Thank you for gathering these and providing them for people to read.
RANDY KUNTZ, EDMONTON POLICE SERVICE – ACTING DETECTIVE: Recently I have been surveying police members from across Canada in relation to their thoughts, personal or professional, on the long gun registry.
I have had some very interesting emails and comments from police members and thought I should share the data I have collected thus far.
My purpose in this was to present these statistics to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) as they have been supporting the long gun registry as an “officer safety and public safety” issue. I believe they are wrong and I set out to prove that the CACP does not speak on behalf of law enforcement officers as a whole. On a daily basis, I am seeing that the CACP and police members differ greatly in their views on the long gun registry.
So far, I have received input from nearly 900 sworn police men and women from across Canada. Only 39 of those have shown support for the long gun registry. The other 850+ police members say it is not beneficial and should be scrapped.
Naturally, some of the comments, I cannot print for decorum purposes. Words like “useless” and “garbage” and phrases like “Liberal make-work project” came to light in many of the comments received.
There are police members in Canada who are long gun owners. Many of them regularly participate in the shooting sports, whether it is target shooting, skeet, trap, hunting, IPSC, or any other of the dozens of styles and disciplines out there. They are law abiding citizens like the rest of us who see portions of the Firearms Act as, simply put, paper crimes that have nothing to do with public safety.
I was indeed surprised when I first started this survey as to the number of private gun owners who view the registry as a “Law Enforcement vs. us” type of scenario. Essentially, it is common belief and historical practice that shows registration is a precursor to confiscation. This long gun registry drives a wedge between law abiding firearms owners and local law enforcement and has created a society of distrust toward law enforcement. If only the private firearms owners were made more aware as to how many police officers share their passion for the shooting sports and their dislike of the long gun registry.
Police officers who supported the registry were not as vocal or descriptive in their support for it. Most used generalized comments as “if it saves one live, it is worth it”, or “I like to know if the occupant of a house has firearms listed to him”.
Such ideology, in my estimation, is dangerous. Should law enforcement persons be less concerned if a database says that no registered firearms are at a certain location? Should law enforcement persons be more cautious if there are registered firearms at a location?
1. An officer is attending a home where there are legally registered firearms as per the long gun registry information database. I would take that information two ways;
|A)||the homeowner must be law abiding as he has registered his firearms|
|B)||the homeowner has guns so I have to be really careful here|
Nonsense, all of it. The notion supported by the CACP that the registry makes us safer is completely defeated with the above scenario.
I would hope that any law enforcement officer who attends ANY home or stops ANY vehicle would treat it as an unknown and be prepared for ANYTHING. Proper assessment of the situation is what keeps officers safe, not some two billion dollar waste of taxes like the long gun registry.
Some will argue the fact that we, as taxpayers, have already spent over two billion dollars on the registry so it would be a waste to scrap it now. That comment is ridiculous. If you had the chance to cut your loses before you went broke, wouldn’t you do it?
Problem is, we won’t go broke on it. Money will keep getting pumped into this wasteful program and none of us will be any safer. We are getting nothing on our investment here. We are being told by politicians and the CACP that this program is of benefit, yet the overwhelming majority police officers working the streets are telling me that it is a complete waste and of no benefit to them or the public.
Politicians and the CACP are in a tough position. I can see where they are motivated to promote a program such as this in the interest of public safety. However, they are far removed from the actual functioning of the long gun registry and, in the case of the Chiefs of Police, somewhat removed from the actual “foot to pavement” policemen/women, who as a membership, do not support this program.
I am also amused at the quoted use of the registry system as it pertains to the police. I’m sure you have all heard the rhetoric about “the police use the registry 9000 times per day”. Have you heard that one? Here is how that number comes to be:
Every call for service received by a police service is documented, captured in a database/dispatch computer system of some sort. Time, date, location, details, dispatch times, arrival times are all recorded for various statistics/investigative uses. All that is needed to generate 9000 registry uses per day is to program the database to automatically search the firearms registry database, based on the address for the call for service, for any registered firearms associated to that address.
