Opinion

EDITORIAL: Gun registry should be kept

If ever there was a campaign promise to be broken, it’s the federal Conservatives’ decision to scrap the long-gun registry.

The government says it’s doing law-abiding Canadians and rural residents a favour by eliminating the controversial and expensive registry, and destroying all evidence of its existence so it can’t be easily resurrected.

While the move (made now that the party finally has a majority in Parliament) carries through on a political promise, it’s starkly at odds with the party’s own ‘tough-on-crime’ stance, which includes spending billions on new prisons to house small-time criminals who will receive big-time sentences.

The main arguments against the registry are the cost (some $2 billion already spent to set up the system that can’t be recovered) and the fact it places an additional red-tape burden on law-abiding citizen (hardly onerous for deadly weapons, regardless of how they’re used).

Let’s be clear on the questionable logic.

The Conservatives are scrapping legislation they say was costly and ineffective, while at the same time enacting new crime legislation that necessitates massive spending on new jails even as the national crime rate continues to fall.

Wasteful spending? Ineffective legislation? The Conservatives’ omnibus crime bill appears far more at fault.

Furthermore, police across the country praise the registry as helping them do their job better, protect themselves and track down stolen firearms. They use it thousands of times each day.

The gun registry was a massively expensive and complicated undertaking. Eliminating it and all evidence of its existence is a massive mistake.

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