Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gun Registry Poll

Another poll that samples opinion on the gun registry. Somewhat similar to a previous finding, the poll finds Canadians don't think the registry has been successful in preventing crime and a majority support its abolishment. The supposed rural/urban divide isn't very pronounced, both subsets support abolition. These numbers, despite overwhelming opinion that sees gun violence as a "serious" matter.

On whether the registry has been a success:
Just 11 per cent of Canadians think the Canadian Firearms Registry has been successful in preventing crime in Canada, while 32 per cent believe it has had no effect in crime, and 46 per cent brand the effort as unsuccessful.

Part of this is the "boondoggle" effect, but it also speaks to a complete failure in justifying this initiative.

When asked if the registry should be abolished, the results might surprise some:
Half of respondents (51%) support scrapping the long gun registry, while one-third (34%) disagree.

Support for abandoning the registry surpasses the 50 per cent mark in every Canadian province, with the exception of Quebec.

Some regional breakdowns, in Ontario it's 54%-29%, which is actually more than B.C at 50%-30%. Atlantic Canada has it 68%-27%, the other provinces predictable results. In Quebec, the exact opposite, 56% want the registry, 31% want it scrapped.

A pretty clear margin support abolishing the registry. When you breakdown the rural/urban split, you find more rural residents support abolition, but urban voters reject it as well:
Do you support or oppose scrapping the long gun registry?


support 55%
oppose 33%
don't know 14%


support 50%
oppose 35%
don't know 15%

In line with the results from the HD poll, the supposed "split" isn't near as pronounced as people assume, given the rhetoric. Only when the general question of gun ownership legality is asked, do we see the traditional "divide".

What is also surprising, a full 80% of respondents think gun crime is serious, which highlights a resistance to the gun registry as a vehicle to deal with this issue.

Using the two polls in tandem, there doesn't seem to be much public backlash to scrapping the registry. In fact, proponents could argue its abolishment would reflect public will, no matter where people reside, with the obvious exception being Quebec. Even on that score, the Bloc failed to get any traction on this issue in the recent by-elections, so it might not "stir" as hoped.

People can dismiss polls all day long, but I guarantee you that all the people who make decisions in this country don't (whether that is a good thing or not, another matter entirely). What will be interesting to see, do the Liberals and NDP offer up "symbolic" resistance as this legislation moves forward, or do they fight hard to keep it?


Gayle said...

It is a good thing.

What the parties SHOULD do is justify it as being something that benefits Canadians.

But this is politics, and no one really cares about what is good for Canadians. It is what is good for the party that counts.

Steve V said...


True enough. But, you have to consider public opinion, and these findings actually demonstrate why the opposition parties are divided- many of their constituents don't want it. Is there some validity to that?

Gayle said...

I will say the same thing I said on your last post on this topic.

This is the result of a propoganda war perptrated by the NRA.

One of your posters, Koby, posted statistics that would suggest gun crime has gone down. And, as I have said many times, the registry is an effective tool for investigating crime.

How do politicians ignore these basic facts?

Time to start educating people I think.

Of course, it would help if the police, who have been fairly vocal, were even more vocal. I understand there is a lot of lobbying behind the scenes but they are going to have to help move that public opinion.

Steve V said...

"This is the result of a propoganda war perptrated by the NRA."

I don't buy that to be frank. It's more a result of the outlandish cost, all the horrible optics that surrounded this registry. There is also a natural "big brother" feel, on top of the tax grab aspect.

Rotterdam said...

Gun Registry is an example of bad inept wasteful government.

Those 8 brave Liberals knew it.

Gamil Rodrigue Liass Gharbi,( Marc Lepine)was brought up by a Syrian father who hated woman. It had a profound effect on him. The Liberals were too "culturally sensitive" to address the real issue, they went after rural gun owners instead. At a cost of 2 Billion dollars.

Steve V said...

Nice racist overtone.

Jim said...

"This is the result of a propoganda war perptrated by the NRA."

Gayle, on this issue, you are way off base. There is no NRA in Canada.

