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Old 01-09-2004, 03:11 PM
Rex Murphy on Paul Martin's billion dollar boondoggle
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Default Rex Murphy on Paul Martin's billion dollar boondoggle

The gun registry: A billion dollar bag of perfect uselessness

Jan. 7, 2004

For the second time in less than a year, parts of Toronto resemble a bad gangster movie.

Almost every weekend for the last while, one or more people are shot. Some are injured, others killed at clubs, at dances, on the street. There's usually a crowd present when the fireworks start, but there's hardly ever a witness with the guts to come forward afterwards. Vancouver is not as ripe with gun killings or injuries as Toronto, but there was one killing in Vancouver recently even more disgusting than some of the ones here. The young woman killed by a handgun was trying to help some poor character who was being set upon and kicked by a bunch of thugs. She got shot and killed in the downtown district of Gastown. It seems particularly miserable that the only person with spirit and conscience to interfere with a beating, a genuine good Samaritan, gets shot and killed, killed essentially for being a decent human being.

If this level of murderous thuggery were present in any other country but Canada, I suppose the public attitude would have to be one of despair and helplessness, but Canada, our dear Canada has had for a number of years now one of the most thorough and certainly one of the most expensive gun registry programs since the very invention of gun powder. And if we are to oblige the logic that went into setting up a system of registering firearms with the cost only slightly less than the missile defence program, it has to be that when a gun goes off criminally in this country, all the police have to do is tap the nearest computer keyboard, pick up the handcuffs on their way out, and nab the felon.

I know it will stagger everyone to hear this, but it doesn't quite work like that. Whether it's a rash of gun killings or just a single gun murder, our platinum priced gun registry with its billion-dollar cost overrun is not just ordinarily useless in cases of this kind, it is perfectly useless. It is useless without qualification. It does nothing. This may surprise a few anti-gun philosophers, but the knowledge that a farmer has a 12-gauge in Saskatchewan or a hunter has a .30-30 in Newfoundland is infinitely irrelevant. It is sublimely without purpose or point for a gang shooting in downtown Toronto or the butchery of a good Samaritan in the Gastown of Vancouver. You know why, of course. The very people who shoot other people as a hobby, a pastime, or a career are, wait for it, the very people who don't give a flying fig about registering their wretched handguns in the first place. People who shoot people do not join line-ups to tell police where they stole, smuggled, or bought their guns in the first place.

So now Paul Martin, staring down a billion dollars worth of ludicrously expensive wishful thinking, is about to look into the gun registry. If he doesn't scrap it all together, admit it was nothing more than wasteful piety from its very conception, and close it down, we will know he's only playing with the issue. It is a waste, he knows it's a waste, and a politically correct waste to boot. It's a billion dollar bag of perfect uselessness. Let's see him act on that knowledge.

For "The National," I'm Rex Murphy.
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Old 01-09-2004, 06:06 PM
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Thx for your input Rex. Well said and you are 110 % correct!
It will be interesting to see if Martin is man enough to face the hard cold facts and rid us of this useless program.
Time will tell!
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