Attack on firearms is simply a distraction

By MPP Bobbi Ann Brady

I am not a gun owner. I didn’t grow up in a house of hunters. Therefore, as I defend Canada’s legal gun owners, I have no personal interest in protecting them. I do have a great deal of admiration for those who are able to fill their freezers and feed their families.

As of late, there’s been a great deal of chatter over guns – that’s purposeful; most every time the gun debate turns up, it is intentional.

For the past seven years, the federal Liberals have said they would not come after the firearms of farmers and hunters but have now put forward an amendment that would ban almost all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. Over one million legally purchased hunting rifles and shotguns are at risk of being banned and confiscated.

If you look back on the history of introducing additional gun control, you will quickly note that it’s a time when the government must create a distraction. Right now, Justin Trudeau doesn’t want us focussed on the Emergencies Act inquiry or the election interference from China. Legal, law-abiding gun owners are always an easy target – the low-hanging fruit. 

Recently, I asked Ontario’s Solicitor General whether Ontario would abet Justin Trudeau as the PM has asked all provinces to participate in the confiscation, which police would execute. I did not get a straight answer, but to his credit, Michael Kerzner said that sport shooters, hunters, and farmers are not the problem regarding gun crime. The problem primarily lies with organized crime and gangs. 

What truly bothers me is that Justin Trudeau is doing this under the guise of public safety, and he wants you to believe he’s doing it all to keep your family safe. Don’t be fooled – his latest idea of having police in Canadian provinces working to confiscate guns from legal gun owners will put you and your family at greater risk and hit you in the pocketbook, too.

Police will be removed from our streets, putting more power in the hands of criminals. There will be fewer police officers to investigate domestic violence, homicides, and the real problem with guns – gangs and smuggling!

Ask yourself why the federal government is lowering the sentences for gangsters and moving in on law-abiding citizens. Canada has some of the strictest gun control, yet gun crime escalates. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. 

The answer to dealing with gun crime is to focus on better border enforcement and stricter bail and sentencing conditions. Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Chief James Ramer agree with me. Mayor Tory and Chief Ramer are from Canada’s biggest city – a city that sees more gun crime than anywhere else in Canada. 

As I told the Ontario Legislature recently, guns on the street are coming underground into our cities from the United States. The Premier has spoken out on this issue, and I applaud him for doing so. Now, the Premier must join the prairie provinces, New Brunswick and Yukon, in telling the Prime Minister that Ontario is not interested in feel-good policy. Saskatchewan has passed legislation to make it cost-prohibitive for the federal government to confiscate firearms in the province.

If governments were to bring forward ideas that would keep our streets safe, I’d be the first to stand in my place and vote in favour. In my 23-year political career, I’ve maintained headlines on the six o’clock news never translated into sound public policy. In this case, it gives the people of Ontario a false sense of security at their enormous expense.

Bobbi Ann Brady is the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk