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  1. #1
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    The Politics of Firearms (OFAH)

    by Matt DeMille, Registered Lobbyist & OFAH Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services

    A recent Alberta-based petition directed at the Government of Canada calling for "any new firearms laws, bans, buyback programs or changes to licensing before the House of Commons to be debated" has been making the rounds.

    The petition highlights how Canadian firearms owners feel about the government's plan for firearms: it targets law-abiding firearms owners, it will siphon serious government funds away from where it is needed most, and it won't take firearms away from criminals.

    We can assume the petition is designed to create some open, transparent and rational dialogue. As firearms owners, we all feel the frustration, but I'm skeptical that we will find good solutions through parliamentary debate. We had debate on Bill C-71 and look where that ended up.

    The OFAH was deeply involved in the C-71 debate, providing testimony to both the House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees studying the bill, and speaking with parliamentarians of every political stripe.

    In the end, the democratic process was just that, a process – one that felt like we were simply going through the motions, and needlessly spending Canadian taxpayer dollars to do so. There was seemingly no willingness to deviate from the pre-determined political agendas on all sides and no honest desire to use the democratic process to actually solve the real issues underlying this debate.

    Like C-71, the government's new plan for firearms is designed to solve a problem. Unfortunately, it's a political one and it won't give Canadians the short or long-term results they deserve. Firearms, more so than most other political discussions, draws out an extreme level of partisanship and politicization that paralyzes good debate and good outcomes for Canadians.

    We would be guilty of slanting the conversation if we didn't acknowledge that the government at least seems to be listening to some of our proposed solutions, including commitments to build a national system to flag bulk purchases, impose stronger penalties for gun smuggling, and provide resourcing for the Canada Border Services Agency and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    Not only will these actions carry a greater potential to solve real issues facing all Canadians, they are solutions that the firearms community AND gun control advocates can agree on. So, why don't we start there and use this common ground to find solutions that all Canadians can be happy with?

    Unfortunately, firearms have become a political wedge that seems to serves us well when it does and sewers us when it doesn't. I for one, am sick and tired of firearms being a political yo-yo when it doesn't need to be. There doesn't always need to be winners and losers when it comes to firearms policy. As responsible, law-abiding Canadians, why should we need to fear for our firearms future every election?

    Regardless of what political debate may occur this time around, we are likely to be on the losing end. Even with a minority government where you would expect greater opportunity for political debate, firearms could very well become a political bargaining chip – the devil we know is scary, but the devil we don't scares the hell out of me. We can't forget that other political parties called for even stronger gun control measures than what are proposed. The Green Party of Canada actually called for a ban on all semi-automatics, but also talked about respect for hunters. This position shows the extreme lack of understanding we are dealing with.

    The politics of firearms isn't going to change and it will continue to be driven by pressure from an uninformed public. Gun control advocates claim that the majority of Canadians support further restrictions and bans, but in reality, it has been shown that this support is based on a lack of understanding about current laws and what firearms ownership actually looks like in Canada.

    We need to be unapologetic about our desire to own and use firearms, and about our expectation for law-abiding firearms owners to receive open, transparent and respectful treatment from our federal government. We have every right to be metaphorically ‘up in arms' with the false rationale being used, but even when backed into a corner we need to maintain a level of composure that reinforces the fact we are NOT part of the problem, but that our community wants to be a part of the solution when it comes to gun violence. The world is watching, and we need to undermine and disarm gun control propaganda instead of personifying it through social media banter. We can't play into their hand.

    The passion and energy the firearms community has put into the discussion about firearm bans this past fall is powerful. We need to channel our frustration and our voices into coordinated, professional and unified action to ensure Canadians and political decision makers at all levels know the undeniable truths about firearms ownership in Canada. Despite my personal growing skepticism that the Parliamentary process will produce a good result for the firearms community, we need to work every angle and maintain pressure on Parliament. The creator of the petition, Bradley Manysiak, has taken a stand and done it in a professional way that reflects well on the firearms community. We should all support him in taking this action.

    At a time when national unity is fragile, the OFAH continues to galvanize the hunting and shooting communities, imploring them to work together from coast-to-coast-to-coast to create a rational dialogue about responsible firearms ownership, while continuing to push back against bad government policies. Stand with us as we stand up against bad firearms policy from Parliament Hill and right into your local communities. The time for unity is now.
    https://www.ofah.org/wp-content/uplo...s-1-scaled.jpg
    https://www.ofah.org/firearms

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  3. #2
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    It took them 30yrs but the OFAH finally figured out the liberals are coming for all our guns. They’re decades late to the party but at least they showed up.
    #wexit

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  5. #3
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    "...but the OFAH finally figured out..." More that they started being "in the fight". OFAH was silent when Bob Rae foisted the Outdoors Card Tax on us in 1992ish. Silent about every firearms law from 1978 onward. All they have done is jump into bed with the Socialists to collect money.
    The OFAH has always been more about fishing than hunting.

