Scrutiny of the gun registry is nothing new.
The demand by the Conservatives the long-gun registry, at the very least, be scrapped is nothing new either.
Reasoning may have changed, from the former $2-billion boondoggle, to an invasion of privacy, to the failure that it is at preventing most gun crimes.
But the debate is finally coming to a head in September with third reading of a Conservative MP’s private member’s bill which would kill the long-gun registry.
It’s two decades overdue if you ask me, but there still could be hiccups.
The bill passed first and second reading, thanks to the help of votes from some Liberal and NDP MPs.
But that support is in jeopardy, thanks to Grit Leader Michael Ignatieff’s insistence on undemocratically whipping the vote on third reading.
Across the country, battle lines are being drawn, with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police coming out heavily against the scrapping of the long-gun registry.
Two of their big assertions are that 1) rank-and-file members rely on it, and 2) a report shows it has significantly reduced gun crime.
As has already been pointed out, a survey of rank-and-file members shows support for the obtrusive policy isn’t as strong as the chiefs would like to have us believe.
Which brings me to the sharp reduction in gun crime claimed by both an RCMP report and the CACP, which insinuates firearm-related deaths decreased by 43% between 1991 and 2005 because of the registry.
So wait, the CACP point to the decline in gun violence as proof gun registry is working? What about the 4-year-old amnesty for long-gun owners?
The govenrment essentially said long-gun owners get a free pass in 2006, and there hasn’t been a spike in gun violence, as one would expect if the registry was responsible for reducing gun deaths.
And even in Calgary where there’s been a spate of gang killings in recent years no one can claim the deaths had anything to do with the registry existing or not existing.
The registry has done little to help solve these crimes, by tracking a bullet to a gun to an owner, nor has it done anything to prevent any of these murders.
And despite claims its a valuable resource for officers, no one can point to a death prevented because of the gun registry, as was touted some two decades ago.
Even the few million that is spent on the long-gun registry could be better spent trying to tackle that problem.
It’s time to end this debate once and for all.