TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – Dec 31, 2013
TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – Dec 31, 2013
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The Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CSSA/CILA) wish you and yours a wonderful and Happy New Year. We hope 2014 brings you small groups and happy faces. Thank you for your support over the last year and we look forward to the best year yet.
(Editor’s note: Lots of reading in this CSSA E-News! We apologize for the bloated email, but the original draft was waylaid when the ice storm affected our Internet servers when the electrical grid went down. In the interest of keeping readers up to date, we have tacked on some extra items. Like all good firearms collectors, we don’t always believe that “less is more!”)
COMMENTARY: NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA IS BANG ON WITH DRAFT REGS FOR HANDLOADING AMMO
Let the bells ring out and the banners fly – Canadian ammunition purchasers and handloaders have a champion in Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
After eight full years of grappling with new draft regulations to store and acquire handloading components and ammunition, the Conservative government has acted with clear-headed resolve. Hats off to Natural Resources Canada Minister Joe Oliver who took the time to understand that propellant powders and ammo are not a fire hazard, and have nothing to do with firearm safety.
Canada has had laws on the books for decades regulating the sale, transport and storage of propellant powders and ammunition and quite frankly, they were archaic, confusing and dangerous to our community. We will be happy to see them thrown upon the scrap heap of lousy legislation.
The new limits imposed will not undermine the aspirations of Canadian sport shooters. And, having these proposed limits in the books precludes the need that future governments might feel to impose new measures that could be less sensitive to the needs of handloaders.
Minister Oliver and his team at the NRCan Explosives Branch understand the shooting sports. Whether sports shooters are handloaders or not, there is every reason to celebrate the NRCan draft regulations as printed in the Canada Gazette for public input. Before NRCan recommended the new generous limits of primers and ammo, the ancient former regulations stated that sports shooters were limited to possess “a reasonable quantity.”
The definition of “reasonable” depends entirely upon the interpreter. Responsible firearms owners have been burned by some police and judges whose interpretations are unbelievably ignorant of the shooter’s world. As long as actual amounts were unstated and left up to the (often anti-gun) whim of enforcers, the risk of unreasonable punishments loomed large.
Suffice to say that when the NRCan recommendations are adopted, an individual will be allowed to store a very appropriate amount of ammo, more than 99.9 percent of sport shooters would ever wish to store. And, of course, the Explosives Act does not regulate brass and bullets, just primers and powder. The new limit is the NEQ, or Net Explosive Quantity, as opposed to the “number of rounds” one can legally possess.
See where this is going? A competitive shooter can buy lots of ammo when it’s on sale and keep it stored at home without worry of reprisal. It almost sounds like we’re live in a free country, doesn’t it?
We would like to extend the personal thanks of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CSSA/CILA) to Minister Joe Oliver and his excellent staff, Director General Patrick O’Neill, Chief Inspector Jean-Luc Arpin, former Chief Inspector Chris Watson (ret) and his 2IC, Dave McCullough (ret) and of course, the good folks at the Prime Minister’s Office.
This is a considerable victory for sport shooters, hunters, trappers, farmers and collectors everywhere. We appreciate that the Conservative government has sufficient faith in gun owners to table regulations that don’t penalize us for who we are.
CSSA/CILA/CSAAA has worked closely with NRCan (Explosives Branch) on this important project for the past eight years. We hope to see more of this kind of collaboration between the public- and private-sectors in the years to come. Thank you for listening, Minister Oliver!
COMMENTARY: BREATHLESS GLOBAL NEWS STORY WAS A HOAX
Former Toronto Star web guy and current Global News scribbler Patrick Cain has been busy misleading the public – again.
When the waters of controversy become too calm, Cain likes to play the nonsense card to appease his anti-gun bosses. This time, an access to information request into the federal Public Safety department furnished him with fool’s gold. He took a non-newsworthy ministerial briefing note from the RCMP that seeks more gun bans to spin another yellow journalism story designed to scare people who don’t know any better.
