, but for now my plans are to stick to reading blogs and occasionally commenting when I feel the need, as I did here in this thread for example) at least prior to an election call barring something that really catches my attention and I feel needs examination there, and I will likely let a few blogs know about it, and of course yours would be one of them, I really do enjoy our interactions JJ, you get where I am coming from and don’t mind my style and are someone I know I can disagree with without it getting disagreeable and of course you know the same of me.

    Oh yes, you also said:

    “And whatever the original purpose of the legislation, I agree that it likely wasn’t done with the same kind of malicious intent and overt diviseness that we see from government nowadays.”

    This was all I was really trying to argue all along, I really do think that the original writing of this legislation was made more in good faith than in terms of what a great wedge issue for electioneering it would make by the Libs and nothing more than that. And even then I would always assume that at least someone in the leadership would see the political advantages for something like this, I would expect that in any party because it is as much as we might wish otherwise an inherent necessity for any political party in any democratic structure to always look at all legislation in this manner/way. The main membership of the caucus though that wanted this legislation I do think acted more in good faith at the beginning which I do think is important to remember and credit, especially now that we live in the Harper world where nothing proposed is ever in good faith and all is put forward for its maximum advantage to the Harper CPC interests/agenda.

    I’m one of these people that is fine with flaws and corruption in government so long as it is reasonably contained, AND overall good government is also coming along with it too. Would I prefer none? Of course, but for me I don’t see that ever actually happening in reality until basic human nature itself changes, not something I expect to see in my lifetime nor for generations yet to be. It is why I could so strongly argue it would do significantly less harm to Canadian democracy to leave Martin in place despite the scandals of the Libs than to allow Harper even a minority (well that and I truly understood what Harper really was and just how much worse abuse of power scandals are to our system of government than simple money scandals, as I think I said before here (might have been MacLean’s I was also talking about basic civics there last night in a thread of Well’s) better to have money stolen from taxpayers than to have the foundations of our democratic system of government itself stolen away as we have been seeing with the Harper regime, and to an extent I believe none of us truly knows yet, even those of us that pay close attention for this sort of thing because of just how secretive his government is combined with his flagrant contempt for both precedent and for the rule of law itself whenever it gets in his way. Any PM that can argue that government is of higher authority than Parliament as he did in the Afghan docs to the Speaker earlier this year shows a level of naked contempt (because I do not believe it to be ignorance, and even if that was the case that is only marginally better than deliberate deception) for the true fundamentals of how our system actually works and the laws that define it.

    I warned everyone back then that this was what we would get with Harper, and I was Cassandra, not only was I not believed/listened to but I was dismissed as a hysteric and/or a paid Lib operative by not just those on the right but also by many in not just the hard left/NDP but in the center as well. No one could have wished I was in truth exactly that more than I, no one could understand just how much I wished I could be wrong. I knew though I wasn’t then and the record since more than vindicates me unfortunately (I really would have preferred to be wrong and discredited than to have watched the dishonour flowing from the PMO since he came to power).

    The reason I can follow an discuss politics to the depths that I do was that I grew up around it from both Liberal and PCPC sides as one side of my family was one while the other was of course the other. Not to mention that made me a valuable person of interest to the local NDP leadership because my family connections were well known in local circles and I was the only member in two generations to get interested in politics almost as soon as I started school. Indeed, the one thing about me that drove my familial mentors nuts was I could never do the “my party/leader right or wrong” mindset, I simply refuse to do absolutes where human beings behaviour is concerned. Not to mention everyone can be wrong at times, and when they are and especially when it can have serious repercussions if not prevented then one must speak up even if it causes short term difficulties.

    Well, I’m rambling a bit, overtired and for me it is almost dawn now so I think I am going to call it a night. Again, take care JJ, thanks for the place to come and speak freely and for being a good internet/blog friend over the time we have dealt with each other. It has been a pleasure to me and something I look forward to continuing for a long time I hope.

  44. 45 fhg1893 Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Scotian – I’ve read your deliberations with keen interest, but I must correct a few misconceptions, specifically with regard to gun control.

