May 16, 2006


Long-gun registry to be axed (BRIAN LAGHI AND GLORIA GALLOWAY, 5/15/06, Globe and Mail

The Harper government plans to fulfill its pledge to gut the federal long-gun registry by providing amnesty to gun owners who don't sign up and eventually unveiling legislation to eliminate it.

Auditor-General Sheila Fraser will release her report on the controversy-plagued registry today.

Sources said the amnesty would be announced imminently and legislation would come some time this spring. They were unclear what the legislation would say, but it's assumed the law would not get rid of the handgun registry, merely the portion of the registry that deals with long guns.

Decent societies don't enforce unconscionable laws.

Contentious gun registry spawned hate mail, distrust between East and West (CP, 5/15/06)

Having been told that he and the people of Miramichi, N.B., would be better off shovelling cow manure than registering long guns, John McKay has a clear idea of just how contentious the gun registry issue is in Canada.

The main processing office for the Canadian Firearms Centre is located in Miramichi and McKay, the city's mayor, is more worried than ever about the centre's future following the latest revelations of mismanagement by Auditor General Sheila Fraser. [...]

"It's hate mail," McKay said bitterly.

"These letters are directed at me, the registry employees, the Miramichi community and the Maritimes. The employees have been compared to concentration camp guards. One writer suggested that tabulating polar bear excrement in the North would be a more useful job. Another suggested we could spend our time homogenizing cow manure."

McKay said he always believed there was a disconnect between Western Canada and the East, but the letters he is receiving indicate a depth of hatred and disgust he never would have suspected.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 16, 2006 9:41 AM

It's not being drop because the law was unconscionable but because the management of the registry was. It made the FBI computer upgrade disaster look well done.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 10:38 AM

uh-huh, the rest of their laws being efficient?

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 10:44 AM

Why can we use the word "amnesty" in reference to gun owners but not illegal aliens?

Posted by: sharon at May 16, 2006 10:48 AM

That gun registry turned into a sink hole for Canadian dollars.

Posted by: pchuck at May 16, 2006 10:55 AM

Mr. Judd;

The gun registry was in a league of its own. It was originally projected to cost $2,000,000 CDN but once it passed $2,000,000,000 CDN people got upset. And best of all, after spending 1000 times the original budget, it still didn't work! Even for the Chretien government, it was a boondoggle almost beyond the imagination. PJ was bragging about how Massachusetts took the rest of us chumps for the Big Dig, but that's T-ball compared to the Canadian Gun Registry. It's something the UN could take lessons from. That's why it's being dropped.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 11:17 AM

And now that the Canadian dollar is threatening to be worth as much as the one to the south, it makes those sinkholes even more expensive.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 16, 2006 11:19 AM


Because the whackos like guns but not brown folk.

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 1:08 PM


Have you noticed anyone stopping the Big Dig?

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 1:21 PM

Mr. Judd;

Senator John McCain, for one.

But the Big Dig is not even remotely close in terms of cost overruns. When it costs $1T, then it will be roughly the same. I am willing to bet a big chunk of money that it will be finished or canceled long before that point is reached.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 2:08 PM

Did he stop it?

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 2:16 PM

It hasn't overrun as badly as the registry yet, so the answer is irrelevant.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 3:05 PM


You brought up the irrelevant point.

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 3:33 PM

Ah, I forgot about your problem with fixation with irrelevant details contained in analogies. Absent that, though, I see my point stands.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 4:57 PM

So the Big Dig was dropped?

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 5:07 PM

We agreed that was irrelevant.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 5:59 PM

...and the point fell.

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 6:02 PM

Good to see you admit a point of yours fell (since the Big Dig, your only point, was irrelevant). There's hope for you yet.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 16, 2006 6:43 PM

Except that you raised the the Big Dig, which is in exactly the same league. My point obtains, cost never kills a government project. Conscience does.

Posted by: oj at May 16, 2006 9:24 PM

It is not in the same league, you're simply making up facts. I have stated why, to which you have responded with unsupported assertions.

By the way, weren't you the one claiming that a secure border wouldn't work because the citizenry wouldn't pay for it? Why would that be, if costs never killed a government project?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 17, 2006 12:05 AM

No, the fact is the gun amnesty is being offered because the registry appalls the new government's base, just as immigrants are being offered amnesty because treating 12 million fellow Americans as criminals appalls us.

The Big Dig, a pet project of a few local pols has overrun intial estimates by something like $7 billion dollars. The national gun registry in Canada hasn't cost anything by comparison.

The East Germans couldn't secure their border but you think we'd turn our country into East Germany in a futile attempt to close ours? It would shock the conscience too much.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2006 12:13 AM

The gun registry was wildly popular in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, where people who have never seen guns sip moccachinos and order the lives of lesser people who have. That's where the Liberal vote is concentrated. It was despised in rural areas. Orrin is right, the cost overruns proved a boon in the end.

I know of no other issue that divides so sharply along urban/rural lines than this. Its the Canadian version of fox-hunting.

Posted by: Peter B at May 17, 2006 6:39 AM

We should all benefit from knowing just how much the gun issue had to do with the Conservative victory in Canada.

We know that gun rights turned everything around the the United States when reaction to Brady and the AWB gave us the Contract with America.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 17, 2006 7:36 AM