A Canadian first

By Scott Carpenter
web posted June 19, 2000

By January 1, 2001 all gun owners in Canada must be licensed under the new gun control system ushered in almost six years ago by the Liberals in the form of Bill C-68.

Apparently though, things aren't going quite as well as the Liberals and their employees down at the Canadian Firearms Centre have planned. The licensing process (never mind the registry) is way behind. Way, way behind. In fact, both ends of the new law (the registry and the licensing system) are so far behind that the CFC is offering new cut rate prices for possession only licenses and, in a fit of generosity unparalleled in Liberal history, the CFC has decided to wave the $25 transfer fee for registering a firearm (at least for the foreseeable future).

It seems that the Liberals and the bureaucrats who run the registry aren't getting the cooperation and support from the firearms owning public that they bragged they had all along. In fact, it appears that come January 1, 2001 there will be a substantial percentage of the population who will become instant criminals. I wonder where the Liberals will find the jail space to put them all?

The federal government's insistence that the majority of gun owners support this law is slowly being exposed for the lie it is -- and it is being exposed in a most embarrassing and potentially dangerous manner. When the peaceful and moral citizens of a nation have so little respect for their own system of law that they would rather spend time in prison than comply with it we have, at least, a giant a kick in the teeth to the current government and, at most, planted the seeds of revolution. Wars have been fought over much less. The American revolution's initial spark was a small tax on tea. It is not a stretch to say that men who are willing to go to prison over a matter of principle may also be willing to exchange blows over the matter if necessary.

Still, the Liberals insist that Canadians are docile, obedient and submissive; that they will comply with this law like good little children and that we are not like "our unruly neighbors to the south." This is a dangerous and misleading assumption for two reasons:

First, it discounts the fact that Canadians have enjoyed a sort of "de facto" style of economic and political freedom for centuries. Though we have never had our rights spelled out in a constitution like our American cousins we have, more or less, enjoyed the same rights and freedoms by virtue of the fact that the country is so vast, the population so sparse, and until recently, the government quite absent from our personal lives.

Second, it forgets first and foremost that we are rational, intelligent human beings. As such we know when we are being lied to and we know when we are having our rights trampled by those in places of political power. Liberals have mistaken Canadian patience for naiveté and apathy. But as Edmund Burke once said: "There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue." In short, Canadians are quickly losing their patience with this government.

These two reasons are primarily why the government is having to deal with the firearms community in the manner that it has over the past few months. Offers of "incentive programs" to pro-firearms organizations who assist with the licensing of gun owners, cut rate prices for licensing and registration and a propaganda campaign that must be costing us millions are all signs that their scheme is falling apart due to lack of cooperation. Undoubtedly, Thoreau would be proud of the civil disobedience that Canadians continue to display with regards to this matter.

So with the deadline fast approaching one has to wonder what the government will do next. Firearms owners have laid their hands clearly on the table. They've said no to Bill C-68 in a manner that the Liberals and their followers clearly did not expect. This is a first in recent Canadian history. I guess that with all beer commercials and other propaganda aside, this exercise in political bullying has proven that everyone has their limits.

All that remains is for the government to fold or raise the stakes. Let's hope they find discretion to be the better part of valour.

Scott Carpenter is the editor in chief of Liberty Free Press.

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