A phony gun battle

Killing the long-gun registry won’t be the folly critics suggest. But it won’t be the liberation gun owners may be hoping for either.

by Charlie Gillis

JONATHAN HAYWARD/CP

If he had his way, John Hipwell would spend more time selling guns, and less filling out paperwork. His store in Virden, Man., Wolverine Supplies, sells everything from deer rifles to semi-automatic handguns—a trade that requires him to wade through import permits, sales records and registration certificates on a daily basis. So when Candice Hoeppner, the Conservative MP from a neighbouring constituency, drafted a private member’s bill that would relieve one small part of his burden, Hipwell cheered. Canada’s long-gun registry has been “a waste of time and money,” he says, and Hoeppner’s proposal to shut it down would make life easier for merchants like him. As for concerns about public safety, Hipwell dismisses them with a wave. “The bottom line is that anyone wishing to acquire a firearm is going to have to get a possession and acquisition licence,” he says. “He’s going to get checked.”

It is the least publicized aspect of legislation that has resurrected a stubbornly undead issue, and one worth considering as the bill faces a crucial vote in the Commons next week. Yes, Bill C-391 would be a death sentence for laws requiring gun owners to register every single one of their hunting rifles and shotguns. But if they pass into law, Hoeppner’s amendments will leave the other, arguably more onerous, component of the Canadian Firearms Program intact—namely, the licensing regime through which the government assembles personal information on gun owners themselves.

Acquiring a firearm would still mean sending a photograph verified by a friend, along with two character references from someone who’s known you for three years or more. Background checks? Still required. Phone numbers so your spouses can be notified that you’re getting a gun licence? Keep ’em coming. All of that detailed personal information would live on in the existing electronic database, along with registration data for restricted weapons like handguns, where it will be at the fingertips of police attending complaints or investigating crimes. That may come as a surprise to the farmer who thought the government was about to leave him alone with his rusty .22. The gun registry is about to become a registry of gun owners.

All of which invites a question: if the bill would leave the most invasive components of the Liberal-made gun-control system in place—and if it leaves most safeguards for public security in place too—exactly what is this fight about?

Votes, is the short answer. For years before they were elected, Conservative members representing rural constituencies promised to scrap the gun registry should they ever get to power. Hoeppner’s legislation offered the Tories their best chance to fulfill that obligation, explains political scientist Tom Flanagan, because they needed opposition MPs from other parties to get it through the minority Parliament (unlike on government-sponsored legislation, MPs from other parties are typically allowed to vote their conscience on private member’s bills). The bill’s capacity to sow division within opposition parties has proven to be a bonus, Flanagan adds: last fall, with the legislation in second reading, fully 12 NDP members and eight Liberals voted in favour, pitting these mostly rural members against their urban colleagues. That in turn has put pressure on their leaders to take a stand, with Liberal boss Michael Ignatieff whipping next week’s vote, and NDP Leader Jack Layton working hard to sway his members who voted in favour of the bill last autumn. So far, two have agreed to switch.

Still, to some long-time observers, any short-term political gains for the Tories can’t justify the wounds reopened by Bill C-391, which as a country we may find hard to mend down the line. “The way the debate [over Bill C-391] unfolds reinforces this notion of a rural West versus an urban East,” says Roger Gibbins, a political scientist and head of the Calgary-based Canada West Foundation. “As somebody who lives in a large western city, it frustrates me. And I don’t think it’s particularly good for the country.”

Indeed, say observers, the whole conversation may serve only to strengthen stereotypes of the Tories among urban Canadians as the party of rubes. Flanagan, a former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who now teaches at the University of Calgary, acknowledges that risk, noting that it’s the sort of issue that stands between the Conservatives and a breakthrough among suburban and urban voters in southern Ontario that would propel the party to a majority.

“Every poll has shown, in terms of national public opinion, a majority in favour of the gun registry,” he says. “I think they’re willing to take a hit in the polls now and by the time an election rolls around, say next spring, the budget will be the issue and most swing voters won’t be thinking about it.”

That’s a lot of risk to take on for the sake of pleasing 1.8 million gun owners, who may not be so thrilled by the legislation when they realize it spares them little in the way of federal intrusion. It certainly fails to spare them much expense. While it costs $60 to obtain a licence for possession and acquisition of a gun, the actual registration or transfer of firearms ownership is currently free. Nor would it be much benefit to taxpayers: the RCMP, which operates the firearms program, estimates the annual cost of the long-gun portion of the registry at about $4 million, about six per cent of the cost of the entire program.

Then again, gun control has always been an issue of symbolism, meaning the details of any change matter less than the perception the government is doing gun owners a favour. And one of the enduring curiosities of anti-registry types is the fact that many are more rankled at the idea of their guns being tracked than the fact that they themselves are being watched over via the licensing system. “As far as I’m concerned, the licensing provisions aren’t rigorous enough,” says Hipwell. “My son is an RCMP officer. I have a wife and daughters. Nothing is more important to me than their safety and security.”

Perhaps no one grasps this sort of nuance as well as Hoeppner, who this week embarked on a nationwide tour aimed at pressuring Liberals and New Democrats who voted in favour of her bill at second reading. Hoeppner is as happy to tout what her legislation doesn’t change as what it does, rejecting fears raised by the country’s police chiefs that ending the registry would endanger police officers and inhibit firearms investigations. “You won’t be able to just walk into Canadian Tire and buy a gun,” she says from her riding of Portage-Lisgar, in southern Manitoba.

But she’s not about to apologize for striking a blow in favour of gun owners, either. “This has been our policy the entire time our party’s been in existence,” she says. “People support us because that’s what we believe in.”

Hoeppner, suffice to say, doesn’t see herself as an agent of political discord. If all goes according to plan, her bill will survive next week’s vote (on a Liberal motion to kill the legislation), then pass third reading. With licensing provisions still in place, she says, police attending calls would have information to warn them of the possible presence of guns; at the same time, the system would help keep firearms out of dangerous hands. In her best-case scenario, it would produce detente over an issue that since the firearms program’s inception in 1995 has exposed regional and political fault lines like few others.

It’s a pleasing outcome to contemplate. Yet even at this early stage it seems overly optimistic.

Four years ago, the federal government announced an amnesty allowing people with unregistered long guns to bring themselves into compliance without prosecution. Critics predicted a dramatic drop in registrations (why do it if there’s no penalty?), but it was the actual licensing that slid instead. In 2007, according to RCMP numbers, about 1.9 million people had licences for possession, acquisition or ownership of non-restricted firearms. By June of this year, that number stood at 1.83 million, while the number of guns registered had increased five per cent, to just over 6.8 million.

Are unscrupulous owners making a cold calculation, figuring they don’t need licences if the government doesn’t know they have guns? Hard to say. But if licences are to be the primary safeguard in the absence of registration, it’s an obvious red flag, and you can bet the first heinous crime committed by the unlicensed owner of a long-gun will produce a wave of recriminations over Hoeppner’s bill. That in turn will reignite the war over gun control that a decade ago drew battle lines between us—rural and urban; conservative and liberal; West and East. Not exactly an attractive prospect for those who got enough the first time around, and an awful lot of trouble just to save some paperwork.




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A phony gun battle

  1. It all seems like a run around.
    The real issue was not mentioned. Long guns are not usually used in crime. And Police kill a lot of people with guns. And most killings happen in cities.
    So regardless how you spin it. We don't "need" the long gun registry

    • Well said.

    • Well said again.

    • that's actually not true on any count. Most crimes ARE committed with long guns, as are most cases of suicide and domestic abuse. As well, there are just as many crimes involving guns in rural areas as there are in urban areas (crime rates, beleive it or not, are higher in rural areas than in cities). Crime (other than organized crime) doen't happen like in the movies with a criminal mastermind plotting out his targets, it happens as a result of an unfortunate situation: 2 people get into a fight, one is bigger, smaller guy pulls out a gun to defend himself (even though he often started the altercation) sometimes pulling out the gun ends the fight, sometimes that gun gets shot.

