Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Gun Registry

This issue really baffles me. I cannot for the life of me understand why any reasonable person would oppose registering guns.

And it's not as if the people who oppose it simply act as if they have an honest disagreement. No, the average gun registry-opponent practically lives for having this thing scrapped. Many of them consider it the single worst thing the Liberals ever did.

Nevermind that the police use it 5000 times a day and don't want it scrapped. Nevermind that the Conservative Party claims to be the "law and order" party, yet scrapping the registry would only make police officers' jobs more dangerous. Are you aware that they check the registry every time they go to a house to determine whether or not they should be on the lookout for long guns being fired at them?

So it's expensive? So what? Safety isn't cheap.

So it doesn't stop every single murder in Canada. It was never meant to, and quite frankly, every time an opponent points to a shooting death and says, "the gun registry failed to prevent that," the obvious response is, "duh." It's not a catch-all. Nothing is or ever will be.

What is the big deal, I don't understand it? Is registering something designed for killing such a huge indignity in a society which generally frowns on killing?


At 5/17/2006 7:56 a.m., Anonymous gwilliam said...

Ok...I'm not sure why you guys dont get it or..dont want to get it..I regester guns...always have..since 1969...when you buy have to register it, you have to give your name, sin #, address...this is not something the Liberals invented!!! My dad was a cop, went into every house, every building, every domestic dispute with the understanding that there was a gun available...its just basic logic and safety precaution. The gun registry needed to be re-vamped to include moving and one argued that, well, some did but theres jerks everywhere, this should have been done with the RCMP and the local forces, probably 100 people on an Excel did it get to 6000 people and maybe 2 billion?? No fair minding person would object to a better registration...but how did the Libs screw this up so badly that they as the AG said..lied to parliament and hid the over costs??
Mind you, this is the same gang that purchased 1 billion dollars worth of subs that dont and cant float for another 4 years. And...when a police officer stops a car and checks the plates, that counts as a should have known that. Anyways, this should have been alot easier then it was, it should have been thought out better, it should have been subcontracted out to the private sector, because, no matter what govt is in charge, Con or Lib, you cannot dispute the fact that they screw up almost everything they touch.

At 5/17/2006 8:00 a.m., Anonymous snowzone said...

> Safety isn't cheap.

> So it doesn't stop every single murder in Canada.

there you have it. i'm not in opposition to the gun registry, but that's only part of the equation.

those who don't have a firearms licence aren't aware of all the red tape involved:

you pay ~$200 for the safety course.
you spend 8 hours in it. with an hour or so practical. for just the firearms licence it's a 5 page application (and/or renewal) requiring at least 4 separate signatures other than your own. and that's just the applicationfor the licence, actually registering your guns is more work.

and after all that, criminals can STILL ignore it all completely. so all that was really accomplished was feeding another government paperwork machine.

At 5/17/2006 8:44 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you aware that of the 5000 times the registry is accessed every day, the vast majority of those are regular traffic stops when a license number is punched in? The only thing the gun registry would tell you is that the person you stopped does have a gun. Not in the car but at home . . . stored safely. When the officer is in danger is when he or she stops a vehicle and the punk in the car has an unregistered gun.

I don't mind registering a firearm in the name of safety. But this registry was ill concieved from the start and pouring new money into it every year just so that a cop can stop me and know that I have a gun in my house stored safely it absolutely stupid. And that's what the crooked Liberal party has been for more than 10 years. Stupid.

At 5/17/2006 8:59 a.m., Blogger Jim said...

What rankles some, including me, is it's a law designed to punish the law-abiding. Rather than creating a law to protect a victim, it's a law that was created to punish a violator (the guy who doesn't register the gun).

It's somewhat analogous to the pit bull ban in Ontario. If you don't sterilize your pit bull, prevent your pit bull from breeding, or make your pit bull wear a muzzle, you're in trouble - because your pit bull is designed solely for killing (sarcastic hyperbole intended). Even if your pit bull is the best dog in the world, if you don't follow the law, you're in trouble. The guy with the mean old Rottweiler, on the other hand - is completely off the hook.

Another kind of example; New York is/was considering that all cars be fitted with breathalyzers as standard equipment [USA Today, Will all autos some day have breathalyzers?]. Drivers, who do not drink or cannot drink, are punished as though they had because the possibility exists it might help somebody somewhere sometime - maybe.

As an aside, I am now for the gun registry - simply because provinces and police have requested it stay.

At 5/17/2006 2:27 p.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

What rankles some, including me, is it's a law designed to punish the law-abiding.

That's like saying a law requiring everyone driving through the border to be stopped and questioned by a border guard (ie: current practice) is "punishing the law-abiding."

No, it's just a safety precaution.

At 5/17/2006 4:16 p.m., Blogger Kyle Carruthers said...

Yeah Im certainly not persuaded by the "punishing the law abiders" arguments.

But I oppose the gun registry. If it had cost the originally projected 2 million dollars, then in terms of lives saved:dollars spent ratio it may have been justified. I say "may" because we dont know if the registry saves ANY lives.

But at a billion dollars its simply not worth it.

BG, you said "So it's expensive? So what? Safety isn't cheap.". I think that logic is flawed. Public expenditures have to be judged in terms of their effectiveness. It would undoubtable save lives to have guard railings around every highway in the country. Are we going to do it? Heck no. Because there are many other far more cost effective ways to save lives.

Resources are limited, and as a society we cant do everything we want to do.

And you... my libertarian friend... should know more than anyone that if you want the tax cuts you like so much that sacrafices have to be made.

PS I know lots of people, some of them Liberal people (My MP included), who oppose the registry but are not motivated to vote for the only party promising to abolish it. I'm one of them

At 5/18/2006 10:01 a.m., Blogger Jim said...

No, it's just a safety precaution.

The border patrol in your example has a measurable effect on safety. I see people pulled over for offences or arrested for crimes by having the border patrol there. If the border patrol failed to catch anything, I'd question its effectiveness too. Either that, or people just started being honest.

So far, the only crime committed by people failing to register their gun is failing to register their gun. What's the point?

I will, of course, change my tune considerably if I see the gun registry has a measurable effect on safety.

To date, what I've seen is a $1 billion dollar promise that I'm safer because of the gun registry. If I'm not actually safer, or nobody is actually safer, what's the point?

The only thing right now, swaying my opinion is that the police say they use it. If they use it, that's a good enough argument to keep it. Plus, scrapping it isn't going to miraculously recover the $1B spent on it.

At 5/19/2006 3:03 a.m., Blogger Miles Lunn said...

I happen to agree with Kyle that the gun registry simply isn't worth it. Ironically I should note that Harper was one of three Reform Party MPs to initially support it (Jim Silye and Ted White were the others) while Jean Charest who wants it maintained voted against it in 1995 although I suspect that has more to do with the voter base the Progressive Conservatives as opposed to Quebec Liberals appeal to.

Unlike the gun lobby I support licencing for all firearm owners, but I don't think it is necessary to register each gun. If someone isn't fit to own a gun, it doesn't matter whether they own one or fifty guns. Besides I agree on a cost-benefit analysis, the costs clearly outweigh the benefits.

My only objection is that it should go to a parliamentary vote. The NDP is split on the issue, the Bloc Quebecois is for the gun registry, while all but a few Liberals are for it, so it would likely fail, but there is a possibility of it passing.


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