Let’s not forget that Global TV is the station that took those nasty hunting shows off the air in 2012 because upper management was cowed by an animal rights viewer or two. CSSA E-News took Patrick Cain to the woodshed last June for a rambling piece on legal loopholes that somehow triple rifle magazine limits. See the Commentary here: http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/2013/06/enews_20130614.html
The most recent anti-gun Global coverage shows that the RCMP never tire of trying to tell the Minister of Public Safety how to manage his portfolio: “Senior RCMP officials invited Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to a briefing on gun control at a police range in Ottawa in late September, at which they seemed to be nudging him toward stricter rules on some types of firearms. Blaney’s office wouldn’t comment on the meeting. But the notes suggest his department’s pushing an issue – updates to decades-old gun laws – that failed to gain traction with his predecessor.” (See story excerpt below)
Like so many ministerial briefing notes lobbed upstairs from the departmental level, nothing happened – including the trip to the shooting range. Minister Blaney never went to the range with the RCMP, nor has he publicized any plans to acquiesce to the Mounties’ goading. So, we have little more than a tempest in a teapot – an alleged private briefing note from anti-gun police officials (nothing new here) to a minister who has no stated intention to take the advice (nothing new here, either). Apparently if you work at Global, however, this is earth-shattering news to remind an unsuspecting public that their streets could teem with blood unless the government bans more guns.
Former Minister Vic Toews supported getting rid of the long-gun registry because its ineffectiveness was too hard to ignore. While former Minister Toews was a friend to hunters, he wasn’t as familiar with the politics of sport shooting. The same holds true for Prime Minister Harper, who is quoted in Cain’s piece saying, “…prohibited weapons exist as a category under the law for essential reasons of public security.” With respect, the prime minister is wrong, because he seems to believe there is an intrinsic difference between “good” and “bad” guns.
It is our hope that Minister Blaney will see past the RCMP and Global News snow-job. Solid public safety policy flows from understanding what motivates “good” and “bad” people. The make, model, colour and composition of a firearm are irrelevant to public safety and security. The Conservative government must come to admit that regardless of the firearm used, it is up to the person holding that firearm what the target will be. Mr. Harper, your target should be bad people, not their tools.
And we believe that Minister Blaney could be the person to help bring about that epiphany.
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GLOBAL NEWS FAILS TO SELL ITS BIGGER BANG THEORY: Senior RCMP officials invited Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to a briefing on gun control at a police range in Ottawa in late September, at which they seemed to be nudging him toward stricter rules on some types of firearms. Blaney’s office wouldn’t comment on the meeting. But the notes suggest his department’s pushing an issue – updates to decades-old gun laws – that failed to gain traction with his predecessor.
Canada hasn’t singled out any firearm by name for prohibition since the mid-1990s. “It was envisioned that the classification framework would be updated as more firearms came on to the Canadian market, but it has not been updated since its inception in 1995,” a briefing note for the meeting says. “Firearms … not mentioned in the regulations are, by default, categorized as non-restricted (e.g. many .50-calibre sniper rifles and other military and paramilitary type firearms are currently non-restricted.)” Blaney replaced Vic Toews as Public Safety Minister in a cabinet shuffle in mid-July. In 2012, Public Safety officials warned Toews that the outdated list posed ‘a risk to public safety.’
In the list drawn up in 1995, dozens of specific firearms were singled out for prohibition or restriction. Gun rights advocates criticize it as based on cultural and aesthetic criteria, while gun control advocates say it should have been updated and expanded since then. “Any changes to the classification framework would be controversial,” the note says. “Firearm advocates would view reclassification as an attempt to deprive them of their property, while gun control advocates would support the reclassification of some firearms to the restricted or prohibited classes.”
The note, released as part of an access-to-information request, ends by quoting Prime Minister Stephen Harper as saying that “prohibited weapons exist as a category under the law for essential reasons of public security.” A number of senior officials from Public Safety and the RCMP were to attend the briefing, including Commissioner Bob Paulson.
