Thursday, June 18, 2009

A billion here, a billion there...

Let's all hope and pray that Garry Breitkreuz never winds up anywhere near a portfolio where he controls any kind of spending:

The $2-billion figure often cited as the cost of the gun registry is a Saskatchewan MP's "fabrication" that took on a life of its own as Conservative MPs and the media repeated it for years, says a new study.

In late 2002, a report by auditor general Sheila Fraser said the cost of the federal gun registry tallied nearly $1 billion from 1996-2006.

Her figure became political ammunition in the hands of Saskatchewan backbench MP Garry Breitkreuz, an opponent of gun control who was in the Reform Party, then the Canadian Alliance, and is now a Conservative.

He began calling the gun registry a "$1-billion boondoggle."

But within four months his language had escalated into "a $2-billion boondoggle."

The study says Breitkreuz "strategically created" that catch phrase. The study calls it his "fabrication."
Here's my favourite part of the story, from the fabricator himself:
Breitkreuz said in an interview Wednesday that at one level, the study's authors are "disingenuous" for "quibbling over $1 billion or $2-billion."

Either figure "is horrific. It's wasted money that would have been much better spent going after organized crime and other serious things."

Because hey, it's only 100% inflation.

But you know, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon we're talking real money...

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9 comments:

ridenrain said...

What? Only a billion dollar boondoggle? How reasonable.

Jim said...

And anti gunners like to state how police use the firearms registry 9600 times a day, but never explain that 99.9% of those hits are automatically generated by any CPIC query.

Funny, nobody wants to be honest when taking about the registry.

I'll give you an honest fact...the firearms registry is a colossal waste of money and resources, that has never saved a life and I would dare say, never solved a crime.

I'll give you another honest fact...it was never designed to be effective, in fact, the Liberals were advised that it would be a wasted effort. But something was needed to placate urban voters and make Kim Campbell's gun control measures look weak in comparison.

I find it insulting to the senses that Canada spends more funds each year keeping the registry alive than we spend on cancer research.

Disgraceful.

Maybe if we want to do something about illegal guns in Toronto, we should look towards some of the reserves along the border, instead of in my gun safe.

But you can't do that, because it wouldn't be politically correct, besides, it's always easier to go after the person that is inclined to comply with the law.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Jim, would you call the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police dishonest?

Here's his comments from a 2006 CP story, shortly after the Conservatives came to power:

The head of Canada's police chiefs says he will impress upon the new government the merits of the national gun registry, a much-maligned system the Conservatives have promised to scrap.

Jack Ewatski, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said he wants to open a dialogue on firearms with the ministers to be named early next month to the justice and public safety portfolios.

"We will certainly give this government some history relative to why we supported the gun legislation and gun control, including the registry, over the years," Ewatski said in an interview.

"I think it's imperative that we also provide some information to this government relative to the value of gun control programs within this country, including the registry."

(snip)

Ewatski said statistics show police officers electronically query the registry about 2,000 times a day, which can, for instance, help them determine whether guns are in a house they are about to enter.

"We take the approach in policing that information is the lifeblood of our work," he said. "And the more information our front-line officers have on the streets to do their job, the better prepared they are to deal with situations of public safety as well as officer safety."


I know the Conservatives usually say we should listen to the police on law and order issues. Well, there's what one high-profile leader had to say. And while we can all assuredly have our opinions, I wouldn't dismiss is out of hand either.

And that's an honest fact.

Tim said...

Sadly, I don't trust much that comes of a police union or police chief's association mouthpiece anymore. Always seems to be self-serving and in furtherance or more police state surveillence -- and this is on just about every issue.

I'm left of centre but having relatives tell me stories about the Miramichi gun centre and how it was run, I think the Tories are actually right. Also having friends from eastern Europe, the idea that the state has a list of gun owners is a very, very bad thing.

Oh yeah: I also hate guns. Really. But this is just like the war on drugs: looks great on the surface, but grossly ineffective.

Luke said...

Why are firearms being smuggled into Canada?

“Gun smuggling into Alberta on the rise, U.S. officials say
The number of handguns being smuggled into Alberta from Montana is on the rise, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
A $500 handgun from the U.S. will fetch $1,500-$2,000 on the streets in Calgary, said Ken Bray, U.S. Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent.
"One trip into Canada can mean $15,000 of profit for the trafficker," Bray said.
"We believe it is a growing problem and the reason we think so is because of the intelligence we receive from the Canadian law enforcement authorities," he said.
Hundreds of pistols, assault rifles, and shotguns are sold at sporting goods stores in Helena, Montana.
Those firearms can been purchased legally and then they end up among those being smuggled into Canada, Bray said.”

Now if we changed our firearm laws and copied the US gun laws (were there is no accountability), the risk of drug traffickers being captured for smuggling firearms across the boarder is nil.

Of course the conservatives would boast about ending gun smuggling into Canada.

