The Sporting Clubs
Volume 10, Number 1 January 2004
Message from the President
Happy New Year to you all!
And with a new year came new hope that after wasting more than a billion tax dollars on a gun registry that isn't working the Liberals would finally see the light and put this abomination out of its misery. However, it didn't take long for Paul Martin to start talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue. First he stated that programmes that weren't working would be terminated. In the next breath he said he still supports the firearm registry and would continue it because the money had already been spent.. This blatant contradiction sent newspaper writers and editors across the country into a frenzy. The National Post declared: "Wildly expensive and totally useless: Perhaps that should be the registry's motto."
Martin has tried to deflect some of the heat by announcing, you guessed it, another efficiency study (the 3rd or 4th, but who's counting) which would streamline the system and make it more effective. In an apparent contradiction, Albina Guarnieri, the Minister in charge of the review stated that everything was on the table. In all likelihood this is merely a ploy to calm down gun owners until after the next election which Martin is expected to call in April. However, the messages coming from the Liberals have been so mixed that it is hard to get a feel for exactly where they are going. There is a good chance that even they don't know. It is certainly difficult for them to continue to ignore the mounting public pressure to scrap the Registry (see the following article).
In fact, we have been randomly tracking editorials, columns and letters to the editor from publications across the country on a daily basis for the past several weeks. Those opposed to the registry have outnumbered those in favour by a factor of about 11 to 1. We are obviously winning the battle in the media and public opinion and it is only a matter of time before this effect carries over to the political scene.
And speaking of politics, the December '03 amalgamation of the Canadian Alliance and the PCs to form the new Conservative Party of Canada can only be good news for gun owners. It should eliminate much of the vote splitting which enabled some lame Liberal MPs to hold onto their seats by default. And while Jack Layton and the left wing NDP are no friends to gun owners, they will draw some votes from left-leaning Liberal supporters, making it even more difficult for weak MPs to get re-elected.. All of this will make for some very interesting political times in the coming months.
Lastly, for those of you who have not renewed your TSCON membership for 2004 let me remind you that we need your assistance to continue our work.. Whether it's holding gun shows for your entertainment, producing this newsletter to provide you with current information or running election ads to help elect candidates who will protect your interests, we can't do it without your support.
2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara". During that time we have assisted literally hundreds of local gun owners with legal and logistical problems, conducted dozens of informational meetings for gun, hunting and outdoor clubs and run or assisted with a half dozen major rallies and public forums. It is our intention that, with your assistance, we will continue this work until Bill C-68 (The Firearms Act) is scrapped and replaced with a firearm control system that is fair, efficient and considerate of the wants and needs of law-abiding gun owners. Please help us to achieve this goal.
Letters, We Need Letters
As noted in the "President's Message" a review of the current firearm legislation is in the offing. While this may well be a strategy to quiet gun owners down till after the election, we cannot base our actions on that assumption. Bill C-68, which subsequently became The Firearms Act is one of the biggest headaches the Liberals have ever created for themselves and they would like nothing better for it to just go away. Unfortunately for them, that won't happen until they change it dramatically or scrap it completely. For that reason it is extremely important that you let Albina Guarnieri and her committee know how you feel about this useless legislation. It is critical that you take fifteen or twenty minutes and put your feelings on paper. While e-mails, form letters and petitions have their place, nothing conveys to a politician the fact that you are pis**d off better than a personal letter. And while letter writing doesn't come easy to many people, now is the time it has to be done. Here are some guidelines to make it easier.
1.Keep it brief. Writing a long letter is difficult, will frustrate you and decreases the chance that the entire letter will be read. Keep it to three or four paragraphs.
2. Be polite. While the urge to insult a politician may be great (and often they deserve it) you want to show that you are reasonable person asking for reasonable changes. Calling someone an idiot isn't likely to sway them to your way of thinking.