In the briefing note, Blaney was invited to “shoot a variety of these firearms at a range located on site as a practical, hands-on means of better understanding the different types … business casual dress is recommended.” A tightening of firearm rules would come as welcome news to gun-control advocates, and would likely be slammed by opponents as being based more on fear than sound methodology. “I see that as a step in the wrong direction,” argues Ottawa-based firearms lawyer Solomon Friedman. “There isn’t a list of features that lead to prohibition – nowhere does it say what the basis of prohibiting these firearms by appearance was. Semi-automatic firearms are all quite similar, functionally. You have what amounts to an arbitrary classification based on the appearance of the firearm, or on its heritage.”
Some provinces may also be pleased: Quebec and Ontario announced last month they’ve formed a working group to study firearm classification (Ontario’s Attorney General says it’s still preliminary and wouldn’t comment)…
Read more at http://globalnews.ca/news/1038496/in-briefing-note-to-blaney-hints-of-tighter-gun-control/(By Patrick Cain — Global News )
MIKHAIL KALASHNIKOV DEAD AT 94: Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the famous AK-47 rifle, died Monday at age 94 in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived, said Viktor Chulkov, a spokesman for the republic’s president. He did not give a cause of death. Kalashnikov had been hospitalized for the past month with unspecified health problems. Kalashnikov often said he felt personally untroubled by his contribution to bloodshed. “I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence,” he told The Associated Press in 2007.
The AK-47 — “Avtomat Kalashnikov” and the year it went into production – is the world’s most popular firearm, favoured by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies. An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide. Though it isn’t especially accurate, its ruggedness and simplicity are exemplary: it performs in sandy or wet conditions which jam more sophisticated weapons such as the U.S. M-16. “During the Vietnam war, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s to grab AK-47s and bullets for it from dead Vietnamese soldiers,” Kalashnikov said in July 2007 at a ceremony marking the rifle’s 60th anniversary.
The weapon’s suitability for jungle and desert fighting made it nearly ideal for the Third World insurgents backed by the Soviet Union, and Moscow not only distributed the AK-47 widely but also licensed its production in some 30 other countries. The gun’s status among revolutionaries and national-liberation struggles is enshrined on the flag of Mozambique.
Kalashnikov, born into a peasant family in Siberia, began his working life as a railroad clerk. After he joined the Red Army in 1938, he began to show mechanical flair by inventing several modifications for Soviet tanks. The moment that firmly set his course was in the 1941 battle of Bryansk against Nazi forces, when a shell hit his tank. Recovering from wounds in the hospital, Kalashnikov brooded about the superior automatic rifles he’d seen the Nazis deploy; his rough ideas and revisions bore fruit five years later. “Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer,” said Kalashnikov. “I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery.”
In 2007, President Vladimir Putin praised him, saying “The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people.” Over his career, he was decorated with numerous honours, including the Hero of Socialist Labor and Order of Lenin and Stalin Prize. But because his invention was never patented, he didn’t get rich off royalties. “At that time in our country patenting inventions wasn’t an issue. We worked for Socialist society, for the good of the people, which I never regret,” he once said.
Kalashnikov continued working into his late 80s as chief designer of the Izmash company that first built the AK-47. He also travelled the world helping Russia negotiate new arms deals, and he wrote books on his life, about arms and about youth education. “After the collapse of the great and mighty Soviet Union so much crap has been imposed on us, especially on the younger generation,” he said. “I wrote six books to help them find their way in life.” He said he was proud of his bronze bust installed in his native village of Kurya in the Siberian region of Altai. He said newlyweds bring flowers to the bust. “They whisper ‘Uncle Misha, wish us happiness and healthy kids,”‘ he said. “What other gun designer can boast of that?” (Jim Heintz, The Associated Press)
TIME IS RIPE FOR GUN OWNERS TO SEEK CONCESSIONS: Almost all you need to know about Canadian politics in the next two years can be summarized in one simple number – 10 per cent.
Ten per cent is the share of the electorate that has deserted Stephen Harper’s Conservatives since the last election. In that contest, the Conservatives captured a shade less than 40 per cent of the votes. For months now, polls have given the Conservatives about 30 per cent.
