Monday, May 15, 2006

Deadly Bullet

Sheila Fraser's report on the gun registry is set to land tomorrow and early leaks are that it will say that there were a lot of problems but that things are reasonably under control now. So, of course, the logical conclusion the Tories will jump to is to...axe the gun registry. Huh?

Yes, CTV is reporting that Stockwell Day will be saying "yes, guns kill people, but not shotguns or rifles". That's despite the following:

Despite controversy and cost overruns, the gun registry has supporters. Police consult the firearms databank approximately 5,000 times every day and officers say limiting the types of guns listed will not help law enforcement.

"Our last six or seven police officers were killed with long guns," said Tony Cannavino of the Canadian Professional Police Association. "That's very sad."

Now, I'm sure some people will jump over the last line as "proof" the registry doesn't work, but the fact of the matter is, there will always be gun crime. The registry should help decrease the amount of that crime by choking off the supply of guns. By keeping the registry in place for shotguns, the Tories are conceding there are benefits to registering weapons. So, why then give out free passes to certain types of guns which we know are used in crime?

Police use the gun registry. Criminals are prosecuted using the registry. You need the registry to show if a gun is stolen or legal. You need the registry to encourage responsible gun ownership and to track the transfer of weapons.

Problems in the past does not justify killing a program. There wouldn't be many government programs left if we simply killed any program which had growing pains. This is simply about Harper playing to his base - people who can't be bothered to take a few minutes and dollars to register their weapons.


UPDATE: There's an article in the Globe about police support for the gun registry. I didn't mention this point in my main post (although I have touched on it before), but the registry helps keep 3,000 guns out of the hands of the mentally ill every year.

47 Comments:

  • Excellent post, CG. Bang on.

    Ted
    Cerberus

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 10:59 PM  

  • Guns don't kill people.

    By Blogger Liberal Fortunes, at 11:09 PM  

  • If guns are outlawed, only outlaws & the government will have guns.

    That's pretty scary.

    By Blogger What_The_Puck?, at 11:13 PM  

  • liberal fortunes had it half right.

    Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.

    By Blogger CfSR, at 11:26 PM  

  • CFSR

    What is your beef with freedom. I like freedom. We are going to have to disagree on this one.

    By Blogger Liberal Fortunes, at 11:47 PM  

  • how many bad guys do you think have registered their guns?????????? the gun registry is the biggest goddamn waste of money I have ever seen.

    By Blogger chef, at 12:26 AM  

  • Maces don't kill people - visigoths kill people!

    By Blogger Lookout Mountain, at 12:29 AM  

  • wtp,
    "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws & the government will have guns.

    That's pretty scary."

    -I don't think its scary, if the government can protect me from communism, terrorism, facism, and bird flu, they can protect me from a few outlaws with guns.

    By Blogger Lookout Mountain, at 12:32 AM  

  • Even as a Liberal supporter, I think the gun registry needs to go. Most firearm owners are hunters or farmers living in rural areas, not gang members in big cities. Most murders that involve guns use handguns. Secondly most are purchased illegally. More police and tougher border controls are needed.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 1:41 AM  

  • Well chef, then you ain't seen much.

    By Blogger Kelly J Gessner, at 2:39 AM  

  • Almost all of the police chiefs in Canada and almost all of the police associations (i.e. unions) support the gun registry. That is why it is consulted some 5000 times a day.

    The gun registry serves a lot of purposes. Two not discussed in most conversations are the knowledge our protectors have when attending at a domestic dispute (as they say, this is how they use it the most) and also in de-registering someone after they commit a crime.

    We register our cars and for driving. We register for fishing licences. We register for hunting licences. We register our lobbyists.

    Does that mean illegal driving, illegal fishing, illegal hunting and illegal lobbying is stopped or that it only criminalizes law abiding citizens?

    It is not a big deal to register, the Auditor General today will say that it is not costing a lot to run (contrary to misleading Conservative leaks) and the cops think it is a valuable tool and helps saves lives.

    That's enough for me.

    Ted
    Cerberus
    That's enough for

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 8:41 AM  

  • I really have to wonder how many of the folks who find the gun registry so reprehensible are actual gun owners and not just malcontents railing from a partisan perspective. I am not a gun owner. I find guns violent, despicable WMD's. I do however have many gun owning family members who have quietly and respectfully registered their weapons as that is what the law mandates. I, like Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski, support the gun registry no matter what the cost.

    By Blogger Lord Omar, at 8:47 AM  

  • As a gun owner I have the following critique of the gun registry.

    1) The mandatory training is a very good idea. But the training is general enough that it should/could be offered to all Canadians.

    The training involves understanding basic principles like 'don't point a gun at anyone unless you mean to kill them' or how to unload a gun that you find.

    2) The classification system of guns is awful and made without a proper understanding of firearms.

    As an 1812 historical re-enactor we fought for years to get flint lock and match lock muskets delisted. (and were successful ultimately) But 1856 reproduction caplock rifles are still listed alongside semi-automatic AK-47s in the registry. This is a mistake (and if any of you know anything about guns you'll understand my point).

