Wow, they’re really doing it

Holy Remington…

they’re doing it.

The CPC’s promise to “scrap the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry” — in exactly those words, the better to optimize the propaganda value — has been central to their platform for about as long as the registry has existed. But I honestly didn’t think they’d ever do it, majority or not.  It’s served them well in so many ways, particularly given the kind of divisive, “us and them” politics they like to play.  Since Harpie isn’t known for keeping his word, I fully expected the long-gun registry pledge to end up with all the others on his battered compost heap of breached commitments and broken promises.

But I was Wrong.  Yesterday, the “Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act” was finally tabled. (Heh – I’m surprised they didn’t call it the “Ending the Wasteful & Ineffective Long-Gun Registry Act”, a phrase which, though I fully agree with it, they’ve been parroting for so long that by now they must know how to burp it.)  So, woohoo! 32 flavours of woohoo!:  this is maybe the only issue where Harper and I are sympatico.

The Act would dismantle the registry and supposedly shred all the personal information that’s been collected over the years.  Supposedly.  But who really believes that a government — any government, of any stripe — would willingly demolish a treasure trove of personal information that it has on some of its citizens?  Not me. Registry supporters fretting about the destruction of the information should relax: it will most likely just be moved to a new home far beneath the verdant lawns of Parliament Hill, stashed away in some dank and musty, foul-smelling corner of the Harpenbunker, as a team of sweaty CPC geeks tries to figure out what use the government can make of it.

The Act is expected to zoom into law fairly quickly but it hasn’t yet, and anything can happen.  Harper isn’t above engaging in elaborate political theatre for the benefit of his base, so I’ll save the happy dance and the other 31 flavours of woohoo! for the day C-19 becomes law.

34 Responses to “Wow, they’re really doing it”

  1. 1 'en_M Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t really know enough about the registry to comment one way or another. But I find it ironic that he wants to end this bit of information gathering but continue with his tough on crime bill and the building of new prisons. This in spite of all evidence that the crime rates, violent and otherwise, are on the decline.

    But I guess that it has always been good politics to create a fictional boogeyman and then be shown to do something about it.

  2. 2 JJ Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    “This in spite of all evidence that the crime rates, violent and otherwise, are on the decline.”

    But not for long! Wait til all the hunters & farmers & ranchers come riding into town on their tractors, carrying their unregistered 30-30s. Bloodbath!!! 😯 😯 😯

    I keed, I keed. This is the kind of hyperbole I’m seeing on the leftward side of the blogosphere, and the silliness of it amuses me too much not to poke fun.

    Anyway, I see your point about the irony, although it’s a little off-target so to speak.
    The thing is, the long gun registry never targeted criminals. Instead it made criminals out of responsible gun owners, regular everyday rural people, farmers, hunters etc., who didn’t comply. While the dumb “tough on crime” legislation supposedly goes after people who are breaking actual existing laws. (Whether some of those laws are valid, ie. pot laws, is another issue.)

    All I can say is, after 15 years, I’m glad the day is finally coming when I’m no longer a criminal for my stubborn 😉 non-compliance 😯 to this ridiculous legislation.

  3. 3 Darcy Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Well said. I am not a hunter and have never owned a fire arm but I fully support and end to this wasteful billion dollar buffoonery. Here’s hoping the savings will be spent wisely.

  4. 4 Ken_M Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Thanks JJ. As I mentioned, I don’t know enough about the registry to make an intelligent comment. My comment was about the irony of getting rid of one expensive program of questionable value to replace it with an even more expensive project who’s need is in greater question.

  5. 5 fhg1893 Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

    De-lurking to say that JJ, it’s good to have you back, and I don’t agree with everything that you say, but whenever it comes to guns, you’re right on the money, as usual.

    Watching the left going into coniption fits about how all us gun owners are going on a murder spree with our newly de-registered Lee-Enfields has been absolutely priceless.

  6. 6 JJ Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Yes: both programs are huge White Elephants of Wasted Money, no doubt about it. Which just goes to show that no matter what brand of politician is saying it, if they’re talking about fiscal responsibility they’re lying. They’re all fiscally irresponsible, the only difference is what they spend money on.

  7. 7 JJ Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Hi Darcy
    Unfortunately I don’t hold much hope that the CPC will be any more restrained with taxpayer $ than the LPC was. They’ll most likely just waste it on other things that we don’t want or need 🙄

  8. 8 JJ Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Hey fhg! Bang bang! ….._\____________________,,__
    …./ `–│││││││││———————-_]
    …/_==o ____________________
    …..),—.(_(__) /
    ….// (\) ),——
    ../`—-‘ / …
    ./____ / … .How ya doing? Shot anyone lately? I am amassing quite the body count myself, just since Tuesday of course 😆 🙄

    But seriously… the pro-registry reaction to this new bill that I’ve seen so far has generally been pretty amusing, but after awhile the ignorance grates on me.
    On this subject, they’re so anxious to have their own biases confirmed that as soon as they see a statement that seems to do so (“gun registry saves lives”), they immediately take it as the conventional wisdom without bothering to delve into it any deeper (like asking themselves HOW does it save lives, in which case they’d find out that it DOESN’T). “Critical thought”, I think it’s called 😉

  9. 9 fhg1893 Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Bang bang yourself!

    Why yes, without registration certificates to hold me back, I’ve finally been able to go on that killing spree that I’ve secretly always been planning just as soon as those pesky registration certificates let me carry enough ammo. That’s heavy card-stock they print those things on, and I just had to have that one last .22 round, it just wouldn’t the same without it.

    What’s that? The bill hasn’t received Royal assent yet!?! BLAST!!! And here I was decked-out head to toe in my insidious hunter-orange ready for a fun-filled night and… damnit, now my evening is ruined, ruined I tell you!!!

    I’m joking of course, sorry, got a little carried away with that, but I thought it was fun.

