I own three long guns. I think of registering them in the same way I feel about registering my vehicle. If someone steals my jeep, I have a better chance of getting it back if it is registered. If my stolen jeep is used in a crime, the cops may have a better chance of finding the guy if they can link him to the initial theft. If someone commits a crime against me while using their registered vehicle, it will help the cops nab the guy. Serious offenders can lose their truck and/or license to drive it to prevent further harm coming to others.
I’m one of those salt-of-the-earth people Hoeppner talks about – farm owner, occasional hunter.
I don’t feel that I’m being treated as a criminal by having to register my vehicle. I understand, as most intelligent people do, that while most vehicle owners in Canada drive responsibly and don’t commit crimes with their trucks or cars, a small percentage do, and registration laws are in place to protect all of us from that small percentage. I also understand that while most people can get a grip on their emotions, some people do give in to road-rage and harm others with their vehicle.
I don’t kick up a fuss when I go through airport security even though I am searched and scanned for illegal or dangerous items because I understand, as do most intelligent people, that while most Canadians travelling by air aren’t terrorists or smugglers, a small percentage can be, and the laws are there to protect the rest of us.
When asked to present ID at a government building, I, like most intelligent people, understand that I am not being personally targeted as a terrorist or spy, but appreciate that such security is in place to stop that small percentage of people who may wish us harm.
So when the CONs bash the gun registry by saying it targets honest citizens and treats them like criminals, they are showing themselves to be a bunch of lying, opportunistic, patronizing CONmen/women.
Ms. Hoeppner said the long-gun registry failed to work because it’s “not the weapon of choice for criminals in Canada.”
No one is even trying to suggest that long gun owners are irresponsible folks bent on committing crimes any more than anyone is saying that truck owners are all a bunch of criminals waiting for the perfect opportunity to use their vehicle in the commission of some crime. But as any intelligent person knows, a small percentage of long gun owners are criminals.
The government cited a recent Statistics Canada report that said of 253 firearms used to commit murder between 2005 and 2009, nearly 70 per cent had never been registered.
OK, but that means over 30% were registered. Bet that helped with investigations.
The same Statscan report said that of 179 homicides using firearms in 2009, 24 per cent were committed using long guns: rifles and shotguns.
And as any intelligent person knows, a small percentage of gun owners – as with non-gun owners – can occasionally fail to control their rage. I haven’t heard any of the opposition say no one should own long guns because of this. They are saying that because a small percentage of people can use the long gun for the wrong reasons – in the same way a small percentage of air travelers will put others at risk, or drivers will act criminally or irresponsibly – it helps to have such weapons registered for everyone’s safety and to help catch those who commit crimes while using them. A register can also let cops know if someone who is developing a pattern of violence has a long gun, and they could remove it. Leaving such a weapon in the hands of someone who has been making serious threats is ludicrous.
So really. Long gun owners (and I can say this since I’m an owner) who resist the registry should quit their whining. No one is targeting them, no one is treating them like criminals, and if they are too damn stupid to understand that while most long gun owners are responsible and law abiding but a small percentage aren’t, then maybe they shouldn’t have access to weapons of any kind themselves.