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Thoughts on the long gun registry’s future – or its potential future incarnation

The Conservatives have decided to go even further then they previously stated in going after the destruction of the long-gun registry – now, not only will they kill it, they want to destroy all of the database of long guns collected, in order to try and prevent a future federal government from resurrecting it, or a provincial government from doing its own.

Is this surprising? Nope. The fate of the long gun registry was sealed when the Conservatives got their majority, and since they’ve gotten their majority, they’ve tended to use it to taunt their political opponents. Part of this is no doubt intended to mollify their core constituency rural gun zealot base, and part of it is to get a rise out of gun registry supporters (as a side-note, interesting, isn’t it, that through all this, while the long-gun registry is somehow a waste of money and infringement of freedom, the handgun registry has never been deemed the same thing).

As for impeding future governments, I think that attempt is destined to fail. If a future government of a progressive stripe wants to bring a new long gun registry in, the Conservatives destroying this version’s database should not impede them. They would learn the lessons of the difficulties of implementing the previous registry and keeping of records (simplifying the records for example). I highly doubt a future implementation would cost the money that this one did.

All I can say is, let us all hope and pray that in the aftermath of this version of the long gun registry demise, that it doesn’t cost a police officer serious injury or his life as a result of not being able to know whether a particular situation he/she is entering into has a long gun involved (a domestic dispute for example). If it does, the Conservatives will and should be held partially responsible for taking a key tool away from police, and potentially endangering them – due to ideology and spite.

26 comments to Thoughts on the long gun registry’s future – or its potential future incarnation

  • Beerbob

    Look. Anybody that drives knows that there are five, maybe ten percent of the population that shouldn’t be in control of a car, but they are. Some of those have guns too.

    Poor impulse control. Drug abuse – alcohol, meth, the list is long, both legal and illegal. Being stupid and sloppy, or just plain clumsy. Mental disorders, which can surface over time. And that list isn’t either-or. You can be crazy and drunk and on meth. The point is, people are dumb, panicky creatures, and having guns just makes their acting out have quicker and much more permanent consequences. What’s wrong with having them registered? Get rid of the criminal penalties, and make it a fine for letting it lapse. Registration is about the information, and combined with licensing, results in fewer corpses. Isn’t that a good thing? The cops like the idea. I can understand why.

    The emotional fantasy of self-reliance that many hold out as a fear of “confiscation” is just that – a fantasy. Armed or not, a whole town of people with long arms would be a bit inconvenient to a single platoon of professional soldiers (night vision, air support, body armour) – as in some of the soldiers might get injured or killed – while they were engaged in confiscating the firearms from a town.

    If the government wanted to take your weapons, it would have them. One way or the other. Not having a registry won’t prevent that. Sure, some would be buried in the back yard, but not many.

    So, what this comes down to, is that the cons can do this, it’s really easy and cheap, it gets the base behind them and feeling good about thumbing their noses at a bunch of sniveling liberals, and it distracts them from thinking about the whacking great job losses that are happening right now. Thousands of people watching their lives slide out of view, and the future getting darker for their kids.

    But I’ve got my gun, and I don’t have to fill out a form about it. Yay. That’s really important to me. Vote conservative.

  • JP Marchand

    I don’t buy the US-imported libertrian argument about “freedom” or government intrusion. Reigistry should be no big deal, part of the price Canadians pay for living in a civil society that is as safe as we can make it without placing onerous burdens on citizens. (I’m also uncomfortable with the “survivaslist” sentiments expressed here –another erosion of civil society…

  • Brian

    The safest spot to be in is with a group of armed citizens, Their sole agenda is that safety of their family and loved ones, simple as that, we cannot stop a nutbar determined to kill from obtaining a gun, legal or otherwise, heck, the internet shows how to make one.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Canada is officially a police state, RCMP routinely have sniper teams and teams of officers with Hotchkis machine guns mingling in the crowns in Ottawa.

    every time I think of one those sniper teams scoping me or my family makes my blood boil.

    Their is no foreign army at our borders
    Their is no terrororst uprising at all..
    The government for some reason has decided their citizens are their enemies.

