Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Facts the Pro-Long Gun Registry Lobby Refuse to Acknowledge

As debate over the long gun registry continues despite the inevitability of its demise, the debate, from the side of its proponents, is as much about the information they won't acknowledge as it is about the information they will.

Anything they can present as supporting their arguments they'll happily acknowledge, even if they must twist that fact beyond anything even remotely resembling the truth. Any information that doesn't support them they simply refuse to acknowledge. They pretend it doesn't exist.

Even in the week following a political rally passed off as a L'Ecole Polytechnique memorial rally -- without so much as a dress-up -- more and more information is being presented that shows pro-LGR arguments to be the uninformed and ignorant tripe it really is. Previously, it was the Globe and Mail that was off the pro-LGR reservation. Now it's the Montreal Gazette.

In a pair of charts presenting the facts regarding crime in Canada, two things become crystal clear: first off, the weapons of crime in Canada overwhelmingly are not guns.

As it turns out, the lion's share of crime in Canada is committed not with firearms of any time, but with bare hands -- described as "physical force" in these charts. It's kind of hard to register bare hands. So we'll register guns instead, right?


After all, at that point when someone does use a gun to commit a crime, we'll be able to use the registry to catch them easily, right?


Well, as it turns out the vast majority of guns used to commit crimes in Canada are not known to be registered. This is either because they were never registered in the first place, or because serial numbers and other identifying information have been removed from the weapon.

More staggering for pro-LGR activists -- so staggering they will pretend this fact doesn't exist -- is the detail that the vast minority of guns used to commit murder in Canada are long guns. The gun of choice for murder in Canada -- not the weapon of choice, but the gun in choice -- is a handgun.

Handguns have been required to be registered in Canada since before the second world war.

So of all the weapons that LGR proponents could be singling out, the long gun is precisely the wrong one. If LGR proponents really want to focus on reducing gun violence in Canada, they should focus on the guns most overhwelmingly used to commit gun violence in Canada: hand guns.

Of course, there are far fewer hand guns in Canada. This provides them with far fewer targets to pursue, and when the goal is not really to reduce gun violence but rather to rebuild Canadian culture around their favoured brand of hegemony, it's better to have far more targets -- even if those targets are law-abiding -- to pursue.

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