At 40 per cent, the Conservatives would win again, likely with another majority; at 30 per cent, they would lose power. Their aim – and it will drive almost everything they do in the next two years – will be to recapture all or most of the difference.
What about the other 60 per cent of the voting public? The Conservatives could care less about them. The overwhelming majority of those people aren’t going to vote Conservative, period.
Nik Nanos, the pollster, asks this interesting question on an ongoing basis: Could you imagine voting for a given party? He consistently finds that 60 per cent of voters reply that they could not imagine voting Conservative. The party’s ceiling, therefore, is 40 per cent.
No matter what the Conservatives have successfully done in office, no matter how hard they have tried and how much money they have spent, no matter how favourable the economic circumstances, no matter how inept the other parties, the Conservatives have never shattered that 40-per-cent ceiling. But if they don’t crawl back close to it by the time of the next election, they will struggle to be re-elected, let alone to win another majority.
Given this strategic imperative, you might think that midway through a majority government’s term, a party mired at 30 per cent would be rethinking its strategy. That would be to misunderstand the Harper government.
Instead of rethinking, the Prime Minister has doubled down on his long-term strategy, which depends on polarizing the electorate and identifying and mobilizing the Conservative vote. He reshuffled his cabinet to add younger ministers of the same type as the more experienced ones: hard-edged communicators and sharp-elbowed partisans. He regrouped people in his office and at party headquarters who are unreserved loyalists. There are no even mildly discordant voices, let alone fresh faces or new views, in Mr. Harper’s inner political circle.
Of critical importance to this strategy is identifying in great detail where possible Conservative voters lie and how to motivate them. The party’s vast data banks, its impressive fundraising lists and its years of experience in government give the Conservatives a precise picture of their potential electoral world – the 40 per cent.
Therefore, domestic and foreign policy will be bent with even more relentless direction and energy at hitting the issues to swing that 10 per cent back into the fold. (They also hope, not unreasonably, that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will continue to provide them with gaffes to be used at an appropriate time.)
This micro-identification of departed or possible Conservative voters will be seen in foreign policy, as in more wooing of Jewish voters through blind support of every Israeli government position, helping Toronto’s Tamils recall the boycott of the Commonwealth Conference, reminding Filipinos about Ottawa’s efforts after Typhoon Haiyan. As an ambassador of a traditional ally recently remarked privately, never had the representative ever seen a government whose foreign policy was so driven by local ethnic appeals.
In domestic affairs, there will be all sorts of micro-initiatives directed at the 10 per cent: action to “protect” consumers against high wireless fees and cable charges, little tax breaks for this group or that, income-splitting mostly to benefit the middle to upper-middle class, protection against bank charges or whatever focus groups reveal Canadians don’t like about the banks.
This political strategy involves finding out what irks the 10 per cent and acting on it. It has nothing to do with vision. The Conservatives know they enjoy a rock-solid base of 30 per cent, and the 60 per cent who dislike them now won’t change.
It’s all about the 10 per cent, and that’s all you need to know. (Column by Jeffrey Simpson – Globe and Mail)
STARK REALITY – ARMED GUARD AT SCHOOL BEST GUN CONTROL: It’s a stark fact that is fueling an already intense debate about gun rights in this state: It was an armed deputy who stopped the Arapahoe High School gunman last week from unleashing a deadly massacre, not the expansive new gun control laws approved by Colorado Democrats in March in reaction to two mass shootings. That is the increasingly inescapable takeaway as details emerge from the school shooting Friday, when the 18-year-old gunman injured another student at random before turning the gun on himself in the school library as the armed deputy was closing in on him. “The gun control laws didn’t make a difference,” said state Sen. Greg Brophy, a Republican who is seeking his party’s nomination for governor next year. “What made a difference was a person in the building who was armed and who rushed to end the threat.”
