Liberal Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau
Credits: DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI AGENCY
I know it's not nice to call people names. And usually I reserve such mud-slinging for politicians' policies and not for the people themselves.
But Justin Trudeau is a special case. He has never given any indication, ever, that he is intellectually deeper than a millimetre.
Take his stance on gun control. Trudeau is in favour of the federal gun registry, unless of course you're opposed to it. Then he is very much opposed to it, too, just like you.
Last Friday in suburban Toronto, Trudeau surprised a lot of Canadians (including many of his own supporters) when he admitted "the long-gun registry, as it was, was a failure and I'm not going to resuscitate that."
He went further still, "I grew up with long guns, rifles and shotguns. ... I do not feel that there's any huge contradiction between keeping our cities safe from gun violence and gangs, and allowing this important facet of Canadian identity which is having a gun."
That's a very sensible position. From a Liberal. From a Trudeau, no less.
Since then, though, Trudeau has flip-flopped and backtracked, rescinded, reasserted and contradicted himself so often it's impossible to know whether there is even a kernel of intelligent thought in his gun policy.
Gun owners who are always on the lookout for intrusions on their right to own firearms were suspicious of Trudeau's words from the get-go. After all, he is the son of Pierre Trudeau, who not once, but twice (1969 and 1977) passed bills restricting Canadians' ability to buy and use guns.
They doubted Justin had had much contact with long guns as a youth. Even more dubious was his claim that "the RCMP guarding me had handguns and I got to play with them every now and then."
Really? The Mounties assigned to guard his father and family let him and his young siblings handle their pistols or revolvers? I find that hard to believe.
There was also the inconvenient fact that as an MP, Trudeau had voted to retain the gun registry every chance he had, including just months ago when the House of Commons was debating the Tory bill to close the registry.
So it wasn't really too surprising when Trudeau reverted to form within days.
By Monday, when he was back in Quebec (where the registry was popular and where the provincial government is attempting to set up its own registry), Trudeau was taking pride in his pro-registry voting record.
"I voted to keep the firearms registry a few months ago and if we had a vote tomorrow I would vote once again to keep the long-gun registry," Trudeau told reporters during a campaign stop at a suburban Montreal mall.
Then he tried to define what he had meant in Ontario by the word "failure." In a mind-numbing exercise in intellectual bafflegab, Trudeau said "the definition of a failed public policy is the fact that the long-gun registry is no more... because it was so deeply divisive for far too many people, it no longer exists."
Does this mean we have to parse Justin's initial statement more carefully? Does this mean that when he said "the long-gun registry, as it was, was a failure," that he really means he could consider a new registry and other forms of gun control, just not the old registry?
Gun owners are worried that is what he means, and with good reason.
I suspect the mercurial, thoughts-blowing-in-the-breeze Trudeau has no commitment to the right of law-abiding Canadians to own guns and could easily be convinced to pursue new controls every bit as divisive and useless as the old registry.