There was a news story on the local Montreal CTV channel last night highlighted by interviews of parents who lost their children due to gun violence. It annoyed me, I’m afraid. These people were calling on voters to not support a Conservative government because a Conservative government wants to abolish the gun registry. What wasn’t mentioned is that the Conservative government wants to abolish a registry that is simply not workable. It is too expensive and is poorly designed.
The gun registry didn’t stop Kimveer Gill from entering Dawson college and killing Anastasia Sousa. It didn’t stop him from destroying families and scarring hundreds of students. You see, his guns WERE registered. Marc Lepine. Ecole Polytechnique. The guns were registered.
We can empathize with the parents and the victims but empathy does not create good legislation. Knee jerk reactions do not create enforceable laws. When children die from gun violence, the reaction is predictable and understandable but the emotions must, somehow, be put aside in favour of logic.
Kimveer was a very sick young man. His actions clearly showed this to be the case. The gun registry didn’t stop the tragic events at Dawson even though these guns were registered. No one could have stopped this tragedy, short of having armed security, metal detectors and guard dogs at the doors to the college. This young man was in the grips of a psychotic delusion and he played his delusions out with a registered weapon.
Criminals do not register their guns. So where is the logic or the sense in demanding people not vote for a party based on their acknowledgment and intent to abolish a registry that doesn’t work? Kimveer and Lepine were not criminals, their guns were registered and we cannot forget this in the hysteria over weapons.
A young police officer lost her life, a few years ago, to a registered weapon. The registry didn’t stop her murder either and she was an officer of the law.
The gun registry, as it stands, has to go. It is useless. It won’t stop a Lepine or a Gill in the future, it didn’t stop them in the past. Guns are a very unfortunate part of our society and we will never be able to rid ourselves of them, totally. Not with the nation to the south of us that bases its constitution on the right to bear arms.
We can’t determine if someone is going to fall into delusional behaviour and wants to register a gun. The questionnaire ASKS if the individual has mental health problems; few people are aware that they suffer from mental illness and the odds that they would tell the truth on the registry form would seem to me to be rather slim, to none.
Is there any way to prevent another Polytechnique? Another Dawson? Another Columbine? The cold, brutal truth is that there is no way to prevent someone suffering from mental illness to fall into the abyss of a psychosis; the failure of the gun registry in the first two cases, sadly, prove this. You cannot protect society from the delusions of a mentally ill individual. Perhaps more education with regard to mental illness, the signs and changes to the laws respecting the right of the mentally ill to reject treatment. Gone are the days seen in “The Snake Pit.” Hospitals are governed far more closely and if necessary, in the future, monitor them even more closely so that a repetition of the Allan Institute is never permitted to happen again.
The gun registry, as it stands now, must go. It is costly and ineffective. It did not prevent death or injury nor will it prevent it in the future. For the record, I hate guns. I will not have one in my home. I see no use for them. Hunting? I don’t see a point to it however; it isn’t up to me to judge. I don’t hunt because I believe killing an animal for nothing more than sport is unethical. If hunting is used to provide sustenance, then that, of course, is another thing. I do believe that having hunters and farmers register their guns will not prevent, in any way, in any form, individuals in the future from acting out delusions. Anyone can register a gun. Anyone can lie on a form. The gun registry is a bad political security blanket foisted on us all and it must go. Status quo is rarely a positive thing. Leaving it as it is now is costly and ineffective.