Opposition uses long-gun registry as wedge issue
With Ajax-Pickering MP Mark Holland's bill to kill Candice Hoeppner's bill to scrap the long-gun registry adpoted by the House of Commons, the opposition is waxing triumphally.
They're accusing the Conservative Party of divisive politics, while they themselves divide Canadians.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff hasn't been the worst of them -- it's tough to decide whether to impart that distinction on Holland or on the Bloc Quebecoi's Maria Mourani -- but he hasn't shied away from it, either.
"We stood with victims, we stood with emergency room doctors, we stood with the police and the Mounties, all of whom say we need a long-gun registry for the public security of Canadians," Ignatieff insisted. "If you care about public safety in this country, you want a gun registry. Period."
If only it were really so.
Ignatieff and his fellow proponents of the long-gun registry emotionally blackmailed Canadians by insisting that the long-gun registry was a "memorial" to the L'Ecole Polytechnique victims. He stood on-side with police chiefs who accepted a $115,000 donation from the company that produces the software for the long-gun registry, and with the RCMP who possessed a clear incentive to describe the registry as a success under their administration.
Moreover, Canadians who legitimately care about public safety in Canada fully understand that the long-gun registry doesn't serve public safety. It has never prevented gun crimes, and hasn't saved a single life.
Moreover, it's entirely useless to police -- and nearly any front-line police officer in Canada will tell you that.
When it becomes clear that there is not even one single, solitary fact that supports maintaining the long-gun registry, it becomes clear what the proponents of the registry are doing: they're using it as a wedge issue to divide Canadians.
Nearly all of them are extremely eager to accuse the Conservatives of doing the same. But it's an incredibly disingenuous argument.
It's been proponents of the registry that have crowed about its importance to urban Canadians. It's been the proponents of the registry that have tried to guilt Canadians into supporting it by reminding them of past tragedies that not only would the long-gun registry not have prevented, but the long-gun registry hasn't prevented repeats.
The facts speak for themselves. But proponents of the long-gun registry won't tolerate to have the facts debated.
They'd rather divide Canadians and reap the rewards for themselves. But rural Liberal and NDP MPs may find themselves instead paying the price in an upcoming election.