Don’t scrap the national gun registry, instead fix it, advised St. Thomas Police Chief Bill Lynch on the front page of last Saturday’s Times-Journal.
Lynch told the T-J he supports the position of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police that the current registry, even with its flaws, should be maintained.
He added police see the registry as a valuable tool front line officers use often when answering calls, especially ones like domestic disturbances.
“Historically, there has been a lot of controversy about it,” Lynch admitted. “It could be more efficient, probably.”
But the answer is not to tear it down or get it rid of it, he believes.
“Let’s try to fix what we have,” he suggested.
As expected, the chief’s comments elicited a heated response from some area gun owners.
In particular, a member of the East Elgin Sportsmen’s Association we’ll refer to as Mick, wrote us “from the perspective of a person who has almost always lived in a home where firearms are present.”
Mick grew up on a farm near Aylmer and, “as a hunter for the last 25 years or so, firearms are a part of who I am.”
He reminds supporters of the gun registry, “the position that we who advocate abolishing the registry, and those members of the general public who use their common sense continually remind people, that the bad guys don’t register their guns.”
He is most emphatic about that point.
“So the registry in most cases is next to useless,” Mick notes, “in protecting officers from the type of persons most likely to harm them.”
Mick adds the following observation.
“Those of us who have taken all the courses and tests and paid the various fees and jumped through all the government-mandated hoops are the least likely to do something stupid to screw up our ability to keep and enjoy our firearms.”
By way of closing, Mick challenges Chief Lynch’s notion the registry is worth saving because the feds have dumped $2 billion into it.
“That reasoning defies logic,” Mick stresses. “Because the federal government has blown billions of dollars on a useless bureaucracy is a good reason to continue doing so? I think not.”
John Evers, an EESA director, also checked in briefly to highlight errors of logic in Chief Lynch’s claim the registry allows his officers to check where the guns are.
“The fact is that I would be totally legal to keep my guns at your house or his house for that matter and the registry would say nothing about it,” Evers points out.
“This sort of disinformation has been part of the pattern of deception being perpetrated by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police from the beginning,” challenges Evers.
We’ll put Evers to the test in an expanded interview next week in this corner.
RUN, WOMEN, RUN
Unlike that feeble attempt at a municipal candidate’s workshop back in September, a full-day women’s campaign school is now in the works for Nov. 26 at the Kettle Creek Golf & Country Club in Port Stanley.
Running from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., the workshop is designed to encourage, educate and empower women to seek municipal office or school board trustee in the 2010 municipal election.
It is open to all women interested in running, managing a campaign or fundraising and features guest speakers including city clerk Wendell Graves, County of Middlesex CAO (that’s right a hated-in-St. Thomas CAO) Bill Reyburn, noted municipal affairs expert Peter John Sidebottom and Municipal World executive editor Susan Gardner.
What a diverse and talented bevy of municipal specialists who alone are worth the $25 registration fee.
More info by calling the St. Thomas YWCA at 631-9800.
Now this is how you ensure there’s a talented slate of candidates in a year’s time.
Good luck to all who take the plunge into municipal politics.
NO RHYME NOR REASON
Like a visit to any Saturday morning garage sale, there’s no telling what you will dig up when you click into a politicians website.
For example, here’s what we found under the heading Limerick For Joe Preston on the site of the Elgin-Middlesex-London MP.
“There once was an MP named Joe. A politically charged dynamo. Always providing support for his riding. And quite often some Federal dough.”
The author of this gooey dollop of treacle is none other than Bayham Mayor Lynn Acre.
Proving once again, some politicos are utterly shameless.
A BUSY RUMOR MILL
This corner went right to the source to seek an answer to the rumor that has shadowed Ald. Heather Jackson-Chapman for some time.
With great dignity, she emphatically answered ‘No’ when we broached her on the question she has fielded for about six years, by her reckoning.
‘No,’ repeated Ald. Jackson-Chapman in a very controlled fashion..
“No,” stresses the alderman, “I am not pregnant.”
As to that other rumor, will the decidedly unpregnant alderman challenge all comers in the 2010 mayoralty race?
Well, that’s a whole different matter entirely.
Ald. Jackson-Chapman appears quite delighted to encourage that speculation.
We have confirmed she is not pregnant, but we’re expecting she’ll do quite well in the municipal vote now less than a year distant.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The treasurer sat here last week and gave us a firm lecture about what he was asking department heads for.”
Ald. David Warden reminded council this past Monday treasurer Bill Day has warned city managers to reign in expenses in the expectation of a budget crunch during operational budget deliberations next spring.
City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.