CSSA NEWSLETTER AUGUST 6th 2013
CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – August 08, 2013
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COMMENTARY: GENEROUS OFFER FROM THE SHOOTING EDGE
High Lake residents who want free storage and/or access to industrial firearms cleaner can take advantage of an offer from JR Cox at The Shooting Edge in Calgary. The front page of the August edition of the marketing publication, Canadian Access to Firearms (www.canadianguns.com), displays the following offer:
“The entire Edge Group family would like to personally thank everyone across Canada for your support during our recent flood in Alberta. We were fortunate in that the business remained dry and only a small number of staff was affected, but the sincere outpouring of assistance was humbling. Again, thank you!
However, there are many that still need assistance. For this, we freely offer our services for: 1) temporary storage of firearms for anyone needing to keep them in a safe and dry place; and 2) free use of our industrial firearms cleaner.
Just come on in and ask to speak to one of our managers and we will make this as simple and easy for you. There is no membership, payment, or small print necessary to make use of this offer. As long as it is legal, we will help in any way we can.
JR — Owner”
The CSSA believes this is western hospitality at its best. Meanwhile, the RCMP offered to store firearms for High River residents, too. Many local gun owners don’t trust the motives of the police after having their firearms confiscated during the flood.
There is widespread speculation that the RCMP removed guns from private homes after some High River residents complained vehemently that they were being unfairly barricaded from their homes and belongings. The question remains – did police use the firearms licence database to collect guns from specific addresses because they feared a public backlash to their roadblocks?
While suspicion mounts that the RCMP confiscations were a pre-emptive strike against gun owners, it is heartening to see The Shooting Edge offer real help to the affected firearms community at no charge.
COMMENTARY: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT SENSE IN SHOOTING SPORTS
Practising your shooting technique won’t make you perfect, but it does make perfect sense.
Like most sports, there is a feeling of real accomplishment, confidence and enjoyment when you strive for your personal best. Whether you are a target shooter, game hunter or varmint plinker, you soon discover that the more you train, the more you hit.
Sport shooters have an added incentive to get out to the range or into the bush. The adversarial anti-gun faction hopes that responsible gun owners will abandon shooting altogether when they get frustrated enough. That’s why they try to increase shooters’ frustration by pressing for shooting range closures, Draconian laws, and expensive court procedures designed to kill your spirit. We must not let them succeed.
Every time a sport shooter pulls the trigger, the scales tip in our favour. You do the firearms community and yourself a favour. With summer soon on the wane, there is more to enjoy than corn on the cob. Hunting season is on the way, and all sporting activities benefit from a bit of training camp. Unfortunately, a few hunters fire their rifles only when there is game in their cross-hairs. Every ethical hunter wants to drop their quarry in its tracks for humane reasons, and the probability increases with practice.
In effect, every sport shooter is on trial during the hunting season. Shooting mishaps are exploited by some media agencies in an effort to turn the anti-gun screws ever tighter. The responsible behaviour of the individual in the field is good for the entire firearms community. Know your equipment, understand the potential of your ammo, and always know what lies behind your target. It’s to our credit that the vast majority of responsible gun owners pay near-manic attention to safety. But, it takes just one miscalculation to turn a great day into a tragedy. While we must appreciate the gravity in our sport, we need not let it weigh us down – have fun, too!
Firearms- and archery-related sports in Canada generate more than a billion dollars in commercial gain for sporting goods stores, dealers, manufacturers and yes, the government. Gun owners dedicate their time, money and expertise to their country’s heritage. Sport shooters have every right to be proud of their heritage activities and the expertise they develop. The CSSA is proud to play a role in maintaining and expanding the shooting sports in Canada.
We congratulate all those firearms clubs and ranges that sponsor myriad competitions and special events that demonstrate to Canadians we are here to stay.
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
RECENTLY IN THE NEWS:
SHOOTING CLUB HOLDS SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL MATCH: If you’re looking for The Galt Sportsmens Club this weekend, just follow your ears. (Ed. note –this event was held last week)
Some of the best sporting clay shooters on the planet are gathered here for their world championships, and the sounds of their shotguns blasting across this 263-acre site in Puslinch Township are hard to miss.
For the first time, the World English Sporting Championships is being held on Canadian soil — a feather in the cap for the Galt club that started in 1954. Until Sunday, they’re hosting nearly 350 male and female competitors, from New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Britain, the U.S. and beyond.
