Gun registry a bla­tant waste of money

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.