by Terry Wieland
For longer than any of us have been alive, Americans have rejoiced in being known as “a nation of riflemen.” That’s probably not strictly true today—if, in fact, it ever was—but it’s the thought that counts.
In one of those weird juxtapositions which every columnist welcomes, since they give him something to write about, I had some interaction with the Canadian firearms authorities within minutes of having read an article in The Economist written by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oligarch.
Khodorkovsky wrote, in the wake of “Russia’s wild weekend” that “the fall of the Putin regime and the creation of a better Russia will not come about through the ballot box or other peaceful means but will require armed insurrection.
“Only an armed populace can topple this dictatorship.”
Now there’s something to think about in this day and age of velvet, orange (and other color) revolutions, wherein peaceful demonstrators drive out the nasty guys with nary a drop of blood shed. Now tell me where, in today’s Russia, you are going to find an armed populace. Good luck.
And Canada? Well, I have a Canadian gun licence, called a Possession & Acquisition Licence (PAL) that needs to be renewed every five years. I keep it because, well, who knows? Easier to jump through the hoops periodically to keep it than try to get it back at some later date. Since it was to expire in February, I sent in my application, photograph, and money last September. February came and went, putting me into the six-month grace period they allow. As I write this, I still don’t have it, and after emails, phone calls, conversations with several people, and literally hours on hold, I don’t know why. And in six weeks, the grace period ends and I will be technically in violation of the law, since I have several guns in storage in Canada.
For the past 30 years, whenever they have been in power, the Liberal Party of Canada has made concerted efforts to reduce gun ownership by every means they can think of: Tighter and tighter requirements to own a gun, restrictions on some types of gun, and outright bans on others. Most recently, they introduced a list of rifles that were to be banned that was so absurd, they finally withdrew it. For example, the Weatherby Mark V was to be banned, in every form, because they considered the .460 Weatherby too powerful, and jumped to the bizarre conclusion that every Mark V could easily be rebarreled to .460.
That gives you some idea of the mentality—to say nothing of intelligence and technical knowledge—of these people. The list was introduced as an amendment to a bill by a Liberal member of Chinese extraction, who immigrated, joined the police and, in 30 years, managed to rise to the dizzying rank of sergeant, thereby certifying him as a “former senior police officer with extensive knowledge of rifles.” All hogwash.