3. Pick one or two main themes for the letter. Suggestions that the money would be better spent on more police, health care, women's shelters or mental health counseling are constructive alternatives.
4. Emphasizing that gun owners are in favour of reasonable controls and are willing to work with the government to develop such controls. Mention the National Firearms Association's "Practical Firearm Control System" (available on their website) www.nfa.ca/index/publications.html) as an example of a system that gun owners could live with.
5. Ask for a reply to your letter.
Remember, complaining to your hunting friends and gun club buddies does nothing to solve the problem. Writing letters might. When you have written your letter(s) address it as follows:
Hon. Albina Guarnieri
House of Commons
No postage is required.
DO IT NOW!!!
Letters to the Editor
It is no accident that more and more newspaper editors and columnists are coming over to our side. While it has taken years to accomplish, the thousands of letters gun owners have written to newspapers and magazines have had a dramatic effect. The great majority are factual, reasonable and persuasive. Newspaper writers notice that and so do the politicians who read the papers. For that reason it is important that you continue to write letters to these publications. Too many gun owners have written one letter, it didn't get published so they give up and never write again. Here are some reasons why letters don't get printed.
1. Too long. Anything over 250 words is too much. Stick to a single topic.
2. Too insulting or uses profanity. Newspapers won't print anything that can get them into liability problems.
3. Several letters on the same topic were submitted. They will only print so many letters on one subject. Yours may just be the odd man out.
To increase the chances of getting a letter published, follow the same rules as with writing to politicians. Keep them brief, to the point and reasonable. And remember, even letters that don't get published are valuable. The newspaper editor still reads them and they may sway his feelings about a topic and it keeps the gun issue on the radar. The longer it is in the public eye the more likely the government will have to deal with it. Many people oppose the Firearms Act who don't even own guns. The reason is that gun owners have shown them, by spoken or written words, why the legislation is so ineffective. Keep the letters coming. They are having a dramatic effect.
Latest Poll Results
The evidence continues to mount that Liberal's claimed public support forthe gun registry is getting harder to find than weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The latest data to torpedo this tired, old allegation is an on-line poll conducted by The Globe & Mail on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2004. Question - Is it time to scrap the Canadian gun registry? The results were as follows:
Yes - 19102 votes (71 %)
No - 7739 votes (29 %)
Total Votes: 26841
While polls of this type may be considered not scientifically accurate the following should be noted: The website only allowed voting once from a computer IP address, preventing a small number of people from voting numerous times and skewing the results. The total number of votes is significant Most polls conducted by phone only survey around 1000 people, so having nearly 27000 votes cast would add to the validity of the results. Lastly, The Globe and Mail is a large, eastern, metropolitan based newspaper with a readership that would tend to reflect urban rather than rural views. Given these facts, it is hard to visualize a demographic group that should be more supportive of the gun registry, yet the opposite is true. This is just more evidence that as the costs escalate and the shootings in Toronto continue, the Canadian public is becoming more and more aware that they have been sold a (very expensive) bill of goods by the Liberals.
Gun Show Regs Delayed (again)!
Still unable to get their act together, the government has had to delay implementation of the gun show regulations once again. This time they have been put off until Jan. 1, 2005. The good news out of this fiasco is that our gun shows will continue to run as before without government red tape for at least the coming year. Therefore, the tentative dates given in the last newsletter are now confirmed and the shows will run on those dates.Confirmed dates for our 2004 gun shows are:
This issue's award for firearm reporting buffoonery goes to Andrew Seymour, crime reporter for the Ottawa Sun. His column "Your Help Puts Crooks in Focus" contained this gem. In describing the antics of Daniel Worth, the "Shotgun Bandit" Seymour described him as a "... career criminal, who used a sawed-off M-1 rifle during several robberies and occasionally pumped the gun before pointing it at a terrified teller...". Even overlooking the fact that the "Shotgun Bandit" was using a rifle, M1 rifles (both the Garand and carbine) are semi-autos so we are stumped as to why or how he would pump them. And since both are gas operated, sawing them off would prevent them from shooting more than one shot. Nice research, Andrew!