      The gun registry is one tool in the kit for crime-solving, as well as crime-rpevention, as it is one more reason for someone to think twice before pulling out that gun. If we register our cars on the chance that they get used in a crime, why not register our guns?

      • Not true, and if you'll spend a minute at stats Canada, you become aware of that

        • He's absolutely telling the truth. Did you yokels even read this freaking article? And when did you ever visit StatsCan website?

          Charlie Gillis: good article, full of facts and analysis — and balanced. Thanks. Hope people will READ it.

          • What truth?
            Yes I am very familiar with Stats Can. They are numbers – do you do any
            analysis of them? It is one thing to comment – another to espouse beliefs
            without knowledge. The majority of firearm's owners and associations
            strongly support the firearms' laws – licence, handling & storage, registry of
            restricted firearm's etc. As to suicide – firearm's are one method – so are vehicles,
            trains, gas, drugs etc.
            East / West divide? your post is the strongest example of that.

          • Show me a stat that says long guns are used in most crimes, suicides, and domestic abuse.

            If you can't, then I think you owe all the yokels an apology.

          • He owes the yokels an apology.

            The thing about it is that the pro-long-gun regsitry crowd is notoriously bad at correcting their mistruths.

            For example, Antonia Zerbisias claims the Mayerthorpe Mounties were killed with a long-gun. They weren't. They were killed with an assault rifle.

            Anyone else think the Toronto Star corrected the record? That would be a mistake.

          • I suspect Matt was referring to most gun crimes, and not most crimes in general.

          • I keep hearing it, but the only studies I've been able to find are from the start of firearm licensing to 2002, I think was the latest I saw. Nothing since 2004 or whenever it was that registering came into effect have I been able to find, yet I think studies are out there . . . somewhere.

            I do know that the studies since the firearm licensing show a drop in the number of deaths by long-guns. That does nothing to answer the question, I know. Maybe you need to go to the paying section of StatsCan to find the studies since the registry? I heard tonight from the lady representing University Women that in rural areas, long guns ARE used in most suicides, and in most domestic violence involving guns. In urban areas, it is different. I thought that was interesting, but I didn't catch what paper or study she was citing (she was citing something).

          • Almost everyone agrees that proper firearm licensing is important. In fact it is the main reason I find the LGR a redundant waste.

            I find that statement about rural suicides questionable. I would think that overdose, hanging, and slitting wrists would all be close to, or higher then long guns. I am certain that there is no way that long gun suicides would be more then all of these other methods combined.

            Also registering long-guns doesn't really do much to reduce these trends in suicide, and domestic violence IMHO. A registered long gun can still be used for either. That is why gun violence prevention should be focused on the firearm owner (licensing), and not the firearm (money pit).

          • It would be nice to find that study.

            A (registered) long gun can still be used for suicide and domestic violence whether we have a registry or not, no question. However, there is a far higher likelihood that, should the person's mental state be identified beforehand, police will take all guns away if there is a registry, than if they have absolutely no idea how many firearms are in this person's possession. While it isn't the be-all and end-all of gun safety, I find that fact alone to be worth the additional monies (now that the huge waste of setting it up is behind us)

          • Hey Jenn,

            I decided to take a quick look on Wiki to see what the story is on Canadian suicides.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Cana

            "The suicide rate in Canada peaked at 15.2 in 1978 and reached a low of 11.3 in 2004.[25][26][27] The number firearm suicides in Canada dropped from a high of 1287 in 1978 to a low of 568 in 2004[28] while the number of non-firearm suicides increased from 2,046 in 1977 to 3,116 in 2003. It is, therefore, unclear as to whether new gun laws in Canada have actually decreased gun suicides or simply shifted those suicides to other means, nor are any other social, political or economic factors correlated statistically in any of these results."

            Lots of other interesting stuff there too. On domestic abuse/murder:

            "Spousal murder rates have fallen significantly as well. For females in a relationship the rate of homicide fell from 1.65 per 100,000 in 1974 to 0.71 per 100,000 in 2004 while for males in a relationship the rate dropped from 0.44 per 100,000 in 1974 to 0.14 per 100,000 in 2004.[21] Spousal homicides committed with firearms dropped by 77% for women between 1974 and 2000 and by 80% for men during the same time period.[22] Increased awareness, reporting and publication of domestic violence incidents, as well as police campaigns to crack down on domestic violence, have been the primary factors on the reduction of domestic violence homicides[23]."

          • I saw that, too, but looked at a few other studies as well. You are right that the overall suicide rate didn't change–but here's the thing. The SUCCESS rate with all other forms of suicide is not nearly as good as with guns. I mean, sometimes you can shoot yourself at basically point blank range and live. But most often you don't. The suicide success rate for drug overdoses, for example, is very low–only about 5% if I remember rightly. Obviously, that means that those who try suicide with another method have a better chance of having their cry for help heard before it is too late.

          • I'm pretty sure those statistics are only counting successful suicides.

            If someone is determined enough to blow their head off, It's my thinking that they will be determined enough to kill themselves by other means. I think the stats bear this out.

          • Well, yes of course. But you're looking the opposite way. If, in a moment of depression or despair you decide to do yourself in and you START with a gun, chances are you'll end it (all) right there. If, on the other hand, you START with hanging yourself, there is a (better) chance that someone will come along and save you while you yet live. If you still feel the same way several days later (after you've recuperated from the hanging) you may try again with a gun or some other method. If you're stopped again, you may try a third time, etc.

            But maybe you won't try again at all! And that's the point.

    • Hmm, yes most crimes that are committed with a firearm are not long guns, but the majority of RCMP officers killed on the job are killed with long guns….

      • so the registry doesn't work eh?

        • you don't value the life of an RCMP officer? Shame.

          • And this connected how?

          • Yes, but they get paid to take those risks. The farm where the two poor bastards were scapegoated is a perfect example as to why registration is just a way for the system to abdicate responsibility for their actions.

          • Not what he said.

            Let's consider the recent comments by former RCMP Superintendent Keith Thompson:
            http://www.ottawasun.com/news/canada/2010/09/09/1

            "I think it is a waste, and most importantly, if we think about the safety of our citizens, it gives them a false sense of its importance," said Thompson, who now runs a security consulting company.

            Thompson, with the Mounties for 30 years and once a member of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs, said his position gave him insight dealing with potentially explosive situations.

            "In my various roles, I attended too many scenes of hostage-taking, murder/suicides, barricaded persons, etc., and know of no lives that could have been saved with such a fully functioning registry," he wrote in a recent open letter to Members of Parliament.

            He said no experienced commander at the scene of such incidents would issue orders based on information in a gun registry, but would instead assume a worst-case scenario.

            "In other words, assume that there would be guns regardless of what the registry implied."

          • How interesting. One voice. Too bad the Police Chiefs do not agree with him.

          • Pop quiz, Gayle: do you know how much money the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police accepted from the CGI group — the company that produces the software for the Gun Registry?

            I know the answer.

          • Here is something you might try Patrick- try proving, with actual evidence, that the Chiefs support the registry because they get money from the CGI group (if they actually do).

            Good luck!

            hahahahaha

          • OH! Oooooooh…

            You sure got me. And the "hahahahaha" sure put it away for you, didn't it?

            Then again, not really.

            Here is the evidence: the CACP accepted a donation of $115,000 from the CGI Group. The CGI Group produces the software for the gun regsitry.

            Res Ipsa Loquitur. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.

            Moreover, Dr John Jones resigned from the ethics committee of the CACP.It didn't take him much imagination to realize that the acceptance of the donation, and the subsequent adoption of a position on the matter, was a serious violation of ethics.

            Only someone ideologically motivated to ignore the facts would look at a matter such as this and think there's nothing to see here. If it were a conservative group — such as, say a Canadian group accepting monetary support from the NRA — you'd treat the matter very differently.

