I wandered around the Coalition for Gun Control's website this morning, just to see what they were up to. A headline caught my attention, because it's a flat-out lie.
April 2011- The gun registry never killed anyone. Ending it may. Stand up for safety.
How can this headline possibly be a lie? Do I have a crystal ball or something that let's me see into the future? Nope. I've got way better than that.
I've got the facts.
Clearly the Coalition for Gun Control either doesn't have them, or wants to ignore them. I suspect it's both. Ignorance of the facts is a critical part of the mindset that insists on tools that don't actually work.
Before we get to the facts, let's clear the air so all those anti-gun fanatics like Wendy Cukier and Beverly Akerman can have a little something to chew on.
I am a firearm owner. I like firearms. They're fun. I have 1st place trophies on the wall from two different shooting disciplines, and I've spent considerable time and energy learning about how to use firearms responsibly. I am a certified firearms instructor and range safety officer.
I am biased. I like guns.
I also like facts. I do my research. I want to make sure that my position is on solid ground, not foundering in emotional quicksand.
So, to the facts that prove the Coalition for Gun Control wrong...
First, we've got to define the term "gun registry". The rhetoric began with "Scrap Bill C-68". In 1995, Bill C-68 was the official designation for the bill that became Canada's Firearms Act and made amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada. This included both firearm owner licensing AND registration.
Reform, Canadian Alliance and then Conservative leaders went from "Repealing Bill C-68" and replacing it with functional law became watered down to "getting rid of the long gun registry."
The political football was transformed from abolishing the entire Firearms Act and starting over to "we're committed to ending the long gun registry" over the course of about 15 years.
What is important to remember that there is far more to Canada's Firearms Act (formerly known as Bill C-68) than just a "long gun registry".
So, with that background let's examine the Coalition for Gun Control's emphatically statement that "The gun registry never killed anyone."
One of the things that was included in Bill C-68, Canada's Firearms Act, were the "Aboriginal Exemption".
And this is where the Coalition for Gun Control shows either it's ignorance of the facts, or it's disdain for male Indian murder victims. Again, I suspect it's both.
Dead 15-year-old Indian boys don't make nearly as good "posters" for their cause, I suppose, nor does the fact that the law the Coalition for Gun Control so vigorously defends actually forced police to put the murder weapon into the hands of the man who murdered the 15-year-old.
As I wrote back in 2006 for Enter Stage Right,
“But 15-year-old Martin Angnatok is not a subject they want to discuss. It shines the light of reality on their little charade. And for God’s sake, don’t talk about the Firearms Act’s Aboriginal Exemption, which gave Martin’s murderer his firearm, despite a pre-existing firearms prohibition.
And let’s definitely not talk about the fact Martin’s murderer has never faced any charges, let alone a trial for killing the 15-year-old.”
Abraham Zarpa and Martin Angnatok are two names you'll want to remember as we move forward.
Abraham Zarpa is an Indian, or First Nations man, to be politically correct. He lived in Newfoundland at the time of the facts I'm about to relate. He had a Firearms Prohibition Order against him because of his history of violence and firearm misuse.
Quoting from MP Garry Breitkreuz's speech on this case:
On December 1, 1999, this prohibition order was lifted under section 113 of the Criminal Code - a section that was amended by Bill C-68. This section allows a prohibition order to be lifted by a “competent authority” if the person needs a firearm for sustenance or employment purposes. The Chief Firearms Officer of the Province of Newfoundland opposed the lifting of the prohibition order because of previous violence and weapons offences committed by Mr. Zarpa.
The court order, permitted by section 113, required the RCMP to give Mr. Zarpa his firearms when he wanted to go hunting. Mr. Zarpa was to return his firearms to the RCMP after each hunting trip.
On March 3, 2000, Mr. Zarpa went to the RCMP detachment and signed out his .223 calibre rifle from the RCMP.
On March 8, 2000, 15-year-old Martin Angnatok was murdered with this same firearm in Mr. Zarpa’s house, and Mr. Zarpa was charged with 2nd degree murder. Despite a court-ordered publication ban, we obtained the facts of the case from the transcript of the Preliminary Hearing held in December of 2000.
Following the 3-day preliminary hearing, Mr. Zarpa was held over for trial on the murder charge. On January 21, 2002, the court ordered a stay of proceedings.
Without the amendment for lifting a firearms prohibition passed in Bill C-68, 15-year-old Martin Angnatok may still have been alive today. In the very least, the RCMP would not have been forced to hand over the murder weapon.
Canada's Firearms Act is documented as being responsible for the murder of 15-year-old Martin Angnatok.
Abraham Zarpa, Martin's [alleged] murderer, has never stood trial despite the fact that police have all the evidence needed to convict him, and to get that conviction without skipping a beat.
I believe that Abraham Zarpa has never stood trial for Martin Angnatok's murder for entirely political reasons. It certainly has nothing to do with "justice."
If Canadians actually comprehended that Canada's Firearms Act forced police to put the murder weapon into the murder's hands, they would demand that law be changed.
That would mean opening up the entire "gun control" debate all over again though, and that's not something the likes of Wendy Cukier and her pet "Coalition for Gun Control" wants to happen.
The facts simply aren't on their side.