Blake Brown misrepresents history

NDP opposed bill C-68In 1995 the Hon. Audrey McLaughin led the NDP to oppose Bill C-68

Blake Brown continues to misrepresents the history of gun control. In his attempt to paint gun control as a feminist issue, he ignores women who knew cracking down on law abiding people is not a way to protect men or women.

He may be a Canadian historian but he doesn’t understand Canada,

I was disappointed in professor Brown’s misleading caricature of recent Canadian history. In celebrating Kim Campbell’s 1991 firearms legislation, Brown ignores the voices of  female MPs who opposed additional firearms legislation.

Apparently, women only have value if they support Brown’s preferred narrative.

Whatever the merits of Kim Campbell’s 1991 legislation (Bill C-17), her team worked hard to balance public safety with traditional Canadian rights and privileges. Her balanced approach didn’t suit the Liberals because they were afraid of losing the “urban vote” to the Progressive Conservatives, so in 1995, even before Kim Campbell’s legislation had been fully implemented, the Liberals introduced radical new gun legislation. The 1995 legislation (Bill C-68) was exceptionally controversial, and was strongly opposed by three of the four opposition parties in the House of Commons as expensive, as a violation of personal privacy, outrageously expensive, and of doubtful effectiveness.

Opposition to the 1995 firearm legislation was driven by Garry Breitkreuz of the Reform party, with Val Meredith, one of the party stalwarts, speaking out repeatedly against the bill. The NDP, led by Audrey McLaughlin, joined Reform in rejecting Bill C-68 [all-but unanimously]; the Progressive Conservatives, although reduced to just two members, voted unanimously against this bill, prodded into action by the larger-than-life Elsie Wayne.

Blake Brown’s simplistic if passionate story implies that additional restrictions on firearms ownership is an unqualified good. This ignores the costs of additional regulation. Based on government of Canada reports, the Liberals 1995 gun legislation cost Canadian taxpayers over 3 billion dollars by 2015. That is money could have gone to help troubled youth — either in First Nations or in disadvantaged enclaves in Toronto or Vancouver, but instead it fuels burgeoning bureaucracies in Ottawa and in ridings where the Liberals need votes.

Importantly, Blake Brown never even wonders about the effectiveness of the Liberal gun legislation. High-quality academic research has found that the 1995 firearm legislation has not had a beneficial effect on either homicide or suicide rates.

 

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