    3) The gun registry is useless since only those citizens that are law-abiding to begin with will register.

    Instead of punishing the criminals, the gun registry focuses on punishing those citizens that are honest enough to try to follow the laws of the country by registering their firearms.

    4) Police organizations have gone both ways on this issue. Fantino, the former police chief of Toronto was vehemently opposed to the registry as a collosal waste as were many other police chiefs. Political groups (in my opinion) sidelined these officers and promoted those with similar viewpoints.

    As for the 5000 uses of the registry per day, I'd be interested if that includes times that police ask 'is this gun on the registry' and the answer is 'no'.

    5) Gun control is proven not to work.

    Handguns have been all but banned in Canada for 30 years. Still, we have people being gunned down by handguns in the streets of our cities.

    In England, when they banned all handguns in the country (a blanket ban - only the army may have handguns if i remember correctly) they saw an increase of 300% in hand gun crime.

    6) Long guns and rifles are used as often in criminal activity as knives. See statistics canada about this.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 10:15 AM  

  • CG, can't fault your analysis, but I question your premise that the cost/benefit balance of the registry re. long guns is favourable. I'll have to read the report.

    And I think I differ with Mr. Cannavino, as I recall that the last six or seven officers were not killed with registered long guns. Without doing any research I have in mind the officer in Montreal and the four in Mayerthorpe.

    Moreover, to say that the registry is consulted does not mean that it is needed for long guns, or that it changes behaviour on the part of responding police officers.

    I agree that this is Harper playing to his base, but I don't see much harm: the registry has not helped solve a crime committed with a long gun. .

    The "can't be bothered" remark is inaccurate as well, if I may say so. Much of the opposition after the registry's implementation came from being unable to register a gun despite good faith efforts, resulting in (technically) a criminal offense.

    By Blogger matt, at 10:17 AM  

  • Re-reading my 5th point, I guess I should alter/clarify it.

    It should be 'Gun bans don't work'

    Gun control has its benefits if done properly and with a full understanding of the issues.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 10:17 AM  

  • Oh and the last police officer killed was killed by a handgun in Windsor, Ontario. My hometown.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 10:18 AM  

  • 1 billion dollars for an incomplete database that is consulted only 5000 times a day.

    tell you what ask the question to police cheifs if they'd rather have the database or have the 1 billion dollars split up and added to their budget I wonder how many would still want the database.

    not many I would guess.

    personally I don't think a regsitry is a BAD idea I think it's just that there are a hell of alot of more effective ways to spend the money.

    By Blogger Sierra, at 10:35 AM  

  • "-I don't think its scary, if the government can protect me from communism, terrorism, facism, and bird flu, they can protect me from a few outlaws with guns."

    I have a rock that protects me from polar bears. I bought it from Homer Simpson. I have never been attacked by a polar bear. See how well it works?

    By Blogger The Rat, at 10:43 AM  

  • amen, pass the ammunition everyone....

    "We register our cars and for driving. We register for fishing licences. We register for hunting licences. We register our lobbyists."

    that makes too much sense, why stop with getting rid of the gun registry, lets get rid of all licences!

    Of course it cost a billion dollars, but what is worse a billion for a working gun registry or a billion for absolutely nothing?

    By Blogger Sean, at 11:15 AM  

  • Cerebrus wrote:
    "Almost all of the police chiefs in Canada and almost all of the police associations (i.e. unions) support the gun registry. That is why it is consulted some 5000 times a day."

    And of that 5000 times a day this registry is checked, how many of those instances have to do with dangerous people having access to firearms? The police use this as a database to check information other than gun issues.....it's just a quick means to access information such as addresses, employment, mental history..etc..etc....
    Sort of like "Big Brother" without the visuals. I'm sure the cops would love a database that includes everyone in Canada...imagine how easy that would make their jobs.

    Then this:

    "The gun registry serves a lot of purposes."

    Several of which we are to find out about today. It serves to funnel money into the Liberal Party and some of their supporters, and it provides a lot of jobs in New Brunswick for those of the correct (Liberal) persuasion.

    and more from Ted:
    " Two not discussed in most conversations are the knowledge our protectors have when attending at a domestic dispute (as they say, this is how they use it the most) and also in de-registering someone after they commit a crime."

    You mean like the knowledge available under the old FAC program? The program that didn't cost 2 Billion dollars...and that was handled by the cops? The same FAC program that already looked after background checks, mental history, domestic assault history..etc..etc...?
    That knowledge Ted?


    There's more from Ted!

    "We register our cars and for driving. We register for fishing licences. We register for hunting licences. We register our lobbyists."