And for enthusiasts of clay shooting — a sport where shooters fire lead shot at flying clay targets, or “birds” — the shooters are putting on quite a show. They include 21-time world champ George Digweed and Richard Faulds, an Olympic gold medallist in trap shooting.
“We’ve got the top shooter in the world here. He’s the Usain Bolt of shooting,” said Jerry Gagnon, who co-organized the six-day event. “I’m a good shot, but these guys are at another level.”
Clay pigeon shooting originated as a way for hunters to practise their skills, and there’s still clay targets designed to mimic flying ducks, fleeing pheasants, soaring geese and bouncing rabbits. But for a lot of competitors, it beats sitting for hours in the marsh waiting for a bird to fly by — and there’s no animals being killed.
“I don’t hunt. But with this, you pull the trigger, it goes ‘bang,’ and something breaks,” said Paul Trommler, who travelled 4,300 kilometres from Grand Prairie, Alta. to be here. “It’s a challenge, you’re competing with yourself.”
Nearby, the club has an extensive wooded section where competitors rotate from stand to stand, kind of like a tee box in golf, and shoot at “birds” launched by a “trap” machine controlled by a referee holding a remote control.
“Some people like golf, some people like shooting. The only difference is my targets explode, and theirs land on the grass,” said Foster Ardizzi of Toronto.
The biggest challenge in the sport is a variation called FITASC, a French acronym for a competition designed to simulate live game and birds. The targets are moving faster, at more deceptive angles, and are sometimes launched two at a time.
It’s like “sporting clay birds on steroids,” said Karen Dolan, a referee from outside Rochester, N.Y. But, it’s still a gentlemen’s sport, with its own dress code — collar shirts are a must, and no sandals or cut-off shorts.
Organizer Robert Meisner, who spent six months getting the Galt club ready for this and built the wooded shooting ranges himself, said the very best in the sport would shoot up to 60,000 targets a year. At that level, sport shooting is their full-time job, with competitors earning a decent living through sponsors, cash purses and as coaches.
For this event, they’ve trucked in tens of thousands of clay targets, and a worker is driving a utility cart non-stop from trap to trap, filling up the machines. Gun manufacturers and suppliers are here, too, selling their wares to this targeted audience.
Anyone can join the Galt Sportsmens Club, says treasurer Marie Lee, and more than 650 have. But strict federal regulations, including mandatory safety courses, firearm registrations and a probation period mean you can’t just show up and start shooting.
The members here say they love the sport’s camaraderie and everyman appeal, even if some extreme fans may shell out $10,000 for a top-end shotgun. Besides, it’s a lot of fun, they say.
“It’s not about what you wear, it’s not about who you are in life. There’s none of the country club nonsense,” said Paul Jarvis, a member at the Galt club for three years. “Everyone rubs shoulders with everyone.” (Waterloo Region Record – August 3, 2013)
NO BIAS HERE: CRTC REJECTS SUN NEWS NETWORK REQUEST TO BE CARRIED ON BASIC CABLE
A bid by Sun News Network to be carried on basic cable has been rejected by Canada’s communications regulator, casting fresh doubts on the future of the controversial upstart broadcaster.
The channel does not meet the criteria for a guaranteed spot on the dial, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission declared today.
But the CRTC also says it will review the way news channels are regulated in Canada.
“The diversity of voices is an essential component of our society, particularly as they relate to news and information in the Canadian broadcasting system,” CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement.
“Television news channels provide an important public service by ensuring that Canadians are exposed to different opinions and perspectives on matters that concern all citizens. We are concerned that, under the existing rules, Canadian news services are not being given a pride of place in our broadcasting system.”
It remains unclear what the decision means for the future of the channel, dubbed “Fox News North” by some critics when it made its debut in April 2011.
Three months ago, Sun News executives told the commission that anything short of mandatory carriage would spell the end of the channel.
Mandatory carriage would have generated significant revenue for the network, which lost $17 million last year — a situation parent company Quebecor calls “clearly unsustainable.”
But the CRTC says Sun News didn’t meet the criteria for a mandatory carriage.
“Given its exceptional nature, the CRTC has set the bar very high for obtaining a mandatory distribution order,” the commission said.
Sun News wasn’t the only channel denied a bid for must-carry status.
The regulator also rejected 11 other applications, including Vision TV, Maximum Television Canada, the Canadian Punjabi Network and Starlight: The Canadian Movie Channel, which had the backing of luminaries like David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand and Atom Agoyan.
