Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No, It Doesn't -- And It Isn't About Gender

Heather Mallick has a bizarre & inflated sense of gun registry's effectiveness

As the 20th anniversary of the 1989 L'Ecole Polytechnique, the ideological stalwarts of Canada's left wing are milking it for as much as the memory of the 14 killed are worth.

In the case of Heather Mallick, her cause is the long gun registry. In her most recent column published at the CBC website -- which seems to break the moritorium on allowing her to publish there on serious matters following her Mighty Wind debacle -- Mallick reminds readers that Marc Lepine, the perpetrator of the shooting, used a hunting rifle to kill his victims.

"Lépine used a Ruger Mini-14, the kind of gun normally used by hunters to kill gophers, groundhogs and rabbits," Mallick recounts. "It's a comfortable gun, lightweight with little recoil, and it's semi-automatic, which means it fires without complications every time you pull the trigger (especially effective with a larger magazine of 20 bullets). It's very accurate to begin with, but in a classroom, experts say, you couldn't miss if you tried. And Lépine, a hater of all women, especially police officers and prominent successful women, did not."

Mallick's sense of gender self-importance cuts not only to the core of her feelings about L'Ecole Polytechnique (this would be only natural). But her feelings of gender self-importance also seem to cut to the core of the gun registry itself, as she seems to imagine that support for the long gun registry is rooted in machismo.

"The registry requires only this: If you buy or own a gun — and this includes rifles used by farmers and hunters, firing range enthusiasts, etc — it must be registered," Mallick writes. "It won't be confiscated, but law enforcement officials will know you have it. Is this so damaging to one's own personal notion of one's manhood?"

Right. Support for the abolition of the gun registry isn't based on not wanting to see the government continue to waste money on programs, masquerading as gun control, that do absolutely nothing to accomplish their goal, but on male preoccupation with their own masculinity.

Or, there's the matter of shame.

"There's no reason to be ashamed of owning a rifle if you live rurally and make rural excursions, and no reason to object to registering your gun the same way you register your car, house, boat, dog and cat," Mallick continues. "You often register major purchases in case they turn out to be faulty. The city inspects your house to make sure it's reliably built, your life insurer knows your health status, your home insurer prowls around, and doctors regularly probe your cavities and press your tender areas for signs of cancer."

Of course, we don't do any of these things under the false impression that doing so will protect us from crime, or protect others from us. As a matter of fact, the people who Canadians need protection from simply don't register their weapons.

Mallick evidently knows the gun issue as poorly as she knows gun owners.

When appeals to emotion aren't sufficient for Mallick, however, she falls back on twisting or distorting the facts.

"In 2009, police made an average 10,800 calls a day to find out registry information," Mallick writes.

Except, Mallick doesn't mention that police are logged onto the gun registry every time they log onto their onboard computer systems. So while some of the calls to the gun registry may well be to get information about particular guns, calls in which the express purpose of the call number far, far fewer than the nearly 11,000 Mallick claims.

When Mallick fails to impress with her razor-thin emotion-based appeals, she simply shows her contempt for the teeming rural masses.

"As Stephen Hume wrote this month in the Vancouver Sun, the loud, endlessly complaining rural minority doesn't understand the facts about gun deaths," Mallick writes.

But Mallick would be mistaken in suggesting that the gun registry is opposed only by a "rural minority". In fact, only in Quebec do a majority of Canadians favour maintaining the registry.

In fact, as it turns out, it's the pro-registry minority that are loud. And far more often than necessary, they're pretending that the long gun registry is a matter of gender politics.

It's not about gender politics. And individuals like Heather Mallick need to learn that it isn't all about them.

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