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Posted: January 16, 2023

Urban rural divide is clear in gun control debate: MP

MP Rob Morrison

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison appeared before the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors Jan. 13 to provide an update to local elected officials on a variety of topics.

He ended his presentation speaking about gun control (Bill C-21).

“The problem I have with gun control is there is no evidence base. I’ve been in law enforcement for 30 years. I don’t think I ever arrested somebody who had a legal PAL (possession and acquisition licence) or R-PAL (restricted possession and acquisition licence) who had committed an offence.

“These are gangsters and organized crime. These guys don’t have any legal guns. Yet, to spend millions on recovering some guns – hunting rifles – from individuals in our community is absolutely unbelievable, with no evidence.

“We just had a police officer shot over Christmas in Ontario. At the same time, instead of talking about criminals – and that guy was prohibited – instead of talking about police doing something about that, the Public Safety Minister was talking about hiring a third party contractor to take guns away from legal gun owners.

“I can’t image what they are thinking,” MP Morrison exclaimed.

“To me, we need to focus on organized crime and gang activity,” he said, noting the money it will cost to buy back guns, “we can use that to fund enforcement. A lot of those guns are coming up from the United States.

“The other thing is, let’s focus on our youth by having some crime and prevention programs. Crime prevention means crime is never going to happen. So, you get into the schools and start talking about what it is like to be a gangster and going to jail and you try to deter youth from entering down that road of getting into a gang and then therefore getting a gun, shooting, going to jail and that cycle.”

Morrison spoke about Bill C-5, noting how before it someone caught doing a drive-by shooting would get a mandatory minimum sentence and that has now been softened “to probation. So you wonder how we’re going to get a grip on some of the behaviour that we have with organized crime and gangsters?”

Instead, he said, government is focussing on legal gun owners.

Moving forward, he said his party (Conservative Party) will continue to press the Liberals and NDP to see common sense with gun restrictions.

RDEK Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle asked the MP if Bill C-21 is “a bunch of smoke and mirrors” to eventually prohibit all handguns in Canada?

“At the last minute on C-21, they dropped a 300—page amendment that thousands and thousands and thousands of hunting rifles are on. So how hard would it be for them to drop an ‘all handguns are going to be prohibited?’”

Morrison also warned about language in the Bill, such as the word “style” – as in ‘military assault style’ weapon, noting the definition of the word is too vague.

In conclusion, the MP said he sees a growing divide between urban and rural Canadians.

Many urban Canadians have never owned a gun or been around them and do not understand hunters and hunting, he said.

“We also have shooters who that is their hobby and they (urban Canadians) do not understand that. All they see is a gangster shooting a handgun. It’s illegal; it’s prohibited; the gangster can’t have that. And they think, ‘let’s just prohibit all of them.’”

Morrison noted Bill C-21, if passed, will deny the passing on of guns (through inheritance or gifting) in families, which will further reduce the volume of legal guns in the country and achieve nothing in terms of cutting down numbers of illegal weapons.

He added that should the Conservative Party get back into power, it would repeal Bill C-21, which completed second reading on June 23, 2022 and is currently still in-committee.

Lead image: A handgun displayed at a gun show in Marysville in 2010. e-KNOW file photo

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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