Other Pratt Articles:
CANADA'S GUN REGISTRY NOT A CRIME-FIGHTING TOOL
Canada has required the registration of all handguns since 1934. It has never, ever, once been used to solve a crime reports Canadian Member of Parliament, Garry Breitkreuz (a Conservative from Saskatchewan) in an interview with me on my Live Fire radio show.
Now the Canadian socialist government has added registration of rifles to the list of what Big Brother wants the peons to tell him about. They also are supposed to be licensed to own a long gun, as well. Only a socialist could demand the expansion of a government program that has already failed.
Breitkreuz cited the Toronto Police Chief, Julian Fantino, who has called gun registration a waste of cash. This is partly due to the fact that about 75 percent of the handguns used in crime in Toronto were never registered. The money would be better spent on real cops doing real police work according to the chief. Many other Canadian police officials have publicly decried the waste of resources poured down the gun registration drain.
One of the concerns of gun registration everywhere is the potential for abuse. Breitkruez reports that there have been some suspicious break-ins of the homes of gun owners. It may be that the break-ins occurred with the help of information obtained illegally from the registry.
Another downside of the gun registry has been the deterioration of relations between police and other citizens. The registry treats people as suspects, and many Canadians have simply refused to register their guns. Nobody knows how many, but the number is generally put at several hundred thousand.
For most Canadians, the biggest scandal of the gun registry is the enormous cost overrun and the subsequent cover-up. The registry was supposed to cost a net of $2 million (Canadian dollars) after fees were collected. To date, the registry has cost over $1 billion and counting. A computer crash has compromised the integrity of the system as well.
The Auditor of Canada found that the overrun had occurred, but the government was so uncooperative that the audit could not be completed. The Auditor’s report revealed a massive cover-up of the cost overrun.
In an encouraging example of interposition (a lesser official stepping in to block the rebellion of a higher official), eight of Canada’s provincial governments have declared that they will not enforce the registry. In Canada, the provinces are the primary agency used to enforce federal criminal laws.
To date, a number of openly non-registered gun owners have been unable to provoke their arrest in order to get the case into court. So far, the government has ignored these opportunities like the plague.
It seems as if the socialist Liberal government has a tar baby they can’t get rid of. They falsified crime data to get the registry law enacted. They promised a virtually no-cost system. All of that is falling down around them, but the “integrity” of the government is at stake and the Liberals continue pushing ahead - even though they seem headed for a cliff.
The registry law moves Canada far along the road to a police state by authorizing searches without warrant. Applicants must also respond to questions about their love lives or marital relations. After gun owners have their privacy and personal sovereignty invaded, it is not hard to imagine the rest of the country being forced to this level of transparency as well.
This is not gun control. This is state control of the people. The good news is that more and more Canadians want to close the registry. In the meantime, many are unwilling to comply with this exercise of socialist tyranny.
(Garry Brietkreuz’s web site, where the complete record of the failure of the gun registry is housed, is http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com. The Live Fire interview with Brietkreuz can be found at http://www.gunowners.org/radio.htm.)
© 2003 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved
Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.
GOA lobbies for the pro-gun position in Washington and is involved in firearm issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in lawsuits with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal firearms law enforcement agency.
Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC's Today Show, CBS' Good Morning America, CNN's Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Phil Donahue show and many others. He has debated Congressmen James Traficant, Jr. (D-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Vice President Al Gore, among others. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country.
He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.
Pratt has held elective office in the state legislature of Virginia, serving in the House of Delegates. Pratt directs a number of other public interest organizations and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.
"The registry law moves Canada far along the road to a police state by authorizing searches without warrant. Applicants must also respond to questions about their love lives or marital relations. After gun owners have their privacy and personal sovereignty invaded, it is not hard to imagine the rest of the country being forced to this level of transparency as well."