    Thank God they forgot that we can “vote” them out every 4 years (which we did, Liberals have been “wiped” out, and they are still in denial as to what happened, ha ha ..

    Wendy Cukier should be held accountable for causing this mess. She cost us 2 billion dollars, every day she found new guns that we should not have.

    whats baffling is the Liberals know this bill would cause public outrage,

    Whats left of the Liberals, they are done, next election they are all gone.

  • stan

    The gun registry was never about public safety, it was the scumbag liberals taking maximum political advantage of a tragedy brought on by a crazy muslim named Gamil Gharbi, aka Marc Lepine.

    http://www.lowe.ca/Rick/FirearmsLegislation/AGangThatCouldn'tShootStraight.html

    “A universal gun registry could only appeal to people who didn’t care about costs or results, and who didn’t understand what riled up decent folks in Camrose.

    Which is precisely why it appealed to those putting together the Liberal Red Book for the pivotal 1993 election. If the object of the policy exercise was to appear to be “tougher” on guns than Kim Campbell, they had to find a policy that would provoke legitimate gun-owners to outrage. Nothing would better convince the Liberals’ urban constituency that Jean Chrétien and Allan Rock were taking a tough line on guns than the spectacle of angry old men spouting fury on Parliament Hill.

    The supreme irony of the gun registry battle is that the policy was selected because it would goad people who knew something about guns to public outrage. That is, it had a purely political purpose in the special context of a hard-fought election. The fact that it was bad policy was crucial to the specific political effect it was supposed to deliver.”

  • stan

    Difficulties in designing a registry?

    Every cow in Canada is tracked for a few million a year, and there is a new crop of them every year, while a whole bunch turn into hamburger and steaks.

    Obviously the liberal cronies stole millions through this montstrosity.
    Or are they just the most incompetent people on the planet?

  • Brian

    No one can stop a “nutbar” from obtaining a gun (or making one himself) and killing people. The Liberal agenda was complete confiscation, they could not do it all at once because of the instant rebellion.

    They soon forget, Guns secured out freedom, I am told the police and military would fire on Canadian citizens if ordered to do so, and so history repeats itself, we fight back, we win (of course) but not before a lot of bloodshed.

    would be kinda neet to see Rock/Creitien/Martin/ trying to escape the country. Maybe Iraq or Iran would take them in.

  • sharonapple88

    The Firearms act its self was created out of ideology and spite, so while I can think of a better reason to do away with the least egregious and easiest target, it’s quite fitting that these reasons are cited as the reasons of it’s gradual dismantling.

    Spite and ideology? Long-gun owners weren’t being targeted. The idea was that all gun owners should own an license and have their gun registered.

    And lots of things are registered nowadays. If you drive, you have to have a license (in Quebec they can confiscate your car without a license) and your car has to be registered (license plate — yikes, a registration everyone can see). And like most gun owners, most car drivers aren’t driving illegally and are not likely to get into an accident. Why not get in arms about this? Why not get upset about SIN cards (our work is registered)? Registered retirement savings accounts (RRSP), and register tax free savings accounts (the rules for RRSP and the TFSA are harsh sometimes. Why can’t I make a deposit in the same year I make withdrawal)? Registered businesses? Birth certificates? Marriage certificates (same-sex couples fought to be able to register because common law relationships aren’t treated the same as “married” couples).

    I mean, If it’s such a burden to license and register something, why not lift it for a larger group of people via car licensing?

    • fhg1893

      Spite and ideology? Long-gun owners weren’t being targeted. The idea was that all gun owners should own an license and have their gun registered.

      I’m afraid you’re wrong. There’s ample evidence that gun owners were being targeted by the Chrétien government.

      Alan Rock has been quoted as saying, “I came to Ottawa last year, with the firm belief that the only people in Canada who should have firearms are police officers and the military.” (emphasis added) Maclean’s “Taking aim on guns”, 1994 April 25, Vol.107 Issue 17, page 12.

      Former Liberal senator Sharon Carstairs was quoted as saying, “C-68 has little to do with gun control or crime control, but it is the first step necessary to begin the social re-engineering of Canada.” 1996 January 26 – 11th Annual Community Legal Education Associations (CLEA) Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba – though this quote is disputed.

