Thursday, September 23, 2010

Long Gun Registry Vote

I've decided to try to chime in on this issue in the most simple way asking this fundamental question...what is the purpose of the long-gun registry?

If the purpose is to eliminate gun crime...then all right thinking individuals can agree it must be scrapped, for it can never achieve this purpose. With or without a registry, we will always have gun crime.

If the purpose is to have a comprehensive ability of police to track all firearms in Canada, then again, scrap it, for it can never achieve this purpose. There will never be complete compliance with registration.

If the purpose is to criminalize otherwise lawful and safe gun owners, then in my opinion it should be scrapped because that is a stupid purpose. (For what its worth, I don't think this is really the purpose).

If the purpose is to make it easier for police to find suspects of gun crime so that they can be apprehended and charged, well, I concede that sometimes it will work for further analysis on this point is required.

If the purpose is to keep police officers safe by telling them what guns are waiting on the other side of a door, then in my opinion it should be scrapped because this is a fantasy purpose that is as unattainable as eliminating gun crime. Registered guns can be stolen, given to someone else, stored anywhere (i.e. not at the address that the registry has for the owner) and one would think that police safety is far more likely at risk from illegal guns anyway.

If the purpose is an attempt to gain political points in the wake of a terrible unpreventable mass murder of promising young college students by making the public go back into complacency regarding the true issues of violence against women, mental illness etc. because you can say you implemented a major new level of government regulation of firearms and that will make everybody safe again (for what its worth, I think this was the real purpose) then this was a corrupted purpose from the beginning and the registry should fall due to its colossal weight of waste, its crumbling foundation and...gravity.

So, what about that "one tool in the toolbox" that helps police solve gun crime? I agree it does do that on occasion. The question seems to be obvious the cost of maintaining the registry giving us good return on investment in terms of the cases that it helps to solve?

I have to say, for as much as I have disagreed with and criticized Chief Rick Hanson and Minister Alison Redford on various justice issues, I think that the shared view that they have presented is 100% correct on this one:

"We want to make sure communities are safe, but we think that it is a much better use of resources to put the money that has been put toward the long-gun registry into policing and other forms of community safety initiatives," Redford told CBC News.

Read more:

Well said, Minister Redford.

Michael Bates
Calgary Criminal Lawyers' Weekly