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07/10/2010

Harper Lost The Battle Of Gun Control


It was a close call as the parliamentarians voted 153 to 151 to refuse the bill to repeal the long-un registry act. It was a very divisive debate which most likely will have serious effects in the next elections. Harper did not give up and continued the struggle, which has pitted advocates of gun control against a long tradition of hunting and trapping in Canada. The prime minister affirmed that "The people of the regions of this country are never going to accept being treated like criminals and we will continue our efforts until this registry is finally abolished".

As a direct response to the horrible killing of 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989, a former Liberal government brought in 1995 a registry which consisted of 6.5 million rifles and shotguns. Victims groups and police praise the firearms registry, saying it has considerably contributed to the overall public safety. On the contrary, it is very unpopular in the rural areas of Canada with hunters and farmers, and critics brand it a wasteful attack on law-abiding gun owners.

The population of Canada is practically divided in two regarding this serious issue, with a slightly yet significant majority that feels that it has helped reduce crime, according to the latest surveys. A similar situation is available in the United States. As far as the conservatives are concerned, this loss of the bill to scrap the firearms registry emphasizes the weakness of the Harper government.

 
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