Here’s a thought for you:
by Cnst. Randy Kuntz
Edmonton Police Service
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 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 be 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 life, 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 here 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.