Thank you very much.
I really enjoy being told that it was a previous Conservative member of Parliament, a cabinet minister and actually prime minister, who brought in the original FACs, which the outdoors community had no problem with. It's only when the Liberals tried to up the ante and brought in the long-gun registry.... She never brought that into law and quite frankly would not have gotten it past most Conservatives in this country. I need to get that out of the way.
When the opposition talks about tracking sales, that's code for a new kind of registry through the back door; that's what it's all about. In actual fact, they're not entirely wrong, because under the old FAC, there was a tracking of it, and we might have had something like that anyway without all the kerfuffle, but the Liberals, always trying to one-up everybody else, brought in the long-gun registry, and we know what that caused in this country: great debate.
I'd also like to talk about safe storage and proper handling of such things as BB guns and pellet guns. For the edification of those here, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters works in partnership with the Ontario government in delivering the hunter safety courses. Of course, because they support this legislation, one would have to assume that their partners in education also would support this piece of legislation, which I agree with you is simply bringing common sense back. Here's what you would have.
We have, of course, mostly young people using BB guns and pellet guns. I know my two grandchildren have received gifts of those, and their fathers go out with them to teach them proper firearm safety such as you talk about. The opposition talk about the value of education. I'd like to talk about the value of education as given by mom and dad. We don't need the big hand of the state in every form because in some legislators' eyes you can't trust mom and dad to do the good thing but have to have the state do it. My dad taught me firearm safety beginning with BB guns. So I have to agree with you there.
Here's the problem I have with the current legislation, if we don't adopt this bill to deal with a flaw in the law. We potentially could have a lot of young people ending up in young offenders court because they put the BB gun in a closet and didn't lock it up or didn't put a trigger lock on it. That's what would happen, as far as I'm concerned, because police officers, like anybody else, each interpret the law, and that's why all the laws say a police officer “may” charge.
When I became a police officer, we were told that you lay a highway traffic offence when a warning won't suffice. I can tell you, having a son in the police, that the education is completely changing. It's that you charge people first, unless you think a warning will suffice. So there is a change.
I have to agree with you. When any private member of Parliament sees something that they think needs to be corrected in law, it is their right to bring legislation forward. To suggest that any member of Parliament bringing a private member's bill forward who happens to be part of the governing party shouldn't bring it in, that it should be the party that does so.... You're right: we have a duty as legislators to do it.
If you wouldn't mind, given what we heard about injuries that could be sustained by BB guns and pellet guns, could you talk about the injuries that could be sustained by knives or baseball bats? I wonder whether you'd like to talk about any of the subjects that I've just ranted over.