    That's almost too easy Ted. Imagine this scenario, and you can see why firearms owners are concerned about the registry. Imagine some nut case goes berserck and decides to ram his blue Chevy into a crowd of people and kills 10 or 11 of them. Do you REALLY think the Federal Government is going to call a press conference and inform the media that due to the inherent danger of Blue Chevy's they are all going to be banned? Just to be safe, they are going to confiscate all of the Blue Chevy's in Canada, and if it happens again....ALL CARS will be confiscated.
    Sounds ridiculous doesn't it Ted?
    Now replace the blue chevy, with a type of currently legal firearm....and remember that idiot Martin in the last election...riding into the gun-plagued sections of Toronto and proclaiming his intent to ban all handguns. Do you think it's much of a stretch that another idiot of similar persuasion (read: Liberal) wouldn't try the same thing with long guns if he thought it would help his election chances?

    By the way...you forgot your registration for dogs....that one's bandied about quite often to shore up your weak and illogical argument. But for the record Ted....if you leave your pit bull or Rottweiller alone in the yard....there is a good chance it will get out and kill someone. Do the same thing with a gun...and it just gets rusty.

    The genius continues:

    "Does that mean illegal driving, illegal fishing, illegal hunting and illegal lobbying is stopped or that it only criminalizes law abiding citizens?"

    You mention the point....but fail to recognize that you are defeating your own argument Ted. We already have laws against those things. Have they stopped?
    Perhaps we should start something that actually addresses the problem....maybe get some more beat cops on the street. a few billion dollars would stop a lot of crime in areas of Toronto or Vancouver if it went to pay police salaries' and not pissed away on a make work project that has failed miserable.

    The font has more:

    "It is not a big deal to register, the Auditor General today will say that it is not costing a lot to run (contrary to misleading Conservative leaks) and the cops think it is a valuable tool and helps saves lives.

    That's enough for me."

    I imagine it is enough for all of us if we were equally shallow or incapable of critical thought...however, some of us have thought about it a little longer than you Ted.

    It is a big deal to register for several reasons I'll go over below.
    Expensive to set up (as you will see today) Expensive to run, and expensive for those who own firearms. Not to mention, after the registry has the names of those folks who have guns....there is nothing to stop the next group of corrupt Liberal MP's from increasing the fees whenever the whim strikes....especially if it sounds politicall appealing (see: Paul Martin to ban already banned handguns)


    And finally the only reason that should really matter Ted.

    The gun registry was a political ploy devised by the Liberal Party to capitolize on the death of 14 women in Montreal. When C-68 was brought in, even the Liberals knew it wouldn't do a damn thing to prevent such murders...but hey, it sounded good....and it got them elected. The gun registry targets the wrong people. Instead of cracking down on the criminal element in society, we wasted Billions on a useless program to elect Liberals, thereby foregoing the probably reduction in crime by investing the money in REAL public safey.

    for those who think any price spent on the registry is worth it if it saves EVEN ONE LIFE, are not only hopelessly deluded. Imagine how many lives could have been saved if that money were spent on hospitals. How many early-detection medical machines (MRI's, CAT scans..etc) were NOT BOUGHT because of this waste? How many lives could have been saved?

    That's what the registry has done, but no doubt the usual suspects will defend this wasteful program because some people just refuse to admit they were wrong.....no matter how many lives it will cost to defend their views.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 11:32 AM  

  • The gun registry is not about gun control, it is about imposing an urban set of values on rural gun owners. The Toronto Star-that bastion of conservatism-recently did an article showing that the area of Ontario with the highest gun ownership had the lowest gun crime rates, and downtown Toronto, with the lowest gun ownership rate had the highest gun crime rate.
    Washington DC had a gun registry long before Canada and it had no effect on crime rates.
    There are about one million gun owners who refuse to register their guns. It would cost tens of billions to prosecute and jail them. During the 2004 election a candidate at an election debate I attended announced he had not registered his gun and dared the government to come get him. The regisry is meaningless because no one has to obey.
    AS for the police consulting the registry thousands of times a day, I've read that police computers are automatically set up to consult the registry whether the police want to check someone for gun ownership or not, running any kind of check links to the registry.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 11:42 AM  

  • "...We register for fishing licences. We register for hunting licences..."

    I believe an appropriate analogy would be that that we register our fishing rods for fishing. The problem is that we don't. We get a fishing licence for fishing and a hunting licence for hunting. We do not need to register fishing rods.

    Why do we need to register long guns?

    Answer: Read Nuna D's comment.

    By Blogger Dr. Strangelove, at 12:18 PM  

  • Mr Halifax
    Specifically in your reference to the police approaval of the gun registry and the old FAC.
    One of the reasons that the police do support the gun registry is that the local police no longer have to administer the program.
    This has saved by my understanding the Calgary police department about 3 million dollars a year.
    Multiply this number across the country including local RCMP, OPP and Surete detachments and you have one great benifit of the the gun registry. It allowed local police to take money spent on gun registration and administration and put it into local policing. One number I heard was about 30 million a year was saved by police and moved into local policing, ie feet on the streets.
    How come this number is never brought out by opponents of the gun registry.
    The result of the gun registy was to put 30 million dollars a year into the hands of local police to actually fight crime as opposed to being bureaucrats.
    Getting rid of the gun registry will also cost local police departments at least 30 million a year and probably far more to reestablish the previous way.
    Hopefully the Conservatives will go ahead with this and we will have their first Billion dollar boondoggle within the year and all at the cost of local policing.
    Whoo hooo.