I would suggest you stay in your lane and comment on things you know about...whatever that might be.

ottlib said...

This is another example of how the right has been allowed to frame this whole debate.

The Registry was never meant to reduce gun crime it was mainly to assist law enforcement in investigating crimes and to protect police officers.

Registries by their very nature do not reduce anything. After all they do not have any deterrent effect or enforcement provisions.

However, it is a very useful tool to law enforcement and every police organization in the country has said so.

Gun control advocates should have been shouting this from the rooftops since the Registry was created. Instead they sat back and allowed its opponents to claim the Registry has been a failure in doing something it was never designed to do.

Steve V said...

Oh Jim. Speaking of "lanes", if intelligent commentary was a roadway, you'd be a one lane, rut filled logging road. I don't agree with Gayle here, but she's a freshly paved, divided highway.

Steve V said...

"This is another example of how the right has been allowed to frame this whole debate."

I would argue much of that framing is the result of self inflicted wounds. The registry was never delivered with a sense of competence and the optics of the cost were atrocious. It became a symbol of all that is wrong with government. We gave the right the fodder.

ottlib said...


After the Registry was established and working the Chretien government ask Sheila Fraser to audit the program.

She found that it cost around $900 million dollars to do so. That is certainly higher than what it was supposed to cost but it is certainly lower than the $2 billion figure the Conservatives have been bandying around for years.

So please stop quoting that figure it is a patent lie.

But again, this is another example of progressive allowing the right to frame the debate and get away with lying.

When will they learn to effectively fight back against this kind of BS?

ottlib said...

Steve said,

"It became a symbol of all that is wrong with government. We gave the right the fodder."

So fight back dammit!!! Don't just sheepishly retreat into a hole.

One thing about I have noticed about the right is they do not get embarrassed. If they are caught in a lie, the shrug it off. If they do something stupid they say who cares.

They have no scruples which is a huge problem and I would say progressives have too many scruples which is also a big problem.

This is politics, consistancy is not always a virtue.

Steve V said...

Part of the problem, it's hard to fight back, when you're divided behind closed doors, both parties. It's not a weakness argument, debate is healthy. But, it's hard to get the fire in your belly when your own people don't have the stomach.

Steve V said...

BTW, I suspect some "shocking" views if ALL Cons were allowed to be candid. It ain't the monolith that Stevie Stalin projects.

ottlib said...


I am looking past partisan politics and looking at progressives in general.

Certainly you cannot completely divorce partisanship from this but partisanship is a very narrow consideration to a very narrow group of people.

There are plenty of people out there who support a cause without supporting a particular political party.

Gayle said...

"There is no NRA in Canada."

Yeah. We don't have a president either. Do you have anything else totally obvious to tell me? Something about Santa Claus maybe?

In any event, there are many Canadian gun owners who are members of the NRA, including members of my immediate family. There has been much money from the NRA donated to the conservatives, and many US websites etc which propogate the kind of propoganda that people in this country seem to be buying.

They have been allowed to frame the debate as "gun registry as crime reduction tool" which is false.

"I don't buy that to be frank. It's more a result of the outlandish cost, all the horrible optics that surrounded this registry."

We have been hearing about the costs for a long time, and yet three years ago the polls had the vast majority of Canadians supporting the registry.

The only thing that has changed is the framing of the argument.

By the way, I notice that notwithstanding the fact there was overwhelming support for the registry, the conservatives continued to attack it - almost as if they were standing on principle rather than political expediency...

Mr. Lorne said...

If only criminals would register their guns...

Reid said...

Gayle. You're not doing your side a service by making stuff up. First you make up that the NRA is operating in Canada. You get called on that then make up that the NRA donated money to the CPC. You should be careful about accusing people/organizations of committing criminal offences. Because I'm sure you know it's illegal for a foreigner to donate to a political party in Canada and it's illegal for a political party in Canada to accept a donation from a foreigner.

Gayle said...


Canadians are also members of the NRA. Can THEY donate to a Canadian political party?

Gayle said...

