The Conservative Party of Canada is holding their National Convention this weekend in Vancouver, and among the various topics up for debate is that of firearms, and their role in Canadian heritage.
Now, obviously the Conservative Party does not hold sway in the House of Commons at his point in time, but the policies proposed and the outcome of the convention could have huge ramifications for gun owners in Canada. After all, the policies enacted at the convention will make the foundation of the party’s election platform, and may end up leading the way in the next government’s direction. In fact, one of the policy changes surrounding the party’s attitude towards firearms is proving the most newsworthy policy on the docket this weekend.
That policy change? Well, it reads, “A Conservative Government recognizes that civilian firearms ownership is a Canadian Heritage.” Yes. That’s it. That innocuous policy change asking the party to recognize the substantial role firearms have played in Canada’s history has made headline news over all other policy changes and proposals. It has sparked the Huffington Post to write “’Canadian Heritage’ gun ownership… Up For Debate At Tory Convention,” while CityNews and the Toronto Star both reference the policy change exclusively in their own headlines; “Guns as ‘Canadian Heritage’ and other policies up for debate at Tory convention” and “Tories to debate guns as ‘Canadian heritage’ among other policies,” respectively.
And that’s ridiculous. That firearms played a role in Canada’s history is a statement of fact, not an opinion to be debated. Guns are a part of our country’s heritage, and by virtue of our country’s vast empty wilderness, will continue to be woven into the fabric of daily life for many Canadians. From our Dominion’s early days as one of the nation’s largest fur producers, firearms played a role in protecting and feeding those first Canadian settlers that arrived here long before the meat department at the local Save On. And were it not for the armed Canadian civilian militia rising to the occasion in the War of 1812, we would probably be debating the merits of voting for Hillary, Bernie, or Donald. And even more recently, as the colony grew and settlements moved west towards newly discovered gold strikes, firearms against proved equally important in the hands of the pioneers pushing their way to the Pacific as they were in the hands of the Northwest Mounted Police that accompanied them.
So again, it’s not that notion of firearms being considered a component within our country’s heritage is a policy point that is up for debate; it’s a statement of fact. What this policy change is doing is merely asking the Conservative Party to recognize that fact. And yet, the news media insists in inciting clamorous debate at the mere mention of firearms being enshrined in any language in this country… even if that language recognizes the obvious and undeniable role of firearms in Canada’s past.
And that is, in a word, stupid. It’s also the attitude that pervades so much of the Canadian debate on firearms, and is indicative of the ignorance so commonly displayed by media outlets when it comes time to address firearms. So, it is our job as a media outlet to bring these matters to fore, and clarify them as subject matter experts, just as we would like all gun owners in Canada to do the same when an opportunity to do so presents itself. After all, they say those that forget their history are doomed to repeat it, and we’d rather not have to burn the White House down again.