An editorial in this morning’s National Post accurately captures one of the most damaging aspects of the failed long gun registry:
Once established, the registry not only proved to be expensive and errorprone, it drove a wedge between police and lawful Canadian firearms owners, who became justifiably frustrated at being deemed public safety risks simply because they owned a firearm. The Liberals’ hysterical insistence that harassing duck hunters and sport shooters was somehow necessary to pay proper homage to the victims of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre (which wouldn’t have been prevented with a registry anyway) has been particularly grating. Scrapping the registry will remove such irritants, and is worth doing for that reason alone.
This move, we hope, will help restore badly needed perspective to the gun-control debate. Contrary to what supporters of the registry might believe, Canada’s firearm owners generally recognize the importance of strong, effective gun-control laws that strike the right balance between keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the emotionally unstable while allowing law-abiding citizens to hunt and participate in shooting sports without social stigma. Canada’s pre-1995 firearms licensing system, combined with harsher punishments for those who use firearms while committing crimes, adequately address those needs. The registry has always been a distraction that offered only an illusion of safety, one we will do well to be rid of.