    By Blogger Aristo, at 12:41 PM  

  • People don't seem to understand "sunk costs". Just because the program has cost 1 or 2 billion, axing it will not bring back 1 or 2 billion into the government coffers. We're not talking about going back in time and never setting the program up - it's a question of whether or not to continue.

    We'll have to see the numbers, but I believe the program costs something like 60-80 million dollars a year to run now (but I may be wrong on that). To me, that's not a lot of money. And, I imagine that removing certain guns from the registry won't save more than a few million a year.

    So, from a cost benefit analysis, this one seems like a no brainer to me.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:49 PM  

  • "One of the reasons that the police do support the gun registry is that the local police no longer have to administer the program."

    You're going to have to elaborate on that one. How do the police no longer administer a program that never existed in the first place?

    And on another track... if this registry is consulted 5000 times per day, where the devil was the consultation that should have revealed ex-con Francois Pepin of Laval owned a high-calibre hunting rifle when he shot Constable Valerie Gignac to death in December?

    By Blogger Dr. Strangelove, at 1:09 PM  

  • The point is if your going to spend 2 billion... spend it right. Not on something that doesn't work.

    No amount of justification anyone can present can justify spending 1 to 2 billion on something that should only cost around 60 to 80 million.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 1:10 PM  

  • CG - while I understand what your saying, in terms of raw math, you'll never be able to argue successfully in relation to cost/benefit. In fact, the ratio is so low it's almost of the map.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 1:12 PM  

  • Grit, I have a background in accounting, so I understand sunk costs.

    One of the first things you learn in business is to forget about sunk costs, because they have absolutely no bearing on the decision making process. In effect.....why throw good money after bad? That's the whole point. Money already spent cannot be recovered (unless of course we have a "sponsorship" connection...then, unfortunately for you, we'll have to get it from the Liberal party) that is why it is not a part of the equation.



    Aristo wrote:
    "One of the reasons that the police do support the gun registry is that the local police no longer have to administer the program."

    So...you admit the police like the registry because it makes their job easier.......and not because the public is safer?

    Then this:
    "The result of the gun registy was to put 30 million dollars a year into the hands of local police to actually fight crime as opposed to being bureaucrats."

    That's right....now we have beaurocrats pissing away BILLIONS of dollars....and we still have gang-bangers blasting away at each other in the streets of Toronto.


    Imagine you live on the beach. Now imagine the ocean is washing away the sand every day and you have to keep trucking in thousands of dollars of sand every day to build it back up again. Suppose the money you spend on sand over a two year period is equal to the cost of a new house.....how long do you keep buying sand?
    (answer: less than two years)

    The Liberals seen to believe that since each load of sand is cheaper than a new house, it is better economics to keep buying sand, all the while forgetting that the costs will continue, and the ocean will not stop washing the sand away.

    The gun registry has to go. Canadians are tired of paying for the political decisions of those who prefer sand castles to solid rock.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 1:14 PM  

  • I think many Liberal posters need to make a distinction between the long gun registry and licensing gun owners.

    Nobody is suggesting getting rid of the license to buy ammo and guns - this is the process that weeds out mental cases and criminals from buying legal guns. Guns are a tool and are only useful if the owner knows how to use them safely. The licensing program does this.

    What many conservative-minded people such as myself want axed is the registry. It is just a list of law-abiding owners of rifles and shotguns. The problem that many of us have with this list is that those who are on it are hunters and farmers. Criminals do not put themselves on the list. I would be interested to know how many firearms crimes were committed by the legal owner of a registered firearm. My blind guess is less than 10 - but again that's just a guess.

    CG - you mentioned sunk costs. You are right the money will never be recovered, but the fact that the money was already spent should not matter going forward because throwing good money after bad just wastes more money.

    Its time for the government to stop punishing law-abiding citizens for the actions of criminals - Its time to axe the registry.

    By Blogger Andrew Smith, at 1:21 PM  

  • Sorry CG... I posted this once before, and I'm going to again.

    This time I will do one better. By Friday I'll send you privately what the gun registry should look, as part of an unsolicated proposal to the Federal Government by my company.

    I would encourage you, if you agree with what is sent, to publish any part you want.

    For the record, I personally think a registry is a good idea. I know the one we have now is useless.

    For those of you who think the police like the current program, I would suggest to you that there is such a thing as being happy with what is, because to not have it is to have nothing.


    So here is the last study I did:

    Case Study of the Gun Control Program
    Background on the Program

    In the late 90’s, the Canadian Government announced the launch of Canada’s first true, all encompassing gun registry, which would form a database of all guns legally owned in Canada. This is an effort to better understand the distribution of firearms across the country, and to enable the Canadian Government to presumably control the issuance of licenses and such to people who sought gun ownership.

