Thursday, September 09, 2010

Oh, the Sounds of Ending Debate

Former RCMP Superintendent denounces long-gun registry

Poor Mark Holland.

The Ajax-Pickering MP insists that the debate on the long-gun registry is over when the debate over the long-gun registry is, in fact, hotter than it's ever been.

The most recent individual to enter the debate is former RCMP Supertintendent Keith Thompson, who has declared the long-gun registry to be useless.

Thompson is well-poised to know full well the comparative merits of the long-gun registry. He formerly commanded the RCMP's emergency response team in southern Alberta.

"I think it is a waste, and most importantly, if we think about the safety of our citizens, it gives them a false sense of its importance," Thompson wrote in a letter to Members of Parliament.

"In my various roles, I attended too many scenes of hostage-taking, murder/suicides, barricaded persons, etc, and know of no lives that could have been saved with such a fully functioning registry," he continued.

Thompson not only pointed out that the long-gun registry hasn't saved any lives -- contrary to a recent report by the RCMP that was, oddly enough, glowing about the RCMP's own administration of the long-gun registry -- but also that it doesn't help police officers, either.

To rely on the long-gun registry -- or the gun registry period -- to provide information about weapons present would be a rookie mistake, and potentially a deadly one.

"Assume that there would be guns regardless of what the registry implied," Thompson asserted. "The bottom line is 'is the long-gun registry a benefit to the street officer? I think it's unequivocally no.'"

"Who is it a benefit to?," he asks. "Does it make the citizens of Canada safer? I don't think so."

"So why maintain it?"

There's a reason why people like Holland want to maintain the long-gun registry: as ideological boilerplate. Nothing more, and nothing else.

However desperately Mark Holland may want the debate to end, it's far from over. Holland and his cohorts can produce the same talking points and pass them off as conclusive studies to their heart's content.

It won't change what nearly every front-line police officer in the country already knows: the long-gun registry doesn't save lives, it cannot save lives, and so should be abolished.

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