And just to help you out there Reid, as I have already said I have Canadian family members who joined the NRA. When we have these gun registry debates, I hear all about the NRA wabsites and how many Canadian gun owners join the NRA and how the NRA helps them organize their opposition to the registry.

Hope that helps.

Unknown said...

As of Sep 09; 1,841,154 Canadians hold a firearm licence of some kind.

I would say scrap the firearm registry if there was some kind of guarantee that not one of them would have their firearm’s licence revoked for the following reasons: mental illness, potential risk to oneself or others, unsafe firearm use and storage, drug offences, and providing false information.

But there is no guarantee: From 2005 to Sep 2009 there have been 9,340 firearm licences which have been revoked.

“The Registrar of Firearms is notified of all licence revocations, is responsible for revoking all associated registration certificates, and works to ensure proper disposal of the firearms.”

If person had their firearm licence revoked and their firearms are not registered how would the authorites ensure proper disposal of the firearms?

Unknown said...

So where do the criminals get their firearms Leeky?
From across the border maybe. If so then, why are there so many unaccounted firearms crossing the border?
Could it be; some States aren’t as concerend with owner’s accountablility as we are?

Firearms Registration
The registration of firearms links firearms and their licensed owners, thereby enhancing owners’ accountability for safe storage and use of firearms. A centralized, on-line, secure database of firearms information helps police and other public safety officials carry out investigations efficiently and effectively enabling them to quickly trace a firearm to its last lawful owner.

Unknown said...

The people who want to scrap the registry for financal reasons never say how much would be saved if the long gun registry was scrapped, they only mislead the public to believe, the registry cost 2 billion dollars.

When in fact the whole Canadain Firearm Program cost just over a billion dollars over a ten year period and that cost also included Screening people who applied for a firearms licence. Perhaps some people think the screening process is a waste of money too.

“Licensing of an individual to possess firearms requires a variety of background checks.
Applicants are screened to detect potential public safety risks based on information provided with a firearms licence application. Continuous eligibility screening is conducted over the term of the licence to identify any public safety risks that may arise over time. A licence may also be revoked following a court order or a Chief Firearm Officer’s investigation resulting from a call to the CFP’s public safety line (1-800-731-4000).”

JimmE said...

There are vested interests (BIKERS, Tories, Reform party supporters, Gun sellers and people who just use these tools to kill stuff) who have been working against this for years.
NO ONE is working to point out the facts of why this is required.
On the cost side, we've paid for it, so now we should junk it?
Drink much?
How much did the Ontario Motor Vehicle Registration system cost?
Oh, it took decades, & has been upgraded every few years;
got a price tag?
What if Truckers, Bikers, the CAA the Reform-a-tories, Carmakers, Canadian Tire & the Canadian Paving Association decided they didn't want motor vehicles registered next? Who would speak in support of the system, I mean after all it is all so Big Brother, & has cost billions to set up we should just scrap it.
We need some adults to turn on the lights and focus on the facts.

Tomm said...


Great comment. And that was the "nut" of it all. Allan "Rock" ~ "nut", we might be on to something here!


I know you have family to argue with and don't need us, but frankly the gun registry is truly pointless. We still have to get the FAC, and the rest of it is ultimately just big brother with jackboots doing his thing. Life will go on without the registry. It is a divisive and hurtful law that is making criminals out of farmers.

I do have one suggestion. Rifling marks are as individual as fingerprints. All new fire arms, and a request for all existing firearms to be fired into RCMP receptacles. The RCMP can then match the rifling with the weapon. Gun owners wouldn't have a problem with that sort of finger printing. That sort of set up would be a lot less invasive and would appeal to the common sense of the owners.

Gayle said...

Tomm - simply saying something is useless does not make it so. The biggest problem I have your argument is that you do not actually make one. Other than the complaint about cost, I have yet to hear anyone actually give an argument about why the registry is bad.

Are the conservatives also going to repeal section 111 of the Criminal Code? What point is there to allow the seizure of firearms if there is no way of telling how many firearms that person has?