    First, I don’t believe that the Chrétien government acted in what I would consider “good faith.” While it is possible that some true believers within the government at the time believed that they were doing a good thing with C-68, I find the argument that the goal was really to make Kim Campbell look soft on gun control far more convincing.

    With regard to the politics of division the present situation we find ourselves in, I’m afraid that the Liberal Party first introduced this particular wedge into Canadian politics, though it is equally true that Stephen Harper has driven it in deeper, and used it to his advantage.

    But with regard to the latter, I have to ask, why not? Allan Rock and company held consultations with stakeholders int he run up to C-68, but when the bill was introduced, it was clear that any consultations were just show. Nothing that gun owners said seems to have influenced the resultant legislation; the considerations of the primary stakeholders in this matter appear to have been completely ignored in favor of the emotional wing of the Liberal party.

    Mr. Rock claimed that registration would not lead to confiscation, and yet that was either a horrendous mistake, or an outright lie. Thanks to the orders in council, many gun owners have had their property seized without consultation or compensation.

    Anne McLellan famously announced that “The debate of C-68 is over” in 1998. Well, we’re still debating this issue, so clearly the Liberals were wrong about this. The Liberals and the NDP have been very quick to once again state that the debate is over and that everybody should just move on. Well, there are millions of gun owners in this country that would like to move, but they CAN’T. The specter of jail-time, criminal records, and broken families still haunts us. If I was to commit a crime, then those results are appropriate. But really, up to 10 years in jail for not having a registration certificate, even if the firearm is in fact registered to me, and can quickly be instantly verified using CPIC, how is that appropriate, or proportionate, or fair? We are not opposed to criminal penalties, and while the government may not have to demonstrate an element of harm being associated in codifying crime under the Criminal Code of Canada, couldn’t we keep the stringent licensing process, but loose the ridiculously heavy handed approach to enforcing laws that are of no real benefit? I’m not talking about ending gun control, I’m talking about ending the specter of prosecution for made-up paper crimes.

    So, since the Canadian political left are loath to listen to gun owners, their so-called “compromise” does nothing to address the issues I’ve pointed out, why shouldn’t gun owners turn to a party that has a proven track record of listening, and attempting to act on their concerns? As JJ pointed out earlier, previous attempts to accomplish this objective have been relatively weak, yet this latest attempt saw huge resources thrown at the few members of the Liberals and NDP that actually HAD taken the time to listen to gun owners. We clearly cannot trust the Liberals at all, especially after this most recent vote. We’ve never been able to rely on the Bloc Québécois to consider our interests in the balance. And, while we might consider the NDP, this forthcoming private member’s bill is only being introduced to try to stop the NDP’s slide in the polls. Jack Layton has had no less than 7 years to try to make some headway on this issue, and has thus far done absolutely nothing! Worse than nothing in fact; Mr. Comartin had the opportunity to keep C-391 open for consideration by the Standing Committee, and had he done so, he could have then proposed amendments to the bill. If anything was really THAT offensive, the committee could have considered some NDP backed alternatives. But they did not, Mr. Comartin voted with the Liberal motion to kill the bill, and thanks to Mr. Layton’s intense lobbying, Stephen Harper has now retained his license to print money, and his wedge.

    Faced with these options, either voting for a left-wing party that thinks nothing of destroying our families by putting us in jail, or voting for the right in spite of the social sins of the Conservative Party, why wouldn’t we turn to Stephen Harper?

    He might be an asshole, but he’s OUR asshole. And when he’s the only one you’ve got…

  45. 46 fhg1893 Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 7:46 am

    On another thought, that makes me think of another issue. SECU, that’s the Commons standing committee on Public Safety and National Security spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the ongoing amnesty. I thought it was a non-issue at the time, but in light my present situation, I wonder if the government has created a perpetual amnesty.

    Just picture if you will the resultant media feeding frenzy created as corrections officials drag some poor grandfather, or father away from his teary-eyed infant children, spouse, and family. Imagine that picture on the front page of every newspaper in the country; the article explaining that the subject was convicted for not having the proper papers on his person.

    I imagine that something like that would quickly turn centrist opinion overwhelmingly against the gun-registry.