      Former Liberal Transport Minister David Collenette was quoted as saying, “I’m not happy, frankly. Because I think in a civil society we don’t need firearms.” (emphasis added) – The Ottawa Citizen, December 12th, 2001.

      And that’s really, just the tip of the iceberg.

      And lots of things are registered nowadays. If you drive, you have to have a license (in Quebec they can confiscate your car without a license) and your car has to be registered (license plate — yikes, a registration everyone can see). And like most gun owners, most car drivers aren’t driving illegally and are not likely to get into an accident. Why not get in arms about this?

      If the license on your car, or the registration on your car expires, or lapses, unless there’s some kind of extremely rare and unusual circumstance, like fraud, you don’t face criminal charges! You might be arrested, but ussually, the police will charge you under the province’s traffic act, which normally carries penalties that most people can easily afford. In other words, a simple monetary fine and no especially egregious penalties. Possibly the loss of your vehicle, and that’s ussually temporary so long as you get the paperwork straightened out.

      Contrast this with a firearms license. If a PAL is allowed to lapse, then the person faces criminal charges. That means that if they lose, they’ll have a criminal record which will haunt them, possibly for the rest of their natural lives. If a registration certificate gets lost in the mail the owner faces criminal charges. If a hunter forgets their registration certificate at home they face criminal charges. If an owner is doing everything correctly, in full compliance with the law, and a police officer doesn’t know the law, they could still face criminal charges.

      And that’s the tip of the iceberg as well.

      When you own firearms, firearms officers don’t need a warrant to search your home. If you don’t help them put you in jail by answering and assisting them in every way possible you face criminal charges.

      Seeing a pattern here?

      The registry is the easy target because of the expense. What we want, and I’ll make this absolutely clear, is a decriminalization of trivial matters in the firearms act. There’s no need for criminal charges for storage violations.


      Why not get upset about SIN cards (our work is registered)? Registered retirement savings accounts (RRSP), and register tax free savings accounts (the rules for RRSP and the TFSA are harsh sometimes. Why can’t I make a deposit in the same year I make withdrawal)? Registered businesses? Birth certificates? Marriage certificates (same-sex couples fought to be able to register because common law relationships aren’t treated the same as “married” couples).

      SIN cards – no criminal charges, unless there’s some sort of fraud.
      RRSP’s – no criminal charges, unless there’s some sort of fraud.
      TFSA’s – no criminal charges, unless there’s some sort of fraud.
      Registered businesses – there’s no criminal charges for letting a business registration lapse.
      Birth certificates – no criminal charges, unless there’s some sort of fraud.
      Marriage certificates – no criminal charges, unless there’s some sort of fraud.

  • Jay-TO

    This is the base point as well should murders involving guns start to increase after hitting a 44 year low. They will wear this one in due time. Imagine the headlines ” “Former Conservative government responsible for country wide rise in homicides”.

    Its funny how they like to say that they are taking victims of crime in consideration when changing sentences yet when the same victims plead to keep the registry, suddenly they don’t care about victims. I have to hand it to them, they have perfected the art of speaking out of both sides of the mouth at the same time.

  • the rat

    Any future attempt to impose a registry will fail even worse than this one because firearms owners will refuse to comply. As for the hand gun registry and many other restrictions, we gunnutz have learned the lesson of our radical left “friends”; incrementalism. We start here and just keep moving the goal posts every time we score a win. It won’t belong until I can walk the streets in full cammo carrying a concealed hand gun while brandishing a loaded fully automatic assault rifle. Yeeehaw!

    • ck

      Uh Yeehaw! Yourself, rat. Hell, why stop there? Why not go for broke and keep going until you’re allowed to shoot someone who simply looks at you cross-eyed?

      Nice to see this breed of commenters have no regard for public safety, especially to that of women. As a survivor of conjugal violence, I can tell you that many so-called ‘law abiding hunters and farmers’ do threaten their spouses and yes, shoot and wound and even kill them with their long guns. So, are they still law abiding? It seems to many of these gun nuts, they are. Why? Because they probably think that it’s ok to threaten, beat and yes, kill their spouse.

      Antonia Z wrote a great article regarding that very subject, which did speak of conjugal violence and long guns.