Look at this for some info:

Tomm said...

I flipped through the 132 pages you suggested. I'm not sure why you asked me to do that. No point emerged to me.

With respect to your criticism of my "non-point". Let me try to be more clear.

The gun registry was using fear, arrogance and a shotgun to kill the Marc Lepine "fly". The majority government Liberal Party of Canada just didn't care that the long gun registry was not justified, not needed, made criminals out of farmers who didn't register, and left those (idiot) gun owners that did with a hefty little annual tax load and enough red tape to choke on.

Oh, and they lied about how much it cost and how valuable it was. It cost a ton and had no appreciable value to anyone.

How many people in Canada die by way of long gun every year? how many of those are being saved by a registry? how many RCMP officers lives have been saved because of knowledge related to registered long guns? And what are the numbers of un-registered hand gun deaths?

The long gun registry is simply a symbol of unnecessary red tape and a reminder that the Liberal Party of Canada cares more about a vote in Toronto than Melfort, Saskatchewan. Further, that The National Governing Party considers Uncle Henry with his illegal long gun to be a criminal.

Gayle said...

"how many of those are being saved by a registry? how many RCMP officers lives have been saved because of knowledge related to registered long guns?"

How many guns are seized pursuant to section 111 because the gun owner has been deemed to be a risk to himself and/or others. (The point of the document was to show that guns are seized by law enforcement agencies in situations where the person in possession of the gun is considered dangerous).

There is no answer to your question, because no one knows how many of those seized guns would have been used in a crime if they had not been seized. There is no point having a law that allows the police to seize guns from dangerous people if there is no corresponding law that enables the police to know who has guns and how many they have.

In any event, you are buying into that whole "gun registry as crime control" meme. How about gun registry as crime investigation tool.

Maybe we should just stop taking fingerprints, photos on our drivers' licences, registering our cars, registering sex offenders and collecting DNA, since there is no proof of how many lives were saved through these costly measures.

"...made criminals out of farmers who didn't register"

You are a criminal if you don't pay your taxes, or if you don't declare your income. Maybe we should get rid of that too.

But your point is true - people who do not register their guns are criminals - which means they are no longer "law abiding" gun owners.

We do not live in a country where we have the luxury of choosing which laws we will follow and which we will not.

Koby said...


1)The cost of registry is about a billion dollars. The 2 billion dollar figure bantered around by the Conservatives is a lie. That said, saying these cost overruns justify disbanding the registry now is akin to saying that if a bridge goes over budget than it should be blown up upon completion. By the way, it costs around 3 million a year to register long guns and if the Conservatives had of continued to collect monies for these guns, then there would be no cost to tax paper whatsoever.

2) People still get murdered by long guns in this country. Indeed, 88% of women killed with gun were killed with a shotgun or rifle.

3) The sharp distinction you draw between "law abiding" firearm owners and criminals is a false distinction. As Luke noted, from 2005 to Sep 2009 there have been 9,340 firearm licences have been revoked. Some developed a mental illness. Others committed crimes of various sorts. In other words, over time a sizable number of "law abiding" firearm owners become statically much more likely to poise a danger to others, particularly their spouses. Little wonder than that while the vast majority of gun owners want the registry gone, 77% of those living with a gun owner want it kept. As Luke put it "If person had their firearm licence revoked and their firearms are not registered how would the authorities ensure proper disposal of the firearms?"

4) There is also the issue of suicide to consider. For every homicide in Canada there are 6 or more suicides. The likelihood that one will commit suicide goes up significantly if there is a firearm in the home.

5) All the evidence is consistent with the gun registry having worked. To wit:

The suicide rate in Canada peaked at 15.2 in 1978, dipped below 12 for the first time in 32 years in 2000 and reached a post 1970 low of 11.3 in 2004.

The average suicide rate per year between 1970 and 1976 was 13.35, between 1977 and 1983 it was 14.5, between 1984 and 1990 it was 13.1, between 1991 and 1997 it was 13 and between 1998 to 2004 it was 12.