    They got away with Bruce Montague because Bruce’s position was rather extremist, and he tried to force the issue of the right to bear arms, rather than simply focus on the right to remain silent, and the right to be presumed innocent. He focused on considerations not in the law, rather than considerations that WERE in the law.

    So, has the government in effect created a perpetual amnesty? Is the government afraid to enforce the legislation because they know that the logical extent of this legislation is political suicide?

    Something to chew on…

  46. 47 JJ Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 7:57 am

    scotian

    I am very much a strong proponent of regulation itself with firearms, just that so long as once those regs have sufficient penalties and proper oversight to them then I am fine with private ownership and use

    I guess this is where we part ways a little. I don’t mind licensing and reasonable regs, but I do mind how it’s currently handled, and the criminalization of lawful gun owners for what should be minor infractions (forgetting to renew etc).

    Registry proponents are fond of saying “We register cars so why not guns” which seems reasonable until you delve into the details of the registry. When we fail to renew our drivers licenses, the cops don’t show up and seize our vehicles. It doesn’t result in criminal records.

    You might say, well, be more organized. Take care of your shit and don’t let these things lapse. Sounds reasonable enough, but…

    Time for the obligatory anecdotal tale! 8)
    A couple of years ago, my drivers license lapsed (through no fault of my own — my info somehow got lost or fucked up in the bowels of the motor vehicle branch). Anyway, I just assumed all was well and drove around for 9 months (with no license) before getting in a fender bender, thankfully a small one, which is how I found out that I had no license. Getting it all sorted out was a clusterfuck of epic proportions that took over a year to resolve (if you have low blood pressure, try fighting with a government agency sometime — I guarantee you that it won’t be a problem for long).

    My point is that I wasn’t penalized, my truck wasn’t seized, I didn’t end up with a criminal record. But the same scenario could just as easily happen with a gun registration or license since it’s overseen by a similarly obese, half-asleep government agency. This is particularly true of the long gun registry, which has already proven itself to be utterly incompetent (if working to a budget is any measure). For gun owners, the stakes are fairly high. For anyone who cares about civil liberties, gun owner or not, the expanded police powers should be an outrage.

    AND overall good government is also coming along with it too. Would I prefer none? Of course

    I’m not for “no government” as much as “restrained government” (the term “small government” is overused lately, and anyway, it’s a misnomer — even small government seems big when it sticks its nose in the wrong things).

    Oh shit, the power’s about to go out here any second now… my lights keep browning out

  47. 48 Bleatmop Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I have to say I find the “we register our cars, why not our guns” argument as one of the most simple minded and asinine points brought up by the pro-registry people I’ve ever heard. Never mind that it is an argument to register just about everything in the world. The fact is that it just simply isn’t true.

    It is not true.

    I don’t have to register my car that has been sitting in my garage for the past 10 years and never been on a public road.

    I don’t.

    I don’t have to register my farm truck that I never drive on a public road but simply use to take bales of feed from one of my property to the other.

    What happens in or on my property is my own business. It’s only when I drive said vehicle on a public road do I have to worry about such things. So to use the pro-reg’s arguments, if I don’t have to register my car if it stays only on my own property, then why do I have to register my collector guns that never leave my property?

    Disclaimer – I own neither a farm, an unregistered car, or any firearms. All examples are for illustrative purposes only.

  48. 49 smelter rat Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Whatever. I couldn’t care less. I haven’t owned a gun for over 20 years and don’t plan on ever having another one in the house. Hence, I’m not concerned with confiscation or the need to violently overthrow the government any time soon. I don’t even worry about home invasions or the need to blow away the kid who walked across my lawn. IMHO, register your guns, pay the fee (if there is one) and get on with issues that really matter.

  49. 50 fhg1893 Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    @ Bleatmop – Thank you for understanding, and thank you for sticking to the facts, rather than stupid rhetoric.

    @ JJ – I hope you’ll excuse what is to follow, but I feel the overwhelming urge to act like a horse’s ass for a few minutes. I promise not to do this too often.

