Canadian Gun Control

By A Concerned Canadian


Here in Canada Gun Registration is a fiasco. The government has spent a billion dollars on gun registration, the level of compliance is far below what they expected, and the deaths per thousand has not dropped in any category except suicides by firearms, which the gun control people tout as ''success''. What they don't say is that the suicide deaths by hanging increased by a corresponding number as deaths by firearms decreased.

To attempt to intimidate people to register their sporting firearms (rifles and shotguns) they have instituted the threat of a 5-year prison sentences for failure to comply as of July1, 2003. This has not resulted in any significant increase of compliance. It is interesting to note that actual convicted criminals receive a fraction of this sentence for use of illegal firearms.

We do have a ''gun problem'' in Canada: it is the use of illegal smuggled handguns across the border, which are freely available in just about any bar in the cities. Handguns have been registered in Canada for over 70 years, so the argument that mandatory registration eliminates criminal use is totally inaccurate.

Despite statistical proof that registration has not, and will not, reduce either the criminal use of firearms, or save a single life. The Federal Government refuses to admit that they made a huge misjudgment in implementing this law. Indeed 6 of the 10 provinces refuse to prosecute anyone failing to comply with it. They initially said it would cost well under $100 million, but to date they have spent $1 billion and the program has failed. Audits are turning up huge overruns and gross mismanagement. This is money that could have and should have been spent on law enforcement.

The real reason we have this registration law was to influence voters in cities to vote for the Liberal government. They conducted a poll asking if people were in favour of ''gun control'' without telling them Canada already had some of the most comprehensive gun control legislation on the books! The government still insists that 70% of the people responded yes and accordingly refuses to admit that the whole thing was a disaster. Had the poll question been, ''do you believe criminals will register their guns if we spent $1 billion dollars on a mandatory gun registration program?'' I suggest the level of ''yes'' votes would have been fewer than 10%.

In addition, the results showed a huge difference between the attitudes and lifestyle of rural Canada, where the majority of hunters are from, and urban Canada, where crime is a problem. Unfortunately, rural Canada, with a much smaller population, has little voting power in comparison with the larger urban cities. Neither side understands the other.

One interesting result did come from statistics compiled from the registration program; rural Canada has by far the majority of firearms, but the least amount of criminal use of firearms. The cities that have fewest registered firearms but by far the most crime! The politicians and bureaucrats can't figure it out!

Hunters are only about 5% of the population up here; we feel we've been sacrificed on the political altar in order to get votes from the much larger urban areas. Would they have done this if we were 50% of the population? I think not! Further more, I don't know one legitimate firearms owner who would object to the inconvenience if registering our rifles and shot guns truly saved lives, but their own statistics show it hasn't saved even one life, only diverted a billion dollars away from other much needed agencies that demonstrably do make our lives safer by providing services like locking up criminals.

So, take a page from our book: mandatory registration will cost 10 times whatever they say it will and it won't work. Criminals don't register their guns, they never have and they never will.

Send criminals to jail, not hunters.




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