TheGunBlog.ca — Rod Giltaca, the chief executive officer of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, urged senators studying Bill C-21 to consider how its forced confiscation of all legally owned handguns will destroy a culture and fuel “generational anger.”
Giltaca was speaking today to the Senate committee studying Bill C-21, the governing Liberal Party’s draft law to further suppress government-licensed gun users and businesses.
Following is his opening statement.
Giltaca’s Opening Statement
Good morning, Senators.
I just wanted to add for the record that I spent over 10 years as an instructor for the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program. That’s the licensing system here in Canada.
In preparation for my appearance this morning, I circulated an 18-minute video outlining the reasons for our opposition to, specifically, the handgun ban in Bill C-21.
It’s my understanding that some of you did take that 18 minutes to hear our position and that of the 100,000 licensed gun owners that I am speaking directly on behalf of today.
Last week, I heard an official from Public Safety reveal that the government carried out some kind of formal analysis that the handgun ban would effectively end private firearm ownership of handguns in Canada in around 50 years.
I guess they figured that at that point, people like me will have all died off, our property will have been seized with no compensation, and that would be the end of people like me.
Destroying a Culture
That is the targeted destruction of an entire culture involving 650,000 Canadians, including 450,000 that are actively involved in sport shooting.
Now, some might wonder, how do you justify something like that?
We heard the justification from Minister LeBlanc last week, I believe. And it was, to be honest with you, the usual rhetoric that we heard from Marco Mendicino and Bill Blair before him.
We also heard from the RCMP. And they offered: gang-related firearm-violence is increasing, and they chose to trace some number of guns, and some portion of those were legally imported into Canada.
And of course we heard about misinformation as a recurring theme.
So I’d like to introduce some indisputable, self-evident truth to the conversation.
The handgun ban in Bill C-21 will eliminate 100% of the legally held handguns in Canada, and some number of crime guns. We don’t know what that number is exactly. But in the case of the Toronto Police Service, Inspector Norm Proctor of their guns and gangs unit said that 97% of the firearms that they took from crimes, actual crime guns, and that’s important, actual crime guns, came from the United States. 97%.
So what you’re telling me is, it’s the proverbial you, is that to address that 3%, at least in this case to be fair, that we’re OK with the loss of, I don’t know, 700 clubs out of the 1,400 that exist across the country. Maybe more. Billions in real estate, acquired, maintained and developed by millions of Canadians over generations. And they’re using their after-tax money, I might add.
Do we know what the value of that is, even just the monetary value? Was that in the RCMP’s 50-year assessment? And do we know the value of the handguns that they’re looking to seize for free, apparently?
We do know that the Conference Board of Canada tells us that destroying sport shooting in Canada will cost the economy somewhere around $2 billion annually.
And I think a really important question is: are we all OK with the generational anger that will result in a Canada that has never been more divided that it is right now?
The government is just walking in and extinguishing an entire culture that was created over generations.
But maybe these things are worth it. I’m willing to have that conversation, certainly today.
But for that to be true, this is important: have the RCMP, the Firearms Program, the Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc, have any of these people shown us any evidence that criminals won’t be able to replace that 3% of handguns that they’re apparently getting from the legal market?
Might criminals just increase their smuggling operations? They have plenty of money. Are they just going to fly more handguns across the border on drones? They’ve been doing that lately. Will they ramp up their manufacturing operations, that is literally easy for them to do.
What assurances has the government or the RCMP given us that these criminals cannot make up that 3% any other way?
On the contrary, I’d suggest that this is not a reasonable approach to addressing firearm-related violence, certainly with handguns.
Anyway, to close, the government has a real “evidence problem” here, it has a real credibility problem here. This is an embattled bill. It has been dragging along for two years. So I would urge you to think very carefully about this in the study of your bill. And I know that many Canadians would really appreciate that.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to answering your questions.