In favour of a national gun registry

In favour of a national gun registry

Main pic:  AR-15 rifle with a Stag lower receiver. Photo credit: TheAlphaWolf

Editorials and opinion pieces represent the opinions of their authors.
LifeinQuebec.com maintains a socially and politically neutral ground for exchange of ideas.

Now and again I see something in the news here in Canada makes me want to speak out.
When it relates to Quebec province, then my interest is almost always peaked further.

Fortunately, platforms like LifeinQuebec.com allow us to express our views, and see them read by many.

Right now I’m interested in the creation (or resurrection) of a gun registry at the national level. If not that, then certainly at the provincial one.

Earlier this week I read with interest of the potential return of a provincial gun registry for Quebec.

The long gun registry was scrapped by the federal government in 2011. Records from the provinces, apart from Quebec, were destroyed.

While there are always counter arguments to the need for any kind of gun registry, for the safety of the population there really ought to be one.

Gun control, and the authorities knowing who owns one (or more), should be seen as a positive thing.

I’m not against the eradication of guns in society, I am however, very much in favour of them being regulated, controlled, and managed sensibly and effectively.

In a previous line of work I had the huge responsibility of having to safely carry a firearm for a number of years.

I did this with pride, and feel privileged to have done so.

I was well-versed in how to care for the range of guns I was trained to use. I understand the importance of regular maintenance, keeping them clean and so on. I was fortunate enough to have been in an environment where everyone in it respected them and the harm they were capable of causing.

I, like many of my colleagues during that time, saw at first hand the damage that these things could inflict on others. Along with the pain and immesurable suffering family and friends left behind have to deal with after someone’s life has been extinguished.

I also know that by carrying a firearm under the circumstances I did may well have saved mine and my colleagues’ lives at one time or another.

I freely admit that on many occasions I enjoyed firing handguns and assault weapons (both semi and fully automatic).

This was always in a supervised, controlled environment where safety was of paramount importance.

I am by no means a firearms expert, but I do know enough about them to know that effective gun control in our society is well, just necessary.

Here’s the thing, these machines are designed to kill. That is their sole purpose.

I know that other things out there can kill too, many do but more often than not that’s as a secondary, unintended function.

You could argue that among other things cars, bikes, stairs (yes, stairs) and fireworks kill. There’s a few more on this list here, but all of them natural or manufactured, have one thing in common. They are not in existence with the sole purpose of killing.

You may argue that knives do the job fairly well. And you would be right. Of course they do, just ask the relatives of those poor journalists and aid workers in Syria and Iraq who were cruelly, and unjustly, murdered by that means in 2014 alone.

But knives, like the items on the list above, have not been manufactured solely for the purpose of killing.

Many people own guns. The vast majority of those are law-abiding people. Sensible citizens who enjoy using them.

So, if you are one of those people and you live in Canada, why on earth would you not want others to know that you own one?

Why the need to hide the fact that you own a firearm? Because by not disclosing that you own one to the relevant authorities (I don’t mean to any Tom, Dick, or Harry) then you’re hiding the fact.

You might be a hunter, sport shooter, or a member of a gun club.
Of course you need your guns for those pastimes. I’m not suggesting otherwise.

Firearms and ammunition can be stored safely in the home in strongboxes, or safes, well out of reach of curious minds.
Your firearms could be stored safely at your shooting club.
Better still, your guns could be stored in the armoury at your local police station.

If there’s a gun registry, then you could sign it out for a set period of time to go hunting, or to your gun club.
Have your fun and then sign your firearm back in.

All done under supervision and control.

Effective gun control can and should exist, and a gun registry would go some way to achieving that.

Own a firearm and don’t want your details on a gun registry – why the need to hide it?

As far as I’m concerned, a gun registry for an type of firearm can’t come soon enough.

Categories: Opinion

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

Comments

  1. doug_mccomber
    doug_mccomber 14 October, 2014, 15:35

    Andrew, the firearms pictured at the top of the article are in the Restricted category. That means they are currently registered separate from the LGR. Perhaps you meant to show a photo of a nice wood stocked hunting rifle or shotgun? Or does that not strike fear in the hearts of urbanites? The LGR did not save any lives. It did however cost a lot of money, money that would be better put to mental health, policing and securing our borders. Statistics and peer reviewed studies presented at Senate hearings have proven this. The government knows who has guns already simply by knowing who has a license for one. It matters not what or how many. This fear of someone else’s personal property (sorry, it is not a weapon unless used as one) is not justified. Go to StatsCan, the Dept. of Justice and the RCMP websites. Look up the trends. It might just surprise you!