    It’s amusing, especially today that they’re going crazy over what really looks like a minor incident with Rob Ford, that they’ve completely missed that the government has invoked closure on bill C-19, and limited the time for debate to only three days! Oh horror! It’s only been what, six years since the Cons took the reigns of power, and this has come up at least three times since then. Oh that evil Harper limiting debate on our the future of our precious database, such important decisions (which really only affect the lives of gun owners) should not be taken so lightly!

    Sorry, carried away again. I’ll go put my hunter-orange away now…

  10. 10 bleatmop Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Have to say I’m happy about this. I would say more, but I think I’ve hashed it all out on here before. Finally the Cons are doing something that I used to support them for. I’ll be happy have them go back to being a government in waiting after this and let the NDP take the reigns for a bit.

    Haha, I cracked myself up there for a bit. The Harper government isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  11. 11 JJ Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Nope, not law yet, but soon… 🙂 Three(3) Days!!! 8) 😀

    I will give Harper that: good on him for hustling this thing through once & for all. Normally I favour more debate, but in this case we’ve already had weeks/months of debate (last year) and there’s nothing new to be brought to the table, just the same tired old Waaahhhh! crybaby bullshit, which I’m quickly losing patience with.

    For gods sake, put the goofy thing to sleep and out of its misery, the sooner the better.

    Now that we’re all happy with the outcome, here’s something that pissed me off, check it out
    😯 😡 And people call me paranoid for refusing to comply

  12. 12 JJ Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    No, I don’t think the Harpies are going anywhere for awhile, esp now that they’ve got a virtual LOCK on the rural vote coast to coast. Except for me, of course. :p

  13. 13 fhg1893 Friday, October 28, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I’ve gotta agree with you on the debate front. If there was something new, something meaningful, fine, debate to your heart’s content. But this is just the same tired old purely emotional arguments, all of which have been thoroughly debunked again, and again, and again. That won’t stop the political left of course, but the more time goes on, the more I get the sense that they just don’t want to listen to gun owners on this issue. It doesn’t matter what we say; we’re always wrong. Our reasoned arguments get casually tossed aside, when the unfortunate truth is that the firearms act can really screw up your life for trivial paper offenses. But I’ve yet to see one person on the political left, EXCEPT you JJ, (and I do mean, you’re the only one I have EVER met!), who is either willing to listen, or who has understood the legal risks we take by owning firearms.

    Being pro-gun, I get painted as right-wing, but I like to think I’m more moderate, and much more of a libertarian than that. But whatever, I’ve made my bed, I’ll lie in it. What people don’t see is that I’m really concerned about some of the things that Harper is doing. Like the copyright bill. The appointment of Michael Moldaver to the Supreme court (seriously, anyone who says that the Charter is being use to avoid convictions… I can’t even begin to describe what’s wrong with a statement like that – sufficie it to say, he’s not fit for the highest court in the land.) But I haven’t got a choice in the matter! I wish I HAD an alternative, but there’s nowhere else to park my vote! This is what it’s come to? Gun ownership in this country is that much of a taboo, and a border-line criminal activity that we can never make a single point without having ridiculous arguments about how we register cars and dogs, and how we’re just whinny babies, and it’s not that much of a burden thrown back at us? Why is it so hard for the left to understand that there is absolutely in the Firearms act that makes us any safer, or treats gun owners fairly under the law?

    I don’t expect an actual answer, I’ll just have to cheese with my whine…

    Which brings me back to the commons. Debate? You know… I don’t think I’ve seen an actual debate in the commons. All we ever see is hyper-partisan bickering, which never has any chance moving anybody at all. Everybody has always made up their minds, and the other side is always just wrong. Are we really that stupid that we can’t have the mental flexibility to consider another person’s opinions, and arrive at a balanced and nuanced conclusion?

    I’d love to tell a story about McGregor, but this comment has gone on long enough. I kinda hope the left takes a little more time to try and figure out why this is such an issue for us, but between you and me, I’m not holding my breath.

  14. 14 JJ Friday, October 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    It doesn’t matter what we say; we’re always wrong.

    This is what’s so weird about this debate. In most discussions opposing sides offer quid pro quo arguments, but in the LGR debate the most basic questions from the anti-registry side are typically answered with non-sequiturs that are just crazy-making 😯 I don’t bother anymore because whenever I’ve gotten into this discussion I always end up feeling like I’m on acid 😯

    Q: How does the registry save lives? A: We register our cars, why not guns?

    Q: How does the registry save lives? A: You’re too lazy to fill in a form?

    Q: How does the registry save lives? A: What are you trying to hide!!???

    I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Being pro-gun, I get painted as right-wing, but I like to think I’m more moderate, and much more of a libertarian than that.

    Whatever, that’s cool. I generally don’t form opinions about people based on the “groups” they identify with, unless they’re in such total lockstep that they have no identity outside the group. I’m not a “joiner” by nature, and I have a healthy suspicion of any situation that piles people together and gives them a collective identity, which I find unrealistic. I take the George Carlin attitude: “I like people on an individual basis, but I loathe the groups they belong to.” 😛

    Are we really that stupid that we can’t have the mental flexibility to consider another person’s opinions

    Some of us are, and unfortunately this kind of nitwit can be found on all sides of the political spectrum.

    I’d love to tell a story about McGregor

    At your leisure. I promise to be All Ears. (Or eyes, whatever the case may be.)

  15. 15 fhg1893 Friday, October 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Ah what the hell.

    This is, pretty much all hearsay, so take it as you will; I wasn’t personally involved in the events, so I can’t really vouch for their veracity. I believe that the people who related the story were being mostly truthful.

    A few years ago, Glen McGregor approached a popular Canadian web-forum for firearms enthusiasts, and spun them a story abour how he was researching an article for his paper, the Ottawa Citizen about the Canadian gun culture and that it was going to be fair, balanced etc. etc. Basically, McGregor promised not to paint firearms owners badly.

