Monday, October 04, 2010

Gun Registry Vote

In Canada, 75% of the population live within 100km of the southern border, a statistic provided during a university geography class I once took and a significant fact when considering where in the country a vast proportion of the population live; certainly not where one is likely to spend a whole lot of time hunting. This bill will never be defeated if the urban population does not develop a realistic perspective on the issue.

Guns are divided into three categories (prohibited weapons, restricted weapons and non-restricted weapons). Here is a simple breakdown.

Prohibited weapons are simply illegal to own. When they appear on the streets a crime has already been committed. These are all fully automatic weapons and many modified weapons such as sawed off shotguns. The gun registry has no impact on the use or distribution of these weapons. Only criminals do.

Restricted weapons include handguns. In Canada, providing a handgun is legally obtained, the only way to transport it is with a permit. Any civilian using a handgun in public is also automatically committing a crime.

This leaves non-restricted weapons, or weapons specifically designed for hunting, the only kinds of weapons anyone hunting in Canada may use. These guns are not typically the ones we hear about in the news.

The question that every mother and father living within 100km of Canada’s southern border should be, what benefit does the gun registry provide me and my family? Other questions that should be asked are, how many lives have been saved by the registry that would not have been saved without it, how many police investigations have been aided by it, how many times did the registry accurately determine the number of guns in a household, and what is a reasonable amount to pay for such a program?

Anyone who says it is not a cumbersome process has not completed the course, applied for a Possession and Acquisition Licence or tried to change the ownership of a rifle. When a PAL expires, it means that the holder is no longer licensed to own guns. Does that make this person a criminal?

Am I for or against the registry? Against it, of course. But, how about I say that I’m all for common sense and the wise use of government funding? How about we enforce the laws that already exist to keep handguns and automatic weapons off the streets?

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