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Gun-laundering registry a farce: One billion dollars a big investment for national ..

Discussion in 'Legal' started by WAGCEVP, Jul 13, 2003.

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    WAGCEVP Member

    May 26, 2003
    Gun-laundering registry a farce: One billion dollars a big investment for national firearms lost and found

    Wes Winkel, the manager of Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods in Orillia,Ont., --

    > "For all your hunting, shooting, fishing and camping needs" -- says "OPP
    > officers were laughing their heads off," when they came this week to
    > confiscate a hunting rifle from his store, just "two minutes north of
    > Weber's barbeque restaurant," on Route 11.
    > OPP stands for Ontario Provincial Police, the force that polices rural
    > Ontario the way the RCMP polices much of Alberta outside the big cities.
    > The rifle had been listed in the RCMP's national crime computers since it
    > was reported stolen in Quebec in 1992. Still, the Liberals' national gun
    > registry had registered it not once, nor twice, but three times. On the
    > fourth, someone at the registry finally got around to matching the rifle
    > the RCMP's list of heisted guns and prevented its re-registration;
    > its re-re-re-registration.
    > A customer first brought the rifle to Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods in May,
    > wanting to sell it. Winkel bought it and the customer gave him the gun's
    > registration papers, which the RCMP said Friday were legitimate.
    > Sometime before May the customer had bought the gun and registered it
    > himself, even though the serial number matched one in the Mounties'
    > stolen-goods database.
    > Winkel then called the Liberals' gun registry in Miramichi, N.B., and, as
    > required by law, registered it to the sporting goods store, the gun's new
    > owner. The registration went through without so much as a hiccup.
    > An avid hunter, Winkel then bought the gun for himself in late June and,
    > again, registered it without incident.
    > Far from keeping Canadians safe from gun crime, far from encouraging gun
    > owners to lock up their guns ever more securely so as to discourage
    > criminals from stealing guns to use in robberies, far from inducing a
    > "culture of safety," the Liberals' registry is now laundering stolen
    guns --
    > giving stolen guns legitimate pedigrees and the proper papers to go along
    > with them.
    > When CanWest News broke this story on Friday, no spokesman could be found
    > for Solicitor General Wayne Easter. So the country was denied the pleasure
    > of the government's weasel-word excuse for a "hot" gun slipping through
    > their allegedly airtight security blanket three times without detection.
    > But let me hazard a guess of what the Liberals will say Monday about this
    > embarrassing flaw in their vaunted, billion-dollar gun registry. They'll
    > proclaim: "Look how well the registry worked! It actually identified a
    > stolen gun and took it off our streets, thereby making Canada and
    > safer."
    > Good thing the registry got four chances to "work" so well, though.
    > If, at any earlier juncture in this story, any of the gun's three legal
    > owners -- the original customer, Epps Sporting Goods or Wes Winkel -- had
    > decided to hold on to the gun, then a stolen rifle would be out there with
    > all the legal documents necessary to stay in circulation forever.
    > But once Solicitor General Easter or his spokesthingy has put the best
    > possible face on this gross incompetence, we will still be left with the
    > question "How has this made Canadians any safer?"
    > It is never a bad thing when property is returned to its rightful owner.
    > returning it doesn't make Canadians safer: Stolen goods don't commit
    > robberies; robbers do. Attempting to stop robberies by controlling stolen
    > goods is putting the cart before the horse.
    > One billion dollars also seems a frightful price to pay for a sort of
    > national lost and found for firearms.
    > If taxpayers are going to fork over a billion for an elaborate tracking
    > system so gun owners can enjoy a greater chance of seeing guns returned
    > after they've been stolen, then why not half a billion for a national
    > collection registry, or $2 billion for a car stereo registry or a quarter
    > billion for a Royal Dalton figurine database?
    > Easter and the other supporters of the Liberals' registry also claim the
    > registry will encourage legal owners to lock up their guns better, so
    > criminals will have a harder time finding guns. Right. Just the way
    > registering cars and locking them up prevents thieves from stealing them.
    > Guns stolen from homes have never been a major source of weapons used in
    > crimes, despite Ottawa's claims. The fact that handguns are now the murder
    > weapon in nearly two-thirds of firearm murders in Canada proves that.
    > Handguns have been subject to registration since 1934 and to tight
    > control since 1977. Yet in just the past decade, handgun murders, as a
    > percentage of total murders committed with firearms, have more than
    > to over 60 per cent.
    > The last time Statistics Canada compiled numbers in this way -- in 1991 --
    > of all the murders committed in the entire country, the number committed
    > with handguns that were once legally owned and registered in Canada, but
    > longer in the possession of their registered owner, was three.
    > Smuggling is the main source of Canada's crime guns -- not theft from
    > private Canadian homes or sporting goods stores. Yet Ottawa puts almost no
    > resources into stopping smugglers while putting a billion into harassing
    > law-abiding duck hunters.
    > Now, far from helping reduce gun crime by forcing every one to register,
    > Ottawa is helping register stolen guns.
    > No wonder the OPP officers were laughing. The registry is a farce.
    > lgunter@thejournal.canwest.com
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    It's a good thing money grows on trees in Canada, isn't it?
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