Mr. Speaker, I thought I did mention the point. The point is we do not want this bill to become a further direction. We do not want it to take us further toward a “shoot first, ask questions later” situation. Part of the bill is about self-defence and the definition thereof. I was trying to point out that I already had a situation in my riding where many young people believed that owning a firearm was a matter of self-defence. They believed they had the right to own firearms. I am sure we have heard some members opposite talk about that right. There is no such a right, but members opposite have said that.
Now these children, having heard this, believe it is their right to have a firearm to defend themselves. Part of the bill is about changing the definition of “self-defence”. It is in the news. It is something we cannot avoid. We are now facing this explosion of very young individuals who believe they need to own handguns. They get it by illegal means, I will grant that, because it is not legal.
However, I was astonished, as I think the members opposite should be, to discover that half of the 13 to 15 year olds in that classroom had handguns or knew somebody who did. This is an astounding number of individuals of that age group.
Those same people are now being made victims, and that is part of where this is coming from. The bill starts with the premise that the person who is being robbed is a victim and should not be the offender. What we are trying to establish, and what I am trying to point out to the government, is that many of the bills it has brought forward in fact create victims of people who do not need to be made victims. We are trying to protect victims.
One of the things we are doing is trying to help pass this law, which would actually protect victims. However, there are other laws that have come to us that would make victims out of ordinary law-abiding people, and we are opposed to that.
It was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance who brought us to that portion about victims versus offenders in the discussions on the bill.
What we hope to do with this law should not become something more than it is. We hope to allow individuals to protect their personal property and to hold somebody, but we do not want to create a system of vigilante justice where individuals believe they have the right to use firearms on other individuals.