Fighter pilot, Royal Navy 1945, Hydrographer Iraq 1947-52 India 1952-53, Canadian Hydrographic Arctic explorer 1953-1960, Writer-producer Canadian National Film Board 1961-72, Freelance journalist, audio-visual producer 1972-2009, National Press Club of Canada 1961 - 2006

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

That Twirpy Law of the Gun

Give me my money back stupid...
The Liberal government that was in office a dozen years ago owes me about $25, plus the compound interest it would have earned over the past dozen years if they hadn’t nicked it from me in 2001.  Plus recompense for mental trauma and distress.
Because sometime back in the 1950s I bought an ex-army Lee-Enfield 303, modified as a hunting rifle.  It cost me about $25 from the sports section of the local Canadian Tire store.  I suppose that back then I had some sort of idea of going out in the woods and getting myself a couple of hundred pounds of venison.
As it turned out I never fired even one shot from that gun.  I did lend it to a friend who went off with a hunting group for a few days but I think I mainly bought it in case of some dire emergency need.  Like for example, if the cold war had ever become actively nuclear and taken us back to basic primitive living conditions.
So the 303 hung up in my basement, untouched except for a dusting or polishing, for more than forty years.
Then the Liberals decided that honest citizens could not be trusted with a firearm.  All Canadian gun owners would be forced to register annually with the police in a very complicated manner and pass examinations designed to curb any criminal tendencies they probably nurtured.  Also they decided to extort an annual fee from each gun owner as a kind of preliminary penalty for inbuilt incipient guilt.  
So suddenly thousands of peaceful farmers, hunters, sportsmen and others were turned into suspect murderers.
Including people like me who, despite having received strict training and practice with Lee Enfield 303 rifles in 1941 at the age of fifteen, and every following year at annual summer camp as an air force cadet, then even stricter training and deployment of all kinds of weapons during my wartime service beginning in 1943. 
Meanwhile criminals, obviously excused from the new law, still carried their illegal small-arms around with them as usual, quite unbothered by the new skewed off-purpose authority. 
So, when the deadline arrived to defend my suspected criminality, not wanting any bother, I surrendered to naive foolishness and took my nice 303, and also a .22 rifle I’d had for many years, to a police station and turned them in for destruction.  (Hmmm! I wonder).
Now, at last, the Conservative government has reversed the stupid law against long guns.  Canadians can again now freely buy and use rifles and shotguns, as could their forefathers who founded the nation.  
But my lovely and innocent 303 is still just a memory.  
So at least, Government, give me back my money (or my 303 if it’s still around).
At the time the stupid Liberals, said their registration plan would cost just a couple of $million.  In fact it went way over a $billion.  And was useless.  Didn’t save one life, nor deter any criminals.  
The inspired, or insipid, Liberal Minister mainly responsible, one Allan Rock, is now the president of the University of Ottawa.  
Hmmm!  Makes one think.