    Well, the forum folks started chatting with McGregor, giving interviews, answered some of his questions. They even brought him for a trip to the range.

    Well, some time later, McGregor’s pieces appeared in the Ottawa Citizen. You can find the collection of articles at:

    The people on the forum called this an outright hatchet piece, indicting people who own firearms with all the usual leftist stereotypes. In addition, they claim that McGregor quoted people out of context, misused quotes, and printed somethings that were supposed to have been disclosed in confidence. I dunno know about any of those things, I do know that McGregor’s articles, and interviews are most definitely slanted quitte heavily against firearms owners. Knowing some of those forum guys, he deliberately ignored some of the better arguments put forward by the firearms owners he spoke to. It seems that he was most concerned with the fact that the list of firearms prohibited by order-in-council hadn’t been updated since 1995, and it’s pretty clear that he considers this to be a “problem.” He’s firmly of the opinion that we need to ban the scary looking guns, presumably because they’re extra-deadly, and you get shot just by looking at one!

    Naturally, the people who trusted McGregor were outraged, so I can certainly appreciate their strongly worded reactions, even though I can’t detect any blatant inaccuracies, more lies of omission. In other words, McGregor lied about his intentions from the start. And then he had the audacity to go onto the forum to taunt and ridicule the people who had put their faith in him. He mocked and derided them as fools who’d put their trust in him too easily, stating that he never claimed that his work would be balanced, or fair, so that the result was really their own faults.

    Now, by releasing this information, McGregor has outraged the firearms community once again. The main comment thus far has been that thieves could use this information as a shopping list, though that doesn’t seem like a very plausible scenario in my humble opinion. What DOES seem more likely is that unscrupulous provincial governments like Quebec will try to use this information to set up their own firearms registries, and try to undermine what will likely soon become federal law.

    For quite a while, McGregor had only posted the first 700 lines, but as of now, the whole damned thing is available for download. And while most firearms owners aren’t at great risk, some are. Those who’ve built their own firearms sometimes have their names listed as the manufaturer. So the list contains their legal name, first two digits of their postal code, the type of firearm they built. Those people are most certainly at risk – some of those firearms include home-made AR-15’s. Sounds ominous, but the AR-15 is so ubiquitous that you could assemble a functional one with no two pieces coming from the same manufacture – hence, homemade.

    What will NEVER be acknowledged is that this may very swiftly result in the firearms act proving just how dangerous it actualy was for public safety. It seems to run against the conventional wisdom, but the badly worded albatross has already TAKEN, not SAVED, taken a life. The first victim of the Firearms act seems to have been, Martin Angnatok. McGregor’s actions now seem likely to produce a second and maybe more.

  16. 16 JJ Friday, October 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the link. This guy is obviously a self-righteous goofball with an axe to grind, typical of anti-gun nazis.

    I agree that it’s unlikely the list could be used as a Shopping List for Gun Thieves given the lack of names/addresses and the fact that it’s 4 years out of date. There’s no point in publishing it other than to thumb his nose at registry opponents. It’s like saying “Oh don’t worry gun nuts, the registry will be back”. Well, it won’t. There’s zero interest in reviving it except in Quebec. I almost hope they do bring it back in Quebec, because comparative stats with the other provinces will eventually bear out what we’ve been saying all along: it doesn’t save lives!!

    You know, there is something really sinister about the way nobody can give a straight answer to the question “how does it save lives”. I used to almost feel like I must be missing something… but then I realized its not what I’m missing, its what isn’t being said: Confiscation. If you add that to the equation, then it all makes sense.

    Is the 3 days of debate up yet??!!?

  17. 17 fhg1893 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Seen this one JJ?

    The stupid! It hurts!

    Seems to me that $5000.00 for a gun that shoots $10.00 per round ammunition is already pretty fucking hard to get. But nooo… As soon as the registry gets scrapped, it would seem that all us “gun people” are suddenly going develop the need to make ourselves deaf, and the deer EXPLODE. .50 BMG Sniper rifles will suddenly flow like water…

    With this, wouldn’t it seem like the Liberals have done so much more for their cause if they’d just learned to STFU?

  18. 18 JJ Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Oh.My.God. 🙄

    That’s another good point you bring up, though. Some guns (especially the scariest-looking 😛 ones, lol) are so cost-prohibitive that they’re out of reach to anyone but collectors with deep pockets. So it’s beyond silly to shriek that these guns will be in the hands of “everyone”, when the free market dictates that they most certainly won’t be.

    With this, wouldn’t it seem like the Liberals have done so much more for their cause if they’d just learned to STFU?

    Can’t say I disagree 😆 The only thing worse than making a bad case is making a bad, inaccurate case.

  19. 19 JJ Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Follow up:

    Whatever you do don’t go on Twitter. The hysterics are out full-force, working themselves into a deranged frenzy of foaming outrage and fear.

    You know, I don’t want to suggest this to any of them because I might be killed by the high-calibre Projectile Stupid that would be vomited back at me, but these people who live their lives in such abject fear wouldn’t have to live that way if they knew how to protect themselves. Just a thought.

  20. 20 fhg1893 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    ohmygod, I don’t even want to THINK about what would happen if you suggested that they just take responsibility for their own lives, and their own personal safety. I think whatever came back it would be deranged enough to make my head, and probably yours I’m guessing assplode.

    Someone put the image of a gang-banger, with the baggy pants and all holding up a convenience store with an HS .50. Every time I try to think of one of these jokers, hefting a 30lbs, 4.5 foot long sniper rifle, sticking it side-ways into a cashier’s face, I keep cracking up! 😆

    “Someone just robbed the 7-11 with a Steyr HS .50! How will we ever find him now that the gun registry is gone!?!”

