THUNDER BAY, ON ---- January 16, 2011 ---- Comments made by federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tuscon, Arizona demonstrated that when it comes to gun control in Canada, Mr. Ignatieff still doesn't understand what the phrase means, or the abject failure of the system brought in by a Liberal government in the 1990's.
"In reacting to the shooting of several people by an apparently deranged individual, Mr. Ignatieff used the opportunity to tout the virtues of the gun registry in Canada, not only displaying appalling judgement, but a continuing and deliberate failure to recognize the difference between licensing and registration," said O.F.A.H. Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, Greg Farrant. "Clearly people who have mental health issues should not have access to firearms, which is what the licensing of firearms owners is all about. The licensing system in Canada involves courses, testing, screening and background checks by law enforcement before a license is issued. People who should not have firearms are routinely refused a license once the mandatory checks have been completed. Licensing focuses on the individual, and determines whether or not an individual can own a firearm. It is completely separate from the gun registry that the Liberal party continues to defend, which focuses on the firearm and does nothing to stop anyone from illegally obtaining a firearm and using it to commit a crime.
"The sooner Mr. Ignatieff acknowledges this basic principle, the sooner we can move to eliminate the time, energy and money that is wasted on the long gun registry, and instead, use these resources to create programs that deal with mental illness and prevent prohibited offenders from obtaining guns in the first place, something the registry does not and cannot do. Suggesting that gun control and registration are one and the same is ridiculous."
The O.F.A.H. is particularly disappointed that despite Mr. Ignatieff's claim that he does not want to make this a 'big political issue', by commenting on the Tuscon tragedy on the eve of his departure for a cross-country pre-election tour, he has shown that when it comes to politics, nothing is sacred.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.