(Hat Tip, CenterDigit.)
Let’s see what the Montreal Gazette has to say, shall we?
The Martin government is letting slip tantalizing hints that it might do something about Canada’s $1-billion gun registry. We are told that this has nothing to do with the election expected on June 28. Still, we can’t help but note that if there were a political dimension to this, we would be seeing just what we are seeing now: acknowledgement of a problem but no specifics of a solution. Any precise step might cost votes.
Something certainly has to be done about the registry. The government’s own estimates show that the cost of this thing, first estimated at $2 million, will reach $1 billion by next year and could climb past $2 billion within the next few years. To date, about 7 million firearms have been registered, leaving an estimated 1 million unaccounted for.
If there were some irrefutable proof that the registry had led to a decrease in the number of murders and suicides, Canadians might will support it, despite its astronomical cost. Unfortunately, proof of a cause-and-effect nature is hard to come by. It might be, as Calgary criminologist Mahfooz Kanwar said earlier this year, that any control on guns can help, and that eventually the registry will have an impact. But $1 or $2 billion is a lot to spend on a “might be.”
It certainly starts off promising. Wow. As much as $2 BILLION? I hadn’t heard that. But of course it goes South, so to speak:
The question then becomes whether there is a cheaper, more efficient, less invasive way to lower the incidence of gun crimes.
Keeping U.S.-made guns out of Canada would certainly help. As many as half the handguns recovered by Toronto police, and 75 per cent of the handguns associated with Toronto homicides, have been smuggled across the U.S. border. These are not weapons likely ever to be registered. More border guards and police officers, and better equipment at the borders, would help fight this plague.
Yeah. All that really helps keep the drugs out, doesn’t it? And it’s not like Canada has all that much firearm violence in the first freaking place. For example, the very next sentence:
There is also the matter of Canada’s 131,000 convicted criminals who have been banned from owning firearms.
Wow. A whole 131,000! But check this!
The registry does not keep track of them. Last winter, for example, the Toronto Star reported that Daniel Greig, on parole and prohibited from owning guns, illegally acquired the following weapons: a six-shot, .44-calibre Smith & Wesson; a .45-calibre Block semi-automatic; a .45-calibre Heckler and Koch semi-automatic; a 12-gauge Franchi pump-acton shotgun with a pistol grip; an M-16; a .223-calibre Colt semi-automatic assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition.
Obviously “gun control” works as well in Canada as it does in Chicago, D.C. and London.
And we should be surprised….why?
(And what the hell is a “.45 Caliber Block semi-automatic”? Please, please tell me that was just a typo that an ignorant editor missed.)
But of course the problem isn’t that gun control doesn’t work, oh no! Instead it’s the same excuse gun
ban control organizations down here use – “loopholes”:
There are too many holes in the current legislation.
But at least the piece recognizes the – EXPENSIVE – futility of the registry:
The screening falls far short of protecting the public. The follow-up of known risks is also totally inadequate. These are areas where money should be spent.
Turning the whole mess over the RCMP, which is one of the options recently offered to the government, is not a solution. Easing the burden on long-gun owners would perhaps make the registry less unpopular, but would make it no more useful.
Punishing gun crimes is a good idea. Rigorous enforcement of laws limiting access to guns, especially for those with a criminal or violent history, is a good idea. But fiddling with the registry and then throwing good money after bad is not a good idea.
Gun legislation a failure, let us count the ways
When you start a diet program, it doesn’t matter where you start from or what sociological factors prompted it. What matters is the gains or losses after you start. If the weight goes down you are on the right track. If there is no loss or the weight goes up, then you are doing the wrong thing. If you spend a lot of money for negative results the whole exercise should be scrapped and a different approach should be tried.
This sensible and simple analogy was presented by Dr. Gary Mauser at the recent seminar sponsored by the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners’ Association. His research and publications showed some interesting trends.
If you listen to the anti-gunners, the mere presence of guns will increase the rates of homicides, suicides and violent crimes. So Canada and the United States should be the worst places to live. Admittedly, the U.S. has the highest incidence of gun crime. So it’s the fattest kid at the gym. But if we look at the last 10 years, the results from the U.S. contradict other countries’ attempts to solve the problem.
The rate of decline of gun-related crimes in the U.S. is better than Canada’s. It’s also much better than in Britain and Australia. Countries where they have banned and confiscated guns are seeing crime rates rise significantly. The U.S. diet is working; ours is not.
That’s a little simplistic, but technically accurate.
The anti-gunners like to point to suicide statistics as proof Bill C-68 in Canada is working. Indeed, gun suicides are going down, arguably due to the increased complexities and scrutiny in obtaining a gun. However, the total number of suicides is not changing. People bent on destroying themselves turn to other methods. So again the expensive experiment has failed to achieve one of its stated purposes.
I have taken the suicide statistic problem on before. Gun
banners control proponents have combined suicide and homicide to show just how big a problem guns are, but they never seem willing to do that in comparisons between nations, nor do they note that reducing suicide by firearm never seems to affect suicide overall – but the claim is that people who kill themselves with firearms might live if firearms weren’t available because firearms are so much more lethal than other methods. Well apparently not. Apparently if you really want to kill yourself, you find a way. Method is immaterial to “success” rate when it comes to suicide.
The day at the seminar was filled with other speakers from Victoria to Halifax relating their own experiences and giving their explanations as to why the latest round of gun control is a waste of time, money and effort. But they were preaching to the converted. The audience was known supporters. The only skeptics were the three media reporters who came to question Dr. Mauser in the middle of the afternoon. Their questions would have had more relevance if they had bothered to sit in on his whole presentation.
What, you expect reporters to do background? Why, that might affect their
A lawyer from Arizona (that would most probably be David Hardy, a man I would very much like to buy lunch some day) made a good presentation that shocked us, then got our minds into a mode of re-evaluating our methods. First, he showed a video that documented the tragedies of the modern world; the extermination of more than 150 million people since 1900 by governments which started the process by outlawing the public from owning guns. Once disarmed the people were defenceless.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. And disarming is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
For me the most intriguing discussion was the message about using the proper language in our own defence. For example: Gun control is a physical description. It’s used when handling the gun. You control it at all times to be safe.
The political movement happening now is properly called people control. It should be criminal control, but the government has missed the target and set up all these rules to control the law-abiding citizen. When they get around to requiring criminals to register where they live and when they move, under penalty of law, then it will be criminal control, not gun control as it is mistakenly now called.
Excellent observation. And “people control” is what is responsible for that “decades-long slow-motion hate crime” I mentioned below.
But the last line is the truly disturbing part of this piece:
And finally a profound statement: The constitution was written to protect people from the government, not to protect the government from the people.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s just Canadians who find that “profound” in the sense of “difficult to fathom or understand.” It’s the result of our dumbing-down in education and the fact that most students coming out of our government run daycare centers known as public schools have no real knowledge of American History or our government.
They’ve made it a point to paint government as the source of manna, rather than a necessary evil, best watched closely and with a gimlet eye.