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Scrap the Registry

by Archives April 7, 2009

The federal gun registry, originally created by the federal Liberals under Jean Chrétien, could once again be heading to the chopping block. The cost overruns of the national gun registry are exemplary of an absence of foresight on the part of the Liberal governments of the 1990s.
This will be the Conservatives’ third attempt to axe the registry, but their minority status has so far prevented them from being able to change the legislation.
The program’s costs have far exceeded expectations. The privilege of registering a firearm was initially supposed to cost taxpayers about $2 million, as all other costs were to be offset through revenues associated with the registration process. The program was supposed to make registering a weapon quick, easy and cost effective. Because of the self-financing mechanism, only those who possessed weapons were supposed to be shouldering the program’s financial burden.
The original $2 million price tag would prove to be a massive underestimation. The costs of the program increased exponentially to over $1 billion. It is all Canadian taxpayers who are now shouldering the heavily inflated cost of the program, and people are getting tired of carrying such a heavy weight.
The time has come to finally cut our losses and pull the plug on the gun registry. With the economy in recession, every effort should be made to save money wherever we can by removing useless bureaucracy, such as this registry, which does nothing for Canadians. The gun registry does not impact crime rates in any manner, and people can very easily circumvent the registration process if they so desire. The people most likely to commit a crime involving a firearm are the least likely to go through the trouble of registering it.
That the government is putting this motion forward right now is a very calculated move. Harper is essentially throwing a wrench into Michael Ignatieff’s planned attempts to woo the rural Canadian population. Traditionally, the gun registry has been opposed by rural Canadians, with urban areas being bastions of support for this program. Ignatieff’s attempts to court the rural population and western Canada could all be for naught if he refuses to support the Conservative attempt to kill the registry in parliament.
Bringing up the gun registry could also create division within opposition parties, which would also benefit Harper’s minority. There are many opposition MPs, especially within the Liberal party, who support ending the gun registry. They will have a difficult choice to make when they decide whether or not they will walk their respective party lines when it comes time for a vote. These are MPs who realize the elimination of the gun registry will be beneficial to all taxpayers, regardless of their political leanings. If the registry is scrapped it we will have them to thank. Let’s hope that this third time attempt to kill this useless program will finally be successful.

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