Pretty simple isn’t it? There is no doubt that Police Services across Canada will attend 9000 calls for service per day. I call that “cooking the books”. Having an automatic firearms data search on every address where a call originates is ridiculous in practice. For example:
An 89 yr old lady calls police as she hears a suspicious noise outside at 0100hrs. The lady gives her address to the dispatcher at the local police station. Her address gets automatically checked with the firearms registry. That’s one search that eventually tallies up to 9000 per day.
What was the purpose in running this 89yr old lady’s address in the firearms registry database? Was it for public/officer safety? Hardly. It was done only as a statistical gathering of information to support the firearms registry. I would call that an abuse of the database and a fraud when used as an argument to support the registry.
Citizens of Canada. Stop falling for the “slight of hand” tricks that are being played on you. While one hand is trying to show you the firearms registry is a public safety tool, the other hand is in your wallet, taking more of your money to put towards this wasteful process. It doesn’t matter what suit or uniform the trickster wears, he is still a trickster. Worse yet, he may be working for an even bigger trickster.
Common sense is your best tool. Use it.
STAFF SGT. MIKE CALLAGHAN, OTTAWA POLICE SERVICES: Ottawa police are again collecting unwanted firearms and ammunition from residents who want to dispose of them safely. The Gun Amnesty initiative kicks off on Monday and runs until April 25. Police said turning over the unregistered firearms reduces the risk that they might be stolen and used for criminal purposes. “We come across firearms on a weekly basis that are unregistered. I think this is a proactive approach to dispose of those unwanted firearms,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Callaghan of the guns and gang unit.
SOURCE: Ottawa Sun, “Police set sights on next gun amnesty program,” Page 4, April 4, 2008.
SASKATCHEWAN RCMP OFFICER (Name withheld by Garry Breitkreuz, MP): I am a peace officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and am currently posted to the xxxxxxxxxx Detachment. One of my current responsibilities is to train new cadets that have recently graduated from Depot Division by furthering their “hands on” training in the field. I am very concerned about this new Bill regarding firearms registration. I am concerned that if it is not passed in the House that more Mounties may face the same fate as the two young men did within this last month. This firearms registration must be abolished once and for all! I find that I have to deprogram every cadet that I train when it comes to CFRO checks and their reliability in regards to officer safety.
One dark evening, myself and a newly graduated cadet had to visit a residence of someone suspected of a violent crime. The cadet told me, rather proudly, that they had conducted a CFRO check on the house and that it showed that there were no firearms present, so we would not have to worry. I scolded his ignorance and naivety. I told him to stop and think about that for a moment. I said, “Do you honestly think that someone who is already living a criminal lifestyle and is in possession of firearms has any intention of registering them?” I told him to never place any faith in the registry and most of all, never trust that notion that just because nothing is registered to an individual then an officer’s safety is insured. Conversely also, do not ever believe that just because someone has a firearm registered that they will never use it in the commission of an offence! It does not matter if a gun is registered, if someone is bent on crime they will use a registered or non-registered gun. If no gun is available, they will use something else.
In my evaluation, the registry only causes more criminal code infractions (before the amnesty) as police query law abiding citizens’ guns to see if they are registered only to find out that they may not be – in spite of the claims that the owner did in fact attempt to register them; or the information on the registration certificate is incorrect, etc. making the gun owner appear negligent.
The gun registry places police officers’ lives at risk. The gun registry offers a false sense of security. The gun registry is making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. The gun registry is eating up resources that the RCMP and every other municipal or first nation force desperately need. The gun registry consumes valuable time for the average police officer on the street who has real crime to fight. Saying that the guns are the problem in this society is like saying pens are the cause of spelling errors, or that cars are the cause of drunk driving, or like saying fast food restaurants are the cause of obesity.
When will common sense prevail? People need to be held accountable for their actions – whether with firearms, alcohol, vehicles, etc. That is what the Conservatives did with the Liberals when in opposition and then on a larger scale once elected.
The gun registry brings justice into disrepute. It is an absolute waste of taxpayers money. The registry does nothing to fight the crime issues in this country. Please do everything possible to make sure that this Bill passes.
SOURCE: Personal E-Mail to Garry Breitkreuz, MP dated November 17, 2007.
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