            In fact, we've seen how you and your ilk react in a similar situation when no money is involved at all.

            Sorry to say, Gayle, you can't have this both ways — "hahahahaha"s and all.

          • Really? You actually think the CACP would allow their support to be purchased for the price of a few tickets to a Celine Dion concert? Let me say this again: hahahahahahaha

            Here's the thing, the "fact" that other people agree with you is not a big selling point for your argument. In fact, it is kind of pathetic, like when a kid says "Bobby says so too!". I Let's try a grown up debate now.

            What you have done is demonstrate that you do not, in fact, have any evidence at all that the support for the registry was purchased for the grand sum of $115000.00. All you have is your need to cast aspersions on the character of these people because you have no ability to cast aspersions on their reasoning.

            That was a real nice try though. Next!

          • *snicker*

            If only it were just anyone.

            No, this was DR John Jones, Formerly of the CACP ethics committee.

            So here's what we have: we have the acceptance of a $115,000 donation from the company that produces the software for the gun registry to the CACP.

            On the other hand, we have Gayle's ideologically-motivated skepticism.

            Only Gayle would treat this matter as coincidental. Her "hahahahahahaha"s really only confirm her desperation. Which really only underscores her lack of confidence in her own argument.

            It's quite a world Gayle lives in: a Canadian group accepts non-material support from the NRA, she and her ilk judge them tainted. The CACP accepts a MASSIVE donation from CGI Group — one that spurs the resignation of one of its chief ethicists — and declares that to be A-OK.

            Only in Gayle's own little world. Which, forutnately for the rest of us, has nothing at all to do with reality.

          • Still no proof the support was a result of a $115000.00 payment? Does Dr. John Jonas actually say the reason the police chiefs support the registry is because of this donation?

            Please, post a link that shows the support of the registry is the result of a back room deal between 428 police chiefs and this company. It is so amazing the way those 428 people have kept this a total secret. It is also amazing how this country has 428 police chiefs who would sell their souls for pocket change. Wow – the police forces in this country are run entirely by corrupt individuals? Who knew?

            Quick – call for an inquiry!

            hahahahahaha!

          • Like I said, only someone like Gayle would suggest that there's nothing wrong with the CACP taking a position — particularly one that is counter-factual –on a topic on which a company they accepted a large donation from clearly holds a stake.

            Only Gayle would treat the two events as unrelated.

            Only Gayle would that that her own "hahahahahaha" clinch an argument for her, rather than simply demonstrating her own desperation.

          • hahahahaha

            I never said there was no conflict of interest concerns. I said there is no evidence the support was purchased with this donation.

            You see Patrick, just because an organization accepts gifts from another organization, it does not automatically mean that the first organization's members are a bunch of corrupt liars who are willing to sell out for a concert ticket.

            You have shown absolutely no evidence at all that the support for the registry was bought and paid for by CGI. All you have done is demonstrate that the organization was foolish to accept concert tickets.

            As far as I'm concerned, anyone who would go to a Celine Dion concert, even for free, is a little screwy. That does not mean that person is dishonest.

          • Ha HA.

            So there IS a conflcit of interest here, and now Gayle finally admits to it.

            That's all I needed.

            Game. Set. Match.

            I rest my case.

          • hahahahaha

            You missed the rest of it. You know, the part that a conflict of interest is not the same as corruption, lying, and selling your vote for a few dollars?

            But I am so glad you found a little tiny shred of satisfaction. Must feel good after a long night of having your every point neatly deflected with only a small amount of effort on my part.

            Sweet dreams.

          • Wrong.

            Matters of conflict of interest involving the receipt of donations invariably demonstrates corruption.

            Gayle is attempting to invent a distinction where no distinction exists.

            She admitted there is a conflict of interest, and lost this debate.

            Game over.

          • Nope.

            Nice try though.

          • It must be hard when facts get in the way of you just making stuff up.

            "A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.

            A conflict of interest can only exist if a person or testimony is entrusted with some impartiality; a modicum of trust is necessary to create it. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs."
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

            Let me say this again, just in case you missed it:

            The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety

            hahahahahahaha

          • Oh, Wikipedia — source of choice for many an online buffoon.

            Evidently, Gail overlooked the part where the conflict of interest in this case was never defused.

            Did CACP give the money back? Repay CGI group for the tickets?

            No?

            THEN they came out with a counter-factual position that just so happened to support CGI's interests?

            Gayle shoots herself in the foot again. So sad.

            And she STILL loses.

          • hahahahahaha

            I will just wait for you to find a definition of "conflict of interest" that states any conflict of interest automatically means there has been the execution of impropriety then, shall I?

            I am guessing no one has ever praised you for your good judgment and common sense.

            Cheers, and better luck next time.

          • *snicker*

            Poor Gayle. Just can't accept that she lost this argument.

            So very, very said.

            Loser.

          • Not too impressed with the "hahahas", but otherwise, nice job.

          • By the way, $115000.00 works out to $268/active member. The police chiefs sold out for $268 each!

            Let me say this again: hahahahaha!

          • Go figure: groups with demonstrably questionable ethics sell cheaply.

            Is this really a surprise for you?

          • It's a huge, massive conspiracy.

            After the police chiefs decided to go to a Celine Dion concert on CGI;s dime, they all got together and plotted how they would take over the world! Thanks to that donation of $115000.00 they finally have enough money to do it!

          • Only Gayle would think that there's nothing wrong with accepting $115,000 — or Celine Dion tickets — from a group with a stake on an issue on which they would adopt a counter-factual position.

          • Oh Patrick.

            When you have to mis-state my position to make your point, that is generally a sign you do not have one.

            Get some rest and try again tomorrow.

          • Now that you've finally admitted the conflict of interest in this matter, my case is made.

            You should have stuck with being dishonest. It worked better for you. Not WELL, but better.

            Game. Set. Match.

          • Dear Patrick

            The person being dishonest was the one who was lying about what I was saying.

            (hint: that was you).

            I kind of feel sorry for you.

          • Not at all, Gayle.

            You were pretending that there was nothing at all wrong with the CACP's acceptance of $115,000 from CGI Group.

            Just because you aren't comfortable with that now doesn't change it. Nor will you be permitted to argue retroactively based on your change of heart.

            You demonstrably just picked the wrong hill to die on.

            Now it's over.

            I won.

            You lost.

            Get over it.

          • "You were pretending that there was nothing at all wrong with the CACP's acceptance of $115,000 from CGI Group. "

            Do you have trouble with the English language Patrick? Would you like to find the quote where I stated I had no problem with accepting this money? Just because you took it upon yourself to make assumptions does not make your assumptions my words.

            And in all of this you have not provided one teensy tiny little shred of evidence that the support for the gun registry was in return for some concert tickets.

            No matter how many times you try to pretend this is about something else, it just isn't.

            hahahahahaha

          • I'd daresay that Gayle has trouble with basic debating technique and methodology.

            I pointed out the $115,000 donation from CGI Group to CACP. Gayle attempted to argue that there was no problem with it.

            Now, Gayle finally admits that, yes, there WAS a conflict of interest present. Now she just wants to pretend she never approved of it.

            Even in suddenly conjuring honestly, Gayle resorts to dishonesty.

            Should anyone be surprised? At all?

            Not that it matters, because at the end of the day, Gayle loses. Loser.

          • I take it then you were unable to find the quote then?

            What. A. Surprise.

            Maybe it is in the same place where all that evidence the Chiefs were bribed is located – in your fertile imagination.

            hahahahahahaha

          • *snicker*

            If only Gayle saying it is so, makes it so.

            The CACP accepting $115,000 from CGI Group and then staking a counter-factual position on an issue in which the CGI Group holds a stake speaks for itself.

            Gayle's spliting hairs trying to make it appear as if it isn't so.