    “I dunno Chuck. I guess we could just look for the guy with the 4 foot, 30lbs metal erection sticking out of his pants.” 😆

  21. 21 JJ Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    😆 😆 Seriously funny.

    ohmygod, I don’t even want to THINK about what would happen if you suggested that they just take responsibility for their own lives, and their own personal safety.

    Heh — for some reason, the ability to self-defend doesn’t have a lot of currency on this side of the aisle. I will never understand why some people are so comfortable relying on Big Daddy Gov’t to come to the rescue all the time, esp. considering that right now Big Daddy is Harpie. I guess it fits in with the “Harper’s an evil dictator, so let’s give him all our guns!” school of (non)thought.

  22. 22 fhg1893 Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 6:16 am

    I have a few deeper thoughts on this if you’re ameneable.

    I’ve observed quite a bit of consternation about the aforementioned HS .50.

    This sort of argument points out just how silly most Canadian gun control post 1995 really is. The argument appears to be that we should ban .50 BMG firearms because “nobody needs a gun that pierces body armor!” or “that’s not for hunting, it’s for killing people!” I guess the implicit statement here is that if a person buys a firearm that might be used for killing people, then the must intend to kill people with it, which is obviously incorrect. But since killing people is obviously out, we need to ban the firearm because it can’t possibly be used for anything else.

    How many city dwellers buy and drive sport utility vehicles and have no intention of using them for sport, or off-road driving, the purpose for which these vehicles are supposedly designed? I can’t tell you the number of pristine looking Jeep Wranglers, and Ford Escapes I’ve seen driving around. As a hunter, my minivan has already seen more mud, and dirt that most SUVs, and some city pick-up trucks, and it’s only 1 year old.

    A firearm is essentially a very sophisticated long-range hole punch. The firearm cares not what its pointed at, only the person using it does. Naturally, an “intended application” might have equal application elsewhere for which the firearm was not originally intended. Going back to vehicles, just because a Jeep is “designed’ to be used off-road, doesn’t mean that it can’t be used exclusively on paved roads. Likewise, a shotgun intended for close range, could with some minor modifications be used at much longer range. Naturally neither are as good as more specialized equipment: a Ford F-150 pickup will NEVER be as fuel efficient as say a Hyundai Accent, but both are certainly capable of doing the job of getting our lazy asses to work. And a 12 ga slug is never going to have ballistic properties as favorable as a .308, or .30-06. But all of those can be used equally to make holes in different things things.

    Now, if one wanted to go real fast, and engage in specialized forms of recreation, then one might need even more specialized equipment, like a sport-bike, or a sports car. And if a person wanted to practice some extreme long range shooting, like 1 kilometer plus, then they might need a firearm capable of accurately delivering projectiles at those ranges. A 12 ga. slug might travel that far but, at that range, it probably won’t hit anywhere near where it was aimed! Does the necessity for purpose-built long range, high accuracy, high caliber rifles somehow invalidate the recreational activity of extreme long range shooting? It’s not of particular interest to me, but that shouldn’t matter! If the rational behind the impetuous to ban an object is simply “Well, it’s INTENDED to be shot at people!” then why shouldn’t we also ban any vehicle capable of traveling at 110 kilometers per hour! Afterall, the highest speed limit in the country is 110, so why should anyone need a car capable of doing more than that precise velocity. Since vehicles are responsible for far more deaths than firearms, year, after year, after year, where’s the public outcry to ban the dangerous and powerful Porsche 911! Obviously this vehicle has been purpose-built to exceede the speed-limit! We need to ban this death machine! While we’re at it, we should ban the Dodge Charger, because it’s a scary looking car with a powerful V6 engine, that produces 250 horse power – why that’s enough to plow through a brick-wall! Nobody needs that much power in a car – we don’t have to plow through brick walls to get to work!!!

    This is of course absurd, completely ignorant of the fact that these vehicles can be used safely, and imagine that, obey the speed limit.

    It’s absurd to suggest that I can hunt with this:, but not this: Yes, the actions in these cases are different, but the round? SAME. CALIBER. ROUND. I’m pretty sure that the deer don’t care whether they were shot with an AIA Improved Enfield, or a KEL-TEC RFB.

    I realize that I’m preaching to the converted, but just maybe someone will read this and realize just how stupid the left is being.

    What’s worse is the argument about the MIni-14. The discussion yesterday focused on this photo: The argument went, “Well, obviously that gun isn’t for hunting! It’s used for killing people!” In reality, all we see is a black Mini-14 with a few added rails, a pistol grip and a telescoping but-stock. The magazine would also appear to be larger than what is allowed in Canada for that kind of firearm – but that’s a simple fix. There seemed to be quite a lot of derrangement about how the gun “looks.” It’s never apparently occured to them that a Mini-14 ALSO looks like this: The two guns, are essentially the same! They’re the same manufacture, the same caliber, the same action, and the one in the second photo actually looks much closer to the one used in the Montreal Massacre than the one in the first photo! The second one looks a lot like most “hunting” rifles. Indeed the Mini-14 can look like any of these: And they’re all pretty much identical.

    Ultimately, it would seem to me that your side of the ailse seems to present arguments not to the public, but to each other. It certainly hasn’t won us over. And it’s untenable in a free society; why should it be any given person’s business if I own a Remington 870, or an AK-47? If I haven’t killed, or harmed anybody, then it shouldn’t matter. If, as you and others (rightly) point out, the state has no business messing with a woman’s womb, then the state has equally no business screwing around in my gun cabinet. A person doesn’t need to justify buying a Porsche 911 to ANYBODY! Well, in the case of a 40 year old man in midlife crisis mode, perhaps their wife, but that’s besides the point. A free citizen doesn’t need to justify owning a Steyr HS .50, and arguing that they do is against the fundamental principle of person liberty and autonomy. If they can afford to do so, and they can afford to feed the damned thing, it’s nobody’s business why they have it but their own.

