I don't usually devote a blog posting to the words of someone else but today is a good day to do so. Heather Mallick deserves our praise today. Now I have always been a tad suspicious of gun control because, though I am very far on the left of the political spectrum, I am also a student of Thomas Paine and I have trouble trusting a government that is eager to keep as many guns as it can for itself and eliminate the rest. After the abuses by the military and the police in recent decades we should all be afraid of that and be lobbying for the elimination of ALL the guns as well as the existence of a standing army. That is why there is a certain irony, and dare I say hypocrisy, in arguing for gun control while at the same time tolerating and even promoting a culture of violence and machismo. Thus Ms Mallick is correct in pointing out in her article today the important gender issue that is being forgotten in the whole debate over the gun registry. Since the massacre at Montreal (may they all rest in peace) it should be obvious to anyone with any sense that violence against women is a central issue in the gun debate. And though compelling people to register long-guns will not end violence against women, and unfortunatly the murder of innocent women at the hands of men will continue, any tool in that fight is welcome and important. And since the majority of such incidents occur with legally obtained guns, how can anyone doubt that any contribution to the knowledge we have of where guns are and who has them can help in that struggle? To say that the gun registry is useless because it won't eliminate gun violence is like saying that a law against murder is useless because it hasn't ended murders.
But what I praise Ms Mallick for most today is reminding us that we have created and continue to promote a culture of violence. By all means, register guns, but while we are busy doing that let's stand against a culture where violence is pervasive in everything from video games to foreign policy and where politics has become almost the exclusive domain of a bullying culture of machismo. And while you are fighting this struggle, tell any NDP friends that you might have that it is time to look for a new leader.