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Dumb and insensitive.

The optics of this little stunt that Saskatchewan MP Garry Breitkreuz is involved in, are rather bad, to say the least:

A Saskatchewan Conservative MP is coming under fire for his starring role at a gun lobby dinner in the Greater Toronto area next month where the raffle prize is a Beretta semi-automatic handgun. Garry Breitkreuz is the guest speaker at the Canadian Shooting Sports Association’s (CSSA) annual general meeting and dinner on April 18 in Mississauga, where he’s to be lauded for his private member’s bill to abolish Canada’s controversial long-gun registry and relax rules on prohibited and restricted weapons.

You’re in a city that is trying to get guns off of their streets, and here we have a group giving away a gun as a prize that has a government MP in attendance. Dumb, dumb, dumb optics, folks. Reaction has been swift:

The raffle has left others in disbelief, including an official at Montreal’s Dawson College, where a gunman carrying a Beretta semi-automatic carbine opened fire on Sept. 13, 2006, killing one student and wounding 13 others. “As someone who has seen first-hand the wounds – physical and mental – of people who have been victims of gun violence, (a gun giveaway) has no place in my Canada,” Donna Varrica, Dawson’s director of communications, told the Star.

Meanwhile, a reminder that the police – the folks that the Conservatives supposedly are big supporters of – oppose the dropping of the registry:

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which supports the long-gun registry, said Breitkreuz’s bill, up for second reading vote on April 22, “would seriously compromise” public safety. The police association warns it relaxes the control on machine guns by allowing the transport of fully automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons to civilian shooting ranges and relaxes the current restrictions on handguns, semi-automatic assault and tactical weapons.“All guns are potentially dangerous, all guns owners need to be licensed, all guns need to be registered and gun owners need to be accountable for their firearms.”

Well said. If MP Breitkreuz wants to speak at this event lauding his attempts to allow guns more easily accessible to criminals, as well as gun collectors, that’s his right, but its bad symbolism and bad optics to be giving away a gun as a prize. That part of this pro-gun gala should be scrapped.

UPDATE: BCL has a picture of the little flyer this group has been bandying about, as well as a picture of the Beretta.

UPDATE 2 @ 1:45 pm: Also via BCL, The gun lobby group has withdrawn their invite to the Saskatchewan MP, but they will still raffle off the gun. Seems to me they’ve done the reverse of what they should have done; keep the invite, but cancel the gun raffle.

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6 comments to Dumb and insensitive.

  • kwittet

    Just did a full search of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs web site..nothing on there search for Breitkreuz bill.
    NOTHING
    and no name mentioned in the STAR article so????

  • kwittet

    Sorry..i should have said owned legally buy private citizens
    and guns are not dangerous until a person with criminal intent picks it up and uses it for criminal reasons.
    you could use the same argument for knives, cars while the driver is impaired(which i think if you kill someone and you are impaired it should be murder NO PAROLE) baseball bats or anything that could be used as a weapon.
    Lets ban everything.

  • kwittet

    The police association warns it relaxes the control on machine guns by allowing the transport of fully automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons to civilian shooting ranges

    the above statement is such bullshit..i dont know where you got this information from but fully automatic and semi automatic assualt rifles are BANNED AND PROHIBITED. meaning they are not allowed to be owned by anyone except police and army personel.
    typical LIBERAL scare mongering.
    I know because I have had a FAC and now a PAL licence since I was 16 years old.
    Check your facts before you spew bullshit.
    And guns are not dangerous…i can load my gun and leave it sitting there for years….it only becomes dangerous when some one who has criminal intent picks it up..then the gun is simply a tool. it is the criminal that is dangerous!!

  • C’mon Mike…don’t you know that guns aimlessly wander the streets all by themselves, randomly shooting people left and right?

    I mean, considering a (low) estimate of 7 million guns in Canada and that there are some 8100 gun crimes committed in Canada every year…assuming that each gun crime is committed with a different gun…that means that this new gun added “to the streets” has a whopping twelve one hundredths of one percent (.12%) chance of being used in a crime.

    That’s just unacceptable. I mean, this gun being used in a crime is almost as likely as you being run over by a train. On February 29th. While in your living room.

    Scott’s outrage is OBVIOUSLY well founded.

  • Ok, where to begin.

    Sigh.

    You’re in a city that is trying to get guns off of their streets, and here we have a group giving away a gun as a prize that has a government MP in attendance. Dumb, dumb, dumb optics, folks

    He gave away a perfectly legal prize to a law abiding citizen. He didn’t hand it out to gang-banger on the corner of Queen and Church. The members of that “gun lobby” who will be attending the dinner are people who have passed the rigid Canadian regulation that allow them to own and transport a weapon of this type. So it will be given away to people the government already deems responsible enough to own one. I don’t see the problem.

    As for Donna Varrica, well, I understand where she is coming from but most guns in this country are not used to commit crime. Would those who have been the victims of hit-and-run or other vehicular death be outraged if they gave away a car? Do not blame the actions of a mad man on the tool he chooses to use, rather than on his own twisted individual madness.

    Meanwhile, a reminder that the police – the folks that the Conservatives supposedly are big supporters of – oppose the dropping of the registry:

    Who cares? The police would love any kind of program that let them exercise control over people. Would you be arguing this if he was talking about getting rid of Taser user? I mean, clearly the police want that too… In fact, I’d say if the police want something this bad, it must invade our privacy too much and that is reason enough right there to get rid of it.

    If MP Breitkreuz wants to speak at this event lauding his attempts to allow guns more easily accessible to criminals, as well as gun collectors,

    Uhm, how exactly will relaxed gun laws make guns easier for criminals to get? Right now, criminals are just about the only ones who CAN get a hand gun. And they come up from the US, not from Canadians or Canadian collectors. And why is that? Well, like drugs, the fact that it is illegal and banned is what drives the profit. The demand is there but the risk is so high only criminal gangs will take the risk, meaning supply is low. This means the price is high and profits are higher.

    Its the same logic for the legalization of marijuana – legalize, take away the bans and the profit is gone for organized crime. Banning and creating the scarcity only drives customers and profits to the very people you are trying to keep guns away from.

    And again, to the main point, I still don;t see how giving a gun away to law-abiding citizens who are already vetted and okayed by the government to own this kind of gun will lead to where you think it will go.

    And damn you for making me defend a Conservative. But in this case the Conservative is right.

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