The number of suicides by firearm in Canada dropped from a high of 1287 in 1978 to a low of 568 in 2004. There was an average of 1033 fire arm suicides per year between 1970 and 1976, 1197 between 1977 and 1983, 1084 between 1984 and 1990, 970 between 1991 and 1997 and 682 between 1998 and 2004.

The number of accidental shooting deaths in Canada stood at 143 in 1971 and has generally declined since then; a low of 20 was reached in 2000. There was an average of 117 accidental shooting deaths per year between 1970 and 1976, 70 between 1977 and 1983, 62.3 between 1984 and 1990, 50.1 between 1991 and 1997 and 28.1 between 1998 and 2004.
The rate of homicide in Canada peaked in 1975 at 3.03 per 100,000 and has dropped since then, reaching lower peaks in 1985 (2.72 per 100,000) and 1991 (2.69 per 100,000) while declining to 1.73 per 100,000 in 2003. The average murder rate between 1970 and 1976 was 2.52, between 1977 and 1983 it was 2.67, between 1984 and 1990 it was 2.41, between 1991 and 1997 it was 2.23 and between 1998 and 2004 it was 1.82.

Tomm said...

Gayle & Koby,

You've got your facts and talking points down. Go and sell it.

You can't. The well is already poisoned.

If both of you feel that a registry of firearms is a valuable investigative tool, lessens suicide and decreases women's violent death then propose something.

Long gun owners right now are angry because they feel they are either labeled as criminals or fools.

Maybe what you wanted to do has already occurred. Gun safety, the FAC, guns locked in proper containers and laws around that are now fully acceptable.

I would also throw in the rifling to see if it makes a difference.

Mr. Lorne said...

Luke, you argument makes no sense.

marie said...

Sheila Fraser examined the cost of the registry and she said it was 900.000. The 2 billion figure the Harpercons keeep parroting is a made up figure and therefore a blatant lie and is a lie is a lie no matter how much it is dressed up or repeated. At the end when it will be openly exposed, it only makes the liars look like the fools they are and certainly not trust worthy. There is no fee to register your rifles and if we need to scrap the registry because of a few lazy people and those that have something to hide, that's a pretty lame excuse. Steve V, public opinion is influenced by lies, lies and more lies and it needs to be exposed not shut down.
Shutting it down dosen't stop the problem but exposure to the whole truth might just do the trick.That's my opinion and as Canadians in a free country, we all have that choice to make.


Reid said...


Canadians are also members of the NRA. Can THEY donate to a Canadian political party?

Nice try Gayle. You said the NRA donates to the Conservatives. A blatant lie.

Canadians who are members of the NRA and donate to the CPC isn't the same as the NRA donating to the CPC and you know it. I'm a professional engineer and belong to the professional associations of 2 provinces. If I donate to the CPC is that the same as saying APEGBC and APEGGA donate to the CPC?

Just admit you lied and made stuff up. Although I don't mind you making yourself look more foolish with each post you make trying squirm out of your last post.

Gene Rayburn said...

Reid, you are every stereotype of a tightass engineering student we used to make fun of at UW.

Catnip to the ladies as always...

Leeky, Englis much?

Gayle said...

Reid - nice try yourself. It was pretty clear in my comment I was talkig about Canadian NRA members, what with the fact I referred to Canadians joining the NRA in the previous sentence and all.

You made an assumption and called me a liar as a result. You were wrong. Deal with it.

Tomm - thank you for agreeing with my point about the propoganda winning the day. You might have missed it, but I am angry the opposition is not fighting propoganda with facts.

lance said...


You nanny-statists are still whining about "education"? This debate is 14 years old. The people have been educated all they need to make their decisions.

You lost.

Steve posted links. Get over yourselves and get out of my life. I shot my two deer this last week but unfortunately I was unable to do a drive-by on Jane and Finch. Maybe next year, so that you who believe you should run my life might actually have some stats to back up your BS.

I won't say whether the rifle was registered or not, but Saskatchewan and Alberta are long on record saying they will not prosecute people failing to register their firearms.