            But Gayle herself admitted that there's a clear conflict of interest here. That the CACP accepted CGI Group's donation despite the conflict of interest demonstrates corruption.

            The argument's been over for quite a while now.

            I win.

            Gayle loses. Loser.

          • I don't think you understand what winning an argument means. It usually requires that you be right. So far I have not noticed you actually address any of Gayle's points. Merely declaring yourself the winner does not make it so.

          • That's amusing, because I have yet to see Gayle raise a point worthy of substantive refutal.

            Perhaps you think nuh-uh! Is a persuasive argument. I'm not prepared to indulge you in that.

          • Must you do this on every thread, Patrick. I'm not prepared to indulge you in that.

          • I will do this on every thread in which a member of the Macleans lefty swarm embraces sophistic disingenuity.

            Because it's really the full extent of the justified response.

          • It is patently obvious you have no evidence the Police Chiefs were bribed to support the registry. While you have drawn a conclusion based on certain circumstances, that is not the same thing as providing evidence. On this point Gayle is correct.

            I will go further and say that I find it illogical to assume the support was paid for with concert tickets. While it may be possible for one or two individuals to risk their jobs over something so paltry, it is not at all likely that over 400 people would collectively decide to do so.

            I can see however that you are not interested in a rational discussion about this issue. Gayle may be willing to go round and round with you, but I am not.

          • Could you give me a link/source other than some gun club website which states the CGI bribe.
            Which company produces the software for the registry for resticted and prohibited firearms and the software for firearm licences?

            From what I read CGI earned approx $ 3 billion in 2009.
            The overall cost of maintaining the LGR is $4 million a year, CGI would lose part of that $4 million, start selling your shares of CGI if the LGR is scrapped.

          • It's very simple:

            If CGI group as the LGR contract, they make more money.

            If they don't have it, they make less.

            You can try and spin this however you want. But the CACP took a donation they shouldn't have taken, a conflict of interest was present, of which the CACP did not neutralize.

          • That may be true, but you are missing an important step. There is still no proof the CACP accepted those concert tickets as payment for agreeing to support the long gun registry. You are suggesting a conspiracy involving over 400 police chiefs. You are asking us to draw a conclusion based on your own speculation that these 400 people are corrupt.

            That is simply too much of a stretch to be a reasonable conclusion.

          • Pat, I'm sure you'd like people to believe that you're too smart to actually believe that. It's time for you to start acting like it.

          • The long gun registy is only part of the Canadian Firearms Registry everyone. You would still have to register restricted weapons like hand guns even if the long gun portion of the registry was abolished. The registry doesn't go anywhere and it will still need people to run it.

    • I didn't realize shooting your wife wasn't a crime.

      • Only in arab country's.

    • Untrue. Long guns are used in crimes. 14 of 16 police officers killed since 1998 have been killed by long guns. Those stats are from the police themselves so I think they could be considered the definative source on that stat – and it includes the four Meyerthorpe killings. The OPP officer killed last year was killed by a law abiding guy with a rifle who flipped when his wife left him. Leading cause of firearms related death in Canada (including suicides) is long guns.

      What irony in the article leading with Virden MB. The Stats Can UCR survey of 1,000 police forces across the country puts Virden is in the top five census areas with the highest per capita rate of police-reported firearms-related incidents in the country. Another rural Manitoba community Churchill leads the pack and Manitoba rural communities are 4 of the top 5. The 2009 Stats Can report "Police Reported Crime Statistics" shows Manitoba as having the dubious distinction, three years in a row as the province with the highest per capita murder rate.

  2. More Liberal bias trash from Maclean's – the exact reason I cancelled my subscription. With the ease of getting firearms "off the books" in today's society, shouldn't police treat every situation with the utmost caution and always consider the possibility that firearms are present? This all stemmed from the Montreal Polytechnique massacre and I would love to know how the police would have "researched" the long gun registry while the shooter kept firing. Had the registry been around, the time it would have taken to review it would have left probably three more dead. This is nothing more than political stances supporting socialist ideals by bloated government service unions nervous about a governement actually attempting to save the taxpayers a few bucks.

    • There's a unacknowledged, unstudied cultural aspect to the Polytechnique massacre, which bred his hatred.

      • What are you referring to?

        • Gahmil Gharbia, was his real name, in a sense he was the first person in Canada who committed an 'honor killing, Algerian

          • That is an outrageous statement, bordering in racism. These murders have nothing to do with honour killings.

            I do not think men hating women has anything to do with our race. White men kill women too. Have you ever heard of Paul Bernardo? I believe he was raised, raped, and killed, in Canada.

          • Sorry, that was not worded very well. Bernardo was raised in Canada, which is also the place where he demonstrated his hatred of women by raping and killing them.

          • I was pointing out the cultural aspect of the montreal Polytechnique massacre. the facts speak for themselves if you choose to research it.

            And I don't particularily like the accusation of racism, seems to me that that is the default response when lefty's get info they don't like.

          • And I am pointing out there is NO cultural attachment to hating women. His original name is completely irrelevant to this discussion. I suggest rather than sending me of to do your research, you prove your own theory.

          • I am inclined to agree – it was a gender hatred and if race played a part
            it was minimal to his subsequent actions.

          • It wasn't his "race" (BS concept as that is anyway – we are all of the human race), it was his cultural background that he is alluding to. His father was known as a wife beater who hated women; he came from a culture that does not respect women as we do in the west.

          • Please. His name was changed when he was a child after his mother left his abusive father. You are really grasping at straws.

    • 4 million dollars a year for the feds is peanuts. Harper spends 26 million a year on *domestic* personal security.

      • how much was the G20? The fake lake?

  3. It's now 3 NDP votes switched, as of yesterday.

    I was really hoping this would die, and thought it would. Not any more.

    The registry may be here to stay, and Jack may wind up a winner yet.

    Bummer.

    • No worries…I doubt Iggy will be able to control his own MP's. Expect a few of Liberal "no-shows" when the actual vote is called…and likely no significant repercussions from Iggy.

  4. Does anyone really believe that $4 million number?

    Looks fishy to me.

    • Seeing as the numbers are subject to the scrutiny of the Auditor General, I trust them.

      • look at the RCMP report released, its more like 100 million, 4 mil wouldn't cover the postage.

        • Ok, I looked, and nowhere does it state that it cost 100 million. Read the report again. It very clearly states the savings of aprox. 4 million a year if the Long Gun Registry was cancelled. Keep in mind most of the people who work the LGR also work on the rest of the gun registry.

          • As an accountant, I look very dimly at a report issued by the very organziation that runs the program. We have outside auditors to "proof" financial statements. Are you naively thinking that the RCMP can't be biased?

            The AugGen did not vet these figures BTW!!

            As was stated above, $4m about covers annual postage, and nothing else. I have a pretty good idea what a civil servant earns, and 200 of them (assigned to the LG Registry) would cost at least $10m a year.

            Can any of you do basic arithmetic??

          • I didn't think there was a separate group of employees working on the long gun registry. The registry is part of the Canadian Firearms Program so I'm not sure you're labour number is accurate. This talking point is being repeated a lot without any sourcing.

          • Can you reply without being an insolent snot?

            As pointed out, very few of the people involved in the administration will be out of work as they all have overlapping jobs related to other parts of the registry.

          • The registry is more than the long gun portion – the registry also is about restricted weapons like handguns…people who work there will also be adminstering the whole Canadian Firearms Program so suggesting the 200 public servants at the CFP will lose their jobs due to the long gun portion of the registry being abolished is a stretch.

  5. Interesting final point. Of course Kimveer Gill, who shot 20 people at Dawson College, not only had three fully licenced firearms, he was even granted a "restricted" possession and aquistition licence; which allowed him to own a "restricted" Beretta carbine (allowing him to shoot his victoms that much faster). He also had a permit for a pistol, which he used to less lethal effect.

