- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2003

In the ongoing saga of Canada's heavy-handed, mandatory national gun registration program, the Windsor Star newspaper in Ontario says there's increasing momentum among Canadians to start a nationwide gun owners group similar to the National Rifle Association in the U.S.

The president of the Law-abiding Unregulated Firearms Association (LUFA) believes it's high time to have a real gun owners advocacy group. Wayne Fields last week told the Star that Canadian gun owners are dismayed with the federal gun registry fiasco and that a national lobbying group for firearms advocates is needed to protect their interests.

"The question is where do we go from here," said Fields, who claims membership in the Alberta-based LUFA jumped almost 50 percent in the past year to 30,000 members nationwide.

"Groups like the Coalition for Gun Control are not going to go away. We need a strong national organization along the lines of the NRA to protect firearm ownership."

Fields told the newspaper that while Canadian gun owners do have umbrella organizations to turn to, like the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, these groups are disparate and focus narrowly on their individual interests.

He said a national organization "with at least 100,000 members" is needed to act on behalf of all gun owners.

What is so sad about the Canadian gun conundrum is that our neighbors to the north are in bad need of something like the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is a clear-as-a-bell amendment that gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms. It came about after considerable abuses by a British colonial government that eventually was booted out by the residents of the new United States of America.

Canada needs to do just that: boot out its British-inspired restrictive laws.

Already, a number of provincial governments have called for an end to the gun registry program that threatens to severely punish otherwise law-abiding Canadians if they don't fall into line. Recently, Newfoundland and New Brunswick have come on board to call for an end to the registry program.

Fields estimates at least 50 percent of gun owners refused to register their weapons by Jan.1, as mandated. Some Canadians waited until the last moment to register and then sent in bogus names and addresses to confuse the registration system.

Winter barbecue a mere 25 simoleons Phil Angle, a member of the Southern Maryland Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association says, "How can anybody not come to this event? You get a year's membership in the CCA, six chances on a Scout raffle boat, motor and trailer, Lefty's chicken and pork barbecue and all the trimmings, open bar, live and silent auctions, bucket raffles, door prizes for only 25 simoleons." I believe that's $25 Mr. Angle is talking about. Indeed, it sounds like a great evening for resident fishermen around these parts who ought to join the CCA and begin joining in the fight to save and improve our natural resources, the fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

This CCA/Southern Maryland Winter Barbecue takes place Saturday, Feb.22, 6p.m., at the Izaak Walton League Hall on Gardiner Road, off St. Peter's Church Road, in Waldorf. Pork and chicken with side dishes will be provided by Lefty's Bar-B-Que Unlimited in Waldorf. Make plans to attend. Bring your significant other, fishing buddies and family. Children under 12 are free, youngsters 12 to 18 can enjoy the barbecue for $15.

The chapter needs to know who is coming so enough food will be on hand. Call or e-mail Don Gardiner, 301/645-3323, [email protected] For questions or directions, contact Dennis Fleming, 301/884-5878.

Eagle makes off with a dog From the Reuters News Service office in Stockholm comes word that a golden eagle made a meal of a dachshund the German hunting breed that Americans refer to as wiener dogs because of their low-slung, long bodies. The dog was taking part in a rabbit hunt in Halland, in southwestern Sweden, when it became the prey. Local wildlife officials said that the big birds have been coming closer to farmland and towns during a severe cold-snap in Scandinavia. The eagles apparently have a tough time finding food.

The owner of the dachshund, Valdemar Nilsson, will be reimbursed for the loss of the dog at government expense. Under Swedish law the government compensates losses of livestock and dogs caused by bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx and eagles.

Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report every Thursday, only in The Washington Times.

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