    What’s even more crazy is the untold damage these people do to their own cause. If I was raising money for the Conservative party, I’m sure that I’d have increddible success if I walked onto any range in the country, and showed them a handful of blog-postings by CK, Warren Kinsella or Scott Tribe. In fact, it was Scott Tribe’s arugment that the HS .50 should be added to the restricted, or prohibited list that got me to finally open up my wallet and send money to Harper. While I have no particular interest in owning the HS .50, I DO have an interest in owning other firearms. Prohibiting the HS .50 will cause it to be confiscated from those who own one, and that’s unacceptable to me. It should be unacceptable to anyone who places any value on freedom, liberty and personal autonomy. If we start prohibiting specific things based on how much potential damage they can do, then we won’t be allowed to have anything at all! I can do more violence with a god-damned pool puck and a broom handle than I could ever dream of doing with any firearm, and that includes a fucking howitzer (which some people actually own). And both pool pucks, and broom handles are a lot easier to get than any firearm.

  23. 23 JJ Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    You’re always welcome to share your thoughts here, fhg.

    But since killing people is obviously out, we need to ban the firearm because it can’t possibly be used for anything else.

    I know exactly what you mean. The companion argument is “You don’t need that thing, so you shouldn’t have it”. It’s one of the dumbest and most fascist arguments on the net, but it always gets pulled out to justify banning or restricting access to something. We hear that same argument from anti-abortion types all the time and reject it — but incredibly, some of us don’t see the hypocrisy in using the same argument about guns. My opinion? I don’t need a cannon as a lawn ornament, but if I want one & can afford to buy it I should be able to have it. If I start firing cannonballs down the road at my neighbour’s cows, there are laws to deal with my bad behaviour.

    If we want to take the “You don’t need it” argument to its ultimate conclusion, I guess there are a few overweight people out there who “don’t need” more than 1000 cals/day in food. Should the government be monitoring their intake to make sure they’re not sucking up too many twinkies? Twinkie Registry anyone? It would save more lives than the LGR.

    What’s worse is the argument about the MIni-14.

    Unfortunately the Mini-14 will always inspire hysteria among non-shooty type people because it was once used by a crazy guy to commit a horrific multiple murder. People who know nothing about guns take one look at the picture, see something that looks vaguely “military” and their heads explode. Never mind that it’s basically a varmint gun, to my knowledge.

    What’s even more crazy is the untold damage these people do to their own cause.

    😆 Can’t say I disagree. When it comes to the topic of guns and even self-determination, some of the mouthiest are also some of the dumbest, most unapologetic fascists.

  24. 24 bleatmop Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Question to JJ and FHG:

    Even though I am against the long gun registry, I am for restricting access (not banning access) to certain weapons. As JJ put it, one should be able to own a cannon and all the equipment to shoot a cannon ball down the road, just so long as one doesn’t start doing so in inappropriate ways. My question is, where do you draw the line that the government, and thus the people, should know about some of the weapons you have in your possession. I’ll list a few for you, and I would like to hear your opinions.

    Mini-14 – basically a varmint rifle, as JJ puts it.

    .50 desert eagle hand gun – High calibre, meant to be concealed, and has limited use for sporting that cannot be done by other pistols.

    A circa 1700 era Cannon – Pretty cool to show off, hard to move down the road, pretty sure someone would notice if someone was going to use it to kill people.

    Uranium tipped ammo – More an accessory to a weapon, but changes what a weapon can do.

    A shoulder mounted surface to air missile – Great for shooting down jets.

    A bunker buster bomb of the likes designed and popularized during the recent gulf war in Iraq (at least at the beginning of it)

    An ICBM with full compliment of nuclear warheads – Great for eradicating entire provinces and small countries.

    I ask, mostly because you guys seem to be taking this from a libertarian angle (as I would expect from JJ, though I don’t know FHG so I can’t comment there). I oppose the long gun registry because its ineffective, a waste of money, and punished honest people for something a psychopath did, and would have still done even if the registry existed before the incident. Not to mention it does nothing to stop organized criminals from walking over the boarder with whatever gun they want.

    So, if indeed “if I want one & can afford to buy it I should be able to have it” is true as well as “A free citizen doesn’t need to justify owning a Steyr HS .50, and arguing that they do is against the fundamental principle of person liberty and autonomy.” is true, then where do you draw the lines of personal liberty and public safety? Or do you draw that line at all? Personally, I would want my local police to know if someone had a howitzer or even an operational medieval cannon.

    Also, you must be very skilled to do more damage with a “pool puck and a broom handle” than you could with a howitzer fhg. I mean I could destroy an entire city block with a howitzer quite easily. Or even a neighbours farm house, without them even being able to see the attack coming. I just can’t see myself doing that kind of damage with a broom handle.

  25. 25 fhg1893 Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Bleatmop, “My question is, where do you draw the line that the government, and thus the people, should know about some of the weapons you have in your possession.”

    Having given it some serious thought, full disclosure, I don’t have a good answer, but I do have some good thoughts. I think it’s probably the wrong question. The question is not where to draw the line, but how to decide where to draw the line, and even more importantly WHY. While this sounds like semantics, it’s not meant to be. The thought process I feel is more important than where the line ought to be. I’m not arguing against the existence of a breaking point, but what criteria do you use? It’s very difficult to determine a set of criteria, maybe impossible, or completely impractical.

    I want to deal with your examples individually, because that’s going to be fun! 🙂 My comments will assume that all of these are subjected to the licensing and storage requirements of Canadian law. But first, I think that I should address a question that you asked later on. “where do you draw the lines of personal liberty and public safety?” I submit that for one thing, these are not mutually exclusive, but one, public safety rests on the other, personal liberty. I think public safety does not exist in a society without liberty, indeed public safety depends on liberty. Give up liberty in the name of public safety, and you lose both, having neither public safety nor liberty.