    If Canadians were really concerned about the effectiveness of the registry, Dawson College demonstrated its complete impotence. Not surprisingly, this is the same system that the Opposition and the Chiefs are so determined to keep in place.

    • Having to register every firearm makes gun owners more careful with their guns. If you know you're going to held accountable for each device you're going to take more precautions to make sure your gun isn't stolen/ isn't accessible to other family members. Long-gun suicides (and accidental deaths for that matter) have declined since the registry's inception for this reason..

      • How about overall suicides. I notice you didn't mention that.

      • Long gun suicides have decreased because of the long gun registry? Correlation does not indicate a causal relationship. But you already knew that.

        • you're right. You can't prove incontrovertibly the causal relationship of something *that didn't happen* … that's impossible. It's also hard to prove whether carelessness was the crucial causal factor in suicides because the party involved happens to be dead. I would argue that correlation is a strong and legitimate form of evidence…. For instance, no one can causally explain how gravity works, but I'm quite sure that it exists.

      • I fail to see any causal ralationship between registering a firearm and being
        reluctant to commit suicide with it. The argument as to reduction in
        suicide has been made in support of safe handling and storage laws.
        I am unaware of any firearm's owner who does not support safe handling
        & storage.
        A person is accountable for their firearm being stored safely regardless
        of whether it is registered or not. Failure to register a firearm and having
        someone commit suicide with it may still result in a criminal charge relating
        to safe storage – possibly an additional charge for not registering.

      • There is clearly no evidence of that. The long-gun registry cannot be shown to prevent a single gun crime, nor save a single life.

        Unless you can name one right now.

  6. Just the basic knowledge from this article and the above comments would help enlighten those that believe a gun registry makes them safer in our cities.
    And that`s the real tragedy of this story—there is no less chance of an innocent person being shot today by a criminal or crazy then there was in 1990.
    Call me cynical but I believe the Liberals who started this mess back in the 1990`s are as unprincipled as their apologists today who probably know how useless this registry is, but, if they can keep their urban constitutents uninformed and fearful, maybe they will still think a useless registry they support makes them safer.
    So it`s all about votes—uninformed votes–meanwhile nobody is safer.

    • Bingo!

    • Kim Campbell started the stricter gun control laws while she was Minister of Justice.

  7. Cops, the Police State guys, want the registry law maintained so that they can walk into your house, any time they want, without a search warrant, to see if your blunderbus is stored properly. A little known butt-shag aspect of the law no-one ever seems to bother mentioning to the sheeple. Feld W.

    • Well, that's because it is a lie. Plain and simple. We have a constitution that protects us from unlawful search and seizure and a gun registry won't stop that. But if in fact your storing your guns illegally than I hope they are seized and destroyed. All most all crimes committed with a fire arm are stolen weapons, that had they been stored properly probably wouldn't have ended up in the hands of criminals. If it wasn't for irresponsible gun owners we wouldn't be having this debate.

      • You had better look and see if your statement is factual.. The constitution protects firearms owners as much as it protected the 900 at the G-20.

        However the warrentless search & seizure portion is written into the firearms act.. go check..

    • Hmmm I wonder if you were as concerned about the Police State guys when they were beating up random bystanders in Toronto and then arrested hundreds of people who hadn't committed any crime.

    • This is the crux of the "pro-registry" stance of the police. Greater "search and seizure" power for them. It provides a great excuse to "go fishing" anytime they want.

      The cops I know personally think the registry itself is a total joke that should be abandoned.

    • And if they happen to see anything illegal, such as your bong they now have cause to search your house.

    • Feldswebel sounds like an American.

      • And you sound like an anti-American bigot. "Bigotry" – go look up the definition.

        As a Canadian, born and bred in Toronto (sorry about that), the casual anti-Americanism shown by many of my fellow citizens is the most despicable thing about Canada. It is so provincial, so embarrassing.

        GROW THE HELL UP!

  8. It is amazing how many anti-registry folks out there completely ignore that it is used to investigate crime. Ignoring inconvenient facts?

    • Will they use it to find that missing $48.5 million from ADSCAM? Or is it just all about reaming us little fish, as usual?

      • LOL, when you can't win the argument bring up something totally unrelated. How about that hockey arena eh?

        • I guess you don't consider theft of millions a crime? LOL.

      • Hilarious!

        Thanks

        • Just give me one example how the long gun registry prevented gun violence in the past 15 years. You can start with the Dawson College shooting then move on to Mayerthorpe.

          • I am not sure why you are asking her that question. Gayle referred to using the registry to solve crime. Her point, I believe, was that people like you keep ignoring this use. Your response seems to prove that point quite nicely.

            It is interesting you brought up the Mayerthorpe case though because the registry did play a role in solving that crime and bringing two men to justice for their role in it.

          • The crime at Mayerthorpe is that a crazy man was allowed to sneak up on 3 rookie RCMP and kill them.
            The registry did nothing to protect them.
            Saying that the registry played a role in solving that crime by connecting two naive and intimidated boys to the killer is silly. If that`s the line you use to justify such a useless bureaucracy, then it just shows how weak it is.
            Now give me some examples where the registry is preventing gun violence.

          • I understand. You do not like to venture into areas where the gun registry has merit. You would prefer to define the debate along your narrow terms, where you feel you are on solid ground.

            As moved as I am by your argument that the facts in the Mayerthorpe case are "silly", your problem is that the fact remains the gun registry was an important tool in solving that case. If you bother to read the RCMP report you will learn how the registry is often used to trace the guns associated with crimes to their registered owner. In fact, simple logic would demonstrate this to be true.

          • Solved????, putting two young men in jail for 10 and 15 years respectively ??? The situation was SOLVED when the guy with the gun was shot!!

          • By the way, one of those "naive and intimidated boys" was a drug dealer, who was in partnership with Roszko to produce and sell drugs. His motivation in giving him the gun, and trying to cover it up afterwards, was all about saving himself from being charged as a drug dealer. He is very lucky he was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter since it is apparent to me on the facts he could very well have been convicted of first degree murder by giving a gun to a man he knew to be a cop hater.

          • Really – how could he have been convicted on a first degree murder charge
            based on your statement? Other facts of the case may support such a charge
            but not giving a firearm to a "cop hater". Dropping a plea to manslaughter
            from first degree is quite a distance.

            I would be more interested in a supported statement of the number of crimes solved
            or better yet documented as prevented by the registry alone.

          • I suspect the charge was dropped down to manslaughter due to evidentiary issues rather than factual ones. When you give a man a gun, knowing he is going back to his property to take out some cops, then you are aiding and abetting him in his planned course of action. When you do that, you are as guilty as he is.

            No crime is ever solved by one piece of evidence alone. You are setting up a false test.

          • No – you are basing your statement on what you suspect. Evidence is evidence.
            You then enter a hypothetical assertion of "when you give….". without supporting
            it from the facts of the case.
            Being a party to an offence may make you guilty of that offence or related offences
            such as counselling, conspiracy etc. but the evidence must clearly support the conviction.

            It is not a false test if you hypothesize as to the facts of the case. The response is to your original statement of guilt on the homicide charge.

          • The evidence is rather clear. The evidence is that this man knew Roszko to be a cop hater and that he wanted the gun to go back to his property and kill the cops. The two men then drove him back to the farm knowing he had Hennessey's gun in his possession. That comes right out of the facts he agreed to at the time he entered the guilty plea.

            You should read David Staples excellent reporting on this incident from the Edmonton Journal. All the facts are there. I am not hypothesizing at all.

          • Your kidding right how the @#$% was he supposed to know what was in the head of an other person??? The RCMP got caught with there pants down plain and simple and had to save face.

          • So you agree with "THE CROWN" he should have let Rozkco Shoot him, his wife , his brother and his kids??? The guy was capable of such so what would you do??

        • I fail to see any levity. Sarc on…LOL….sarc off.

    • Give us an example? I haven't seen one yet..