Even Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Democrat who signed three gun control bills in March at considerable political risk, acknowledged on CBS‘ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the laws “in this specific case aren’t going to make a difference at all.” The governor and others have credited Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy James Englert, who was assigned to the school, with forcing the gunman’s hand by rushing toward the library, shouting at bystanders to get back, and identifying himself as law enforcement. Eighty seconds after entering the school, the shooter killed himself. The deputy’s response “was a critical element in the shooter’s decision to take his own life,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
The gunman, senior Karl Pierson, shot 17-year-old Claire Davis as she sat in the hallway. She is listed in critical condition and in a coma after undergoing surgery for a head wound. Pierson had called out the name of the school’s librarian and debate team coach, but information released Tuesday indicates that he was planning to do more than attack one faculty member. In addition to a 12-gauge shotgun, he carried about 125 rounds of ammunition, three Molotov cocktails and a machete. On his arm, he had written in indelible ink five classroom numbers and a phrase in Latin that translates to “the die has been cast,” according to the sheriff’s office. “I believe he came to have a massacre at the school, and I thank God that Englert was there to stop him,” parent Cathleen Cancannon told Denver’s 7News. Democrats pushed three gun control bills through the state legislature in reaction to two mass shootings last year over the objections of Republicans, who predicted the measures would do nothing to prevent such tragedies.
Tom Mauser, a spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire, said the newly enacted laws are important from a public-safety standpoint even if they failed to stop the Arapahoe gunman. “It’s not a claim that these gun laws are going to stop any mass shooting from occurring,” said Mr. Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. “Obviously, having the death penalty doesn’t stop murders from happening.” He said he supports having officers with guns at schools, but added that Columbine had an armed deputy who failed to stop the shooting. “Having an armed resource officer is fine, but we shouldn’t live under the illusion we’re going to stop every incident,” Mr. Mauser said.
See the rest: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/18/prevention-of-school-massacre-shoots-down-argument/?page=all#pagebreak (The Washington Times)
JPFO DEBUNKS POPULAR AMERICAL FIOREARMS MYTH: The citizen control movement in the United States has operated on very simple premise for the past half-century: citizens must be lied to for their own good.
The lie most frequently repeated by the citizen control movement today is that “90% of Americans support background checks,” a concept sold on the fiction that background checks aren’t conducted at gun shows.
But a funny thing happens when citizens are told the truth that background checks are conducted by gun dealers no matter where they operate according to new data released from the National Shooting Sports Foundation: “Only four out of ten Americans support so-called “universal background checks” at gun shows after being informed that the vast majority of firearms sales at these shows are transacted by licensed retailers that already conduct such checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as required by federal law. The poll results stand in contrast to the vague claim often reported in the media and attributed to gun control proponents without important contextual detail that 90 percent of Americans surveyed support “universal background checks.”
These findings were the among the results of a national scientific poll of more than 1,200 Americans conducted in November by McKeon & Associates and released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The McKeon poll found that only 40 percent of respondents said that extension of “universal background checks” to private transactions at gun shows are necessary, while 53 percent said they are not necessary and 7% said they did not know.
This is in stark contrast to claims made by the media, citizen control groups, and “progressive” politicians that pushed for citizen disarmament, and yet failed in the national level despite claiming (a blatantly false) 90% level of support. We have to speculate that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate most have conducted polling of citizens using similar methodologies and found similar answers before voting down a series of gun control proposals mid-year.
Respondents were also against mandatory background checks of friends and family for firearms transfers (54%), and 70% were against mandating “smart gun” technologies that have consistently been technological failures.
Other results of the scientific polling conducted by McKeon & Associates reveals that Americans want state-level authorities to do a much better job submitting information to the FBI-run National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS) database.
“We commissioned this poll to help determine where Americans stood on the various aspects of how the NICS system actually works today,” said Larry G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “When properly informed of relevant details, it turns out that only four out of ten, not nine out of ten Americans support so-called ‘universal background checks’ at gun shows or for firearms transfers. The poll also found that Americans want a National Instant Criminal Background Check System with a dependable and accurate database, which supports the goal of the FixNICS initiative we launched in 2013 and will continue in 2014.” (By By Bob Owens – Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership – December 23, 2013)
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CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
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