    As of 2003, most people, who are not directly involved in the Gun Control Program, would agree that the model instituted by the Federal Government was an unmitigated failure. This caused no small amount of anger amongst the population, and was responsible for defacto rebellion from some of the western provinces unwilling to accept the law. Alberta for example essentially refused to prosecute the act of violating the program.

    The Department of Justice is responsible for the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). The program is organized as a sub-activity within the department. The 1995 Firearms Act requires that all owners and users of firearms must be licensed by January 1, 2001 and that all firearms must be registered by January 1, 2003. In 2000, a sample survey conducted by GPC estimated that there are 2.46 million owners and users of 7.9 million firearms in Canada.

    The Result of the Program

    Given the fact that over $2 billion has been spent at an annual cost running into the tens of millions, each registration by owner costs about $900 for every $100 spent by a user per annum. Put another way, each firearm cost the Federal Government an average of roughly $300 to process at $31 per registration per gun per year. On top of that, it is an incomplete database. Theoretically, the gun registry costs more than all the guns in this country combined.

    Gun related crime actually increased since the programs inception, and hardly any firearms retrieved from gun related homicides have ever been registered.

    In July of 2005, Deputy Prime Minister Ann McCellan announced the program had successfully prevented a little over 2000 applicants from receiving license’s for firearms, and that the nations police had made over 20 million inquiries to the register. This, she proclaimed, was proof the program was money well spent.

    The same day she made the announcement, the gun related homicide statistics for the province of Alberta were released announcing that they were up in 2005 by 33% over the entire year of 2004. Only a small percentage of the firearms used were registered.

    The program’s success is obviously highly debatable.

    The cost of the registry database is mis-represented as "information". If one considers having information on registered guns and law abiding gun owners the measurement of success, while ignoring gun crimes, unlawful gun distributions and the ever increasing use of guns in criminal behavior. Then one could say the program is a success.

    However, if one begins to take gun crimes, prevention of unlawful gun distribution, and the percentage of crimes involving guns as the measuring stick, (this being the published and stated goal of the CFP) then the program is a failure.

    The registry "information" is wrongly promoted as gun control where there are no mechanisms, implementations or even a means of "control". The originally proposed cost of $2 million is fair to create and manage the run registry. The cost of $2.3 billion is a result of "trial and error" based on misunderstanding a bad design, while attempting to make the database a source of information and information as control.

    Where did it all go wrong?

    Simply put, the Government had the right idea to commence on a program, namely the gathering of all pertinent information regarding who owns what guns.

    Raymond V. Hession, who was contracted by the Federal Government to do an independent evaluation of the program, summed where the program failed best. He stated categorically in 2003;

    “The first baseline forecast suggesting that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) would cost taxpayers only about two million dollars in excess of the fee income it would generate was plainly based on flawed assumptions. The technical requirements and business processes that were developed to implement the stipulated functions of Bill C-68 (Firearms Act) proved to be dauntingly complex.

    And, the project struck to manage the development failed to prescribe the business process and technical architecture of the solution based on which it would be designed in detail, built, tested and rolled out. Without that full architectural expression, it was not feasible to do a proper estimate of development costs. Instead, the architecture evolved and, change-by-change, the project grew more complex. The development costs escalated.

    And, because the CFP was a wholly new venture for the department, there was very limited operational experience on which to draw as a check on the unintended deleterious effects of policy requirements on efficient program administration. The procurement method employed by the government allocated little performance risk to the two contractors who were asked to detail the design and build the solution. They did what they were told to do and billed accordingly”.

    Clearly, lack of understanding, and an unclear definition of what was attempting to be achieved, completely derailed what in essence is a very simple program.

    In other words from the beginning the IT companies controlled the whole process, they provided the hardware, developed the software and data processing, and maintained control over it leasing it back to the government. Every time a change was made, a charge was issued, driving up the operational costs of the CFC and the CFP. The costs were in the millions, and the government still did not own the hardware, software or data, this was still the property of the IT companies.

    It is apparent that in this case, large multi-national companies took complete advantage of the ignorance of the managers from the government side of the equation. As Eugene Plawiuk, an executive member of CUPE states:

    The result of all this outsourcing of computer technology for the CFP is the recommendation from Hennison that "to bring development costs under control, with the exception of normal application maintenance, no additional software functions should be added to the existing technical infrastructure." So when outsourcing fails once we try it again and when it fails again and cost overruns occur we now freeze the program.

    Like EDS, Team Centra benefited from outsourcing. "By joining forces with AMS, CGI has doubled its critical mass in both the United States and Europe. With 25,000 professionals and US$3 billion in revenue, CGI is one of the largest independent IT and BPO companies in the world," says their web page. And again they profited from cost overruns at CFP, just like EDS.

    He basically states that the P3 model deployed for this program was a complete wash, and that because of lack of technical expertise on the part of the Government, the large multi-nationals were able to lead the Government managers down the garden path, by not helping to educate them on what they were attempting, but rather allowing them to think they understood the end run goals of the program on the implementation side.

    This is confirmed in Hennsion’s report, although he states it in a much more diplomatic manner.