    • I readily admit that a fully functional gun registry with a high compliance rate would be a useful tool in investigating gun crime. However, the federal government completely blew any chance of having a high compliance rate when they took the heavy-handed approach that they did in forcing the retroactive registration of guns that had already been legally purchased under the existing laws, and labeling those who didn't comply with the new registration requirements as criminals. They could have simply mandated the reporting of all gun transactions, and within a generation they'd have had a registry with a much higher compliance rate. Every gun changes hands sooner or later, even if only by inheritance when someone dies. Most gun owners do not oppose the mandatory reporting of gun transactions.

      • Interesting theory, but it really sounds like you are venting. I would be interested in any statistical analysis you have to justify your position that retroactivity means the registry is not effective in investigating crime.

        • I would be interested in seeing any objective statistical analysis on the
          effectiveness of the registry in criminal investigations other than proving who
          originally owned the firearm. The reason for that exclusion is that it is an
          offence to fail to register, report loss/theft, etc. While these may be of
          peripheral relevance to the offence being investigated, they are not the
          offence itself therefore will analysis (as stated) show how is the registry effective?
          This will not affect those against firearms however it may shed some light on an issue.

          • it is common sense. If a gun is used in a crime, and the gun is identified, then it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that determining to whom that gun is registered is a useful crime solving tool.

            Here is what Cheliak had to say about it
            http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/world/RCMP+official

          • Not if the gun is stolen or smuggled. Ah but if it's stolen we can figure out who it was stolen from. Yes if it's registered and the police already have a list of stolen property on CPIC. Handguns have been registered since 1934 and that registry has never been used to solve a homicide so the idea that registries will lead to solving crimes is at best theoretical and not backed up by history.

            You're also assuming the registry is correct. The Restricted Weapons Registry was found to be so riddled with errors that it wasn't accurate enough to be used as evidence in court. Registration in that system started in 1934 and a policeman had to inspect the gun. The data in the long gun registry was compiled by owners sending in info. Owners die and the guns go where? What are the chances it's not already full of errors? Zero. So you have a registry that probably contains no more than half the guns and the data on what it has is full of errors. Great crime fighting tool.

          • Sure. Not every criminal leaves DNA or a fingerprint behind either, so they are not used in solving all crimes. In fact, I am not sure that DNA is used that often at all.

            Yet here we are, still paying millions of dollars to collect this information. Why do we do that? I assume it is because we, as a society, are well aware that not all crime solving tools will solve all crimes, but that they do solve some crimes, and that is good enough.

            I recognize your opinion, but I am going to prefer the opinion of the people whose job it is to solve crime as to the usefullness of the registry over yours.

      • Actually it's not. The 1934 registry has never been used to solve a serious crime. Murderers of strangers don't leave guns registered to themselves at crime scenes unless of course they are found at the crime scene as well.

        Registration isn't about solving crime it's about mass confiscation at some point down the road. Do you not think Layton and Ignatieff would push for more gun bans if they could?

        • The long gun registry was used to solve a serious crime.

  9. Isn't it just easier to run someone down with a car, instead of using a gun? It worked out really good for former Attorney-Generalissimo Mad Mike Bryant.

    • Truth. Apparently running someone down with your car is the only legal form of murder in canada.

  10. Every time a Police officer relies on the registry to check if a home or office has firearms inside he is rolling the dice because of inaccuracies in the system. In Canada there is an average of 30.8 firearms per 100 people in Canada. That represents an average of 9,950,000 firearms in Canada. Of that number only a total of 7,000,000 are registered. (1, 2)

    1.Firearms Registration in Canada,” Small Arms Survey 2004: Rights at Risk (Oxford University Press, 2004), Ch. 2, pp. 68-69.
    2.Quick facts about the Canadian Firearms Program, Canadian Firearms Center (CFC), http://www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca/media/program_statistic

    • If gun owners were honest and registered and tracked the sale/disappearance of there guns there would be fewer inaccuracies.

      • Until you guys realize that the problem with gun violence is not with law-abiding citizens, and that it is with those who are in posession of illegal, unlicensed guns, then I can only assume you are being delibertely obtuse or you are going along with the Liberal playbook—-let`s keep our urban constitutents uninformed and scared and we can use this issue to try and keep our urban seats.

        I`m confident that common sense will prevail and Libs will be punished for their unprincipled stand.

        • Until you realize that the problem is with people not registering there guns. If all guns were registered and tracked, and owners were responsible with them then fewer criminals would be able to get there hands on guns.

          • You have no idea about how the criminal thinks and where they get their guns.

            I suspect someone is either naive or obtuse.

          • Are you suggesting that guns don't end up in the hands of criminals do to the negligence of the owner? Oh, I see your just handing them guns, no theft involved?

          • I`ll leave you with this.

            Most guns used in criminal activity in Canada are purchased on the underground market after being smuggled across the 5000 KM. border we share with the USA.

            None of these guns that have been recovered were registered.

          • There are a subtantial number that are smuggled in from overseas
            as well – if nothing else, they cost less. Of course, smuggling is illegal
            thats why we have no illicit drugs smuggled in either.

          • Most guns used in urban crimes are handguns smuggled in from the US. They have nothing to do with long gun owners.

          • News Flash: Criminals do not acquire there guns through theft. They get them from gun runners ,who get them in the states. You are stuck in the 70's my friend.

          • I think you should read Pat's link posted just above your comment. You might learn something.

          • Yeah – if people only followed the law against murder, we wouldn't have it?? Is that your argument?

        • James Roszko had in his possession a legal, registered firearm. That firearm was traced to one of the men who was convicted in that crime.

          • You prove my point.
            If Roszko had threatened that young man with harm to his family if he did not give him his unregistered firearm, would this tragedy have been averted ?
            The registry promotes complacency. Crazies and criminals aren`t complacent.

          • I fail to see how your "what if" scenario means I have proven your point.

            Someone who was in the lawful possession of a registered firearm, gave that firearm to a known cop hater and violent man, proving that lawfully registered firearms ARE used in crime. This fact also proves the point, made above, that the gun registry assists in solving crime, which is something we are all interested in, no?

          • Read carefully.
            The long gun registry was started because naive people thought it would prevent the type of insane killing that happened at Ecole Polytechnique.
            Police already had the tools needed to solve the crime after the fact—handgun and long gun licensing, hand gun registry, ballistics, dna, fingerprinting etc, etc,.
            The fact that the best registry benefit you can come up with is that the registry helped to implicate a couple of petty criminals in a triple-murder-suicide shows what shaky ground your argument is on.
            The registry failed in Mayerthorpe—your argument will never change that.

          • Read carefully.

            You said this:

            *Until you guys realize that the problem with gun violence is not with law-abiding citizens, and that it is with those who are in posession of illegal, unlicensed guns*

            I pointed out a legal, registered gun was found in the possession of a murderer, which proved you wrong.

            Hennessy was not a petty criminal. He was an adult who knowingly involved himself in a criminal conspiracy with a cop hating violent man, and he gave that man a gun knowing he was going back to use it on cops. The fact you keep mischaracterizing this series of events shows you are having a hard time dealing with hard cold facts.

          • Without the registry they wouldn't have convicted him.

          • Without the registry, he couldn't have been convicted. The registry's value as an investigative tool is being ignored.

          • So if the registry`s purpose is as an investigative tool, and it had been in place in 1989, and Marc Lepine had been unsuccessful in his suicide attempt, you would be satisfied with it`s existence because Lepine would have been convicted of killing all those girls.

            Don`t you see that the registry would do nothing to save those girls at Ecole Polytechnique and you and Pat and Gayle seem to think that`s OK because it`s still a good investigative tool.

            I`m afraid that the naivety you 3 display is similar to that of the original advisors that helped Alan Rock construct this useless Bill in 1995.

          • Stop being so naive. There is nothing that will stop all crimes. You are clinging to this argument because it is all you have, and since it is really a weak, weak argument, I suggest you move on.