    There are many examples. Unpasturized milk for one. Milk? Yes, milk. A couple of years ago, the federal government felt it necessary to ban the sales of raw, unpasteurized milk, and all of the provinces have some sort of Milk act in effect. They did this in the name of public safety. They decided that it was necessary to do this, and in so doing severly restrict our personal liberty, because unpasturized milk was deemed an unacceptable risk to public safety. Unpasteurized milk can contain disease causing bacteria – you can become ill from consuming it. Of course, naturally, it’s more complicated than that – the quality and therefore safety of milk has everything to do with the cow that produced it. Cows housed in modern dairy farms are extremely likely to become ill with disease because modern dairy farms create conditions that promote the spread of disease. They don’t let their cattle outside, they house them in extremely tight quarters, they have too many animals under one roof etc. What’s worse is that the conditions make it likely that the milk will beccome contaminated because it’s being produced in an environment that makes contamination a likely result. But beyond that, the pasteurization process its self makes pasteurized milk a much greater threat to public safety! Pasteurized milk is nutritionally inferior to raw milk. Health Canada will swear up and down that little or nothing is lost; this is a heinous lie. Raw milk contains several enzymes that are necessary for humans to be able to digest raw milk. These crucial enzymes are destroyed in the pasteurization process. This is why there’s a spike in lactose intolerance. People who are lactose intolerant can almost always consume raw milk with no ill effect, because raw milk, and raw milk only retains the necessary enzymes to aid in its digestion and absorption. Pasteurized milk has actually become a scourge, because it’s touted as nutritious, but it is not. The milk you get from the grocerty store is almost always partially skim. Guess what? What’s worse, is that we’ve known that pasteurized milk might be contributing to heart disease for about 80 years! “But won’t raw milk make you fat?” LOL! NOPE! I’ve lost ~35 lbs in just a few months I’ve consumed buckets of raw milk, and it’s probably all been at least 25% fat! Some bottles have to have been 50% fat. Now, nutrition is complicated, so there’s more to it than that, but there you have it.

    So what about disease? Well, anecdotally, I haven’t been ill from any food-borne illness, and nobody in my family has either. Of course, I’ve also done my homework, and I personally know just how concerned my source is with safety. I wouldn’t trust raw milk from a conventional dairy, but thankfully I don’t have to. But how about some real numbers? Slide number 37 has some very scary numbers. If pasteurization was so good, why so many illnesses?

    I didn’t want to go on that long, but the milk nazis are a pretty much perfect example: we gave up some liberty, in the name of public safety, and we’ve now lost both. By denying us the ability to choose for ourselves, we by and large have no choice but to reward those who are making us sick, while punishing those who are trying to make us well! And we don’t have any added public safety because of it, worse, we’re actually putting the public in danger by steering people into obesity, cancer, heart disease, and physical degeneration. It’s scary, but you can tell how healthy a person is just by looking at their FACE, if you know what to look for, and just walking around, the implications of the latter, physical degeneration should be a major concern – foremost on the government’s agenda! But today we’re talking about guns.

    The Mini-14. I think the safeguards we have on the Mini-14 are perfectly adequate, probably more Conservative than they need to be. In other words, require a license to own one, and use it safely and responsibly. I don’t think it’s necessary to have it registered, a license is more than enough.

    The Desert Eagle. I am so glad you mentioned the Desert Eagle! This tells me that you don’t know much about guns. That’s okay, I’ll try to help. The Desert Eagle actually comes in a number of calibers, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and yes, .50 Action Express. The Desert Eagle of action movie, and video-game fame is vastly over-rated: it’s more useful as a cudgel than as a gun! Many of the drawbacks of the HS .50 apply to the Desert Eagle, but the Eagle has a few additional problems. The Desert Eagle is big, making it actualy quite hard to conceal. Not impossible, just a lot harder than you think. It’s HEAVY, so while it’s accurate, if you have small hands it’s impossible to aim. The ammunition is heavy, making it harder for a person to carry a lot of it. It’s EXPENSIVE, a new one starts at $1500.00, and it goes up to ~$200.00. The ammunition is expensive, at about $1.00 per round. It isn’t considered as reliable as other firearms – the gas system has been known to foul easily, so it requires constant maintenance and cleaning. Because of its unique operation, it reportedly jams quite easily – rounds often get stuck when they’re meant to be ejected. And the collosal muzzel flash makes it useless at night. It’s noisy as hell of course. Using one without ear protection will result in permanent hearing loss, if not outright deafness. And the best part? If a gang-banger holds one gangsta style, when he pulls the trigger, he’s he’s going to hit himself in the head with it! Do I think they need to be registered? No. They just can’t be hidden – requiring a license, and all that goes with it is enough.

    1700’s cannon. Do you know much about that kind of muzzel loading artillery? It just so happens that while I’m not an expert, I know enough about these to speak with authority. In order to operate one, depending on what it is and what caliber… you need a crew of 7, and some very specialized equipment! AND those 7 need to be pretty highly trained to operate it safely; they actually have to practice! Black powder is really dangerous, if anyone screws up, the crew is more at risk than the target. You could maybe load it by yourself, but, that would take about 4 of 5 minutes, and you couldn’t run it up, meaning that if you fired it… well, let’s just say that without running it up there is no second shot – EVER. Even with a trained crew, you’re looking at 60-120 seconds between shots! Or more! Plus, the truck-levers and the carriages needed to mount one would need to be custom ordered, you can’t just walk into a Canadian Tire and buy a set of truck-levers for a cannon. And the expense would be unimaginable – to mount one, the beams have to be thicker than a person’s thigh! How do I know this? I’ve actually fired a few of these things – blank charges only. The charge on a 24 pounder for instance was 8 lbs of black powder. That’s a huge kaboom, but these days, using that much powder is probably very unsafe. Because these things degrade over time it’s likely to damage, if not destroy the barrel. We only ever used 1 lbs. Plus, being smooth-bore, these things are heinously inaccurate. You literally could aim at a barn… And MISS, even within the maximum effective range. On a 24 pounder, that’s about 1400 meters. By comparison, a .308 is reported to have a dangerous range of 4 kilometers. Of course, at that range it’s not at all accurate, but we’re also talking about a round smaller by an order of magnitude than say, a 24 lbs round shot! Being hard to move down the road is a colossal understatement; you need a crane to pick one up. Even using a field mount, at the time, they used teams of HORSES to move them around. I suppose you could tow one with your vehicle, but you’d better move it VERY slowly, because those wheels are not meant to operate at high speeds. We’re talking… 10 km/h max, and even that’s probably pushing it. Sure you could get a few buddies to drag one around, but that’s going to be really labour intensive. Even without registration, it would be impossible for the government not to know that you have one. As it is, small arms from this era are antiques, and not subject to licensing or registration. I dunno about artillery.