Dishonourable mention goes to Paul Schliesman of the Kingston Whig Standard. Schliesman, who has bashed gun owners in previous editorials fired out these tidbits in a Jan. 19 editorial "The Police and Guns". He first describes the police semi-auto duty pistol as "A .40-calibre service revolver". He next proceeds to further shrink the number of gun owners in Canada from the government underestimate of 2.3 million when he refers to "...the million or so Canadian gun owners who possess firearms..." (as opposed to gun owners who don't possess firearms??). Nice research, Paul!
Know the Enemy
Gun owners are often surprised to find that companies they buy products or services from are, in fact, anti-gun. For example, I bought Levis jeans for years but found out fairly recently that they support anti-gun causes. My business now goes to other jean manufacturers. K-Mart lost me after Rosie O'Donnell's tirade against guns following the Columbine shootings.
If you would like to keep you dollars from falling into enemy hands you might want to check: http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=15
Some of the names and organizations may surprise you.
CDC Gun Law Review
Ever noticed that while anti-gunners always want to enact more laws to restrict gun ownership, they are hard pressed to produce any significant evidence that these laws actually decrease the criminal misuse of guns. Well, there may be a reason for this. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the results of a broad-ranging federal review of 51 studies to determine whether gun laws do, in fact, prevent violent crimes, firearm-related accidents, or suicides. CDC`s conclusion: there is "insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws." What is so remarkable about their conclusion is not what they found (how often do law-abiding gun owners commit crimes?) but that it was made by the CDC which has, at times, been so virulently anti-gun that in the late 90's the U.S. Congress actually reduced their funding because so much of it was being spent on 'junk science' studies that arrived at anti-gun conclusions.
In what has to be classic anti-gun thinking, since none of the 51 studies provided conclusive evidence that gun control laws have worked, the CDC recommended (you guessed it!) further study.
New Gun Show Table Booking Policy
Starting with the Feb. 20/04 gun show a new table booking policy will come into effect. While we are generally pleased with the way the shows are running, one problem which has chronically persisted has been getting vendors (especially those who attend the shows regularly) to contact Ted (our Gun Show Chairman) and confirm with him that they are coming to the show. Because we only have a limited number of tables available we have, on occasion, been put in the embarrassing situation of turning people down when they requested tables because we were counting on regular vendors to show up who then did not appear. This causes hard feelings with those who were turned down and makes the show look bad when patrons see blocks of empty tables. For these reasons the following procedures will be put in place effectively immediately.
1. If you are a vendor who wants to book tables for all the 2004 shows, payment in advance will be required for the entire year. This guarantees you the number of tables and hall location you want.
2. All tables not reserved in advance will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Vendors who do not pre-pay are, of course, welcome but cannot be guaranteed any specific number of tables or hall location.
3. Any tables not occupied by pre-paid vendors by 6:00 p.m. the day of the show will be sold to walk-in vendors unless Ted is notified before 6:00 p.m. that you are going to be late.
4. All pre-paid vendors must also be paid up members of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara". Your tables will not be reserved until you have paid your 2004 membership ($10).
While some may not agree with pre-paying, please keep the following in mind:
- $5 per table (for TSCON members) is the cheapest table rental of any gun show we are aware of.
- we are one of the only shows that provides help to vendors with loading and unloading their goods
- all money raised by "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" gun shows funds activities which help protect your right to own and use firearms. All TSCON members are volunteers who give their time on your behalf and don't receive a penny in return.
We thank vendors for their understanding and continued support. Any questions, concerns or complaints can be directed to Ted or Gerry Gamble.
Gun Show Location
All gun shows are held at:
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the Feb. 20/04 show, contact Ted Valliere at 905-935-3893. If you want tables, call early!
