The Long-Gun registry is under the gun.

Every time we see a bumper sticker on some redneck’s truck, asking us to end the Long-Gun registry, there is an urge to T-bone the vehicle.  We just drive on because we realize that the person is probably ignorant of the usefulness of the Canadian Firearms Registry and why rifles and shotguns (long guns) should continue to be registered.  And maybe we are annoyed because so few people understand the issue.  We also recognize that our annoyance over this is based on knowing that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is really going to waste the money already spent on adding long guns to the registry.  That action by the Tories is unconscionable.

It would be like the Ontario Government killing the e-Health program because of the typical government waste involved in reinventing technology for computerized patient health records.  Those computerized patient records will save lives.  They will also, in the long run, save a great deal of money.

But killing the Long-Gun registry has nothing to do with the cost of creating and maintaining it.  This action is based on a corrupt ideology.  It is catering to ignorance.  It is something Conservatives use to divide rural and urban Canadians.  It is based on pandering to a lunatic fringe of conservatism.  Stephen Harper should be embarrassed that these people are his supporters.

When we found out that the former police chief in Babel was opposed to including long guns in the registry, it told us a great deal about the quality of policing in this city.  That guy was one of the very few police chiefs in Canada who did not praise the registry for its usefulness in helping police serve their community.

What is also annoying is that the Long-Gun registry is a compromise on top of an accommodation.  Nobody is the slightest bit concerned about the varmint rifle a farmer might keep handy in the back kitchen.  Nobody cares.  If you use the weapon against another person, it is quite unlikely that the police would suggest adding a fine for not registering the weapon to the more serious charges.  Nobody is harassing farmers about their long guns.

By the way, despite the hysteria of Toronto television stations, the highest murder rate by population in Canada is in Saskatchewan.  And, even then, only about a third of Canadian murderers use guns.    There is no problem in this country with having guns for hunting, varmint control and target shooting, or even in being a collector.  No politicians are suggesting that this is wrong.

Wasting the money spent on the registration of rifles and shotguns is something Mr. Harper and his people will have to answer for.


Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry

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