What are the motives of our Opponents?

John Orth

There are two schools of thought among pro-gun advocates regarding the motives of those on the anti-gun side. Some believe that our opponents are liberal idiots. They are simply too dull witted to be capable of rational thought, and will continue to push for further restrictions on firearms, even in the face of mounting evidence that existing restrictions have done nothing to reduce crime. Others think the gun controllers have some sinister motive, probably the complete prohibition of all firearms, and the emphasis on gun control as a crime fighting measure is just a smokescreen.

I think both of these theories are true to a degree. Most rank and file gun controllers are liberal idiots. But this is only part of the story. Those at the top are not idiots at all, but crafty manipulators. Here are the reasons why I believe the Liberal power brokers are not telling us the truth about their gun control intentions.

1. They continue to push gun control even when they know it costs them votes. The Liberals are experts at one thing: getting elected. They can't manage the economy, create a fair Justice System, spend our money wisely, promote Canada's interests abroad, or reduce the internal divisions within the Country. However, they are experts at managing public opinion, interpreting poll numbers, bribing voters with their own money, slandering their competition, playing one section of the country against another, and rewarding their friends with patronage jobs or HRDC grants.

Some will argue that Liberals are naturally left leaning, which is true to a certain point. But they will lean this direction only as long as they think this tilt does not interfere with their prospects for re-election. In 1988 the Liberals opposed free trade with every ounce of strength they could muster. Now, they are all for it, and not just with the U.S., but with Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. Why the change? Because they realized that opposition to free trade cost them an election.

In 1993 the Liberals had no long range plans to balance the budget. (Their platform was to reduce the deficit to a certain percentage of the GNP within their first mandate.) A short while later they reversed themselves completely, and decided that eliminating the deficit was of paramount importance. What caused this sudden conversion to right wing economic thinking? Quite simple: The Reform Party shocked them when it took 52 seats by campaigning primarily on a balanced budget platform.

After telling us universal health care was a sacred trust, the Liberals removed $25 billion from the system when they decided debt reduction was more important. They reversed their long standing strategy of appeasement with Quebec when they adopted the Clarity Bill. They changed their thinking on Employment Insurance in 1995, then changed it back again when they realized it was costing them votes in Atlantic Canada. Finally, just a few months after telling Canadians who wanted lower taxes to move to the United States, Chretien has come up with a tax cutting budget that is nearly a carbon copy of the Alliance platform in some areas.

Truth is, the Liberals will change their position on anything, if they think it will enhance their chances of re-election. Anything, that is, except gun control.

Their absolute inflexibility on this issue is puzzling, because it is costing them an enormous amount of support in rural and small town ridings, while buying them almost nothing in a few large cities. It is very strange that a party with such a keen sense of vote detection should refuse to bend on an issue that is costing them so dearly, when they have flip-flopped on just about everything else. It becomes stranger still when one considers that outside of Quebec, there is no party squeezing them from the left on this issue. (Most of the remaining NDPer's are from rural areas, and oppose the Liberal registration scheme.) In other words, the Liberals could adopt a pro-gun platform without losing a single seat outside of Quebec, because there is nowhere else for the anti-gun vote to go.

As I see it, there is only one explanation for this curious behaviour. The Liberals are taking orders from someone. I will not speculate on who this might be. All I know for sure is that le petite dictator Jean Chretien would not do anything to jeopardize his re-election prospects, unless some grand dictator was twisting his arm.

2. They have concentrated their attacks on the wrong types of guns. The Liberals insist that gun control is intended as a crime fighting measure. Yet the types of guns that have been the focus of Liberal attacks have little to do with crime. Instead, they are the types of firearms citizens would need if they were to successfully resist a despotism. Such things as military style rifles, high capacity magazines, armour piercing ammunition, and .50 caliber sniper rifles have little or no history of criminal misuse. Yet all are prohibited.

For example, the FN-FAL is a Korean war era, battlefield rifle that was sold to more than 70 countries and used by most of the NATO partners at one time or another. In spite of this prolificacy, it had been used only once in a crime in Canada (a 1962 bank robbery by the 'beetle bandit') prior to being placed on the restricted list in 1983.

If crime control were truly the reason for firearms restrictions, double barrel shotguns would be among the first types of guns to be prohibited. (The sawed off shotgun is a popular weapon among armed robbers and young hoodlums.) Yet even such severely gun controlled nations as Japan and England allow people to own non-repeating shotguns. The explanation for this apparent oversight is simple. This type of gun is almost useless in a military encounter. Every country that has embarked on a program of strict gun control has concentrated its attacks on the types of firearms that citizens would need to oust a tyrant.

3. Gun control doesn't reduce crime. Anyone with the IQ of a turnip, who does even a modicum of research into the issue, must inevitably reach this conclusion. In fact, the evidence against gun control is so overwhelming that it is impossible to believe any reasonably intelligent person who has done his homework could reach an anti-gun conclusion.

As I argued in How Liberals think - a Study of Cognitive Dyslexia, many rank and file Liberals have a kind of mental impairment that causes them to reason with a kind of backwards logic. In effect, they do have IQ's less than that of a turnip. But the party leaders cannot possibly suffer from the same malady. No party can remain in power as long as the Liberals have over the last century without having people at the top who are capable of rational thought. So if those at the top of the Liberal power structure know gun control will not reduce random gun violence, and yet continue to claim it will do just that, it can mean only one thing: they have an ulterior motive.

4. The devious wording of the prohibition section of the Firearms Act. Prior to 1995 the section of the Firearms Act that dealt with prohibition stated that the Governor in Council (the cabinet) could not prohibit any firearm "that was commonly used in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes". When the law was rewritten by Allan Rock's evil minions a subtle but important change was made to the wording. The new law stated that the government could prohibit any firearm which was "in the opinion of the Governor in Council, not suitable for hunting or sporting purposes in Canada".

This seemingly minor change has major implications. With this new wording the Justice Minister could prohibit every gun in Canada, simply by declaring that he (or she) does not think any gun is suitable for hunting or target shooting, and everyone should be forced to use a bow and arrow. This awesome power was too much even for the Liberal members of the Justice Committee to stomach, so they changed it back to its original wording, then submitted the revised legislation to Mr. Rock for final approval. Incredibly, Mr. Rock changed the wording back again, overruling his own hand picked team of sycophants in the process.

One is left to wonder why the Liberals would go to such lengths to give themselves the power to ban every gun in the country, unless they intend to use it.

5. Rarely, a prominent Liberal will slip, and tell us what his true intentions are. I can provide only two examples, but they are important because they both come from men near the top of the Liberal power structure. The first is the now famous quote from our former Justice Minister "I came to Ottawa in November of last year with the firm belief the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers." The second is from Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray, talking about an international agreement to control the flow of small arms. "This could be the start of a global movement that would spur the development of an instrument to ban firearms worldwide that would be similar to our landmines initiative."

Mr. Chretien has lied about minor issues such as talking to homeless people and being unemployed in his youth. He has lied about major issues such as the removing the GST and cutting transfer payments to the provinces. He has lied to us about his gun control motives as well, but I doubt if many Canadians will be shocked by this revelation.