Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Fiery Debate

Well, it seems “Liberal” MP Roger Galloway is at it again, this time trying to blow apart the gun registry. Not surprisingly, a lot of Liberals aren’t very happy about this, even those who have spoken out against the registry in the past. While I wouldn’t say it too loudly in Alberta for fear of being shot, I’m a big supporter of the gun registry – the cost overruns were unfortunate but it still provides bang for the buck. Gun violence costs Canadians 6 billion dollars a year and the registry works. Why? Here are 8 reasons why:

1. All illegal guns start out as legal guns. The registry tells us exactly when a legal gun becomes an illegal gun.

2. Forcing people to register guns discourages casual gun use. Let’s face it, owning a gun is a big responsibility and filling out an extra form is the least we can ask of people.

3. The registry gets used. Police check it over 2,000 times a day and all major Police organizations in Canada support it. As do countless other groups who are concerned about, you know, getting killed.

4. The registry helps the courts. If Billy-Joe is charged with spousal abuse or a violent crime, the court can see if he has any guns (and therefore take them away from him). Similarly, if someone develops a mental illness that forbids them from owning guns, the courts can find out if the individual owns weapons.

5. The registry is good for gun owners. If a stolen weapon is recovered, the only real way to return it to its original owner is if there’s a registry telling us who the legal owner is.

6. The registry provides accountability. By connecting the gun to its owner, it forces the owner to store his or her gun safely. Safe storage prevents guns being stolen, heat of the moment use, and children playing with daddy’s gun.

7. Accountability also means there are huge disincentives for selling a weapon to an unlicensed individual. Because you’re the last owner of the gun, you’ll make sure you only sell your gun to a licensed individual or else you’re connected to whatever they do with it. Similarly, there’s an added incentive to report stolen weapons.

8. Registration helps with prosecution of criminals. Without a gun registry it’s very hard to prove someone owns a gun illegally.


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