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Letters  

Opposed to gun control bill

I am writing to voice my opposition to Bill C-21 that was recently proposed by (the federal) government.

I am a medical professional and I have been a hunter for as long as I can remember and have always conducted myself within the laws of this country.

Hunting is a part of our heritage in Canada, upon which this country was founded. When our government starts attacking the very elements that define our culture, but half-heartedly go after criminals, I feel the need to voice my displeasure.

If I felt licenced hunters and firearm owners were a problem, I would have no issue with the proposed confiscation and buy-back program. However, law-abiding citizens are not the problem when dealing with gun-related violence in this country.

Why is the government going after firearms that are owned by licenced Canadian citizens, firearms that are stored in safes and closets under lock and key? The answer is simple, law-abiding gun owners are easy targets.

If the government told criminals to surrender their guns and the government would compensate them, the government would get zero guns. That’s what criminals do, disobey laws. In order for the current government to say it is hard on gun violence, it needs to actually have physical objects in its hands to show the Canadian public it actually has in its possession, some of the dangerous weapons it talks about. Because most Canadians are law-abiding, they will succeed in acquiring firearms. Those guns will then be held up and paraded to the public and the government will declare success. It will tell everyone it is proof of it “commitment” to gun control and it took the guns off the street.

None of its proposals or laws are taking any guns off the streets. With Bill C-21, those guns will be taken out of the houses of law-abiding Canadian citizens. It is political rhetoric at its finest, as most Canadians don’t know where guns are located and the government will knowingly take advantage of public ignorance to provide the façade that it is accomplishing gun-control.

More than 90% of gun-related crime in Canada is carried out by gangs using illegally smuggled guns. That is where we should be focusing our efforts, on smuggling and gangs.

The homicide rate in Canada is 2.12 per 100,000 Canadians. The homicide rate amongst licensed Canadian firearms owners, is 1.04 per 100,000. Firearms owners are half as likely as someone else in the Canadian public to commit a homicide, yet we are the targeted group.

According to the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs: “We continue to maintain that restricting lawful handgun ownership will not meaningfully address the real issue—illegal handguns obtained from the United States that have led to the disturbing current trend in gun violence that is largely related to gangs, street gangs and more sophisticated organized crime groups.”

According to on-the-ground law enforcement, the proposed government restrictions completely miss the mark and will have little meaningful effect on gun-related homicides in Canada.

The last gun control initiative by a Liberal government proved ineffective and cost Canadians more than $800 million before it was discontinued. This proposal requires much more intensive resources to execute.

According to the Fraser Institute, Bill C-21, the most recently proposed buy-back program in Canada, is expected to cost taxpayers between $2 billion and $6 billion.

So, even if you are not directly affected by having to surrender firearms, you will pay a massive (amount) in the form of taxes that experts claim will almost certainly be ineffective in significantly reducing gun-related homicides.

I strongly oppose Bill C-21 as its definition of dangerous firearms is ever expanding and now includes firearms that are rarely, if ever, used in homicides but are used in hunting.

Experts disagree with it. Take the billions of dollars intended to be spent on this program and put them towards anti-smuggling and anti-gang initiatives to really attack the problem at its root.

Stop this attack on law-abiding citizens and go after the real problem, the criminals.

Bart Robertson



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