Monday, May 15, 2006

Keep The Gun Reg....For Now

I'm tryin to find a place where I can live my life and
Maybe eat some steak with my beans and rice
A place where my kids can play outside
Without livin in fear of a drive by
--Coolio
Both my dad and his dad both kept ancient hunting guns around. It's possible, I suppose that someone could have stolen them at one point (they've been given away since the gun registry came to pass), but it's doubtful. In my hometown, garages full of deer meat are nothing unusual.

But I'm not in favour of ditching the gun reg. Yet.

The thing that some cons point to is the fact that the gun reg is way over cost and that it "targets law abiding citizens". The cost thing is something that few can argue with...and knowing the Libranos, the registry contracts are probably mobb'd up. Can the Con government fix that? It's possible. The start up costs are already shelled out, so there's no point re-hashing the fees to get the thing going, other than to point out how wasteful the Liberals were/are (which has value, for certain). So the real question becomes "How much does it take to run?" We don't have an answer yet.

The next question is whether it "targets law abiding citizens". Well, most people who have guns might be the law abiders who aren't about to shoot up downtown Vancouver anytime soon. The problem is that the line between "law abider" and "non-law abider" is like the line between "drug user" and "non drug user". Obviously, we all start off life clean and sober. The possibility exists that we might become crackheads or alcoholics.

Law abiders with guns, however, have more than just a possibility of becoming bad, they have a greater opportunity. And many times they do move to become violent with help no doubt by the ease of opportunity so the ability to track their registered weapons becomes paramount.
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."
So, it's useful? How do we judge that? Is there a standard criteria? And are there any rational objections other than "it's a pain in the ass to register?" and "it infringes my privacy". BFD. An anonymous bullet penetrating a body is worse, I think.

The other question: is it worth, on a yearly basis, the 1,825,000 police queries/year?

Let's put it this way: an Land Title Search (a fairly efficient, province run registry) costs about $30/search, so by a similar criteria would the Gun Reg be worth $54,750,000/year? Can it be run for a similar amount? It should. Registering land should be far more burdensome than guns.
Just some thoughts for the mind
I take a glimpse into time
watch the blimp read "The World Is Mine"
--Nas

5 comments:

Allison said...

The people saying the police use the "gun registry" 5,000 times per day are intentionally misleading us.

The Gun Registry is part of CPIC - that means that the police use the Canadian Police Inquiry system possibly 5,000 per day NOT the gun registry.

I wonder how many times per day the hackers who have proven they can get all of the personal info on the rigestered guns from this multi multi billion dollar system access the actual gun registry?

Anonymous said...

The argument I have always failed to understand by supporters of canceling the gun registry is that it is inconvenient to lawful gun users and infringes their rights. If you’re using your gun for a lawful purpose, just suck it up and quit complaining. It’s like complaining that drinking driving roadblocks are inconvenient – yeah maybe they slow you down a bit, but if you’re not drunk on the road it’s a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit of potentially stopping a drunk driving death. Same with the registry – if the minor inconvenience of registering a gun can, whether directly or indirectly, stop someone getting killed, you got some problems if you’re complaining about it.

Shamrocks! said...

Allison:

I didn't know. I haven't heard that the gun reg was in the same database as the CPIC. Interesting. I would have thought it would be completely different since the matter of requests would be so radically different.

For instance, if a cop pulled over a person in bc and wanted to run the plates, that might be through the Insurance Corp of BC database. Now would that also be counted through the CPIC? Just curious.

Anonymous:
For the most part I agree with you... I guess the one thing that I and a lot of other people, despite our positions from issue to issue, have is the concentration of information within the police force's grasp. Of course, for me, I don't think the gun reg is a big deal. Almost everyone thinks of themselves as "law abiding", and will obey the registry laws, so the vast majority, whether or not they are on the side of the law or not, will register. Those that won't probably will not be involved in solveable homocide cases anyways (ie: gang related).

The problem down the road is this slippery slope, I suppose, where we increasingly give more and more slack to the government to collect more and more info on ourselves, leading to a virtual police state.

And one thing the public doesn't realize is that within government, there are always, always, always, forces that will push for more information and power. It's a constant force...and not always for the wrong reasons. Usually, increased power and info means a better job can be done by any one government service. Cops want to know exactly where the bad guys are right now. Tax collectors want to know everything about everyone. Customs wants to know when and where we travel, etc, etc....

Just some thoughts for the mind.

Ian Scott said...

The "fact" that the registry is accessed 5,000 times per day is a red herring. As I've pointed out on Chimera's blog in the comment section, most cops support "access" to any kind of information they can get their hands on.

There are some law enforcement types that want to have access to a database that includes information about individuals that have AIDS or Hepatitus. This of course is stupid - a law enforcement type should be cautious at all times, no matter what information is available.

The gun registry will NOT STOP people from getting killed. It is utter stupidity to say that it will. Please explain, in detail, any gun reg supporter, HOW it will STOP people from getting killed?

Getting back to the "5,000" queries per day thing - IF the cops were to make 5,000 queries to Statistics Canada databases, would that be enough for you to agree, "Well, they make 5,000 queries per day, so it must be helpful to them, so let's let them keep on havin' access?"

As far as roadblocks for drunk driving checks, complete and utter false analogy. Driving on public roads is a contract. If you drive, you agree to the posted speeds, or rules - if you drive on public property. People who drive on their own private property do not have to register their vehicles, are not subject to "road blocks" or "spot checks" at ANY time while driving on their private property.

As well, there is NO requirement to register a vehicle or plate it if you are NOT driving on public roads. So again, any comparison to registering vehicles is an utter fallacious comparison.

Shamrocks! said...

ian:

literally speaking, the gun registry will not physically run around snatching guns from criminals. technically speaking, you are correct. databases make bad superheroes.

And yeah, you're right. law enforcement will see it as an information gathering tool, to corroborrate other databases, so is that necessarily a bad thing? No, not really.

A question you might ask is: in the vast majority of law abiding gun owners who will register a gun, is it possible that many of them use their guns for criminal use? Yes, of course. It goes without saying. Take a survey: 99% of all people consider themselves "law abiding", but probably a huge number of them will commit crimes nonetheless.

Let's be clear: there is a giant grey area between law abiding/non-law abiding people, and no real line exists between them.

Anyways, it's a waste that it is going to be put down because a)the liberals managed to break every rule in the book on its accounting - they should consider re-branding the registry...and b)because the cons have a lobby to satisfy.