      The Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality released statistics showing that a woman is 12 times more likely to be murdered by her partner if there’s a gun in the house — and that gun is most often a rifle.

      http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/853793–the-duel-over-gun-control-pits-law-and-order-tories-against-the-police

      But, again, I guess that just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

      • fhg1893

        *gasp* Oh my gosh, look at me, I survived a horrible ordeal, so that makes me an expert with inscrutable moral high-ground to force my personal views onto everybody who disagrees with me! Never mind the overwhelming and growing body evidence which clearly shows that my views have no basis in reality, and in fact, in reality the exact opposite of what I believe is true! None of that matters for you see, not only am I a victim, and a member of an historically disadvantaged group, giving me greater moral agency than everybody else, that also makes me more knowledgeable, intelligent and wise than anybody else! And anyone who says otherwise is a stupid poopie-head, so there!

        • sharonapple88

          Wow. Cold. The fact that the group noted this:

          12 times more likely to be murdered by her partner if there’s a gun in the house — and that gun is most often a rifle.

          Is a little chilling. It might also explain why people who live with gun owners are more likely to support the registry than oppose it. One poll from 2003 put the number at 77%.

          • fhg1893

            Well, I can see how my comments might seem cold at first glance. However, if we dig a little deeper, I think a slightly different picture emerges. That statistic in particular appears to date from a 1984 study conducted and restricted to the city of Atlanta, Georgia. The one bonafide reference on the internet, appears to come from the Violence Policy Center, who list a handful of papers by just four separate authors, as well as FBI statistics. The study appears to be “Weapon Involvement and Injury Outcomes in Family and Intimate Assaults” Saltzman, et. al The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992 267(22) pages: 3043-3047.

            The study examined Atlanta Georgia, for the year 1984, and sampled 165 incidents. This is an astonishingly narrow set of criteria from which to draw a conclusion. For one thing, the research data is now nearly 30 years old. The scope was limited to one city, in one state, in one country and covered only one year. Finally, the sample size is excruciatingly small, only 165 incidents, the vast majority of which 142 were non-fatal. That means that the 12 times greater statistic derives from only 23 incidents of intimate homicide, yet, apparently it remains “truth” nearly 30 years later, and not only that, it remains true in an entirely different country, and year after year! This makes it absurd therefore to try to apply this statistic to present-day Canada.

            Yet the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights, cited this statistic no less than 5 times. And I’m sure that as time goes on, it will continue to be cited completely out of context.

            What this tells me is that there is a certain social agenda at work. This same social agenda is perfectly willing to ignore glaringly obvious issues with the information it puts out, I’m guessing because the statistic as you attest, sounds scary.

            What this means is that we as a country should treat whatever advice is produced by the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights concerning firearms with a grain of salt.

      • the rat

        Actually, when they break the law that pretty much defines not law-abiding. Still, with a tip of the hat to our language superiors on the left,I prefer “responsible” to law abiding. Further, could you please explain to me what the registry does that licensing does not in respect to family violence? Especially in light of the spousal approval required to become licensed? Of course, that’s not really the point, though. The point is you are afraid of people like me being armed and you’ll trot out every rotten dead herring you must to get your way. The truly scary thing is that Canadians did own just about every type of evil weapon imaginable including real honest-to-goodness machine guns right up to the late ’70s and the country didn’t degenerate into a blood bath. Still, I’m sure that making you **feel** safe is the most important thing here.

        • sharonapple88

          According to a study in the US from Center for Gun Policy and Research states with licensing and registration have the “lowest incidence of criminal gun activity.”

          “Both licensing and registration have been on the books for years, but the combination of both laws is only on the books in seven states. It’s that one-two punch, though, that proves to be most effective. “We found there was only marginal benefit to having one restriction,” says Webster. “This is particularly significant for states like Maryland and California, where registration is required but licensing is not.”

        • JJ

          “Further, could you please explain to me what the registry does that licensing does not in respect to family violence?”

          Don’t hold your breath 😉

          A year ago when Hoeppner’s bill was about to be voted on, in a gun registry thread at my blog I repeatedly asked if someone, anyone, could tell me how the long gun registry “saves lives” as its proponents claim.

