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Why don't lawful gun owners support the gun registry?

By Dr. Mike Ackermann
web posted June 19, 2006

Why don't lawful gun owners support the gun registry? After all, according to the hoplophobes, "If it saves just one life then it is worth it (at any cost)".

A good law should have the willing support of those it serves. Yes, I said "serves" because that is what truly good law does - it serves the People rather than enslaves them. In Canada the cultural minority of lawful gun owners have been subjected to ever-increasing regulatory pressure for many decades at the hands of a succession of governments from both ends of the political spectrum. We believe that the way a government treats its gun owners it a bellwether of how it will eventually treat all citizens. One has but to do a bit of geographic and historical study to see that this is true.

Please note that in what follows I have intentionally omitted mention of political parties. This is because the machinations of big government are by and large independent of the party in power.

Its is way past time that the arrogant, out-of-touch, bureaucratic monster of the federal government actually listened for a change to the people it hurts when it passes useless and unconstitutional legislation in its misguided attempts at social engineering.

A long time ago the federal government decided that the private ownership and use of firearms by anyone other than a government agent was a "questionable practice" that must be curtailed. Allan Rock, "came to Ottawa in the firm belief that only the police and the military should have firearms". He engineered the current Firearms Act and cynically and shamelessly used the horrible Montreal Massacre to get public support.

We in the responsible firearms community, armed with mountains of high quality research and historical data were labeled as "gun nuts", brushed aside, and ignored when we raised our very legitimate objections to a law that was being sold under false pretenses and would only eliminate our culture of safe and responsible firearms education and use, while not affecting the criminal element in any way. The thousands of hours on the range and in the class room that we devote to our lifestyle every year is viewed by the state not as evidence of dedication to the pursuit of excellence, but rather as a sign of flawed character.

We have seen our members attacked in their homes, their property ransacked, confiscated, and destroyed, their spouses, children, and employees terrorized at gunpoint by agents of the state. They have been dragged through the courts repeatedly by a foe that has the limitless pockets of the tax payer to draw upon to fund its assaults on our rights and freedoms. Innocent verdicts are appealed by the state, not because of any miscarriage of justice, but because the state can't abide an honest citizen showing it up in court. Even when cleared of all charges, every obstacle is thrown in the way of the citizen's attempts to have his/her property returned intact.

We see our government hiding its true intentions and activities from the people, not as a matter of national security or dire emergency, but as a matter of course. When it is finally forced to grudgingly release some information about the mistreatment of some hapless soul or wastage of precious resources, the state uses various loopholes to censor and withhold anything that might actually help us in our attempt to find justice.

We see the ongoing corrupt abuses of position and power by those we should expect to be above such weakness as they purport to be leaders of our country.

All the while this is going on, the gang bangers and other criminals continue their slaughter unaffected by the law, because the government has a policy of minimizing at all costs the jail time to be served by violent felons. Plea-bargaining, early mandatory release, dishonest sentencing, concurrent sentencing, and three-for-one time credits are but a few of the techniques our government uses to guarantee a fresh supply of criminals and victims to keep the wheels of the crime industry - - otherwise known by the misnomer of "justice system" - turning.

Rather than institute policies aimed at strengthening our society by strengthening its individual members (for example mandatory military or other public service after high school, and citizenship *earned* by such public service and not just freely gained by birth in Canada), we instead see everything possible done to render potential crime victims as helpless as possible.

Rather than telling airplane passengers how to immobilize and detain violent threats to the aircraft, our government wastes its time and ours taking knitting needles away from grannies, then instructs fighter pilots to shoot us down if we are commandeered in the air.

We have seen the death of the beautiful and heroic young woman in Vancouver which, investigation will undoubtedly reveal, is the direct result of her killer being out on the street despite a long litany of prior violent offenses. (23-year-old Rachel Davis was shot in the head by one of the gang-bangers when kind-hearted young woman tried breaking up a street fight outside a Gastown nightclub after 4 a.m. She saw a man on the ground being kicked by a group of men and she tried to intervene to stop them from seriously hurting the helpless victim.)

We have had an ongoing slaughter of teenagers and young adults in Toronto and a mass killing of 4 cops in Mayerthorpe and the latest fatal shooting of 25 year old Const. Valerie Gignac in Laval, all by thugs out on the street after decades-long histories of violence and gun prohibitions.

Our government is attacking my culture and colleagues and has sold the idea to the non shooting public that we are the problem when it is the policies of the government itself that continue the tragic loss of life. All the while it continues to spend millions of dollars funding bigmouth lobby groups to tell it what a good job it is doing (Coalition for Gun Control, CPPA, Canada Safety Council, etc).

Do I sound angry? Damn right I am! For some reason my government has decided it can't have me around, this despite the fact that I have offered my life as a soldier in service to my country and I have never harmed anyone, but it can tolerate career killers out walking the streets and murdering our daughters. It has wasted over a billion dollars on long gun registry that is every bit as useless as the handgun registry that preceded it as a tool for curbing violence while it cries that there is not enough money to adequately fund our police and courts.

Recently here in Nova Scotia a man who shot a cop with a centerfire rifle had the charge of "attempted murder using a firearm" magically turned into "discharging a firearm with an intent to endanger life".

The result of this legal gobbledygook is that he gets a sentence of eight months (out in six - in direct contravention of the law which stipulates a minimum consecutive sentence of one year for a first time offense involving a firearm - three years for a second offense) while I can go to jail for ten years for the paper crime of not having a stupid registration card for every gun that I legally and harmlessly own.

To finish up, let me again repeat what we gun owners have been begging our government for a long time: We do not want gun anarchy. We want a coherent system of gun laws that are constitutional, effective, appropriately targeted, enforced, and cost-effective. These laws must severely deter and punish the violent criminal and negligent abuses of firearms while promoting the widespread dissemination of firearms safety and knowledge. Above all they must be firmly based on unbiased evidence and undergo regular non-partisan review. Of course what is true of good gun laws is true for all laws. We remain willing to work tirelessly with any government or agency to achieve these goals.

While the new federal government promises many positive changes, and while I would really like to believe what they say is true, we gun owners have heard it all before, to our disappointment but not to our surprise. Time will most definitely tell.

Dr. M.J. Ackermann, MD (http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/mikeack/mikeack.htm) is a Rural Family Physician in Nova Scotia and the secretary of the St. Mary's Shooters Association.

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