Canada's gun registry hasn't saved any lives


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WAGCEVP
January 5, 2004, 08:43 PM
PUBLICATION: Montreal Gazette
DATE: 2004.01.05
EDITION: Final
SECTION: Editorial / Op-ed
PAGE: A16
SOURCE: The Gazette

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Canada's gun registry hasn't saved any lives

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I disagree with Wendy Cukier (Opinion, Dec. 30, "Canada's gun registry does so work").

The firearm registry is not a success. The fact that two million firearm owners have been registered at a cost of $500 per owner should be viewed as a sign of poor planning and incompetence.

Moreover, saying 2 million firearm owners represent 90 per cent of all firearm owners is at variance with any serious analysis of firearm ownership in Canada. The two million are more like 50 per cent ; we'd have to invest another $1 billion to register the other half.

I was impressed, though, with Cukier's statistics showing the homicide rate involving firearms had dropped from 0.8 per 100,000 population in 1989 to 0.48 in 2002. That is, I was impressed until I realized the firearm-registry program had started only in 1998. In 1998, the number of homicides involving firearms was 151; in 2002, it was 149. This difference is not statistically significant. Thus, the gun- registry program has had little or no impact on the number of homicides by firearms.

J.J. Mathieu
Decatur, Ill.

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