    The first baseline forecast suggesting that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) would cost taxpayers only about two million dollars in excess of the fee income it would generate was plainly based on flawed assumptions. The technical requirements and business processes that were developed to implement the stipulated functions of Bill C-68 (Firearms Act) proved to be dauntingly complex.

    And, the project struck to manage the development failed to prescribe the business process and technical architecture of the solution based on which it would be designed in detail, built, tested and rolled out. Without that full architectural expression, it was not feasible to do a proper estimate of development costs. Instead, the architecture evolved and, change-by-change, the project grew more complex. The development costs escalated. And, because the CFP was a wholly new venture for the department, there was very limited operational experience on which to draw as a check on the unintended deleterious effects of policy requirements on efficient program administration. The procurement method employed by the government allocated little performance risk to the two contractors who were asked to detail the design and build the solution. They did what they were told to do and billed accordingly.

    The Federal Government made the mistake of assuming that because you have information at your fingertips, you have control. They commenced on design with an eye towards implementation, and discovered they hadn’t put enough into the planning stage, thusly forcing them to continue to go back to the developer companies to revamp this form or that, and those companies cheerfully took their marching orders without explaining the complexities that were mounting with the continual changes. They would just send a bill and do the change.

    Conclusion

    This categorically shows that the implementation of a policy is a crucial if not the most important factor of enforcement. A conventional and political way of introducing policy would typically result in "putting the cart before the horse".

    Like "gun control" and most other policy implementations, they come to the conventional route of "information = control = enforcement" where "information" is misinterpreted as "control", and "control" is misunderstood as "enforcement". The control and enforcement are designed and applied based on the assumptions that law-abiding citizens are accounted for and would commit a majority of the gun crimes.

    This methodology is somewhat akin to placing a "do not enter" sign at a bathroom door and subsequently dedicating resources to watch the door, then using lawyers to punish those go through the door and get caught.

    The purpose of gun control is to control the guns, gun trafficking, and gun uses that are specifically associated with gun crimes and criminals.

    There are at least 50 Boutique software firms who could design and implement for the gun control program, and integrate with all the existing criminal databases, with real-time enforcement devices at every gun shop, every gun supplier, every police station, every emergency vehicle, and every border crossing, and it would cost less than 10% of what has been spent today.

    The reason for this is simple, Boutique Software firms educates thier customer, participating in the design process, and works hand in hand to make sure that what the customer is paying for is what they get, while still achieving the end goal.

    Large entities are not so mindful of this, and at the end of the day, will take advantage of the situation because what the customer wants is only part of what they are being charged for, using the 90’s mentality of “trapping the customer”, by providing the carrot, but dangling it from a stick.

    This is substantial, because it speaks to how the IT world does its business. To companies like IBM, CGI, Microsoft etc… a problem is not a problem when it requires servicing, because servicing means man-hours and man-hours mean money. So in effect, if there are no problems, that is a problem for the IT supplier because they do not make money on technology that does not break.

    What we emphasize in relation to the gun control program is the importance of trying to have people learn the costly lesson of what not to do in every aspect of the program. In the case of the CFP the design, development, implementation, deployment, and the risk management resulted in mistakes, and the cost of that has been clearly shown.

    Whoever got the $2 billion is the only true beneficiary of the gun control program.

    Without knowing where to go, and how to get there, it is fair to say that the Government got on the wrong bus at the cost of $2 billion, and are still figuring out which direction to go.

    In relation to cost vs benefit vs control, It would have been cheaper and more effective to purchase a handgun for every Canadian over the age of 16. Then everyone would have a gun, every gun would be noted in the registry, and illegal gun distribution would effectively be eliminated because everyone would already own a gun. Most importantly, the database to store ownership information might cost around $20 million, and the Government would have spent less than a billion dollars.

    Irony has no limitation.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 1:21 PM  

  • Mr Halifax
    I did not admit that at all.
    I actually specified the opposite.
    There are now more police on the street, where they should be, then in the office.
    I was pointing out that as a result of the gun registry we are actually safer, if you consider an increased police presence on the street safer, which I do.
    I also think you completly proved CG's point. If we are to disregard sunk costs as you suggest then we only look at the gun registry on an ongoing basis so all the noise you are making about supposed billions of dollars being wasted is just noise as you yourself just admitted.
    Then if the result is that getting rid of the gun registry is to increase costs to local police departments (DR Strangelove: Prior to the creation of the registry, the local police had to check out applications to buy guns one of the benifits of the registry was that local police no longer had to do this procedure, guns may not have been registered but you still needed a permit) therefore by your own argument James you have to concede that the gun registry needs to be kept.
    Otherwise you are suggesting we need to by a new house after the retaining wall with super duper hurricane fencing and breakwaters is complete. Right lets by a new house and start trucking in that sand all over again.
    The problem with conservatives is that they let ideology trump wisdom every time.
    Gun Registry made mistakes so gun registry BAD.
    Get rid of Bad Things.
    What you mean mistakes finished and now program good.
    No gun registry BAD!
    Kill Bad registry Kill Kill!
    What you mean cost police more money?
    Registry Bad!
    Go away registry!!

