Re: Stephen Harper's hypocrisy in dismantling the gun registry
- From: "Marek Zyskowski" <news@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 15:53:01 -0400
Three obvious things:
1. Registering guns does not protect people. Registered or not the guns are
2. Dangerous criminals will not register their weapons that they intend to
commit crimes with. They will find other mean or use home made weapons.
3. Police are not better protected by a gun registry. The registry is money
wasted in a bureaucracy instead of in actual enforcement of the law.
<jlipka81@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
There's a curious inconsistency in the credo of those - including
Stephen Harper - who want to crack down on crime.
While they're keen to increase jail times - a keenness likely to
increase in the wake of the recent biker killings in Ontario - Harper
and other anti-crime hardliners are also keen to take away an
indispensable crime-fighting tool in the arsenal of police: the gun
The Harper government is proceeding with plans to dismantle the gun
registry, over the objections of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of
It's not surprising that police strongly support the registry. Police
officers find it extremely useful to know in advance whether there's a
gun in a place they're investigating. Police use the registry more than
5,000 times a day, according to the Canadian Professional Police
It's astonishing that Harper would deprive the police of a tool they
say helps them deal with dangerous situations.
Some critics argue that the registry needlessly imposes a burden on
law-abiding owners of rifles and shotguns.
But, in the wrong hands, rifles and shotguns can be extremely
They are the weapon of choice in domestic violence and are used in half
of all shootings of police officers, notes Wendy Cukier, who teaches
justice studies at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Licensing gun owners and registering guns help prevent weapons falling
into the wrong hands. The system allows guns to be traced back to their
owners, so owners are inclined to store guns more carefully and to
refuse to sell them to unlicensed individuals.
The burden is hardly onerous; no more than obtaining a driver's license
and registering a car.
We have no trouble seeing that a car can pose a significant risk to the
public, so the privilege of driving is accompanied by certain
Guns are, if anything, more dangerous. While cars can kill, that's not
what they're designed to do. If the inconvenience of registration is
too great, there's always the option of not owning a gun, just as
there's always the option of not owning a motor vehicle.
The gun lobby has managed to distort the public debate on this
important subject by keeping public attention focused exclusively on
the Liberal government's cost overruns in setting up the $1 billion
program (registering 2 million gun owners and 7 million guns).
Regrettable as those inflated costs were, that money has already been
spent and nothing will bring it back, certainly not cancelling the
Furthermore, the ongoing costs of operating the registry are only $15
million a year.
If licensing and screening costs for gun ownership are added in, the
total comes to
$80 million a year - less than the annual cost of running the
Surely we as a country can afford $80 million a year to provide police
with a tool they consider vital for fighting crime, and protecting
themselves and the public.
If that's obvious to me, why isn't it obvious to a government that
purports to take crime seriously? Many polls have showen that a
majority of Canadians living in Ontario and
Quebec support maintaining the federal gun registry, with the highest
support being in
Quebec itself. There is also a great deal of support for maintaining
the federal gun registry
in the rest of Canada too, with the notable exception of Alberta,
Stephen Harper's own
Could it be that Stephen Harper is ignoring the wishes and better
judgement of Canada's police forces as well as that of the vasy
majority of Canadians, because he is aiming first and foremost to
placate his core base in Alberta which largely consists of gun owners,
hunters, pickup truck drivers, rednecks, bigots, racists, sexists,
homophobes, misogynists and religious fundamentalists? Infamous
Albertans such as religious zealots like Wiebo Ludwig and holocaust
deniers like James Keegstra come to mind as prime examples of the sort
of people who consist of the Conservative Party of Canada's core
grassroots base in Alberta
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