The registry is used to return stolen firearms to their rightful owners? That’s like the mythical “It has saved many lives” argument. No one has ever been able to say whom it has saved, never mind who’s guns have been returned. Besides, they never told us at the beginning that a vital use of the registry was as a multibillion dollar lost and found that gun owners neither wanted nor asked for. Perhaps the War Amps should have been consulted.
Also, as has been stated by Ottawa chief, Vern White, the vast majority of the hits are done automatically through linked databases. It is disingenuous to say that it is used extensively and that said activity connotes usefulness when the system has been jury rigged to produce the desired outcome of many “hits”. The auditor general herself said as much.
The registration of firearms is always framed by the argument of vehicle registration, as Mr. Elsner has done. However, what is missing from this position and never acknowledged is that vehicle owners are not criminalized and stigmatized under the laws and rules that apply to vehicle ownership and registration. Sure, vehicle registration allows for “accountability” for that vehicle. However, if you park illegally, you will receive a ticket and a fine. You will not receive a criminal record, and you certainly will not have armed police (and by armed, I mean pointing automatic weapons at you)show up to seize and destroy all other vehicles registered to you, and any others that may happen to be there.
In fact, if vehicle registration and firearms registration were on a level playing field, we would have to treat cars very differently.
Indeed, our ownership and use of vehicles would look like the following…
Anything capable of exceeding posted speed limits would be prohibited. Anything that looks like it could exceed the posted speed limits (based entirely on appearance)would also be prohibited. That would mean anything with spoilers or racing stripes, or other “add ons” for example. The importation of all new vehicles that fall into these categories would be banned. Existing owners would be grandfathered and only allowed to take their prohibited vehicles to government approved tracks and only then under temporary government permits to do so.
Buying a vehicle would require calling a central government agency and providing details about your love life. You would then have to wait for anything up to a few months to see if the government approved your purchase of a vehicle…even though you already have a drivers’ license; granted to you after having taken the government’s mandated drivers ed. course.
When home, you would have to store your vehicle in a locked garage, drain all the gasoline, and remove the engine. These would then have to be stored in their own separate locked containers. And of course failure to do so is done under threat of criminal sanction.
When you drive your vehicle away from your home, you will be required to have a separate piece of paper that has the government’s express permission to have your vehicle away from your home. Failure to have this permission slip will result in criminal sanction.
If you fail to renew your vehicle sticker or license on time, police will show up to seize and destroy all of your vehicles and of course there will be criminal sanction. Furthermore, any violation of the Highway Traffic Act (e.g. speeding, failing to signal a turn, or even parking illegally) would be treated as a serious criminal offense.
Your car or cars would be seized by police and destroyed if, for example, a vindictive ex, or disgruntled neighbour, made an anonymous, yet fictitious allegation of criminal behaviour.
And, my personal favourite: police would be able to show up at your doorstep and say they want to search your home because, according to the vehicle registry, you own a vehicle capable of, or that looks capable of exceeding the posted speed limit, or that you own a specific number of vehicles greater than or equal to whatever arbitrary number the government has decided represents a threat to society.
Finally, Mr. Elsner’s invitation to view the “truthsandmyths” website is not exactly forthright. It is a website that the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are a part of in order to lobby government and Canadians about the long gun registry. The same chiefs who’s ethics advisor resigned because those same chiefs saw nothing wrong in accepting financial perks and kickbacks from registry contractors.