Opinion by Helge Nome
Canada’s long gun registry is coming on the chopping block in Parliament shortly.
A private member’s bill by a ruling conservative party MP is seeking to get rid of this list of names and associated hunting hardware, once and for all. This has been a long standing issue in Canadian politics, for rural people in particular, whose guns are a tool of their trade, just like chain saws, welders and such.
The idea that a long gun registry is some kind of deterrent against crime, is simply considered laughable by rural people. There are few arguments about registering hand guns and semi automatic weapons; it is the long gun registry that is the bone of contention. It is simply seen as an intrusion into the affairs of law abiding citizens.
From the point of view of private people, this white tax money gobbling elephant can probably be seen in the same light as the controversial compulsory census form recently scrapped by the Federal Government: A bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of private citizens.
I have a sense that something is happening in the Canadian psyche at this time: People are getting sick of the tail wagging the dog and politicians are beginning to pick up on that sentiment. Also, in British Columbia, our most western province in Canada, a recent petition to scrap a proposed harmonized sales tax (HST) grab gained enough signatures to give the BC legislature pause for sober second thought. Politicians are beginning to understand that just listening to vested interest groups in the bureaucracy and their media supporters can land them in the ranks of the unemployed after the next election.
We hire civil servants to look after our interests. Our elected people are supposed to ensure that they are doing just that, rather than building little competing empires around themselves. That principle applies to all organizations, from the smallest non-profits to the largest commercial corporations and government bodies. The natural tendency is for the opposite to happen. The only working remedy is eternal vigilance.