AMERICAN-STYLE GUN CULTURE COMES TO ALBERTA?
Trump is well known to encourage intervention by armed civilian paramilitary groups into peaceful urban protests in the States. His infamous debate invocation to the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” emboldened these White Supremacists who immediately used his words as a recruitment and rallying cry.
Alberta has the Proud Boys and other neo-Nazi groups, some are believed to be embedded in the UCP Base Will they also be encouraged to more aggressive intimidation and activism by disturbing Trumpist-like opposition to assault-weapon control moves by the Kenney-controlled UCP Majority government?
One recent, sinister UCP political announcement is Kenney’s reaction to the Trudeau government ban on assault-style weapons. The Kenney political moves are instructive and unnerving examples of how much the American Republican Party has exerted influence on the UCP political culture.
But wait there’s more, and it gets worse, and even more Trumpist. The chronic anti-Trudeau assault-weapon ban messaging by Kenney is also being colored in his propensity for an American Far-Right policy agenda. “Hundreds of thousands of Albertans simply use firearms as part of everyday life,” Kenney said. “Those law-abiding Albertans should not be used as scapegoats for the actions of criminals by politicians in Ottawa.”
Alberta’s Minister of Justice is even on record calling the federal government ban on assault-style weapons as “a gun grab.” He also bemoans the federal assault weapons ban will not “address the true problem: the flow of illegal firearms throughout Canada from south of the border.” How much more American-style Right to Bear Arms and National Rifle Association gun culture language can you get?
On a positive note, Kenney committed $500,000 last June to expand and centralize firearms testing in Calgary and Edmonton to avoid alleged 8-month long ballistic testing delays from Ottawa testing facilities. There was no update on that policy initiative at the recent public consultation announcement.
YET ANOTHER SUPERFICIAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION
What we now have is another anodyne public consultation, this time in the form of the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee. It is only mandated to look at “concerns about the federal government’s firearms legislation for “stakeholders” in Alberta and provide recommendations on how provincial policies can best support law-abiding gun owners while keeping Albertans safe.”
It is all being done quickly and superficially to take advantage of our preoccupation with COVID concerns, economic uncertainty, and social isolation growing and serious impacts on mental and physical health.
Announced November 9th, we are being invited to participate in “first-come, first-served” two town hall meetings on Nov 17 and 23rd. The town hall participants are limited to 1000 each, so expect it to fill up with pro-gun stakeholders. There is no background paper on the implication or analysis of the reason behind this policy effort. The policy conclusion is baked in, the consultation is window-dressing and pandering to the UCP Base. That manipulation of public consultation is not voter suppression, it is suppressing Democracy.
You must register and give your name, phone number, email address, and identify your “organization” as an option. I expect this registration information will be used for abusive political follow up. It will be used to identify those Albertans who register to see if they are recruitable into the UCP Base. Why wouldn’t the Kenney-controlled UCP use the registration information so some “Others” can be identified and labeled as “UnAlbertan?”
DO YOU TRUST KENNEY NOT TO ABUSE POLITICAL POWER?
Kenney’s abuse of political power is well known. If you think this is an over-reaction, look at the targeting the Kenney War Room is already doing. The War Room has inaccurately and intentionally misinformed Albertans about comments on Alberta’s energy sector in the New York Times. They overtly tried to intimidate the Medicine Hat News and accused them of UnAlbertan attitudes.
Then consider the politically motivated secretive unaccountable, inept, and abusive use of Kenney’s political power through the misuse of the Public Inquiries Act. Kenney is targeting environmental groups whom he deems to be “UnAlbertan.” This abuse is before the Courts and Kenney has been working hard to delay and defer the litigation.
We can’t talk about gun control without looking into the context of Kenney’s personal pursuit of a Provincial Police Force. Kenney frames this as a necessity to improve public safety and reduce rural crime, and a whipping-boy criticism of the RCMP.
Kenney is framing this as if we had a Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms in Alberta. We don’t have any equivalent to the American Second Amendment and we don’t need such a right in Alberta. More to come on this in subsequent blog posts.
In the meantime, you have until December 6 to take the survey. Here is a link to the Survey