    By Blogger Aristo, at 1:31 PM  

  • Nuna is bang on (pardon the pun) - the registry is automatically checked whenever the police search for information on an individual. I believe (not 100% sure) that some jurisdictions are set up to access the registry whenever a licence plate is run.

    Imagine you are a police officer, serving a warrent for somebody accused of assault or murder. The firearms registry check comes back saying the individual has no guns. Are you going to assume that there are no firearms present?

    What the registry does show is a listing of firearms owners who are likely law abiding.

    Aristo - eliminating the long-gun registry doesn't necessarily mean that the screening processes for gun owners will have to be undertaken by local law enforcement - this could still be done by the CFC (if it still exists), or RCMP.

    Even if provincial and/or municipal police forces are required to screen applicants, I would think that they would be free to charge for this service. Make no mistake, while the high-level police officials support the registry (I would be willing to argue that this is for job preservation as much as anything else, especially when the politicians are in favour of the registry), rank and file police officers across the country find the gun registry completely useless - they just can't give attributable quotes to that effect, lest they be sanctioned.

    By Blogger Greg P, at 1:49 PM  

  • Actually, only Police who are enabled can check the registry... that's one of it's problems.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 2:20 PM  

  • From the Globe report of Fraser's report:

    "The Centre still takes too long to process applications, and doesn't know how many of its records have outdated addresses or incorrect names.

    It also does not adequately verify transfers to new owners or the description of the registered firearms — information crucial to making the registry useful for tracking guns."

    So....the information crucial to making the registry useful is not reliable.

    In other words, it doesn't work.

    Might removing long guns from its ambit actually save the registry by allowing it to do something useful in respect of the other firearms it is presently unable to effectively track?



    PS, the mentally ill point is a canard, insofar as gun permit applications and purchase regulations target that problem.

    By Blogger matt, at 4:32 PM  

  • Andrew Smith said...

    "Its time for the government to stop punishing law-abiding citizens for the actions of criminals - Its time to axe the registry."

    Not that I love the gun registry or anything... but talk about rhetoric... how does it "punish" gun owners... oh they pay a fee + fill out a form... OMG the torture???

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 4:46 PM  

  • Merboy, read the G&M article that states that people who register their firearms can have that fact used as justification for a wire-tap or a search warrant.

    That is how gun owners are punished.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060516.REGISTRY16/TPStory

    The mere fact that you have a firearm doesn't make you more likely to be a criminal. But that is how it is being portrayed.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 5:16 PM  

  • http://www.theinfozone.net/SALW/Canada.html#AlbinaGuarnieri

    In 2004, Albina Guarnieri was tasked with reporting on the gun registry.

    It looks like that report, declared a cabinet secret by the Liberals should have Conservatives searching for it and comparing the solutions that hidden report offered, and see how they compare to what the Conservatives now want to do.

    Perhaps the solution to this mess was sitting in Anne Mclellan's files all along.

    Wonder if a copy of that hidden report survived.

    TIZ

    By Blogger The Infozone, at 6:08 PM  

  • On the mentally ill point, yes an individual with a mental ilness cannot buy a gun. But if someone develops one, the registry will say if they own a gun which must be taken away.

    On the same point, if someone is charged with a violent crime, I believe they can't own guns. Therefore the registry will tell people if they have a weapon which needs to be taken away.

    On the sunk point cost, I believe that proves my point Andrew. What happened is irrelevant. It's like if you sign an MLB player two year deal, paying 2 million a year with a 10 million dollar signing bonus. If he has a terrible first year, the signing bonus and the first year contract are already spent money. So when deciding to keep him or not, it's a question of whether or not he's worth 2 million next year.

    And, on another topic, it's a lot harder to prosecute and prove that a weapon is stolen or not being stored correctly without a registry to tie the gun to its owner. Now, if there are problems tracking the flow of guns, that's a problem which needs to be addressed. But by tying a gun to it's owner, it brings some accountability to owning a weapon.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:19 PM  

  • CG:

    Ok, I concede the mentally ill point. You're 100% correct there.

    I can't do that completely for the violent crime point. In a *lot* of cases domestic murders are impulsive acts using weapons at hand. Your point applies there, to the extent the registry is able to identify those at-risk individuals on a timely basis. Which, per the AG today, is very much in doubt.

    Other violent crime deliberately contemplates having a weapon on-hand, if not necessarily its use (robbery, etc.). This is where the black market for firearms makes the registry moot, particularly for long guns.

    By Blogger matt, at 6:27 PM  

  • Calgary,

    The problem with the idea that the Gun Registry would take guns away from a person who developed a mental illness is there is no mechanism for that to happen.

    On the licence application form they ask questions of the person applying, but privacy legislation prevents the registry from contacting your doctor.

    As it should.

    The registry doesn't contact in most cases the people who the applicant lists as references.

