End of an Error: Canadian gun registry to be dismantled

by Jim Shepherd

It was a government boondoggle from the very beginning. It cost multiples of the budgeted funding, ran years behind in development, caused nothing but problems for law-abiding citizens and, as it has come to an inauspicious end, has failed to save even one life.

Sounds like business-as-usual in Washington, doesn't it?

Fortunately, this boondoggle wasn't "made in America" it was created in Canada.

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has had Canada's Long-Gun Registry program in its sights for some time. Now, following votes in both houses of government, it seems the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be doing some serious deletion work in their gigantic database of Canadian long gun owners.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews pretty much wrote the obituary for the registry when he told reporters: "It does nothing to help put an end to gun crimes, nor has it saved one Canadian life. This is simply an attempt to make people feel safe, rather than doing something substantive in criminal law."

Sounds like we need to borrow Minister Towes and send him to New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and a few other "enlightened" cities where eyewash legislation followed by costly litigation and unfavorable rulings have become the rule rather than the exception.

Toews also characterized the death of the database as a turning point in Canadian life. "Unfortunately, Liberals and some New Democrats have attempted to turn a whole way of life into some kind of criminal conduct. That's really what the long-gun registry is about...attempting to criminalize a way of life."

Preach, brother Toews!

And it's only fitting that while the Conservatives were popping champagne corks to drink a celebratory toast to eliminating the registry, the anti-gun groups were serving up their favorite "whine"- lamenting the fact that something they'd worked so hard to create was being eliminated.

And they did slip in the obligatory snark that victims of gun crimes probably wouldn't be pleased to learn the Conservatives were "toasting the death of a measure meant to make more people safe from gun crimes."

If you find yourself nodding in agreement as you read Minister Towes' words on legislation that accomplishes nothing but making people feel safe without actually making them safer, you might want to note that the Canadians didn't invent this sort of eyewash. The anti-gun groups of Canada were modeled after, and in several instances, funded by anti-gun groups and advocates from the United States.

Conservative Canadians have been campaigning to eliminate their long-gun registry since the early 1990s, and they've finally accomplished their goal. In return, they've de-criminalized the vast majority of Canadians who live outside the major urban centers. The majority of Canadian provinces didn't ever want- or support- the registry, but they were out-voted by the urban centers where crime was largely out of control.

Strangely enough, the areas most policed by the registry were the least crime-ridden.

By now, you should find yourself squirming uncomfortably instead of nodding in agreement. The Canadian situation sounds eerily like our own, except they've created a successful outcome by electing candidates that reflected their values.

In return, they've ditched bad legislation, eliminated a mistake that has eaten billions of dollars with no measurable return, and sent a message to those groups who constantly work to erode the rights of law-abiding citizens.

That's a lesson we'd do well to learn from our neighbors to the North.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

Additional Information:
"Death of a Long-Gun Registry" by John R. Lott Jr. & Gary Mauser.

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