  2. travis_grubb
    travis_grubb 14 October, 2014, 15:48

    Perhaps the author could have offered us some justification for a registry? What is its purpose? its utility? Will it prevent crime or violence? or serve a as an effective investigative tool after the fact? can any of those claims be backed up with concrete evidence? very few little actual justification has been provided here beyond silly rhetorical devices and appeals to emotion.

    It seems to me that if some state actor wants to keep a list/registry of private property that may be subject to legislated confiscation at some point… then the onus to justify the list/registry is on them.

    Much of this piece is offensive to my sensibilities as a law abiding individual. I am a private citizen, not some part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of. If Mr. Greenfield does not feel he has the moral balance to own and control firearms in his home, let him surrender them.

  3. richard_wakefield
    richard_wakefield 14 October, 2014, 16:45

    Andrew, how many long guns were hidden from the registry? Estimates are at least 50%, but likely MUCH higher. I know of farmers around me who owned a shotgun, or a 22 long rifle, and not only have no licence to own them, but also, obviously, didnt register them. How were they a public safety risk? “Public safety” is one of those Wiesel terms which can be used to justify ANY action by government, including genocide.

    So assuming there is a resurrection of a federal long gun registry, how many people will comply and register them? I, for one, have a number of lengths of 4″ PVC piping ready just in case.

  4. strewth_nuttinbut
    strewth_nuttinbut 14 October, 2014, 21:36

    The Long Gun Registry cost Canadian tax payers billions, and did not prevent a single crime. How could it? Criminals will obviously not register their firearms. You wish to renovate police stations to accept hundreds of thousands of hunting rifles? That does not sound fiscally prudent.
    Of course, restricted firearms like the ones you have provocatively posted are still registered, and can only be shot at an authorised range…one of the safest places in Canada to pursue a sport. The insurance price reflects this.
    In point of fact, the RCMP has never claimed once that the gun registry has even helped them solve a crime. It was a colossal boondoogle. If you have statistics to refute this I would be most interested in hearing about them.
    I would also be curious where Quebec is going to come up with the massive funding needed for such a project. Perhaps you could illuminate us?

  5. LifeinQuebec.com
    LifeinQuebec.com 15 October, 2014, 09:14

    To add to the debate, this was received earlier today by email:

    Name:
    Kevin

    Email:
    (email address supplied)

    Subject:
    Story about the gun registry

    Message:
    Your gun control story “in favour of a gun registry” has to be a joke.
    Did you pay a child to write this? Too much marijuana being smoked where you are.

    Get with reality. People are not going to agree to store their hunting rifles at the police station. You are a simple minded imbecile if you think they will.

    Eat a bag of dicks

  6. stephane_barrette
    stephane_barrette 16 October, 2014, 14:52

    Because there is such a thing as privacy. Why should any level of the government know what I own legally? Gun owners are already criminals if they fail to renew their possession/acquisition license. They are already registered. Why should there be a need to keep a registry of the items?

  7. joe_dirtey
    joe_dirtey 17 October, 2014, 23:58

    Yeah, no. I can keep a list of my own serial numbers. And will only provide them to the police AFTER they are stolen, not before. I don’t need a national or provincial systematic confiscation list.

    Andrew, if you want to tell the government all of the different stuff you own, I don’t care. But I’m not paying for a useless registry of your bats, knives, hammers, and marital aids.

  8. brian_stephens
    brian_stephens 24 October, 2014, 14:05

    I think the author needs someone to supervise him when he’s at his computer.. maybe he needs to secure it and only sign it out when someone can watch him.. Millions of Canadians own firearms and they use them for more then just killing.. I understand you don’t know of other uses but before you inflict your values on others some research may well be of use..
    Based on some of your contributors I doubt balance is likely here..

    Licensed firearms owners are not your problem.. As was proven yet again this week criminals don’t respect the law..

    You have a number of suggestions but no real reasons.. You have an irrational fear why should that be my problem… I don’t like cars.. I think there is no reason that a person living in a metropolis should need a car as they have public transit.. There is also no reason for a person to smoke or drink.. Should I be able to force my beliefs on other people for no real reason other then to make me feel better..

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