French broadcaster Nouveau TV5 and the French arm of AMI TV, which provides accessible broadcast services such as described video, were both granted mandatory distribution orders.
A number of existing mandatory carriage orders were also renewed, including the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Cable Public Affairs Channel. – The Ottawa Citizen
* ED Note: If you think this decision stinks, let your voice be heard to Heritage Minister Shelly Glover here: [email protected]
HIGH RIVER CONFISCATIONS CONTINUE TO CONFUSE: They were little more than collectibles, said High River resident Greg Kvisle: a 1912 Winchester and a plain old rifle that had long sat above his grandfather’s fireplace in Saskatchewan. Mr. Kvisle didn’t keep ammunition around the house. He wasn’t a hunter. The guns were left unlocked, he said, but they were hidden in a storage closet in his basement, thankfully untouched by rising water.
“The room was full of stuff and they were in a corner behind a bunch of boxes. They weren’t available to be grabbed easily, let’s put it that way,” he said.
But the RCMP took his weapons anyway, he said. In June, as tensions between police and some of the 13,000 residents locked out of their flood-ravaged town reached a fever pitch, the RCMP said it had seized unsecured weapons that were left in plain view. Not so, Mr. Kvisle countered: although he hadn’t locked his arms as demanded by the Firearms Act, he believes the police entered his home at least three times during the weeks-long mandatory evacuation. On the third visit, they took his guns, he said. His weapons have since been returned.
Many High River residents remain flummoxed by police actions during the flood. The gun seizure, in particular, prompted a chastisement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Meanwhile, the commission for public complaints against the RCMP is still investigating police actions there and is expected to report in the fall. Wildrose opposition leader Danielle Smith, also the MLA for the town, is slated to hold a meeting with gun owners in the next month to get a better idea of just what happened in High River after flood waters swamped entire neighbourhoods, prompting police to bar residents from their homes for weeks.
As the town suffered a state of local emergency, police and army personnel entered thousands of homes looking for pets, bodies and stranded flood victims in need of help. In the process, they said, 539 weapons were secured. The RCMP began returning the weapons at the end of June, however owners without a Possession and Acquisition License would have to store their guns with friends who were properly licensed.
The Firearms Act does allow non-prohibited guns to be stored in plain sight, as long as they are either disabled or secured with a trigger lock. However, during a state of emergency police are given wide latitude to enter homes and seize property.
Josee Valiquette, a spokesperson for the RCMP, said that as of Wednesday, 517 — almost all of the guns — had been returned to their owners. In addition, 132 firearms had been brought into the police for safekeeping. A further 94 were surrendered by owners who wished to see the weapons destroyed.
The police also collected half-a-million rounds of ammunition that were turned in due to the catastrophe.
“They realized they had other things to take care of than firearms right now,” Ms. Valiquette said.
But for some, the gun seizure was just the apogee of a long and frustrating back-and-forth between police and High River residents. Rob Giles, a gun owner and safety instructor, said his vaulted weapons weren’t seized, but emergency officials left his door lying in his yard while he struggled to gain access to his home.
“For 10 days they walked through the house with crap on their boots and looked in drawers,” he said, adding that he returned home to find his cupboards askew. He predicts whoever entered his home caused about $2,000 worth of damage to his door and floor — a cost he plans to recuperate in a class-action lawsuit if the RCMP don’t come through with a cheque.
Not every gun owner was incensed by the police’s actions. Terry Plunkett, who keeps prohibited antique weapons from the Second World War, said police didn’t touch his property — it was properly stored and secured.
“There were no signs of anything. They just went into the house to check to see if everything was there and that if there had been anyone in the house, that everyone had been OK. They saw nothing and moved nothing and changed nothing,” he said. “I think it was a little bit of hysteria, myself. The police were trying to get into the homes to make sure everyone was out of there are there were no problems. With this firearm thing, it’s more that people are trying to make something out of it.”
Mr. Kvisle concedes his weapons were returned to him with little fuss. But the lesson he’s learned from the flood has been stark: “I just don’t understand, in areas where there were no people left and the houses were all high and dry, why were they going through houses two and three times and doing all this damage to homes?” he asked. “All it says is that next time this happens, I’m not leaving my home. I have to protect my home from police, now, as well as looters.” (National Post – August 7, 2013)
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
To join or donate to the CSSA, visit: http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/membership.html
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CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
116 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke ON M9W 4Y6
Phone 416-679-9959, Fax: 416-679-9910
Toll Free: 1-888-873-4339
E-Mail: [email protected]