    @ smelter rat – OH HALLELUJAH! How can I ever repay you, for thanks to your glorious words, I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT! I know when Mark Holland said that this issue didn’t matter and that we should just move on, I did not believe. And when CK said the same, that we should move on, I did not believe. And when Betsy McGregor said to move on, I did not believe! And when Pat Russell of the National Post said that we should move on, I did not believe! And when Evan Palmer said that this wasn’t important, I did not believe! And when 900 ft Jesus said that it was not as important as other things, I did not believe! And when Anne McClellan said the debate was over in 1998, I DID NOT BELIEVE! But now that you, oh glorious smelter rat have said that this issue doesn’t matter, and that we should just move on, NOW, MY EYES ARE UNCOVERED! NOW I BELIEVE!!! TIME TO MOVE ON, to ISSUES THAT REALLY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  50. 51 JJ Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Bleatmop – Good illustration. The car registry thing is certainly one of the most vacuous pro-registry arguments (which is really saying something, since most of their rhetoric attained new lows in brainlessness).

  51. 52 JJ Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Smelter Rat

    I haven’t owned a gun for over 20 years and don’t plan on ever having another one in the house.

    That’s nice.

    Hence, I’m not concerned with confiscation

    I’m 56 years old, but that doesn’t stop me from being concerned about abortion rights. I’m straight, but that doesn’t diminish my support for gay rights. Etc.
    And people say libertarians are selfish… geeeeeeeez. Ya think?

    I apologize for the snarky tone, but in light of your caustic remarks about the violent overthrow of government and blowing away kids on the lawn, it’s just return fire.

    get on with issues that really matter.

    Like fascist thugs conducting mass arrests at the G20?
    Funny how nobody’s concerned about expanded police power until they’re the ones being targeted. (Once more with feeling: And people say libertarians are selfish…) 😐

  52. 53 JJ Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:10 am

    fhg – 😆 😆 Getting a little frustrated?? 😆 I feel your pain. I’ve never seen a debate that was as rife with human dumbness as this one.

    On a more serious note, I guess “Move on to more important issues” is the latest Liberal talking point on this topic. Nothing to see here, move along 😐 before people remember the outright admissions from the Libs and the NDP that the registry is flawed and needs fixing, and that they actually made proposals about how to fix it (supposedly).

    I think gun owners should just hammer their MPs with demands that the registry be “fixed” (I’m for abolishment, but if that can’t be done — right now — then at LEAST get rid of some of the more fascist aspects of it).

    If nothing else, just to watch them squirm, since I don’t believe they ever had any intention of “fixing” the registry.

  53. 54 harpervalley Monday, September 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

    hey JJ! popping in to say hi….this long gun registry bit…the WHOLE gun registry needs to be but needs an overhaul…very faulty. try reading it, it’s hideous.

  54. 55 fhg1893 Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    JJ – I hope I was good for a laugh. I thought such an apparently ignorant response to this issue deserved a proportionate argument served with an equal dose of absurdity.

    As you point out, they never had any intention of “fixing” the registry, and are only talking about it now because the vote was so very close, and they need to be seen as doing SOMETHING to mollify gun owners. NOW that they’ve “won” this round (heh heh heh) I’m willing to bet that they are desperate to move onto issues that are of less benefit for the Conservatives, and more benefit for the left-wing alliance. I know the latter moniker sounds ominous and ignorant, but I can’t think of a better descriptor at the moment to encompass a group that are just so like-minded.

    Some have predicted that this development will be of little benefit to the Conservatives, since they’ve already gained the anti-registry votes and there are no more to be had. Others have predicted that they have gained an election issue, and will therefore gain them additional private donations. I know from experience that the latter is true; several in the firearms community have joined the CPC just recently, and undoubtedly many will donate now that this issue has become an election issue. Whether or not this will translate into a gain in seats however, is difficult to determine; the waters are too muddy for that at the moment.

    I know that for myself, this issue has pushed me firmly off the fence. I was deliberating before, and have now made up my mind. From what I’ve seen, I’m not alone… I never claimed to be unaffected by the wedge, though I confess I’m disappointed that it’s had to come to this. There’s only one party looking after my interests in this matter, and it’s not on the left or even remotely in the middle!


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