Twice-registered old favourite rifle will be off the books when the long gun registry ends.

Celebrating end to long-barrel registry

Last year I mentioned in this column that I was worried a bottle of bubbly I had purchased some time before would be flat before I could drink it to celebrate the end of the long gun registry in Canada.

Last year I mentioned in this column that I was worried a bottle of bubbly I had purchased some time before would be flat before I could drink it to celebrate the end of the long gun registry in Canada.

“Well, was it flat?” some readers are now wondering, assuming I consumed it on Feb. 15th to celebrate when Bill C-19, “The Ending the Long Gun Registry Act,” easily passed third and final reading in the House of Commons, by the substantial margin of 159 to 130.

No, it wasn’t, when, as flatness insurance, I chilled and killed it over New Year’s Eve and Day, then got a new bottle on sale to celebrate when “The Ending the Long Gun Registry Act” actually becomes the law of the land, perhaps in six months or so, if we’re lucky.

In Canada we have to remember it’s never over t’til it’s over. I remember the cautionary joke that when PM Diefenbaker announced plans to build the PEI Causeway, several citizens were drowned the next day, driving off the highway ends on both sides of the strait.

Bill C-19 must pass the Senate before it becomes law, and the opposition minority there, led by the Liberals, promises (threatens?) to hold lengthy hearings of witnesses we have already heard too much from. No filibuster is threatened by any Senate member, just the pledge to give the bill the “sober second thought it deserves.”

Liberal Senate leader, James Cowan said the Tories took five months to move Bill C-19 through the House, taking their time with an issue that pleases their base and is a good fundraising tool. “But certainly it won’ be in Senate longer than in the House.”

Even some slightly tipsy first thought, some paying of attention to fact and science rather than raw emotion, in either the House of Commons or the Senate, back in 1995 when the Liberals hastily enacted the long gun registry, would have saved the country going-on three billion dollars for a flawed and useless boondoggle that has never been shown to have saved even one life.

What it did do is insult, criminalize and politically activate countless thousands of lawful Canadian long gun owners, collectors, hunters, target shooters, farmers and ranchers, and probably cost the Liberals countless thousands (at least they have never counted them) of supporters forever, of which I became one, when I finally woke up in 1995.

Back when I was Firearms Committee Chairman for the Canadian Wildlife Federation, I constantly had to oppose the anti-firearms forays of Warren Allmand, the dizzy twit who was Solicitor General of Canada from ’70 to ’76. Starting about then, in columns, articles and speeches, I opposed much federal government anti-gun legislation and regulation (but not owner licencing, training and safe storage requirements).

Those public civil liberties — individual freedom — efforts cost me, I have several times been reliably informed, an appointment to Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench. Am I bitter? No. I understand, as a former occasional political hack, that loyalty always trumps independent honesty.

Such thoughts one has at the New Year while sipping some bubbly before it goes flat! What never ceases to amaze me is that the most ill-considered and hastily enacted laws are the hardest and take the longest to get rid of. It seems that the bigger the mistake, the harder it is for politicians to admit and correct it.

At the provincial level, in Alberta, it probably will take forever to get rid of some great errors that were enacted in haste and by totally ignoring science: game ranching, mandatory barbless hooks, and imposing zero limits on brown trout streams that were already at their carrying capacity.

Amazingly, the anti-gun faction was hurt, disappointed, and found it deplorable that, after the passage of Bill C-19, some Tory MPs and some lobbyists who had been fighting the long gun registry for 17 years and still counting, popped some bubbly and celebrated the passage in the House of “The Ending the Long Gun Registry Act.” Yet, the anti gunners somehow seem to expect the rest of us to celebrate the non-sequitur of the wonderful registry on each anniversary of 1989’s tragic Montreal Massacre.

To their credit, the Tories understood the long gun registry was not just about uselessness and horrendous cost; it was also about human rights, civil liberties and individual freedoms. The Liberals, who never understood any of that, now seem to understand that the Conservative’s current draconian anti-crime measures — more prisons, mandatory minimum sentences, government hacking into the computers of the nation — are human rights and civil liberties issues and matters of individual freedom.

Respect for the civil liberties and individual freedom and rights of ordinary citizens is too slippery an eel, it seems, for any one political party to grasp, head to tail.

Anti-gunners and politicians both be damned; I’ll exercise my freedom to pop the cork on my bottle of bubbly to celebrate, whenever Bill C-19 passes the Senate.

Bob Scammell is an award-winning outdoors writer living in Red Deer.

Just Posted

Pioneer life at Red Deer museum

Sunnybrook Farm Museum teaches students

Red Deer College student receives scholarship

Funding from Canadian Hearing Society

Central Alberta school districts are graded on their no-smoking policies

ASH wants them to tighten restrictions on tobacco, vaping, as well as cannabis

Free film shown in Red Deer Thursday to celebrate Recovery Day

A free film will be shown in Red Deer on Thursday about… Continue reading

Calder School takes shape in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum’s latest addition

Hushing my buzz: Alberta finance minister says cannabis warehouse will be secret

EDMONTON — Alberta is starting to stockpile marijuana but isn’t saying where… Continue reading

Relatives mourn death of Calgary-area woman killed by pet dog protecting child

CALGARY — Relatives of a Calgary-area woman killed by her own pet… Continue reading

Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at… Continue reading

Toronto election proceeding with 25 wards after court sides with province

TORONTO — Ontario’s top court has sided with the provincial government in… Continue reading

Scheer welcomes former Liberal MP Alleslev to Conservative caucus

OTTAWA — Andrew Scheer is trying to fire up his Conservative troops… Continue reading

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled today that Canada wants more… Continue reading

Uber driver suing Bucs’ QB Winston over groping incident

PHOENIX — A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay… Continue reading

Thousands of fans request grand jury probe of Prince’s death

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Prince fans are asking federal authorities to open… Continue reading

Most Read