Canada's Long Gun Registry: A Waste of Tax Dollars?

Author: Michel A. Bell
Published: September 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

Canada’s long-gun registry, originally estimated to cost $2 million, but now over $1 billion and counting, will remain alive!

On 22 September, Canada’s opposition parties banded together to defeat the governing minority Conservative Party “private member’s” bill to scrap this ineffective registry. It's fifteen years old, disgracefully overspent, with no empirical evidence it prevents crime. Still, apart from four members, opposition politicians, like school children, yielded to their masters and voted in unison to keep this registry: 153 yeses to 151 nos.

Why do we elect these politicians to represent us when they are mere zombies, “whipped” to vote party lines? On private members' bills, traditionally, individuals were free to vote their conscience, but this time, with defeat inevitable, opposition leaders forced spineless, unprincipled politicians to vote the party line? A free vote was even more important because a recent poll showed only 16% of respondents said the long-gun registry has been successful.

Though emotional, we need to look at this issue objectively. Guns don’t cause crimes! People commit crimes using guns and other weapons. The issue isn’t registering guns, it is far more complex, but people’s behavior is at the heart of the solution, not gun registration.

What about crime statistics? According to Public Safety Canada, in 2007, there were around 7 million registered long-guns in Canada. And of 2,441 homicides recorded in Canada since introduction of mandatory long-gun registration in 2003, less than 47 were committed with rifles and shotguns known to have been registered.

This has a budgetary effect, too. Incompetent bureaucrats continue to operate this system whose costs seem to keep hiking. Yet, our left-leaning, tax-and-spend politicians don’t seem to care. So, we are stuck with another albatross, which our tax dollars will continue to fund. I guess this is democracy in action.


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Article Author: Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a Christian, Canadian, conservative, former senior business executive, founder and president of Managing God's Money. He held many senior finance, strategy, and planning positions in the Alcan Inc. …

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