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Canada: Goals VS Reality

WAGCWAGC Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
13 November 2002 RFC Newswire

Alan Rock and the Canadian Liberals stated Goals vs. Reality

When (then) federal Minister of Justice Alan Rock tabled in
Parliament the Government's Action Plan on Firearms Control
on November 30, 1994 here is the list of "advantages"
included in his presentation;

1. Universal registration will deter and control theft,
diversion and smuggling of firearms.

2. Ensure individual and business compliance with transfer
and safe storage requirements.

3. Assistance in police investigations.

4. Enable police in domestic violence situations to better
prepare themselves where they know a firearm is present in
the home.

5. Enable police to enforce court prohibition orders by
ensuring all firearms owned by the individuals have been
turned in.

6. Licence access to ammunition (further deterring illegal
acquisition and smuggling)

7. Monitor firearm traffic through Canada, assisting
international small-arms controls and;

8. Gather accurate statistical information about firearm
numbers and ownership patterns.

Perhaps Mr. Rock - and the Liberal Governments biggest
promise: "WE have provided our estimate of the cost of
implementing universal registration over the next five
years. We say it will cost $85 million. We have also said
that we will put before the parliamentary committees, on
which all parties sit, details of those calculations showing
our assumptions and how we arrived at those figures. We
encourage the members opposite to examine our figures. We
are confident we will demonstrate that the figures are
realistic and accurate.

Those were the promises, now, let us look at the reality:

1. Firearm smuggling of firearms into Canada would be of
firearms not in the system. Mr. Rock seemed to forget that
the reason an outlaw is an outlaw is because outlaws operate
outside the law. Speaking on the spree of shooting in
Toronto, Det.-Sgt. Greg Getty, who heads up the Task Forces
says, "The link between gangs, drugs and guns is ironclad.
"It's based on money and profit and they don't give a
If criminals don't "give a damn" then how on earth did Mr.
Rock ever figure that his legislation would deter them?

2. Didn't Canada already have registration of handguns,
storage requirements and the Firearms Acquisition
Certificate? It did not require a re-invention of the wheel
at a cost of almost a billion dollars to achieve this goal -
it took the legislation already in place being enforced.

3,4,5.The registry is almost useless for police. There are
131,000 persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms.
However they are not required to report changes of their
address to police. The government has admitted that they
have lost track of 650,000 of the 1,250,000 firearms in the
handgun registry. There are no requirements under the
legislation for a firearm owner to store a rifle or shotgun
at his home, or to tell the system where the firearms are.
If you were a police officer called to a domestic dispute,
would you "bet your life" on the information in the

There are 131,000 people prohibited from owning firearms -
but the police don't know where they are. Further, the
government admits that there are between 500,000 and
1,300,000 Canadians who own firearms who have either failed,
or refused, to apply for a firearms licence. The federal
government refuses to recognize this situation, and allow
these Canadians into the system.

What would really help police? Toronto Police Chief Fantino
believes jail is the only way to stop some of these shooters
from killing. He wants a minimum 10-year jail sentence for
using a firearm while committing an offence. Ottawa isn't
interested in changing the laws.

"It's really difficult to be out shooting people when you're
doing 10 years in the penitentiary," Fantino said. "When
nothing else works for some of these people, then jail has
to be the option. We can't hope to rehabilitate these people
and I can't worry about it."

6. There are so few identifying marks on Registration
Certificates that in many cases, it is almost impossible to
connect a real firearm to a registration certificate. As
well, again, Mr. Rock seems to think that firearm smugglers
and criminals will register the tools of their trade with
the government.

7. While gathering statistical data on law-abiding Canadians
might sound like a good idea, since law-abiding Canadians
were never a problem in the first place, what use is this

We will let one of Mr. Rock's fellow Liberal MP's words
rebut Mr. Rock's $85 million dollar promise:

Mr. Roger Galloway MP: "A good example of unchecked policy
nonsense becoming the law is the federal gun registry, a
piece of legislation I today regrettably supported. As a
policy framework the objectives of that bill were handed
over holus bolus to the "experts" at the federal Firearms
Centre. For 85 million dollars, according to testimony of
departmental experts, a gun registry would be put in place
that would trace the flow of guns in Canada. This would be a
real check on the flow of weapons to those with criminal

"Several years and perhaps a billion dollars later the bill
is a shambles - it is a joke. You in this room know
something about financial projections, flow sheets, costing
and estimates. Can you imagine being out on an
estimate by 1250% or twelve and half times wrong?

"Do you not reasonably think there should be some
repercussions for those who devised and promoted this policy
and law? I can only tell you that nothing has occurred while
crime rates involving guns remain the same."

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