            If you really believe we should not spend money on crime measures that do not prevent crime, then let's throw out the criminal code and all the jails. We have had those for centuries and yet crime still keeps happening.

  11. We should keep the registry because we register cars also? Fat lot of good registering cars does to prevent drunk driving, dangerous driving or vehicular manslaughter. Last time I checked more people are killed or injured due to auto accidents. Maybe this is a bigger public safety issue? Or maybe we should register every bottle of wine and case of beer so police will have access to information about who might be driving under the influence? I am insulted when as a law abiding citizen, I am made to feel like a criminal because I am a gun owner. When will our leaders wake up to the fact that the legal and legitimate gun owners are not the big problem? The vast majority of gun crime involves unlicensed users who are criminals in the first place. The logic to keep the registry defies reason.

    • If you feel like a criminal as a gun owner, register your gun, you'll probably sleep better at night. But then again, if you don't register your gun you ARE a criminal and should pay the consequences.

      • Should you reread my post, you might pay attention to the "law abiding citizen" part. Every gun I own is registered thank you very much. For that matter they are also secured far beyond what the law requires. Perhaps you will be able to sleep better tonight knowing that because they are registered in the magical database, all of Canada is safe from any harm. The point is, I'm not the problem, yet as a gun owner (LEGAL AND REGISTERED), the registry casts me as such. Here's a novel idea…go after the gangs and drug dealers!

        • So out of the approx 2 million people who have a valid firearm licence, not one wil become an ex law-abiding citizen ever?

          Since 2005, approx 11,000 firearm licences have been revoked. These people had their firearm licence revoked because they were consider to be a threat to public safety.

          • You make a very good distinction highlighting the difference between a firearm license and the long gun registry. The current bill has nothing to do with a "firearms license". Having a license revoked because a person is a threat to public safety is completely reasonable, but how does a long gun registry help in this regard? The license is the license, not the registry. Going back to the comparison with a car; if a driver's license is revoked, is it done by way of the car's registration? No, the license itself is taken away. The revocation of a firearm license in the interest of public safety will still happen long gun registry or not.

            The question that has to be asked is for what reason were the (using your numbers) 11,000 firearm licenses revoked? Were they for non registration which is hardly a violent threat to public safety (which we know has happened), or something more serious? Those who would keep the registry want everyone to think that those 11,000 were dangerous offenders of some sort. Are we to believe these were 11,000 dangerous threats to our society? So much for letting our kids outside.

    • Yes, register that gun. It will make it easier for us to confiscate when the time comes.

      • If you mean that registry will make it easier to identify people who are illegally stowing guns or being irresponsible with them in general I agree!

        • How does the registry make it easier to identify people who are illegally stowing them or being irresponsible with them?

          • Details, details…you dare blaspheme the gospel of Alan Rock?

  12. Hey if the government started saying that the automobile registry was a boondogle and wasteful I'd probably quit registering my car. But the truth is it's not and neither is the gun registry, our government shouldn't lie to us.

    • Hey why stop there. Let's register our knives.

      In fact, I bet the police chiefs would love a fingerprint registry. That would be a useful tool in the kit, nes pas?

      Trying to track these guns down is an exercise in futility.

      Also, cars DON'T need to be registered, if they aren't driven on public roads.

      • We do have a fingerprint registry. We also have a DNA databank and a sex offenders registry.

        • The databases you speak of are for those who have committed a criminal offence
          and been convicted (or require a security clearance). They are (except for clearances)
          criminals.
          Where is your statement going? You insist on 'hard cold facts' in some prior posts but
          leave this starement open.

          • They also cost a lot of money and do nothing to prevent crime. Isn't that the big argument you guys are relying on?

            Hey, did you know that under the criminal code, a 12 year old girl who slaps her sister could be forced to provide a sample of her DNA to this registry? That is some serious criminal!

            In any event, I would guess his point is that a fingerprint registry already exists. You might have to look at AJR79's comment to understand the context.

        • And everyone who has a fingerprint has to register it, right?

          Tell you what, I'll support the LGR if we handle it the same way as we do fingerprints, DNA, and sex offenders.
          Deal?

  13. unfortunately the canadian public and government is as about cognizant of the issue over "long guns" as a donkey attempting to run in the Kentucky Derby. Aside from the reality that it is all about $$$ (what has been spent, who spends it, etc) no one seems to be have addressed the simple question: why in god's name are gun dealers allowed to sell semi-automatic and assault rifles in the first place to the general public? Or as permitted through mail-order stores? Are there no laws which prohibit the dealers to even have these types of weapons in their inventory? magazine restrictions aside. Since when do you need the type of rifle used by Kimveer Gil at Dawson College or Marc Lepine for "target" practice. I guess we are donkeys

  14. Very good article, thank you. Anatomy of a wedge issue.

  15. …you can bet the first heinous crime committed by the unlicensed owner of a long-gun will produce a wave of recriminations over Hoeppner's bill.

    Big deal. Every gun crime committed after the registry is scrapped will be blamed on the scrapping of the registry. That much is certain. The registry was always about symbolism and making people feel safe. Emotion ruled in the creation of the registry, and emotions will rule when the registry is gone. Human nature is the one constant in all this.

  16. Comprehension of facts isn't big in the Con party…

    • A traditional Lib statement….can we at least see some variety.

  17. What infuriates me with the whole long gun registry bit is that fact that Canadians don't have a US 'gun culture', we are generally a caring society and the majority of firearm related problems are related to criminal activity. The reason for the registration was completely political and does nothing to prevent a gangster from picking up a 'midnight special' and using it. We don't have the right to bear arms, we don't have the right to carry a firearm for protection against people and we have had a handgun registry for 50 years that has always worked very well. Education on gun safety is a good thing and will continue without a registry. I choose to hunt and target shoot because I enjoy it, not because I am a borderline psycho who needs to be registered.

  18. With the registry gone, you can own 100 guns and no one would know about it. You could even form a militia and the cops won't know about it. That serves the CONs purpose in case they want to fight against a Liberal government in Ottawa.

    • "Guns in the streets."

      "Scary Con's."

      Don't you have a steamship company to run Paul?

      • The Anti-Coalition Militia. Harper can finally get himself a uniform. And be saluted.

    • Your kidding right?You arent allowed to own automatic weapons or even semi automatic weapons.No assault rifles or Uzis.Only certain handguns and long guns.Anyone with the banned weapons is more than likely up to no good.As a matter of fact what weapons do the Mob,biker clubs and criminals have most of the time?Yep you guessed it automatic,semi-automatic and banned weapons.Weapons they should not have in the first place and that they wouldnt register anyways!

  19. The Liberals objective for the gun registry was "public saftey". They said that Canadians would be safer with all guns registered, which was a knee jerk reaction to the Montreal killings. How forcing law abiding hunters who take a firearm out of their locked vault a couple of times a year makes the public safe doesn't make sense to me. Hunters are not the problem, so why would the government target law abiding hunters? I will never trust the Liberals…Alan Rock said he "came to Ottawa in the firm belief that only the police and military should own guns". That could be construed as comment toward confiscation, which a lot of gun owners are suspicious of.

  20. I will ask the same question of you. Given that tougher sentencing laws have been proven not to prevent or decrease crime, and have proven to cost taxpayers millions of dollars, are you going to be consistent and argue against the crime package passed by the Government?

    Do you agree we should disband the DNA data bank and the sex offenders registry too? They do not prevent crime, but do help solve crime.

    • Sorry Pat—You`ve lost the long gun registry argument and now you want me to change the channel to unconnected issues like DNA etc.—I don`t think so.

      I will say this: tougher sentencing may have kept that crazy Roszko in jail where he belonged.

      • I have to assume you are trying to be funny. Do you really believe simply declaring yourself to be the victor makes it true? Or is it that you have a hard time addressing your own arguments when they are used against you?

