• Tuesday, November 02nd, 2010
In reviewing your campaign materials I do not see any mention of your position on civil rights affecting firearms ownership and use.
What is your position on matters such as armed self defense, licensing, registration, and repeal of the PC (Kim Campbell) and Liberal Firearms Act (1995)?  I look forward to your response.
Sheldon Clare, M.A. (Hons.), B.A., A.A.
Prince George Rod and Gun Club

Thank you so much for your email.  I appreciate you taking the time to ask me my stand on these items.

I would like to say first of all, that I feel my job as an MP would be to speak for the people of the riding so I am not entering this with a personal agenda.  It matters far less where I stand and far more where the people of this riding stand on issues. My job as an MP would be to represent the people of the riding, to give them a voice in Ottawa.

Being from a community the size of Tumbler Ridge, I am used to representing an area with a smaller population base and ensuring that their issues are represented.  With the Prince George Peace River riding sitting at just over 104,000 people, this is a small population riding but it is also one of the economic hubs of our country and the people of this riding deserve to be heard.

That being said, I can give you my opinion on firearms.

I grew up in a home where my father was a police officer, he taught me early on to respect firearms.  My son also became an RCMP officer and I have worked within the RCMP system for many years with victims of crime, so firearms have been part of my life for a very long time.

I think the long gun registry is costing us far more than what we are getting in return.  In talking with RCMP officers who are front line, they don’t really see a use for it.  In fact they have said that if an RCMP officer uses a data base to decide whether or not a person owns a gun and then uses this to determine how to approach the situation, the officer is putting his/herself at risk.  A police officer should always approach with caution (it is part of the training) and that should not change because of a data base.

I think the federal government needs to work with the provinces and territories on programs which are put in place to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting that law abiding Canadians (the majority of Canadians) who wish to own firearms have that right.  I have never bought into the idea that if a small portion of the population abuses or misuses something, we need to get rid of it for all Canadians…what we need to do is ensure that those who abuse or misuse are faced with deterrents.

This being said I also don’t buy into the idea that people should be able to purchase guns without some sort of screening measures put in place.  I also think that training is essential.

I hope this answers your question,

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