          Needless to say, I’m still waiting… 😀

  • fhg1893

    Destroying the records is a case of the government doing exactly what they’ve said they were going to do, and really, this should be no surprise. When they said they’d “scrap the long-gun registry,” I think most of us naturally assumed that the records would be destroyed as well. Indeed the records in a sense are themselves the registry.

    And yes, actually the whole gun control scheme is an affront to freedom, and that most certainly includes the restricted registry. Alan Rock promised that the registry would not be used for confiscation, and he lied. That’s exactly how it was used once the Liberals starting seeing guns that looked a little “scary.” Fortunately for us, Rock over-extended himself, and made a crucial error. By insisting that C-68, the Firearms act impose criminal penalties on non-compliant gun owners two things happened: first, many refused to register their guns, and second, we learned without a doubt that the purpose of C-68 had little to do with gun control, and everything to do with attaching a stigma to gun ownership. The purpose of C-68 wasn’t to control firearms, it was to marginalize and stigmatize firearms owners and in so doing, force their numbers into decline. Scott here has bought everything that Rock was selling; many firearms owners live in cities and some even have these fancy things called “University degrees.” 🙂

    The Firearms act its self was created out of ideology and spite, so while I can think of a better reason to do away with the least egregious and easiest target, it’s quite fitting that these reasons are cited as the reasons of it’s gradual dismantling.

    • ck

      oh you’re back? Don’t you have something or someone to shoot with one of those concealed guns of you’rs fh? Yes, feel free to walk the shopping malls with your AK47 now.

      Oh! Here’s a song for you! I hope your guns make warm cuddly gun bedmates!

      Yes, for those who don’t know fh1893, please allow me to introduce him. Having concealed guns is first and foremost in his life. It surpasses health care, women’s reproductive rights, and of course, education. I had to ban him from my place because he is that gun obsessed. I’d be careful.

      In fact, I dedicate this song to you! Enjoy!
      http://youtu.be/BsDFxmbjZ7I

      • fhg1893

        If you knew anything about firearms in Canada ck, you’d know that Ak-47s, and all variants are prohibited by order-in-council, and that includes the semi-automatic only civilian models.

        But then again why should it matter to you, ck, if I want to walk around, in public, with a fully-loaded assault rifle with a 30 round magazine? Folks wearing CADPAT walk around my area, in public, nearly every day, and I’ve never seen anybody too worried about that. If you want to see them for yourself, there’s a fairly large contingent of the same sort around the south western end of Saint-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu, I believe it’s only about 1 hour outside of Montreal.

        Come to think of it, why wouldn’t you want to carry a concealed firearm, and why should it bother me if you did?

        And no, I haven’t had anything to shoot at for a while: the geese haven’t been flying lately due to the unusual heat.

        But is that your real problem with me ck, that I want to own guns? Or is it that my priorities are unlike yours, that my political preferences make me seem like an uncaring, cold and angry sort of person? Well, to a “progressive” anyway.

        The sad truth of the matter is ck, that you couldn’t be more wrong, you’ve just never had the patience, curiosity, and wherewithal to probe deeply enough to understand what’s really going. No, much easier to believe that deep down inside, my fondest desire is to eat babies, and shoot women with unregistered long guns.

        • ck

          “…that my political preferences make me seem like an uncaring, cold and angry sort of person?”

          Well, you are. It’s that simple.

          “No, much easier to believe that deep down inside, my fondest desire is to eat babies, and shoot women with unregistered long guns.”

          Let’s give fh a hand for admitting the truth about himself!

          • fhg1893

            Oh goodie! So now I can scheme and plot to push for mandatory executions for trivial crimes, and legalize a Conservative death-squad to execute all those lovey-dovey liberals guilt-free?! Awesome!

    • ck

      Oh, and fh, who did you get to help you write the big words in this posting today?

  • Lycan

    All I can say is, let us all hope and pray that in the aftermath of this version of the long gun registry demise, that it doesn’t cost a police officer serious injury or his life as a result of not being able to know whether a particular situation he/she is entering into has a long gun involved.

    It never mattered, since a police officer is trained to assume and act as if there is a long-gun present wether there is one or not.

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