The party, which, while in a minority, will lick the dust to gain the ascendancy, becomes, in power, insolvent, vindictive and tyrannical. – Noah Webster
Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. – George Bernard Shaw
Frank A. Pelaschuk
Harper possesses no moral credibility. This is the man who out of pettiness and spite cannot conceal his contempt for the world body by refusing, once again, to take the opportunity to address the United Nations General Assembly. His antipathy to the UN reveals the smallness of his vision, the limit of his depth and the sparseness of his character. He is more calculating machine, robot, than living, breathing, thinking flesh and blood.
With 107 of 193 signatories to the UN Arms Trade Treaty, calling for the control of illegal gun trade, especially to nations with poor human rights records, one of those signatories the United States, for god sakes, likely the most gun crazy nation on earth and with about 30,000 gun related deaths annually, Canada dithers and, as of yet, refuses to sign even though it was one of the nations voting in favour of the treaty.
Once again, Canada has refused to side with the angels preferring to stand in solidarity, for the moment, at least, with Syria, North Korea, and Iran and those others who abstained objecting to the human rights criteria. This is not the first time that Harper and gang went against the world in doing the right, moral, honourable thing. While the world decries the use of asbestos, Harper and thugs allows its continued sale to other, poorer nations. For Harper and his thugs, health risk and death concerns must never, ever interfere with the health of business concerns, especially Canadian business. Profits over lives and even more palatable when the lives lost are not Canadian.
Harper has no moral credibility. The reason he gives for not signing along with the likes of Syria, Iran and North Korea is that Harper wants to make certain that this will not affect domestic policies regarding gun ownership and regulation. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, doesn’t believe this will affect domestic policy, yet Harper does, or, rather, says he does.
This move by Harper is a despicable, craven display of sheer politics, a willful abdication of his role as a world leader to dutifully contribute towards the protection of society at large. Rather than harken to the wishes of the majority of Canadians, Harper and his party have sold themselves for the sake of holding on to their inflexible core of voting supporters, preferring to cater to the wishes of those right wing, gun loving, paranoiac, wingnuts with deep pockets and shallow ideas. Instead of listening to the majority of Canadians, Harper and thugs scrapped the Long-gun Registry program distorting facts, ignoring statistics, making up their own numbers on the fly, and playing to the fears and ignorance of his base supporters who are never eager to allow the facts to get in the way of their biases and paranoia. Harper and his party have done the same with science and scientists, with global warming and oil, with crime and stats, and are doing the same with the UN Arms Trade Treaty.
This is the man who is more concerned about power and keeping his base of support than he is of the threat to society that the proliferation of guns poses. But why is Harper more eager to please and appease his core of gun loving supporters than in doing the right thing for world society by signing the Arms Treaty and for Canadians by toughening Canadian gun laws? Is it really possible, can it really be true, that Harper and his gang are more terrified of the spectre of a long line of gun lovers turning on him and his party come next election than they are of the spectre of long rows of gunshot victims waiting to be delivered to the morgue? True, the dead don’t vote, but their survivors do.
Harper and his thugs and their supporters will lie and tell you that any laws controlling guns is a move towards criminalizing law abiding gun loving owners and sports hunters or just another step towards State control and the end to all liberty. It’s nonsense. It’s a lie. It’s crap. They no more criminalize than registering one’s automobile or requiring a driver’s license do. They will say, “It’s the criminals who do these terrible things.” That is true. Up to a point. Criminals do many terrible things, including murder, but so do many who have never had involvement with the law until that particular moment. Harper and thugs and supporters will say, “Criminals don’t register their guns.” That, too, is true. And there are a lot of illegal guns. That’s why we need laws to control them. They will also say, almost suggesting that the police and courts are merely casual observers and not doing their jobs, “Go after the criminals,” as if that’s the answer to gun violence. But here is where it gets sticky. What is also true is this: most violent crimes, including murder, are not committed by “criminals” but by acquaintances and family members who have never, until then, been in trouble with the law except, perhaps, for trivial offences. In other words, “honest, law-abiding citizens” commit most of the murders.
Harper’s supporters haven’t a leg of logic to stand on so they resort to lies, falsehoods, accusations against their opponents and specious arguments. They will say guns don’t kill, people do. That’s just silly and no argument at all. On the surface, it sounds logical. You can point a finger at anyone all day and pull an imaginary trigger and nothing will happen. But put a gun in your hand. Guns kill, people use them and they use them to kill.
Gun lovers will say, “Knives kill too and so do cars”. Yes, that is true, but they also mostly serve other, useful purposes. The sole purpose of the gun is to kill. The argument that knives and cars kill are not logical arguments against gun control; they are only arguments to do something about making the use of knives and cars safer.
Reducing the number of guns, locking them up in safe storage areas, registering them and being held accountable for them if they are lost or stolen or sold will go a long way towards making for a safer and healthier society. Most of us do not hunt; nor do we target shoot. Those that do must be licensed, registered, and have their weapons properly secured. None of these steps will eliminate gun deaths but it will go a long way. My preference is to ban all guns, but that is unrealistic and I know that. I also know we can make for a safer society. But, to achieve that, we need leaders who are willing to place the interests of society before their own political ambitions, leaders who place more value in the interests of all members of society than their own survival at the hands of gun lovers and other special interest groups.
Harper and his gang are not those people. They are small, petty, self-interested. They possess no vision and offer no hope for the majority of Canadians. They cater to special interests and hold the rest in contempt. They are secretive, dishonest, and contemptible. They lust for power and think nothing of subverting Democracy to achieve that end and they have done so.
Harper and his gang belong in the garbage bin of history.
*UPDATED FIVE HOURS LATER:
Hours after publication of this page, word came out that Elections Canada has levelled four charges against Dean Del Mastro and three against official agent Richard McCarthy, a campaign worker, both accused of filing a false document and not reporting $21,000 in expenses from the 2008 campaign. Del Mastro, one time Parliamentary Secretary to Stephen Harper, sanctimonious and vicious Tory partisan on a scale matching Pierre Poilievre, denies all wrongdoing and must be presumed innocent until found otherwise.
That said, however, the Conservatives are once again under a cloud regarding serious ethical breaches outlined in previous posts. We have Harper’s appointees in the Senate forced to repay monies for illegitimate claims. We have doctored documents in the Duffy report, the Nigel Wright $90,000 “gift” to Duffy. We have questions about what Harper knew of these. Then we have Bev Oda forced to resign for padding expenses and Peter Penashue for accepting corporate donations. We have the Conservative Party paying fines for the robocalls scandal and allegations of them misdirecting voters to nonexistent polls. Now we have Del Mastro facing serious charges. The list is long, the allegations, if proven, a direct threat to Democracy. What we are witnessing under Harper’s leadership is symptomatic of a serious case of rot in his Conservative regime.
The garbage bin? How about the dung heap?