Recently, new legislation was introduced to eliminate the need to register rifles and shotguns [in Canada]. While licenses to own are renewed periodically, registration is a one time only procedure that occurs when a gun is purchased. A lot of money was spent setting up the system, but the current cost of registering rifles and shotguns is three million dollars a year. Some people say that registration ensures gun owners are accountable for their firearms and that the registry is an important tool used daily by police to prevent and investigate crime. Others say that registering guns unduly burdens gun owners, is of no use and should be eliminated. Which represents your position?
The concept of registering guns is useful and should be maintained; or
The concept of registering guns is useless and should be eliminated
That seems like a loaded (not to say dull and long-winded) question to me. Never mind. And the survey said!
Citing letters from rural women’s groups across the country and just released polling results, the Coalition for Gun Control is calling on federal politicians to remember that the vocal opponents to gun control do not speak for Canadians, for rural women nor even for all gun owners.
As Brian would say, no. Wait. What? It seems the Coalition for Gun Control took a gander at the results of a bought and paid for poll of 1506 Canadians—conducted last Christmas, before the debate went ballistic—and decided the stats are fresh enough to prove that the Canadian Long Gun Registry should stay. Here are the Coalition’s bullet points:
1. Overall, supporters of the registry outnumber opponents by 2:1 – 59
per cent said registration is useful and should be maintained
compared to 27 per cent who thought it was useless and should be
scrapped and 14 per cent who said undecided or preferred not to say.
2. In every province across Canada, except Manitoba/Saskatchewan more
people support the registry than oppose it.
Quebec 74 per cent to 12 per cent, Ontario 58 per cent versus 27 per
cent, MB/SK 39 per cent versus 45 per cent, ALB 48 per cent versus 37
per cent, BC 57 per cent versus 31 per cent
3. Women are more likely to support the registry (66 per cent) than men
(51 per cent)
4. Parents also support the registration of firearms with 61 per cent
for and 26 per cent against.
Yes, well, the numbers don’t speak for themselves. So . . .
“We hear repeatedly that gun control is an urban issue that “punishes” rural gun owners,” said Wendy Cukier, Coalition for Gun Control president. “The terrible irony is that where there are more guns, there are also higher rates of gun death and injury. Most police officers killed with guns are murdered with rifles and shotguns but suicides with firearms and domestic violence in rural communities seldom make the front page. Rural women’s groups, psychiatrists and health care professionals along with police have all documented these problems and why the registry is important to help keep guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others. Rifles and shotguns are the guns most often used in violence against women because those are the firearms most readily available.”
Citation? TTAG has contacted Ms. Cukier and pollsters Leger and Leger (merci pour mon francais) for a look at the actual poll data. Watch this space.