Lorne Gunter: "Gun control myths just won't die"


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Harry Tuttle
May 9, 2005, 05:29 PM
http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=7c8e444c-e4e2-46fb-b23f-0d83536dfe4c

Gun control myths just won't die

Lorne Gunter

National Post
May 9, 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.

Consider, too, (from the latest Statistics Canada homicide report), that 68% of firearms murders in Canada in 2003 were committed with handguns, and handguns have been subject to mandatory federal registration since 1934. Indeed, in the past 15 years, the percentage of total murders committed with handguns has doubled, despite their being tightly controlled.

That should tell you all you need to know about the worth of firearms registries.

Now the Library of Parliament has released a comparison of violent crime rates in the Northern Plains states versus Canada's Prairie provinces. The simple conclusion: Rates of gun ownership among law-abiding private citizens have no effect on crime.

Despite having nearly twice as many households with guns as their Canadian counterparts -- and similar economic, cultural and social demographics -- Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Idaho have lower crime rates than Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Researchers determined "both violent and property crime rates were two-thirds higher in the Canadian Prairie provinces than in the four border states."

Murder was 1.1 times higher; violent assaults and attempted murder, 1.5 times; robbery, 2.1 times; breaking and entering, 2.3; and vehicle theft, 3.2.

Harassing duck hunters, target shooters and gun collectors to register their firearms will have no effect on crime. But don't tell liberals. They take great comfort in their myths.


©?National Post 2005

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


A COMPARISON OF VIOLENT AND FIREARM CRIME
RATES IN THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE PROVINCES AND
FOUR U.S. BORDER STATES, 1961-2003

http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/LibraryReport_PrairieCrimeRates_2005_03_07.doc

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Henry Bowman
May 9, 2005, 06:00 PM
Backing most gun laws amounts to proclaiming trust in government over trust in one's fellow citizens. Most all liberals I know would agree and do so without shame.

Frankly, I'll take my law-abiding neighbours over politicians, bureaucrats, experts and advocates any day. Say so publicly and the media will label you as an "anti-goverment extemist."

ZeroX
May 9, 2005, 06:41 PM
Excellent article all around, not to mention that his admission to being unaffiliated with guns will help convert fence-sitters.

TallPine
May 9, 2005, 06:57 PM
And licences don't kill people, guns do.
Priceless!

:)

rock jock
May 9, 2005, 07:50 PM
He neglected to mention the underlying goal of the liberal power-brokers. To wit, they seek control, pure and simple. You can't control the masses if they are armed and willing. "Safety" is only a ruse they feed their rank-and-file members to keep them ignorant and happy.

Standing Wolf
May 9, 2005, 07:53 PM
Backing most gun laws amounts to proclaiming trust in government over trust in one's fellow citizens.

Yep. Statism is the contemporary version of feudalism.

Brick
May 9, 2005, 09:33 PM
Hello everyone.™

And licences don't kill people, guns do.

You mean, people kill people... :uhoh:

DRZinn
May 9, 2005, 11:51 PM
I guess there is still some intelligent life up there...

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