Thursday, November 03, 2011

LGR Advocates, You Have Some 'Splainin' To Do

Long gun registry not the life-saver they claim it is

With Canada's far-left scrambling to save the long gun registry by any means necessary, it seems the facts just aren't lining up to support their arguments.

When the Globe and Mail put crime data recently released by Stats Canada into a chart, the conclusions became unavoidable. Those who claim the long gun registry saves lives -- as former Liberal MP Mark Holland used to delight in doing -- have some serious explaining to do.

The chart reveals that the last time more long guns than hand guns were used in homicides was waaaaaay back in 1990. (The L'Ecole Polytechnique massacre happened the previous year.) The bill authorizing the long gun registry was passed in Parliament in 1995, and the registry itself was established in 1996.

There's good reason for this. As the numbers have it, murders involving long guns have been steadily declining in Canada since 1984 -- twelve years before the LGR ever existed. There were occasional spikes in homicides involving long guns, but the general trend has been a decline since 1984.

During the same period of time, murders involving handguns -- which the law has required to be registered since World War Two -- have remained stable.

This is very clearly a difficult question the champions of the LGR desperately need to answer. They have relentlessly attributed the reduction in homicides involving long guns to the registry. Yet not only does the decline pre-date the registry, the handgun registry has no noticeable effect.

It's clear that registration has not had the magical properties LGR advocates have attributed to it. They have some serious questions to answer, some serious explaining to do -- although previous experience with these individuals suggests they will simply decline.

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