    A husband, or wife applying can't use their spouse as a reference either.

    The system is designed to make those least likely to be a problem feel like a criminal, while those outside of the law, 'outlaws' are not affected at all.

    No one in the government or the half million dollar cheerleader, Wendy Cukier have been able to offer any rational as to how putting a piece of paper beside a gun makes society safer.

    Incredible waste of resources.

    Of course the registry could have positive uses, there is an infrastructure now for a new border crossing card.

    TIZ

    By Blogger The Infozone, at 7:25 PM  

  • I don't have any particular side on this issue, and am merely asking questions, but - how would the gun registry serve to remove a firearm from a person who develops a mental illness? Is the gun registry to be attached to some sort of mental illness registry? Do doctors have to update some list of mentally ill persons?

    As per usual, I'm terribly confused, darlings!

    By Blogger Lois, at 10:07 PM  

  • Hello All,

    The Liberal government brought in the Afghan mission and I am really hopeful that the majority of our party MP's will support the vote tonight. However I hear that upwards of 80 lib MP's are planning on NOT supporting the mission.

    On my blog I am calling on ALL bloggers to support the mission today and send a signal to the MP's that Canadian's support our mission. Hopefully readers of this blog will also follow suit.

    By Blogger Riley Hennessey, at 9:52 AM  

  • Aristo wrote:
    "I was pointing out that as a result of the gun registry we are actually safer, if you consider an increased police presence on the street safer, which I do."

    Find one point instance where the gun registry has saved a single life, and you have done more to support the gun registry than the entire Liberal Party and Police association.

    For the record Aristo, please admit that you are NOT a gun owner, and you in fact have no knowledge whatsoever about this topic other than your ideology that guns are bad.

    Under the old FAC system, we had the exact same thing as the current gun registry, with the exception of records of individual serial numbers of firearms. As we now know (and gun owners have known for years) the registry is unreliable, inaccurate, and of questionable use to solve any gun crime BEFORE it happens. In effect, the new gun law, is JUST LIKE THE OLD GUN LAW....with the exception that the old law seemed to be more effective......even without the individual numbers of the firearms. Here's a hint.....many guns have the same serial numbers, depending on date of manufacture, and model.

    Many people who are ignorant about firearms (those who SUPPORT the registry) don't realize that the FAC program required strict controls. When I purchased my first firearm, I was 16 years old. I had to take a hunter-safety course, have a practical exam, as well as a background check where police spoke to my neighbors, teachers, and local police station to ensure I was a stable and safe person. After doing all of this, I received an FAC certificate in the mail and went to Canadian Tire to buy my gun. When I purchased my .22, I had to give my name, address, and phone number. The serial number was copied down and forwarded to the local police station.

    In effect, it was a registry.

    Now, instead of pissing away taxpayers dollars on the current registry that doesn't work, why couldn't we have had a simple law that didn't infringe on people's rights, or treat them like a potential criminal.
    It would have been far simpler to pass legislation that required gun owners to keep a list of their firearms, along with the associated serial numbers, makes, and models of their guns. If they were stolen, this list would be presented to the police who would then investigate/identify the weapons that were recovered. This would have costed nothing, but would have easily solved the problem of recovering stolen firearms.

    Why wasn't this done? Simple. The Liberal governnment is and always has been more interested in appearances, than in actual results. In effect, if the Liberals know they could get 100,000 votes more in Toronto, than they would lose in the rural areas....it is worth stepping on people's rights. If 10 or 20 black kids get killed in the streets of Toronto...oh well, that's a price they are willing to pay.

    Imagine the programs that could have been implemented to protect at risk youth with the money wasted on the registry. That is the true cost of this fiasco........

    But as we've seen many times before, the NDP are simpletons when it comes to guns, the Liberals are Opportunists, and the Seperatists are pacifists. The registry will have to go....but it will take a Majority Conservative Government to actually do the right thing. Here's hoping we get it the next time around.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 11:16 AM  

  • Let us have a referendum in Toronto:

    Choose (1) or (2)

    1) one billion dollars for a long gun registry

    2) one billion dollars for more police on the street, more customs officers to investigate gun smuggling, and funding for extracurricular activities in poor neighborhoods in cities.

    The guns that are killing people on city streets in Canada are not registered guns.

    By Blogger godot10, at 1:36 PM  

  • anyone remember the FAC (firearms acquisition certificate) that existed prior to the registry?

    Prior to the registry, one had to obtain an FAC, which included a police check, to acquire a gun.

    It didn't cost 1 billion dollars.

    The registry was sold to a misinformed urban public.

    By Blogger KP, at 3:18 PM  

  • I imagine that I for one would have to select Choice 2) one billion dollars for more police on the street, more customs officers to investigate gun smuggling, and funding for extracurricular activities in poor neighborhoods in cities.

    By Blogger Lois, at 10:47 PM  

  • Oh, darling!

    No word verification! What fun! Many thanks - I seem to always get it wrong...

    You've made my day, Mr. Ramson!

    By Blogger Lois, at 10:48 PM  

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