Harper government celebrates destruction of long gun registry… quietly

Via Winnipeg Free Press, a spokesperson for the Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed that the long gun registry has been destroyed — at least, except for Quebec’s, where legal battles are ongoing. Interestingly, the Harper government did not issue a press release on the matter; it took gun enthusiasts rumoring about the registry’s destruction before the spokesperson would confirm.

No formal news release appears to have been issued by a Conservative government that has made repeal and destruction of the long-gun registry one of its bedrock promises.

Nor has the government said exactly how much taxpayer money will be saved by repealing the registry, although a study by The Canadian Press suggests it is a small fraction of the millions spent annually on gun licensing.

Could it be because the suggested “savings” are a total canard? A non-starter? A… dare I say it… complete line of bullshit?

My understanding of the situation is that it actually cost us money to excise and destroy existing records securely, since none of the processes or programs or data structures were removed, only the long gun data — since those processes are still necessary to handle restricted and prohibited weapons.

Last year there were almost eight million firearms logged in the registry, including more than seven million “non-restricted” weapons.

The latest data from the RCMP shows that, as of last July, there are still more than 564,000 restricted firearms and more than 191,000 prohibited weapons in the federal gun registry.

So seven and a quarter-ish million guns are now complete mysteries as far as law enforcement is concerned. Do you feel safer?

“Our Conservative government is proud to say that as of last night, all contents of the long-gun registry have been destroyed, except those related to Quebec,” Toews’ director of communications Julie Carmichael said in an email Thursday.

“Make no mistake, the tax-and-spend NDP will not hesitate to bring back the long gun registry. Now that these data have been deleted, they can never be recovered — even by Thomas Mulcair,” wrote the government spokeswoman.

Oh, tax-and-spend. Oh snap. Someone call an ambulance, Mulcair got buuuuuurned.

Better than borrow-and-spend, or borrow-and-spend-and-eliminate-social-programs-anyway.

While there was no formal news release from Public Safety, groups such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters were out issuing public praise for the move after Toews apparently told representatives at a federal-provincial meeting Thursday in Regina.

Perhaps they thought it would be gauche of the Public Safety minister to issue a press release about how much safer we are without knowing who has guns and when and to whom these guns are being shuffled about.

But you think it’s going to stop there?

The Canadian Sports Shooting Association, meanwhile, issued a statement telling its members to “rest assured, we are the envy of international firearms advocates everywhere” because Canada is almost alone internationally in rolling back gun control laws.

“The removal of the registry is, however, more nibble than bite,” added the commentary from the association.

The emboldened gun lobby now wants to see recent rules on marking guns repealed and some are also calling for an end to the licensing system.

Yeah. No licenses, no markings. Let’s revert to the wild west days of have gun, will travel.

Fucking regressives.

Comments

  1. Apparently Not Erin says

    Can I just cattily say that if you feel entitled to own a gun, I’d rather have you living in a country that actually gives you the right to a gun instead of mine?

    I understand having a hunting weapon (one that’s legitimately made to hunt animals, not humans). My Dad has one and he kills deer with it…scratch that. He killed A deer with it. I think he even registered it even though he hasn’t used it for more than 15 years.

    It’s strange though. I’ve got a friend who supports the Liberals in every other way but was all for the abolition of the gun registry.

    BTW Jason. My current book: Rogue in Power by Christian Nadeau. You should hit up your local Chapters when you have some time and take a look at it.

  2. sambarge says

    Why is a “government spokeswoman” parroting partisan crap like “tax-and-spend” NDP?

    She’s not a government spokeswoman. She’s a Conservative Party spokeswoman. Words matter, Winnipeg Free Press.

  3. Riptide says

    Sambarge, in a Parliamentary democracy, speaking for ‘the government’ is understood as speaking for the group of ministers who control the Parliament–the equivalent of ‘the cabinet + president’ in the US. So one speaks of ‘Harper’s government’ to refer to him, Mr. Toews, Mr. Flaherty, et. al. In contrast, someone who speaks for the federal bureaucracy is a spokesperson for ‘the Government of Canada.’

  4. says

    Erin: my grandmother hunts/ed deer solo with a registered rifle. Well, not any more, she now hunts with an unregistered rifle. It didn’t, as far as I know, affect her ability to hunt or the cost of hunting appreciably. So… yeah. Now the only difference is she could sell her rifle and nobody would have records of who got it or whether they were licensed to own it.

    Will check out that book ASAP. Don’t have a lot of reading time lately, and I have two books already in my to-read hopper. One of which is by a friend and I’ve already gotten four chapters in, so I should get on finishing it already.

    Oh, by the way, I figured out how you can get your name back. It’ll involve registering an account or using Twitter or Facebook, but you can have it display just “Erin” without any sort of links back to your account. I’ll have to write a step-by-step set of instructions and put up a post on it or something.

  5. says

    I couldn’t give two hoots about the long gun registry, it didn’t do what the RCMP needed it to do and it cost well over over 100 times the promised budget. Say good-bye.

    Next time you want to reform gun laws, go after the small arms, go after everything. Anything that fires more than a 1/8th charge and a BB should be registered in the same way. Not only that but the weapon operation licence system should be reformed to match.

    The liberals moved only in a half measure that went after the least needed group (non incidental long-gun deaths in this country are very small) and ignored the real problem. Guns bought with the intent do do harm.

  6. thegambler says

    Deaths in Canada involving a firearm, 2003: 792 (78% were suicide)

    sounds like we need a suicide registry more then a gun registry

  7. sambarge says

    Thanks but I’m actually Canadian and I’m familiar with Federal government terminology.

    Prior to the Harper government, a “government spokesperson” was an employee of the Government of Canada commenting on public policy. People who made partison comments were politicians or party spokespeople because ‘the government’ was synonymous with all the workings of Parliament and the Federal Government, including the opposition parties.

    Referring to someone as a “government spokesperson” when they are making partisan statements is lazy and dangerous. How is the average Canadian supposed to know the difference between official government policy announcements and campaign speeches, when a Conservative Party staffer is allowed to make statements that disparage another party and then call themselves a “government spokeswoman”?

  8. sinned34 says

    Well, I’m glad they destroyed all that registry information. If it fell into the wrong hands, it could be dangerous. Can you imagine if WikiLeaks got ahold of the database and leaked it online? Local deer could look up gun owners’ addresses and begin to intimidate local hunters. I’d be terrified to walk out onto my deck one day and find a half-chewed carrot from my garden there, left as an obvious threat to my family’s safety.

    I’m kidding, I don’t have any guns. The men in my family have penises.

    (That last bit is a quote from the early 2000s TV show “Titus”, and it seems to be the only video clip from the last 30 years that can’t be found on YouTube)

  9. left0ver1under says

    Not to wave the flag for the NDP because I don’t, but let’s not forget the Tories’ (Avro Arrow) and Liberals’ (EH101 helicopters) tendency to pay for things and then cancel them without getting a refund. Both have thrown money down the drain more than once instead of getting Canada ahead in the world.

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