Jack Layton and guns: I’ve had enough
September 1, 2010 00:09:00
Oh for a quiet life, Jack Layton thinks as he shuffles about asking his members to please vote to support the national long-gun registry because if they don’t, he’ll be remembered as the guy who finished it off.
All he has to do is tell them how to vote. He’s the boss, and besides, it’s hardly a matter of conscience.
But he’s worried that he’ll anger voters who’ve been suckered into the Conservative mindset that registering your gun is a failure of manhood.
But why assume your voters are stupid? They’re hardly U.S. TeaBaggers.
I’d tell those MPs to continue to persuade northern gun-owners that the registry has been no threat since it was set up after the 1989 Montreal Massacre.
After all, the nation has been regulating handguns, more or less, since 1892 and screening all firearms owners since 1977. We are modern, we regulate.
But no, Layton does an Obama. Even if he changes his mind, it is too late for me. I am done with Layton.
He caved before his uninformed voters and his caucus, releasing MPs who would be crucial in letting the Tories win. They will help turn Canada into an unregulated gun zone that is especially dangerous for women.
There are women walking around intact today who will die at the hands of their violent husbands if the registry vanishes. The registration forms are designed to guard against people buying guns after they separate, or divorce, or are under psychiatric care. And it tells police officers what’s waiting for them when they approach a home where there’s a domestic dispute.
What is the NDP saying then? Have a go?
A government’s most basic duty is to protect its citizens from violent death. The RCMP report praising the gun registry for doing just that has now been released and the statistics are stunning.
According to the Mounties, the registry is pretty much the Hope Diamond of gun registries, a rare orchid of exquisite life-saving beauty, and really, the numbers bear them out.
ER doctors love the thing. So do feminist women like me, women born in the north who grew up with guns and ate the meat of animals shot by them, but feel quite strongly that they don’t want their own personal bodies torn apart by bullets.
I feel like a fool for believing in the NDP’s devotion to women’s rights.
I once actually flew to Ottawa, a city I hate, to do what I most loathe — make a breakfast speech — because I thought the NDP Women’s Caucus deserved some good cheer on International Women’s Day.
The motel was right out of Psycho, we were caught in a huge snowstorm, Porter Airlines flew me back while Air Canada lost my luggage, and my NDP minder cried all the way home, it was awful but I was fighting the good fight for the feminist NDP. What a sucker.
Why did this happen?
A smart NDP friend once explained that life is actually very nice for the caucus. Even though they aren’t in power as such, they have comfortable lives on the high moral ground. No radical or even interesting ideas emerge because it would disrupt the picnic. New ideas and brave stands are messy, like sand on the rug or spilled jam.
I abandoned the NDP after 12 members supported the Tories’ first go at the bill and I politely told a fundraiser over the phone never to contact me again for money or support. I like Joe Comartin, NDP justice critic, who’s working hard to change the NDP’s collective mind and would be happy to see him replace Layton.
No, the NDP will be staid, cowardly and in this case retrograde. The corpses of the Montreal Massacre are silent and the yapping gun-freedom brigade is so very loud.