    Uranium tipped ammo. Armor piercing ammo like depleted uranium rounds are prohibited in Canada. These would also be prohibitively expensive, but yeah, these should probably remain prohibited. Now, when it comes to armor piercing ammunition that ISN’T also radioactive, then it should be legal. Armor piercing ammunition actually causes less wounding than say, hollow-point ammunition. You do run into problems of over-penetration, but it is in the former sense “safer.”

    A shoulder mounted SAM missile. A stinger missile? You can definitely register this one, I have no issues with requiring that this kind of thing be regulated and registered.

    A bunker-buster. Now we’re really starting to push it… A bunker-buster however, is fairly low risk, because you need at minumum some kind of delivery system to make use of it – that means some sort of plane that’s a bit more military than your average Cessna. They start at a weight of about 800 kilograms (a canon is still heavier!). Even without registration or regulation, it would be impossible for the government not to know that you have one.

    An Intercontinental ballistic missile. Now we’re getting into the absurd. There’s no way for the government not to know about this one, and you’d need a delivery system. Most citizens just don’t have the means to own ballistic missile silos. This one just isn’t very realistic. But I’m okay with this one being banned. Just think what would happen with a negligent discharge. But beyond that… Well, when it comes to freedom, I believe that freedom can be necessarily limited when you harm other people, and the radiation given off by such a device, if not properly stored is very likely to harm another person. At this point, public safety trumps individual rights.

    “I mean I could destroy an entire city block with a howitzer quite easily. Or even a neighbours farm house, without them even being able to see the attack coming. I just can’t see myself doing that kind of damage with a broom handle.”

    Note, I included a pool-puck. Bleatmop, what element is the primary component of a pool-puck? Granted, this won’t damage infrastructure at all. It will kill a lot of people though.

  26. 26 bleatmop Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    FHG – Thanks for the reply. A few matters. First, I had to look up what a pool puck was when you mentioned it again. I’m not sure exactly how you would kill people with it, but I’m guessing it’s by some kind of poisoning. Not important though. I grant you that you could probably kill a lot of people with it. I was concentrating on a more literal interpretation of the word damage and did not see that nuance.

    Second – “I am so glad you mentioned the Desert Eagle! This tells me that you don’t know much about guns.”

    I only know what my grandfather taught me, who used to build them for a living. Sadly, he passed away before it was my turn to build one with him (every male grandchild got to make one with him when he was 16). I’m not much of a gun enthusiast though and don’t know the brands as well (as my experience is only with custom builds). I also know nothing of handguns as my grandfather only made hunting rifles. I do know I picked the DE .50 for a specific reason. It relates to that you specifically chose the .50 calibre as an example in your previous post and talked about how it is good for long range shooting. Of the little I know about handguns, I do know for certain that they are a close range weapon only and not valid for long range shooting. I was curious to know what you think about a .50 calibre weapon that has no long range shooting application.

    As far as your assessment of my list goes, I would agree with most of your points. I think a license to own is enough in most cases, as well as responsible storage and handling. I also grant that the later half of my examples were absurd, intentionally so. They were designed to illustrate that even you have limits on what people should own.

    Also, I wanted to talk about your Benji Franklin quote for a second. You paraphrased it as thus:

    “Give up liberty in the name of public safety, and you lose both, having neither public safety nor liberty.”

    The actual quote is:

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    I think his intentions were different, and there is a nuanced difference. However your point is not lost on me, as I agree the machinations of the state can easily turn pernicious. I just don’t think that because some state policies are a failure that it means we shouldn’t try. I will also refrain from commenting on the milk analogy though because it will only sidetrack what I otherwise consider to be a fruitful discussion.

  27. 27 fhg1893 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Bleatmop – Concerning pool pucks – chlorine. There’s probably enough table-salt in your house to kill you and your entire neighborhood, a few times over – if only one could separate the atoms. There are ways of doing this, and it’s not hard to do – though table-salt is hardly conducive to the process. Now, mix certain toilet cleaners with bleach and the result is much different. Or some commercial grease-cutters with bleach. Now, say you use a broom handle to seal the emergency doors of a crowded venue, like say, a rock-concert, and just before the last one, you throw a sufficient ammount of this concoction into the room. Since chlorine is more dense than air, well, a lot of people are going to die. Hence, I can do more violence with a pool puck and and a few broom handles than with a howitzer.

    I’m sorry about your grandfather.