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  7. #4
    Senior Member 3MTA3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    " Silent about every firearms law from 1978 onward.
    The OFAH has always been more about fishing than hunting.
    "The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) supports firearms legislation measures that increase the public safety of Canadians, as long as it doesnt implement further unnecessary restrictions or barriers on law-abiding firearms users.

    The governments stated intention of Bill C-71 is to prioritize public safety and respond to increasing trends in gun crime and violence, yet it would seem that the majority of the proposals are focused on lawful firearms users. The government is painting a picture of alarming trends in firearms-related crime and violence to justify the proposed measures and to show action on election platform promises of 2015. Unfortunately, targeting lawful firearms users will not help them achieve their intended goals."

    "With the passage of Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Act, the Harper government has demonstrated again its commitment to the firearms community in Canada and lived up to its promise to remove or reduce red tape and unnecessary regulations and restrictions on legal, trained, law-abiding firearms owners, said Greg Farrant, the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy for the OFAH. The legislation is a good mix of common sense firearms policies and measures to enhance public safety.

    No they have not been silent on a number of bills, but they certainly are not vocal enough, and in my opinion they seem more than a little "Fuddy". The Op Blog above seemed to less than completely supportive in my opinion as well.
    "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.." - George Orwell
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the younger
    FTrudeau

  8. #5
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    Keep in mind, their mandate is about angling, hunting and conservation. Firearms are but a tool.

    Why can't you people just accept that the OFAH of today is working with us rather than against us? Suck it up.

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  10. #6
    Senior Member 3MTA3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awndray View Post
    Keep in mind, their mandate is about angling, hunting and conservation. Firearms are but a tool.

    Why can't you people just accept that the OFAH of today is working with us rather than against us? Suck it up.
    They provide insurance to many gun clubs, and many sport shooters are members- They have been around since the 20's, the only hunting in Ontario for the most part for many years was with firearms. Hunting is attacked far more than angling so really firearms have been integral to their identity- birders and naturalists do not make up a significant proportion of their members. They portray themselves as gun rights advocates, but do not see that when the government finishes with MSR's they will move to the sniper rifles.

    The rifle in the picture below is banned in New Zealand, but I bet the majority of their members do not see that coming here, as it will eventually.

    FirearmsFuture_Final-768x1024.jpg
    "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.." - George Orwell
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the younger
    FTrudeau

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  12. #7
    Senior Member spider69's Avatar
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    OFAH has a mandate that's provincial. That's where they concentrate their efforts. Firearms law and criminal law is FEDERAL,therefore,OFAH influence comes from being granted "Intervener status" in federal proceedings. Because they're exceedingly vocal and a very effective lobbying group representing hundreds of thousands of Ontario hunters and anglers and their member clubs,governments of all stripes,realizing they represent a huge number of votes, tend to pay attention when they speak.
    It's been said that you can't fix stupid. Turns out you can't quarantine it,either.

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    awndray (01-07-2020)

  14. #8
    Senior Member 3MTA3's Avatar
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    FEDERAL ELECTION REACTION Oct 2019— While Parliament may be divided, the outdoors community is not. Once again, Canada’s democratic process brought out the best in anglers, hunters and trappers across the nation. We commend everyone who voted in the October election. The OFAH remains focused on standing up for our core values. It’s a new government and today is a new day to think about your future as a firearms owner and the outdoors legacy that we vow to keep fighting for. Election results won’t stop the OFAH and our partners in the National Fishing and Hunting Collaborative from aggressively pursuing our national priorities.


    Letter Dated November 9th, 2018
    The OFAH is disappointed that a public conversation about “Reducing Violent Crime” has started with “A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault Weapons.” This approach is a reactive political dialogue that focuses too narrowly on one very specific topic and redirects the conversation away from a big-picture and long-term evaluation of what can be done to actually reduce violent crime. Framing the dialogue in this way has created a political referendum about gun control, rather than a constructive discourse about how to be proactive in addressing the root problems leading to violent crime and gun violence.

    The dialogue should have started with a broad conversation about identifying vulnerability points. We need to identify and evaluate vulnerabilities contributing to the supply of illegal firearms in Canada, but we also need to look at our justice system’s ability to fully prosecute criminals, as well as deficiencies in our current social framework that limit our effectiveness in preventing violence and organized crime in the first place. We cannot let the idea of a short-term perceived policy fix (e.g. a handgun ban) blind us from the more daunting long-term challenges that must be tackled in order to produce meaningful results for Canadians. By the time we realize a ban on handguns and “assault weapons” has had a negligible impact on public safety we will be that much further behind in starting the necessary conversations.

    We acknowledge that Minister Blair was mandated very late in this government’s term, but the 30-day window for public consultation is wholly inadequate to have a meaningful discussion on this topic.
    "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.." - George Orwell
    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."-William Pitt the younger
    FTrudeau

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