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March 22, 2009

Stephen Harper's Gun Raffle

CANADA - Last night Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters' annual meeting in Mississauga, and then they held a gun raffle for two hunting rifles.

A spokesperson for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which represents 83,000 members in 655 hunting and fishing clubs in Ontario, said whoever won the raffle would be required to show a firearm licence before taking the rifles home. The federation is supported by both Conservatives and Liberals.

Please, before you criticize Harper for taking part in a gun raffle (sounds irresponsible doesn't it?), remember that hunting rifles are rarely ever used in crimes.

This comes just days after Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz was dropped from a controversial speaking engagement at a gun lobby dinner featuring a 9mm Beretta handgun as a raffle prize. (9mm Berettas are regularly used in crime...)

The law-abiding qualities of hunters was a central theme in Stephen Harper's speech, which focused in large part on his opposition to the federal long gun (shotgun or rifle) registry, which Harper and gun advocates wants to scrap.

But that by itself would be silly. Rifles (and more frequently shotguns) are still used in crimes. Sawed-off shotguns are a weapon of choice amongst some criminals. The registry is necessary to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, and if they do get sold to a criminal the government can track who bought and sold them.

And to some extent he's right. Long guns are rarely used in crimes, handguns are the weapon of choice for criminals. What really needs to happen is the creation of a National Gun Registry, where all guns are registered.

The other thing that needs to happen is the creation of a RCMP taskforce, complete with undercover officers, aimed at gun smugglers and black market gun sales.

See Also:
Gun Control in Canada
Handguns in Canada
Killer Goth on the Rampage in Montreal
Laser Weapons in the Hands of Canadian Soldiers
Cop Killer in Ontario

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