  21. Hah. Canada never had a "gun problem" in the first place. The PAL licensing and "long gun registry" is a useless list of people who couldnt comply with the law fast enough in the first place. Nobody even mentions the loss of rights, or CHARTER violations anymore, that the firearms act contains, and all breachesremain intact, even if the registry goes, ALL CIVILIAN GUN OWNERSHIP ISA CRIMINAL ACTIVITY NOW, in CANADA, thanks to the LIBTARDS. can YOU say, POLICE STATE?

  22. Here is an example of why so many gun owners are against registering their long guns…and why police management loves the registry.

    Toronto cops are under pressure to do something about guns. Of course since they've failed at keeping them out of the hands of the "gang bangers" everyone is concerned about…they need a way to showcase to the public how they're getting "guns off the street."

    So what to do? Well…let's march into the homes of residents who've registered their guns. We'll check their paperwork and if it's lapsed (which several people have let happen since the government put a moratorium on charging people for not registering)…we'll confiscate their gun(s). Now we'll hold a big press conference, with chests puffed out and proudly announce how our operation took so many "illegal weapons" off the streets of Toronto the good.

    In the end, absolutely zero has been done to make the city saver, absolutely zero unregistered hand guns have been taken out of the hands of the gang homies…but the police appear to be really doing something to solve Toronto's gang and gun violence problems…when all they've done is stage a massive photo-op and pat themselves on the back.

    If I was the Police Chief…you bet your sweet Bippy that I'd love the gun registry.

  23. This article is liberal propaganda. Criticizing bad policy is never bad for the country. "Every poll has shown, in terms of national public opinion, a majority in favour of the gun registry" This statement makes me laugh since I have seen polls that suggest the opposite. Just looking at the ratings of the comments here tells me otherwise. The registry costs $4 mil a year according to the RCMP. OK, #1 This is the same organization that recieves the money to adminster the registry and #2 The registry employes 200 in Miramichi NB… 4mil/200 = $20K. So you're telling me the average pay for a federal government worker is 20K and that the only expense of the registry are salaries? Yeah, right RCMP.

    • There is no long gun registry. The Canadian Firearms Program runs the firearms registry which includes also the registration of restricted weapons (handguns etc). Many of those employees will still be there administrering a firearms registry, regardless of whether the long-gun portion of it exists or not. That's where the $4 million figure comes from – it's the cost of the long-gun part of the registry.

  24. The irony of this article starting with an interview of a gun shop dealer in Virden, Manitoba. Virden has one of the highest rates of police-reported firearms-related incidents in the country – over 300 per 100,000 population, v. just over 50 incidents per 100,000 in the city of Toronto. In fact, 3 of the top 5 areas in the country with the highest rates are in the riding of Churchill, Manitoba – with Churchill leading the way with over 600 police-reported firearms-related incidents per 100,000 population. Churchill is represented by NDP Niki Ashton, also an avowed opponent of the registry, because she says her consituents oppose the registry. Seems they oppose gun safety measures too, given these rates.

    • But I thought the registry would make us all safer??

      How many of these incidents are related to licenced owners??

  25. From the Statistic Canada website: http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080220/d08022

    There are about 340,000 violent crime in Canada every year. Out of these, about 2.4% involve involve a firearm (or 8,100 violent crimes)
    Out of these, 1 out of 3 involve a long gun (2,700 violent crimes) And
    if the RCMP estimate that 4%-5% of firearm used are registered, we arentalking about 108 violent crime committed were a registered/previously registered long gun was present, or 0.0003% of all violent crimes committed in Canada…

  26. The restricted weapons registration, in effect since 1934, has never been used to solve a homicide. To do so would require the murderer to leave a gun registered to him at the scene of the murder of a stranger. It's never happened. The chances of the long gun registry being used to solve a serious crime is also zero. If you check the justifications for the registry given by it's supporters not even the Chiefs of Police (a group prone to exaggeration about the wonders of police work) claim it solves serious crimes.

  27. Legimate firearms users must have a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) in order to possess, borrow or aquire by any means any type of firearm or ammunition. To be eligible for a PAL specific firearms training must be completed. Police review applicants who can be denied a PAL based on their background.

    Make the information regarding PAL holders available to police. The fact that someone living at a residence can aquire, possess or borrow a firearm is more important than knowing what specific weapons are registered to an address. Any firearm may legally be lent to anyone who has a PAL, so even if a firearm is registered to an address, it may legitimated be lent to another PAL holder.

    As the cliche goes, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Every individual firearm need not be registered because the legitimate gun users already are.The registry is a complete waste of time and money and exists as an appeasement to voters who believe no one should possess a gun.

    Listen up Liberals and NDPers. Vote this registry away for the right reason. Its wasteful and unneccessary.

  28. Just a few comments.
    1. Most public comment on this matter is two ideological viewpoints talking past each other.
    2. Most gun owners in my cohort do not actively use them. The ones who are hunters, target shooters etc. i.e. the ones who need to purchase support materials like ammunition do indeed register. I doubt very much if the passive owners have made any move to register ( Reading between the lines this means basically all homes in my neighborhood have a long gun, possibly registered, possibly not) Scary thought eh?
    3. Registering a long gun results in the equivalent to signing a waiver permitting peace officers to entering your residence without a warrant at any time. Therefore, no sane person will submit to a defacto police state and reduce their human rights just to comply with a piece of legislation unless they need to be shown to be in compliance to obtain ammunition & supplies.
    4. I would far rather be in the position of the police suspecting that something was illegal within my residence and having to obtain a warrant based on probable submission rather than leaving myself open to police entry simply because they didn't like my demeanor or looks or attitude and by checking the registry could enter my property at will.
    Me and my cohort say "Keep em guessing"
    I am not some wild eyed redneck, I'm a very average, middle class, working stiff. I think many many others see the situation the same as I do. So in conclusion, I say , because of this prevalent attitude, the registry is absolutely meaningless.
    Best regardsto all, just because I disagree with your logic doesn't mean I dismiss your cocerns.

  29. The 1.8 million gun owners mentioned in the article are only the licensed gun owners. There are many more who did not register there guns or get a gun license. And the numbers of un registered guns grows all the time with the black market fueling the demand for them, mostly because of the registry. The registry is a sham. Canadian citizen gun owners resent having police dossiers made on them. Their lives and guns are monitored and tracked as though they could explode with lethal gun fire at any moment. The police are even afraid, wanting to know what they might be up against when the gun fire starts. Sounds rather ridiculous doesn`t it. So citizens are now put into a federal registry, like the sex offender registry. But for gun owners, it is not for something they did, it for something they MIGHT do. Hmmm, that sounds rather scary. IT is at least to a lot of upstanding citizens who resent such police attention when they have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Owning a gun does not make a person a murderer. Owning matches does not make a person an arsonist. The gun control act should never have been made a federal law. Gun control should have remained with the Provinces, the same as all other private property matters. The federal one-size-fits-all approach for this enormous country is just not going to work. The entire gun control act should be abolished and the provinces should take over its control. That way they can fine tune it to address the needs for particular situations and this gives people choice. They can move away if they don`t want to follow the rules. End the gun control act now and bring back peace and unity to this country.

  30. Liberal/Separatists know what's best for everyone, when will you Cons get that. Here's a quote you silly Cons will probably disagree with too… "This year will go down in history! For the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" Adolf Hitler.

  31. The gun registry is a double layer of red tape to justify creating jobs during what was a Liberal tenure of the country.If i want to go and buy a gun i need to go through hoops to get a license to own one.And there are restrictions on what guns i can aquire.This means there is a database already of licensed gun owners.These arent the threat.

    The threat comes from those who DONT register firearms and use them to commit crimes.No amount of surveillance or databases can stop that.Thats why we have police forces.Boots on the ground coupled with internet and technology will limit the impact criminals have.In other words old fashioned detective work.Not another registry program.

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