Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I have never owned a firearm. Heck, I've never even held a real gun, much less fired one. Still, there are few federal programs that irk me more than Ottawa's gun registry. It's not just the waste, although that's atrocious -- nearly $2-billion for a dysfunctional pile of uselessness.

And it's not just the uselessness. The registry is also one of those truisms for liberals, one of their articles of blind faith. To a liberal, universal registration of guns is something all intelligent people must support or, well, they're not intelligent. They use gun control as a litmus test for who is and isn't sophisticated and subtle of mind. So that even if you can prove the registry will have no practical effect -- it won't prevent armed robberies or murders, or keep enraged spouses from killing one another -- a liberal still has to cling to it for fear of being seen as NOKD (not our kind, dear).

But what troubles me most is what it says about its supporters' attitude toward the people and government. Backing most gun laws amounts to proclaiming trust in government over trust in one's fellow citizens. This is especially true of Canada's gun registry. You really, really have to have faith in government, and be really, really suspicious of the gun owner down the block to continue to think our national registry will ever do any good. Frankly, I'll take my law-abiding neighbours over politicians, bureaucrats, experts and advocates any day. Believers in our registry like to say that since its inception in 1998 it has helped keep gun licences out of the hands of 13,000 people deemed unstable or too violent to possess guns. What they never boast about is that the registry doesn't even try to track the 131,000 convicted criminals in Canada who have been prohibited by the courts from owning guns. Gee, who do you think is the greater risk?

Still, the fact that 13,000 Canadians -- about one-half of one per cent of applicants -- have been refused a licence in the past seven years might be meaningful if gun-controllers could then point to lowered murder rates, or show that firearms suicides have declined faster than suicides by other methods, or demonstrate a significant reduction in spousal homicides (most of the 13,000 denials have stemmed from complaints by one partner against another). But despite these thousands of licence refusals, government ministers and special interest groups who favour the registry can't even point to a reduction in armed robberies. The registry is not keeping the unfit from getting guns, just licences. And licences don't kill people, guns do. Keeping licences out of the hands of people who shouldn't have guns is meaningless.

James Roszko, the slayer of four Mounties in Alberta, had been banned from owning guns for the past five years. But paper gun controls were useless at keeping him from acquiring the weapons he used in his murders. The only meaningful gun control is taking firearms away from criminals. And since crooks, drug dealers and murderers don't register their weapons, the registry is useless in this task.

More here

Unwary burglar shot: "A man who died of a gunshot wound after being dumped at a medical clinic Thursday had been shot while burglarizing a Victorville home, sheriff's officials said Friday. An unidentified homeowner shot Baldomero Joseph Garcia, 21, after Garcia broke into a home in the in the 1700 block of Seneca Road, according to authorities. "Garcia and the juvenile were accomplices, and they planned to burglarize this home," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Bradford. "After assuming nobody was there, Garcia broke in carrying a gun and found the resident who shot him out fear for his life." The17-year-old juvenile waited in the getaway car. After being shot, Garcia, fled the scene and the teenager drove Garcia to the Kaiser Pernamente clinic on Park Avenue where he died in the doorway. Friday morning, sheriff's homicide detectives arrested the juvenile who abandoned Garcia at the clinic, which does not have an emergency room. "Before leaving the scene, a security guard at the clinic was able to take down the plate number of the vehicle the juvenile drove to drop off his accomplice," Bradford said".

Ban all nails!: "An 11-year-old boy was arrested this week for carrying 10 nails in his pocket at a middle school and charged with carrying an unlawful weapon. Dianne McCray, assistant principal at Rawlinson Road Middle School, asked the child Wednesday what was jingling in his pocket and the student gave her the 3�-inch nails. A school resource officer arrested him. His father picked him up, and he was not taken to the police station. The boy offered different explanations of why he had the nails: They were left over from a project 10 days earlier, they were for self-defense because a suspicious man was seen in his neighborhood, or that he needed the nails for a weekend Boy Scout outing. His father said the nails were in pants worn on an earlier Boy Scout outing. They "were not to be used as a weapon at school." Lt. Jerry Waldrop of the Rock Hill Police Department said the nails could been used against other students. The boy "did state he had them for protection against a suspicious male in the neighborhood." The father said his son threatened no one and had no intention to use the nails as a weapon. Under state law, anything that can be used as a weapon on school grounds can be unlawful, Waldrop said. The charge is ridiculous, the father said. "Is a pencil a weapon? Is a pen a weapon? Is a paperclip a weapon?" the father asked."

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