When it appeared that Candice Hoeppner's private members bill would find enough support from the NDP to pass, NDP leader Jack Layton went to work to find enough votes to keep the registry alive.
He didn't whip the vote, as many advocates of the long-gun regsitry insisted he should, but he seems to have found the votes.
Yet, as it turns out, Layton's fantasies don't end with the alleged necessity of maintaining the registry. Layton continues to fantasize that the Conservative Party would be able to work with him to "fix" the registry.
"I said to the Prime Minister today as well as in a conversation last week, ‘Why don't we work together here? You haven't got the numbers now to simply eliminate it,'" Layton said. "'So let's work to try to fix it and address some of those legitimate issues that are being raised by people who are law-abiding gun owners and hunters and farmers.'"
What Layton clearly doesn't understand is that, as pertains to gun control and the long-gun registry, there's nothing to talk about. There is simply no way that the Conservative Party -- who acknowledge reality as it relates to the long-gun registry -- could work wirh the NDP on the matter, who do not.
It's as simple as that.
Particularly, the Conservatives cannot be expected to work with people who won't debate the matter in good faith.
Layton and the other supporters of the long-gun registry have long realized that there are no facts that support maintaining the registry: not a single, solitary, one.
They can't afford to publicly admit that the long-gun registry has never prevented a single crime, and has never saved a single life. Not one.
Instead, proponents of the long-gun registry have relied on fear mongering, emotional blackmail, and smear tactics in order to make their case.
Consider the following exchanges from the very same meeting of the Public Safety Committee in which Dr Gary Mauser utterly demolished defenses of the long-gun registry.
The first is between Dr Mauser and Marlene Jennings:
"Jennings - ...Have you received funding from the NRA for any of your studies or research work?Jennings attempts a rather blatant guilt-by-association argument. She knows her base well, and must imagine that a donation to the Reform Party, and the receipt of a donation from the NRA would be rather damning for Dr Mauser.
Dr Mauser - Yes, I have. When I first began researching--
Jennings - Thank you.
Dr Mauser - I got $400.
Jennings - Have you contributed to the Conservative Party of Canada, or its predecessor the Canadian Alliance, or its predecessor the Reform Party of Canada?
Dr Mauser - I have contributed to the Conservative Party, the Reform Party, the NDP, and the Liberals."
Unfortunately for Jennings, what she uncovered was a donation scarcely sufficient to keep the lights on for a major research project, and a former Reform Party donor who had also given to her own party.
In the midst of a debate that is supposed to be contested based on facts, this is far from a significant bombshell.
But Jennings' buffoonery nothing compared to that of Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Mourani:
"Mourani - Mr Mauser, I would like short answers please. Is this in fact you in this photograph, with a handgun?In all fairness, Maria Mourani does seem like the sensitive type: sensitive enough to be frightened by a 20-year-old photograph. That, seeing as how she introduced it into committee, one could presume she herself dug up for that purpose.
Dr Mauser - That's me and that's my handgun.
Mourani - What kind of gun is it?
Dr Mauser - It is a Smith & Wesson revolver.
Mourani - Is it registered?
Dr Mauser - Well, of course.
Mourani - How many weapons do you own?
Dr Mauser - I'm not sure. It varies.
Mourani - You do not remember how many guns you own? How many long guns do you own?
Dr Mauser - I don't remember. It varies.
Mourani - All right, you own firearms, but you do not remember how many you have?
Dr Mauser - I'm getting old.
Mourani - You are not, however, too old to carry such a gun.
Dr Mauser - That would be a few more years from now.
Mourani - Where was this photograph taken?
Dr Mauser - About 20 years ago.
Mourani - But where?
Dr Mauser - You can see that I'm a lot younger there.
Mourani - Yes, but where? Was it at home? It looks like it was at home, not at a firing range or at a shooting school. Am I right? It is at your house.
Dr Mauser - That's my house.
Mourani - Excellent. And what were you shooting at? What were you having fun shooting at? Who were you putting on this show for?
The Chair - Mrs Mourani, you have to relate this to the long-gun registry.
Mourani - I apologize, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I will explain why.
Dr Mauser - You will notice, first of all, that I'm not firing. Secondly, the finger is not in the trigger guard. Thirdly, the photographer asked me to pose like this and I resisted, but obviously I should have resisted harder.
Mourani - You did put up a struggle, my dear sir. But, you are the expert advisor as far as firearms are concerned. I must admit to you that I am scared."
And evidently sensitive enough to stoop to ad hominem attacks on an expert at whose assessment of the facts she seems to despair.
Which reminds one what this is allegedly supposed to be about: it's supposed to be about the facts. Mark Holland insists that the Conservatives simply don't care about them.
Yet when a doctor of criminology shows up to the Public Safety Committee and lays out facts that are extremely inconvenient for proponents of the long-gun registry, the facts seem to be the last thing Holland, Jennings, Mourani et al are concerned with:
Their language becomes not that of a factual debate, but that of vindictive personal attack, vicious character assasination, and shameless melodrama.
There is a reason for this: the facts simply do not favour their cause. It doesn't prevent gun crime. It doesn't save lives. It's a cosmetic gun control measure that demonstrably doesn't protect Canadians.
Truthfully speaking, the long gun registry has become the cause celibre of far-left demagogues who can't bring themselves to get tough on crime, so instead opt to get tough on the law-abiding.
Jack Layton has, unsurprisingly, decided to throw in with that lot. The Conservatives couldn't work with him on this issue, even if they wanted to.