Finger guns in Parliament: A short history

Ed Fast is the subject of but the latest complaint

Does Parliament have an imaginary gun problem?

The allegation yesterday that the trade minister pointed a finger gun across the aisle, is somehow something like the fifth such incident in recent years.

In April 2009, Conservative MP Jeff Watson admitted to brandishing a finger gun after a complaint from a Bloc MP. Later that year, Vic Toews was accused of making a “gun-like gesture.”

In 2011, Conservative MP Jim Hillyer celebrated the demise of the long-gun registry with a pair of finger guns.

That salute resulted in some debate and an apology.

And then, two years ago, Conservative MP Brad Butt apologized after NDP MP Carol Hughes reported that he had pointed a finger gun at his own head.

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old boy in the American state of Ohio was suspended for three days after pointing a finger gun at the head of a classmate and saying, “Boom.” That punishment might’ve been a bit much, but possibly it should not be so easy to compare the behaviour of parliamentarians to the goofing of 10-year-old boys.

We might thus hope to restrict the use of finger guns to good natured attempts to seem cool or charming.