Gun registry a blatant waste of money
I am reluctant to have to comment again on the long gun registry, as I have done a few times over its history. But the article in the Nov. 15 issue of The Compass paper by Robin Brentnall spurred me to once again react.
In cases of domestic violence the police always go to the scene with the view that there are, or could be, firearms at the target location. They do not trust their lives to information provided to them by a registration system. Whenever a peace officer is called in relation to a family violence issue, weapons, and in particular firearms, are top priority. The peace officer cannot and should not let his or her guard down until the issues are resolved by whatever avenues deemed necessary and appropriate at the time.
So, in this incident the RCMP would have done exactly that, especially since they already knew there were firearms and that they had been, and were being used offensively. This situation had escalated beyond just being a domestic dispute, so the police response had been ratcheted up accordingly to an appropriate response level. The long gun registry therefore played little or no roll in determining the type of response from police.
I suppose I should mention that I had a long career with the RCMP, most of which was as a front-line officer. During my career, I had more run-ins with people with firearms than the average member, five or six to be exact. In three of these incidents I had to use deadly force, i.e. disarm the individual at gunpoint.
In another incident I disarmed a man who had a 12-gauge shotgun stuck under his chin and about to pull the trigger. It was act quickly or see his brains splattered all over the ceiling.
Oh, in case you are wondering, the RCMP has no record of these incidents because they were played down by my superiors and not reported upon in accordance with policy. Any time a member has to draw his firearm in the line of duty in relation to a threat to his or her safety or the safety of others, standard procedure requires the chain of command be made aware. Otherwise they are kept out of touch with the reality of front line police work. The chain of command was ignored in all of these cases.
There is a record of one of these cases in the Whitbourne court records where anyone, who cares to go to the trouble, can access the case and read or listen to the evidence.
A firearms’ registration system would have had no bearing or affect in any of the situations I was involved in.
Suffice it to say that in police work common sense and a cool head will prevail over any dependence on a useless, $2 billion gun registry that can only zero in on the soft target of law-abiding firearms’ owners.
So, in the Gambo incident the RCMP would have done exactly that, especially since they already knew there were firearms and that they had been, and were being used offensively. This situation had escalated beyond just being a domestic dispute, so the police response had been ratcheted up immediately to the appropriate threat level. The long gun registry therefore played little or no roll in determining the type of response from police.
The personal licensing is what is the most important thing to police. A person cannot legally own a firearm unless they have a FIREARMS LICENCE. If they have a FIREARMS LICENCE, it would be only natural to assume there is a good chance that person has a firearm. Having said that, the only ones who are going to have a firearms licence are law- abiding citizens. After all what self-respecting drug dealer or robber is going to get a firearms licence or register a gun?
I have been against the long gun registry ever since its inception, and spoke out against it publicly when I was still with the force.
This boondoggle is one of the most blatant wastes of public money — as far as law enforcement is concerned — in Canadian history. I am sure there are many ways law enforcement could have used $2 billion in the fight against real crime and real criminals. So I cannot wait for the federal government to turf this albatross of insanity from the necks of our law-abiding hunters, farmers, fishermen and sportsmen.
The Chrétien government at the time wanted to massage the public mind into thinking they were actually doing something to fight the illegal use and ownership of firearms. You can fool some of the people some of the time and get away with it for a while, but it catches up to you eventually. Fortunately, there comes a time when common sense and cool heads do prevail. Ray Hynes is a retired member of the RCMP. He writes from Bristol’s Hope