Gun Show Flyers
Do you own or work at a business that employs gun owners, have customers who own guns, attend out of town gun shows, belong to a sports club, church group or service organization that includes gun owners or just know the location of some public bulletin boards? Is so, help us make our gun shows more successful by posting or handing out our gun show flyers.
Contact TSCON and we will make sure that you get flyers to distribute. Also feel free to photocopy and distribute flyers as widely as possible.
This issue of the newsletter highlights two more local businesses which are supportive of firearm owners. Should you require services in these areas you should consider directing your business their way.
Thorold Veterinary Hospital
2-B Sullivan Ave. Thorold, ON L2V 2X9
R & J's Meats & Deli Carlton Heights Plaza
If you know of other pro-gun businesses that value firearm owners as customers let us know. We will be happy to list their names and addresses in the next issue of the newsletter.
All 2003 memberships expired on Dec. 31/03. If your mailing label does not say 04 you are not a paid up member for 2004. Help us continue our work by supporting TSCON with a membership. Complete the enclosed application card and send it in with your cheque. Just $10 a year! Aren't your guns worth it.
We would like to extend a welcome to the following gentlemen who have agreed to serve as Directors on the Executive. They are:
All three have been helping us out for some time on an informal basis and we are pleased to welcome them as formal members of the Executive.
Sale!! Trigger Locks
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" has trigger locks for sale. They aren't fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal. Locks are only $1.00 each! Pick them up at the club table at the gun show or call any member of the Executive. Large quantities available!
Hats and Crests
Available due to popular demand are our TSCON hats and crests. Prices are as follows:
Hats w/crest - $16
Crest only - $ 5
Hat & Crest - $20
They are available at the TSCON club table at all the gun shows or from any member of the Executive.
T-Shirts/Sweat Shirts - Now in Blue
Our popular "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" t-shirts and sweat shirts are now available in blue as well as gray and in a greater variety of sizes. Both are very good quality and available in the following sizes:
T-shirts M-XL $16
T-shirts XXL $18
Sweats - M-XL $20
Sweats - XXL $22
Get yours at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
Free Classified Ads for Members
Classified ads for shooting and hunting related items are free for members. Please call 905-685-4480 and submit ads by the dates listed for inclusion in the next newsletter:
>Vol. 10 #2 Mar. 17, 2004
>Vol. 10 #3 Aug. 14, 2004
Wanted: Will pay cash for wood decoys, any condition, call Paul 905-468-3073
Wanted : semi-auto 30-06 rifle in good shape, willing to borrow or purchase, call Fred 905-684-5909
For Sale: Auto Ordnance Thompson, .22 LR, semi-auto, two mags (25 and 50 rounds), prohibited, G, asking $500 call Jack 905-937-8397
For Sale: Winchester Model 71 (1937), .348 Win, Williams receiver sight, professionally refinished, EX, asking $750 Sako Classic Hunter, .338 Win Mag, Simmons 3-9X42 Expedition scope, like new, asking $1500 or trade for an O/U in 20 or 28 gauge, call Paul 905-892-1737
Will Trade: Delta 10" table saw Model QT10, 1 hp w/stand, as new for a 30-06 semi-auto rifle in good condition or what have you? Call Terry 705-786-0154
For Sale: Remington 870 12 ga., full choke, asking $300 Fox Model B SxS, 12 ga, F & M chokes, asking $350, Iver Johnson 12 ga, single shot, full choke, asking $50 Cooey Model 60, .22 LR, bolt action, asking $60, call Peter 905-688-5221
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
For address changes, duplicate mailings, removal from the mailing list or if you want a newsletter call 905-685-4480.
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building, next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie
When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.
Who? Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend.
TSCON Web Site
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our web site:
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
General 905-685-4480 or 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-935-3893
DRAW PRIZE WINNERS
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Please call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to claim your prize.
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Free PAL Test (transferrable)
Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)