Six In The Morning: Guns, G8 Court Date, Happy Cute Bears

Prairie dog’s news aggregation post on Monday, August 23. Topics include the long gun registry, G8 protester court hearings and cute, friendly bears that the BC government wants to murder.

1 POTASH CORPORATION FORMALLY REJECTS TAKEOVER BID Read all about it (Leader-Post). They’re even talking about it on the Current on CBC national radio this morning. This post won’t make it up in time for me to give you a link but I’m sure there will be a podcast online later (CBC).

2 THE COPS WANT TO KEEP THE LONG GUN REGISTRY What do so many supposedly good Canadians who own firearms have against the police, I wonder? Maybe they have something to hide? Or maybe on this one topic, gun owners are completely fucking batshit wacky–so insane that they’ll even betray their presumed “law and order” values. (CBC)

3 EVERYBODY IN THE COURTROOM Hundreds of people–303 to be precise–have their day in court for heinous G8 protest crimes like wearing too many black clothes and having whistles and multi-tools (presumably a swiss army knife) in their backpacks. (Toronto Star)

4 GOVERNMENT WILL MATCH PAKISTAN FLOOD DONATIONS Well, good! (Globe And Mail) You can donate here (Oxfam).

5 BC MIGHT SENTENCE HAPPY, FRIENDLY POT-FIELD BEARS TO DEATH Surprisingly, when a government says it might murder cute bears, animal lovers blow 968 kinds of gaskets. (CP/Winnipeg Free Press)

6 WIKILEAKS MASTERMIND TRASHED BY INTERNET RUMOURS SAYING HE’S A RAPIST Weird. No, he’s not a rapist. But it sounds like it might not even be a CIA-orchestrated smear job. Regardless, if he’s refusing to use condoms he’s definitely a douche. (Guardian)

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

5 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Guns, G8 Court Date, Happy Cute Bears”

  1. re #2: With all the unregistered and illegal guns out there, police are trained to approach every situation with caution. Do you think the police officer would be lulled into a false sense of security with a non-hit on the registry database?

    Gun owners know that the first step toward confiscation, is registration. It happened in England and Australia. And there are a lot of cops out there too, who think the registry is bullshit.

  2. There are three parts to the firearms registry issue.

    First, is registration an unreasonable intrusion against personal liberty?

    Seanbot and other hardliners aside, it is hard to argue against the legitimacy of registration per se. We register our motor vehicles. We register our births and deaths. We register our real property.

    So, no, there is no inherent objection to registration per se.

    Second, is the registry sound public policy, based on a reasonable balance of risk and cost?

    Moderate opponents of the registry tend to hang their hats here rather than on some paranoid fear of confiscation. (That said, the overblown rhetoric of pro-registry extremists like Wendy Cukier only feeds the fears of extreme opponents.)

    In examining the effectiveness of the registry as public policy, most registry advocates dishonestly compare the registry to a hypothetical situation of no meaningful regulation of firearms. In fact, the appropriate comparison is to the status quo ante – where we registered legal firearms owners rather than the firearms themselves.

    While there is substantive evidence to support the proposition that the registry is better than no regulation at all, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that registration of firearms enhances public safety in a meaningful way compared to the previous system where all legally authorized firearms owners were registered.

    Finally, there is the issue of the proportionality of the penalties involved.

    Here, the registry runs into very real problems, given that the legislation set aside all constitutional protections against arbitrary search and siezure where the police “suspect” there may be illegal firearms. This would be, if you will, a G20 type moment for the vast number of responsible firearms owners – and frankly for everybody else. It means police do not need a warrant to search. Ever. Indeed, the section of the legislation is so constitutionally egregious it has actually been struck down by the Ontario courts.

    Unfortunately, the entire firearms debate has been overtaken by absolutist demagogues on either side. In Parliament, neither the pro-registry Liberals nor the anti-registry Conservatives are prepared to see any discussion of how reasonable and effective firearms regulation (with or without a registry) might be accomplished.

  3. Well said, Malcolm. And the chiefs of police might have q bit more credibility re: the long-gun registry if they didn’t also keep requesting things like preventive detention.

  4. I had a feeling typing something recklessly inflammatory and invoking the phrase “long gun” would encourage someone would say something interesting. Thanks Malcom.

    Most people just want a sane gun control/ registration regime. They don’t want to confiscate farmer’s hunting rifles. They DO quite reasonably think firearms should be accounted for.

    Too bad the issue is so politicized. The loony-toons gun attitudes in the U.S. probably aren’t helping.

  5. I agree, Stephen, that sane people want sane firearms regulation. Sane people legitimately differ on the value of a registry.

    However it misses a large part of the problem if we suggest that the unhelpful demagoguery and extremism is all on one side. Wendy Cukier and her erstwhile associates have deliberately demonized responsible and law-abiding gun owners with a startling degree of both arrogance and malice. And frankly, every public utterance from Cukier or from the more brainless Liberal leadership simply makes the paranoid ravings of the “gun nuts” seem credible.

    This leaves aside the blatant dishonesty of the pro-registry side in spinning the issue as though the choices are the registry or gunfights on every street corner. Honest people (and yes, there are honest people on both sides of the registry question) understand that the choice is between the registry and the status quo ante – under which firearms violence had been steadily falling for deecades.

    Unfortunately, Wendy Cukier and the leadership of the Liberal Party (and the Bloc) prefer to lie with the same alacrity as the National Firearms Association and the leadership of the Conservative Party.

    The only party that has made any effort in Parliament to discuss fair, effective and reasonable regulation of firearms has been the NDP – despite the serious disagreements within the caucus. And for their trouble, they are demonized by the lying demagogues on both sides.

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