Thursday, November 15, 2018

I got a strange letter today

It was almost hysterical in an amusing way. It starts, above my name and address, in big bold letters (BIG LETTERS!) "Politicians in Ottawa are planning a new GUN BAN!"

As if there was ever an old one.

The letter is from the NFA, Canada's National Firearms Association. I hadn't known there was such a thing, but that's just me.

The phrase I see again and again is "law-abiding gun owners". Funny how you never see that 'law-abiding' part anywhere else. Do you ever see a headline, 'law-abiding homeowners protest property tax increase', or 'law-abiding car owners protest price of gasoline'? No, you do not.

So on with the letter. They say that Prime Minister Trudeau is planning to ban guns, based on a rumour that he asked a Minister to explore "harsh new regulations" regarding firearms ownership and a ban on guns. How do they know this?

They complain that they aren't being told what's being banned. Mainly, probably, because if they're just starting to look at the issue, they haven't got a proposal yet.

They go on to say that I'm like "law-abiding gunners across Canada" which I take exception to. I'm not like them in one important regard, in that I don't own, and have never owned any kind of a firearm. And no, that does not prevent me from having an opinion about firearm regulation.

They add "for many Canadians it's an attack on their very way of life." That's in bold, if you were wondering. Just a little over the top. I found several sources indicating that about 25% of Canadian households have a firearm of any kind. This varies dramatically, with rural and northern households far more likely to have firearms, and urban households less likely.

In more bold letters, they go on to say, "They'll stop at nothing to take our guns away and infringe on your rights." Except there is no right to own a gun in Canada. Like any other property, gun ownership is subject to government regulation. This government regulation is proposed, debated, perhaps amended, and signed into law, (or not) by democratically elected politicians doing their jobs under the scrutiny of the public. Presumably they are acting on behalf of all Canadians, but that's another blog topic for another day.

They do not say it in the letter, but they clearly think that more guns is better, and less oversight is better. The counter argument to that is just south of us. There is no developed country with the level of gun violence and mayhem than in the United States. They are the only country that sees children being shot in school, and do nothing. People going about their business in shopping malls, movie theatres, churches, or just strolling in the open air have been subject to so many mass shooting incidents they blur together. The United States is an effective counter argument to the concept that an armed society is a polite society. Except, wait, there aren't enough guns yet.

In case you were wondering, I will say loud and proud, I do not want to see that happening in Canada. If the price of that means making it more difficult to own a gun, especially automatic or semi-automatic firearms, I don't have a problem.

I was working for a company selling an asset management database when the long guns registry was a thing. We were baffled about the cost over runs and the difficulties involved. So I'm a bit dubious about the efficacy of further regulation around gun ownership and registration. I'd need to take a good look at the existing regulations, and what is being proposed to solve which problems, before coming to a final opinion. I'm also a bit, (a lot!) dubious the government intends to ban guns entirely.

It just reminds me of the hysterics when President Obama was elected. Even when he said out loud in front of God and everybody that his administration had no intention of banning or grabbing guns, the NRA went berserk flogging that fear, and gun sales escalated.

The main point of the letter is to ask me to buy a membership (to protect my rights!) so they can  send a petition to Trudeau "to abandon his (alleged) gun ban, and to show law-abiding gun owners the respect they deserve." That's in bold letters. I'm sure I don't understand why gun owners deserve respect as opposed to those who own any of the other many consumer goods for sale in Canada.

I admit to wondering where they got my name and address from, but I suppose there are any number of places they could have bought it. I also admit to being tempted to organize a balancing petition to the NFA one. A petition that says, go on with whatever you have planned, and we will examine it on the merits, but in the mean time, consider each signature as cancelling out one on the NFA signature.

The thing we are supposed to do is send a letter to our MP, but the problem is that the guy that replaced my MP, Prime Minister Harper, is a conservative shill. His latest blurb is all carbon tax all the time, and how it is ruining Canada and Alberta, and the first thing the UCP will do is remove it, blah blah blah. Except he's a federal guy, and the UCP is provincial. Two different arms of the same idiocy, I guess. The carbon tax is another blog, for another day.

To calm you down, or soothe your giggles at the letter, here's a nice moon shot, peaceful, tranquil, shot Oct 19 with the behemoth lens at 600 mm. No cropping. Maybe I should have put photo of the letter up. Hmmm. Naw, why give them more exposure?


  1. First rate rant, Keith! I'm sharing!

  2. Guns confuse me, people enamoured with guns confuse me. What we need are more people armed with guns, ignorance, and conspiracy theories. A good rant. Cheers, Sean


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