Doomed, I tell you!:
Why I changed my mind about the long-gun registryWhich is typical. As Congressman Adam Putnam put it, governments only do two things well: nothing, and overreact. The urge to "DO SOMETHING!" is overwhelming, when doing nothing is usually the appropriate response.
Patricia Dawn Robertson
Wakaw, Sask. — From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 4:44PM EST Last updated on Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 1:57AM EST
I'm not a hunter. I also don't own a gun. Yet, after five years of residing in the country, I've radically shifted my position on gun control from pro to con.
Before you start humming the eerie banjo strains from Deliverance, hear me out. Not every rural resident is a gun-toting, liberal-baiting, paramilitary commando.
Nor are rural Canadians stand-ins for the laconic cast of Fargo. I'm a feminist, a progressive and an organic gardener, yet I support the Conservative bill to pull long guns from the national registry.
After many years of fighting to have long guns exempted, lobbyists are finally seeing some movement from Ottawa. Conservative backbencher Candice Hoeppner, the Annie Oakley of Portage la Prairie, introduced her controversial private member's bill last week to end the long-gun registry. Its passage is a victory for rural Canadians. But why can't they convince their dogmatic city neighbours that it's a fair compromise?
In December of 1989, as the Montreal massacre unfolded, I was enrolled in women's studies at York University. Like many Canadians, I wanted my government to do something.
When the registry was introduced in 1995, I supported it. But, as an urban resident, I only saw the issue from that perspective.And the population concentrated in urban areas - ignorant of wider perspectives - are almost uniformly Leftist. It's a "captive audience" effect, I suppose.
The Prime Minister must make good on his promise to scrap the registry. The Liberal approach has proved to be an overzealous and ineffective strategy for fighting urban crime. Allan Rock's bill was predominantly targeted at reassuring his urban base that city streets and campuses would be safe again. When the registry was first introduced, vocal opponents were dismissed as gun nuts, while the Liberals took the moral high ground in a misguided bid to reduce urban crime and violence against women.And this is why it is crucial for the gun-owner demographic to not decline to the point where they have no voice in the political process, which has happened in the UK. "Normalization" of gun ownership is a requirement to maintaining that voice. People must see gun owners as "responsible, respectabl citizens, not criminals who need to be tracked and tagged," and for that to happen they must be SEEN. When less than one-half of one percent of a population legally owns a firearm, that can't happen.
I'm not the only feminist who identifies with the Annie Oakley demographic. I wrote a feature about gun control for the Western Standard in 2004, and my subjects, educated female hunters, loathed the registry. This bloated $2-billion policy proved to be a knee-jerk response to a deeper social problem – why wasn't all of this money allocated to stem the flow of illegal handguns across the Canada-U.S. border?
This complex issue is at the heart of the urban-rural split in Canada. I'm living proof that it's possible to be a New Yorker reader and a long-gun registry debunker.
What changed my mind about such a hot-button issue? Living side by side with Prairie farmers has been an invaluable lesson in tolerance. While urbanites fear the sound of gunshots on their streets, the sound of gunfire is as commonplace in the country as the roar of Cherry Bomb headers on an F-150.
Rural long-gun owners are responsible, respectable citizens, not criminals who need to be tracked and tagged. They use guns for pest control on their farms. They hunt deer and elk to fill the freezer just as urbanites stock up at Costco. For farmers, it's a much harsher, frontier way of life.
Camo-clad hunters aren't holding up 7-Elevens. These wealthy American sportsmen are the mainstay of Saskatchewan's tourism economy.She even gets in a pro-Sarah shot! I'm shocked!
The Daily Show mocks Sarah Palin for her hunting expeditions, but she's right in step with the rural lifestyle. Self-sufficiency is the key to survival: Chop wood, carry water, grow your own food, hunt for protein, shingle a roof. In the country, a gun is another tool, like a reciprocating saw – not a weapon. Next, paranoid urbanites will demand that farmers “register” their eight-pound chopping mauls.
Common sense dictates that tracking hunters and farmers is not the answer. Why not target rejected engineering students, angry loners, frustrated WCB claimants or military personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder?Because that would be profiling!
My own private citizen's bill would propose a BlackBerry registry for urban nano-nerds who drive and text. They're far more dangerous than that gun-toting Elmer Fudd of the Back Forty.And she concludes with a shot at the Fudds! (Though I doubt she's familiary with the term from a gunnie's perspective.
When self-professed Leftist Feminists (but I repeat myself) oppose the registry, it's toast, sooner or later.