    Actually, the Desert Eagle IS good for long-range shooting, specifically because of the large caliber – it’s quite accurate at range. And of course, there’s a big difference between .50 Action Express (Pistol Ammo) and .50 BMG (Rifle/Machine Gun Ammo). The Desert Eagle is actually a fairly good choice for handgun hunting – I guess the point I was making was that it’s actually not much good in the role its often given: mowing down legions of badguys in action movies! 🙂 Yeah, it’s hand-cannon, sure, but the magazine? Only 7 rounds on the AE version! Compare that with say, a Glock 21, which is .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) caliber, which has a magazine capacity of 13 rounds. Or say a Berretta 92 which can be equiped with a magazine capacity of 20 rounds. The only thing your trading off with either of those two is power, and range. Every other disadvantage of the Desert Eagle is not present in any number of .45 ACP and 9mm pistols. And .45 ACP still packs plenty of punch at close range. In other words, you know that you’re about to see completely unrealistic use of firearms in any move where someone pulls a nickle-plated Desert Eagle. However the movie is otherwise, the moment a Desert Eagle rears its head, you can bet your bottom dollar that the use of firearms will in NO WAY resemble real life. Interesting factoid: the film Heat has the most realistic depiction of firearms I’ve ever seen in a film. That remains true, even 16 years after it was made – I have yet to see another film that doesn’t screw something up. Even in Heat there are some mistakes, but otherwise, absolutely 100% true to life. ESPECIALLY the bank-robbery shoot out scene.

    “They were designed to illustrate that even you have limits on what people should own.”

    Yes, there are some limitations on what a person ought to own. My counter-point was that we have less to fear from larger guns. The bigger the gun, the more impractical it gets. Eventually they get so big that we have nothing to fear from them because there’s really not much you can do with them. Some rockets and missiles become the exception of course. And, yes an ICBM. There does come a point where public safety does trump individual liberty – like being able to shoot down a passenger plane carrying 300 people with a shoulder launched missile. But for the most part, we really should place much more trust in our citizens that we do.

    I thought of Benjamin Franklin’s quote, but as you point out there’s a nuanced difference. For my part, I believe that Franklin was making a comment that liberty is considerably more valueable than false notions of public safety, hence trading away liberty for public safety makes one unworthy of either because it’s a bad bargain. My point, is that better public safety necessarily flows from free and strong citizens – liberty in other words. Weakening citizens by erroding liberty actually undermines and destroys public safety.

    “I just don’t think that because some state policies are a failure that it means we shouldn’t try.”

    Yeesss… My comment would be that the state must always tread very carefully with any and all policies that effect the liberty and free choice of citizens. Believe it or not, this includes things that have a benefit. The reason is that the consequences are always much farther reaching than originally intended. We subsidized having children after the 2nd World War, and now we’re facing a serious demographic problem. How often do you hear about the problems the baby-boomers are going to cause as they retire? Naturally, after the war, the population was bound to go up regardless. What the government did was to push the gas-pedal to the floor, and I believe that this probably aggravated our current situation. Hence, a relatively short-lived program has far reaching consequences, and now that we’ve arrived, there don’t seem to be any good answers. Sure, we may well have ended up with the same problem, but, it may have been far more manageable had the government simply stayed out of our affairs. We can’t correct the mistakes of the past of course, we can only focus on the future. And overwhelmingly, the evidence shows that governments almost without exception are too wreckless, too cavalier with people’s lives. There is not nearly enough restraint of government power, and we’re consistently worse of because of it. This isn’t to say that government shouldn’t do anything. This is to say that government must be much more careful than it is.

  28. 28 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Hi bleat, sorry for the delay but I’m glad fhg is addressing your questions (and probably more knowledgeably than I could). Anyway…

    I think when there’s a genuine conflict between personal freedom and public safety — not just the kind of hypothetical conflicts supporters of the gun registry imagine — then public safety trumps. Just as the individual has a right to ownership of whatever property he wants, the public has the right to ownership of their own lives which would be threatened by, for example, an untrained civilian having WMD. (Frankly I don’t think governments should have them either, but this is apparently how we’ve decided to keep each other in line.)

    Not sure where I’d draw the line, but I know I’d draw it somewhere.

  29. 29 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Funny you bring up raw milk. My ex grew up on a dairy farm and drank raw milk, cream etc. all his life, until he moved to the city. The seniors in his family all live to be over 90 yrs old, and he himself is quite healthy in spite of a lifetime of self-abuse (and he drank & took drugs too, hahaha 😛 ). Guy has a resting heart rate of 50, while I was running marathons and had a RHR of 66. So I really can’t believe there’s anything wrong with raw milk.

  30. 30 bleatmop Friday, November 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

    “There is not nearly enough restraint of government power, and we’re consistently worse of because of it. This isn’t to say that government shouldn’t do anything. This is to say that government must be much more careful than it is.”

    Lol, truth to that. Anyway, thanks for the discussion. It was interesting to see things from the libertarian point of view.

  31. 31 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

    “Restrained government” — I much prefer that phrase to “small government”. If you say “small government”, people assume you just think its a good idea to spend shitloads of money on planes and prisons rather than social programs. The expression “small government” has officially lost all meaning.

  32. 32 fhg1893 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Except for Ron Paul. 🙂

    If I might add a little, I think what you’re saying is more that talking points like, “we believe in small government!” have lost all meaning, and I think I agree with that, because most people who throw this phrase around obviously don’t really mean it. It would seem to be that the onus is on the speakers to demonstrate their commitment to small government.

    When Ron Paul says it, I believe he’s telling the truth.

    In that sense, I strongly support a restrained government.

  33. 33 JJ Friday, November 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Yes, Ron Paul I believe means it when he says small government.

    But all the other repubs who say it, then spend days of time and who knows how much taxpayer $$ tying up Congress with dumb abortion laws, they don’t mean it at all.

    When I say “restrained government”, I really mean it: I’d like to see them all in actual restraints: straight jackets, handcuffs etc.

  34. 34 fhg1893 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    LOL. 🙂 I can think of a few who need restraints that’s for sure.

    And yes, the republicans really seem like they need a different hobby. This unholy alliance of social conservatives, economic conservatives, and libertarians hasn’t been good for what ought to be a really good country.

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