Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mark Holland, the RCMP, and "Penultimate Reports"

Long-gun registry advocates have yet to produce one

Ajax-Pickering MP -- and Ottawa's resident village idiot -- Mark Holland recently pretended to be rather vindicated with the RCMP produced a report claiming that the long-gun registry was efficient and cost-effective.

Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Hoeppner is far less than convinced.

"My position remains steadfast as does our party's position," she said. "We believe the long-gun registry needs to end. As legislators, that's our job, to look at policy, to decide what's in the best interests of Canadians and make those decisions. So, nothing has changed."

Hoeppner went on to explain that stronger pre-licensing screening protocols are needed in order to actually keep guns out of the hands of people likely to use them to do harm.

In the bizarre world of Mark Holland, a preference for actual, real gun control rather than cosmetic legislation is "ideological".

"The Conservatives have wanted to scrap this for ideology," Holand declared. "Facts will not move them."

"They don't care about facts," he continued. "You could present the penultimate report, and they would ignore it."

The problem for Holland is that neither he nor any of the other proponents of the long-gun registry have produced anything even remotely resembling a "penultimate report". The recent report released by the RCMP doesn't even come close.

The RCMP has different motivations for wanting to declare the long-gun registry to be successful. After all, the gun registry is currently administered by the RCMP itself.

Currently, the RCMP is a troubled institution. Questions regarding the conduct of its officers abound. The institution continues to face questions about irregularities in its pension fund.

The RCMP is an institution desperately in need of some good news. An internal audit of a program they themselves administer is the perfect opportunity to produce precisely that.

Holland must certainly understand the folly of citing this report as if it were the final word on the long-gun registry. (The detail that it was the Conservative party who placed the registry under RCMP administration after the bureaucrats the Liberal Party hired to administer the program ran it deep into the depths of wastefulness is really just the icing on the cake.)

Even Holland's favourite talking point -- the support for the program by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police -- has absorbed a black eye recently, as it was revealed that the organization accepted a donation of $115,000 from the CGI group of companies.

The CGI group produces the software for the gun registry.

That makes for a massive conflict of interest, and raises questions of whether or not any conditions were placed on the donation.

Moreover, if there ever were a penultimate report on the long-gun registry, it absolutely would not support maintaining it.

“It is difficult to understand why the chiefs of police support the long-gun registry,” Simon Fraser University Criminologist Dr Gary Mauser once remarked. “[It] has so many errors that relying upon it puts the lives of rank-and-file police members at risk. This is a classic database problem: garbage in, gospel out. The police should know better."

"Millions of entries are incorrect or missing," he continued. “Most striking, less than half of all long guns in Canada are in the registry."

"The long-gun registry does worse – it misdirects the police," he said. "People who have registered their firearms are less likely to be violent than Canadians who don’t even own firearms. They should be. Gun owners have been screened by the police since 1979."

"We are told that 15 percent of the guns used in homicides are long guns," he briefly conceded. "What is not said is that virtually none were registered. How does the gun registry help? When I spoke at the Ontario Police College, one of the instructors told me privately that trusting the registry was a way to get good police officers killed."

Those are some very sobering facts -- they should be doubly so for proponents of the long-gun registry.

Where did Dr Mauser make these remarks?

Before the Public Safety Committee, of which Mark Holland is not only a member, but Vice-Chair.

Was he simply absent the day that Dr Mauser gave these remarks? Or did he disregard them because they weren't ideologically soothing enough for his tastes?

It seems that the answer is almost certainly the latter. Holland doesn't care about the facts, and he doesn't seem afraid to lie about them.

This is not a terribly new act for Holland, or for any other proponents of the long-gun registry. When they aren't attempting to justify the long-gun registry by waging a campaign of ideological emotional blackmail (centred around the L'Ecole Polytechnique shootings), they're deceiving Canadians by using pictures of assault rifles in media stories promoting their agenda.

(Under Canadian law, assault rifles aren't long guns, they're restricted or prohibited weapons -- different category, one that will remain unaffected by Hoeppner's bill.)

Reality is not kind to Mark Holland, nor to the long-gun registry. When real life finally releases its "penultimate report" on the long-gun registry, it will almost certainly favour its abolition.


  1. Well said, Patrick, very well said.

    Back in the blogosphere, I found it ironic that out of all the pro-registry progressive bloggers who spent days screaming about the Cheliak report that was supposed to Totally Vindicate the registry and Prove!! it Prevents Crime, not a single one found it important enough to blog about when it was finally released the other day. I wonder why? Maybe because it just reiterates the same old tired BS and doesn't "prove" anything?

    Ya know, gun control is a valid debate for Canadians to have. I'm not against it at all -- licensing, safety regs etc. -- but this registry has never been any more than an absurd monument to dumbness and politcal pandering and anti-gun hysteria. Speaking of which...


  2. Licensing and screening are valid gun control strategies, particularly as it pertains to long guns. Thse are the processes that help keep Canadians safe. Registration simply doesn't.

    The Mallick article has come to my attention. Personally, it offends me that she thinks she can get away with such ideological emotional blackmail. The long-gun registry didn't prevent Kimveer Gil from taking his registered weapon to Dawson College and opening fire. It wouldn't have done a damn thing to stop Marc Lepine.

    Canadians need to have an open and honest debate about the long-gun registry. How can that be done when loudmouths like Mark Holland refuse to debate the topic in good faith?

  3. Its all good ...Mark Holland is out of the factor and the CPC has a majority ...the LGR is finished in 3 months as of this email.

    And Mark Holland can only watch it disappear like his riding did to Chris Alexander CPC.

    Sucks to be on the failboat of safety Liberal policy.

  4. I think we all owe Rob Ford a debt of gratitude for helping to get rid of this floater.


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