Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Sept 20, 2010)

Tyranny With Manners

By Bob Cooper





On September 22nd Parliament will vote on a private member’s bill to scrap the Long Gun Registry.  The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association are publicly campaigning for the Registry’s retention saying that it is a valuable tool for police officers, a good investigative aid, and saves lives.  I’m not saying that any of that is untrue but thus far they’ve been long on rhetoric,  short on detail and the examples they’ve cited have been for the most part, lame and unconvincing.  To be fair, I do remember one murder where the Registry did help us clear the case.  Had the CACP called me I’d have been glad to share the details with them but they didn’t, so there. 

I’d bet if you talked to the Homicide Squads in some other major cities you’d find a couple of similar examples.  Would those few cases be enough to justify the government’s intrusion into the lives of thousands of legitimate gun owners?  I don’t know but the CACP and the CPA have a pretty tough sell on their hands.  Chief Constable Jim Chu came closest by acknowledging that there is still a lot of anger over the 2 billion dollar boondoggle in setting the Registry up but said that was no reason to do away with it.  The point he missed is that like the HST, the public’s anger goes well beyond the money.

In supporting the Registry, Vancouver Police Union President Tom Stamatakis pointed out that it is simply one more aspect of government regulation of our daily lives.  I guess you could liken it to the requirement that we register our cars and obtain driver’s licenses in order to operate them.  The difference is that, cars being more ubiquitous than guns, the public safety argument surrounding motor vehicles is overwhelming and the Motor Vehicle Branch was not created for the purpose of taking people’s cars away (that is, unless Mayor Robertson becomes Premier).

The Gun Registry (Long and Short) was nothing more than the Chretien Liberal government exploiting the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in 1989 to advance their anti-gun agenda.  Anyone doubting their intentions has only to look at some of the things they said at the time.  Justice Minister (and principle architect of the Registry) Allan Rock said “I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers”.  Transport Minister David Collenette expressed concern about RCMP members carrying guns on jets by saying “I believe in a civil society we should do as much as possible not to have firearms in any guise, but obviously they are a necessary function of policing”.   Then you have RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli saying “I don’t believe a handgun should be in the hands of anybody”.   Good job Zack.  Thank you Minister.  Don’t forget that these people were all part of the most dishonest, corrupt administration in Canada’s history.

Charlton Heston used to say that political correctness was just tyranny with manners.  It’s never been easy to legally purchase a handgun in this country but along with the Registry came sweeping regulations that increased the hoops a gun owner had to jump through by ten-fold.  They also banned numerous types of handguns with the stroke of a pen even for collectors.  When asked if these new regulations would reduce the crime rate Rock replied, “I think it will help.  I don’t want to overstate it.  I don’t want to give any guarantees.”  Gee, that’s nice.  I’m going to intrude into the lives of thousands of law abiding citizens because I personally object to their choices and I really have no idea if this intrusion will have any benefit at all for the rest of society.  Doesn’t matter.   We know best.

Novelist William S. Burroughs once said “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.  I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military”.

I don’t object to the requirement that people register their guns per se.  But I don’t trust government.    I’ve always believed that the Liberals’ ultimate goal was to disarm ordinary Canadians and the Registry was simply a device to do so.  If they are ever elected again they won’t miss the opportunity a second time.   According to Benjamin Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote”.

If some constitutional protections existed against the Chretiens, Rocks, and Collenettes of this world I’d be a lot more comfortable.  Other than that I believe that the best form of gun control is being able to hit what you’re aiming at.


Bob Cooper is a retired Vancouver police officer. He walked a beat in Chinatown and later worked in the Asian Organized Crime Section and the Homicide Squad.


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