“On an average day in the states, two or three people die and approximately 30 are injured from accidental firearms shootings; about fifty more die by suicide with a gun and nearly 40 are murdered with guns.”

Luke said...

Well Tim how would you like to see gun control handled?
Any Joe Blow walk into a gun store and purchase a firearm, no questions asked?
How about private sales of firearms? Should a person be able to sell his firearms to anybody and not inform the authorities?

Registration helps police trace firearms and combat the illegal movement of firearms

To break up organized networks involved in the illegal movement of firearms, it is necessary to have a traceable commodity. Previously, police had to search manually through thousands of retail records to find the source of any non-restricted firearms recovered at crime scenes. The computerized, centralized CFIS makes it much easier for police to trace and locate the last known owner of these firearms. If firearms are identified as stolen, knowing the source of the firearm will give the police a valuable starting point for their investigation and identify possible patterns of theft from firearm shipments or dealers.
Within the Canadian Firearms Program, NWEST, a unit of highly trained and experienced investigators and analysts work with law enforcement, across the country and internationally, to assist in anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling efforts. The team also helps the police and judicial system in dealing with issues of violence with firearms in Canadian communities.

Jim said...

I wouldn't directly call the President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police dishonest, but I would suggest that their views are somewhat financially driven, given that the chief contractors for the computer system design for the registry has contributed money to the CACP.

Taser has also given money to the CACP.

On a related note, you are a tech savvy guy, Jeff, care to comment on how it is possible that over $500 million dollars can go into the design of this system and it is still unfinished.

Does it really take $500+ million dollars to track 7.2 million firearms and their owners?

I hope and pray that the AG is allowed to one day do an in depth forensic audit on the CFC...it will make for some great reading.

I would also like to make a clarification for those unfamiliar with firearms ownership in Canada.

There are actually two separate components to the system...licensing and registration. Many times, this difference is overlooked or blurred by the anti gun movement.

Whether the registry exists or not, a firearms licence is required to legally purchase a firearm in Canada.

The licencing system is more than adequate to monitor Canadian firearms owners. In fact, every firearms licence number is run through the CPIC database everyday under a system called the Continued Eligiblity Program, so in essence every legal firearms owner has a background check done on them daily.

To counter a couple of other points, firearms that are legally brought into the country ARE traceable through their importation paperwork, so that makes the registry redundant...and illegal firearms are not in the registry, so that makes it useless.

As well, I would suggest that you ask a rank and file police officer if he trusts his life to the information contained in the registry. I think you will find the resounding answer is no.

Luke said...

Jim said “To counter a couple of other points, firearms that are legally brought into the country ARE traceable through their importation paperwork, so that makes the registry redundant.”

So when a firearm turns up a crime scene the police must search through dealer’s files to see who legally owned the firearm? Is it the dealer’s responsibility to maintain these files? Can one trust dealers to maintain these files.
What about if a person who sells his firearms to another person where is that data maintained for that transaction? Is the seller responsible to maintain the data?

Jim said “The licencing system is more than adequate to monitor Canadian firearms owners. In fact, every firearms licence number is run through the CPIC database everyday under a system called the Continued Eligibility Program, so in essence every legal firearms owner has a background check done on them daily.”

According to what I have read, the CFRS is linked to a couple of databases. IE the FIP Firearms Information Centre. As a new violent incident is logged in FIP, the system automatically searches existing licence holders in the CFRS for a match and alerts the CFO of this development. This could result in a licence being revoked.
So what happens when there is a red flag on someone’s firearms licence?
If the person is deemed to be a threat to public safety they have their licence revoked. Once their firearms licence is revoked they must legally transfer or dispose of all of their firearms. How would the authorities know how many firearms a person owns if their firearms are not registered? What would stop the person from selling his firearms in a back alley if the firearm cannot be traced back to them? Since 2005 to 2009 8,326 firearms licences have been revoked. These people probably own more than one firearm, so that’s a lot of firearms that have to be accounted for.



Jim said “There are actually two separate components to the system...licensing and registration. Many times, this difference is overlooked or blurred by the anti gun movement.”

Talk about propaganda pieces, $2-4 billion dollars for the firearm program just to register long-guns. What’s that all about? The gun lobby doesn’t mention the real costs over a ten year period, background checks, the handgun registry, computer equipment/software, infrastructure, salaries etc. In 2006 the RCMP testified that eliminating rifle and shotgun registration would save less than $3 million dollars a year.

Luke said...

Jim said “and illegal firearms are not in the registry, so that makes it useless.”

Explain. If your saying illegal firearms smuggled into the country are not registered, well how would the authorities check if the firearm isn’t registered if there is no registry which you seem to want.
A rifle is found at a drug bust, the police check if the rifle is registered. Rifle not registered so that would mean the rifle has been smuggled? Maybe. Perhaps a different police unit could investigate the smuggling angle. So the registry is not useless.
Oh right you said the registry is useless. The Canadian Firearms Registration System is useless. “The CFRS provides administrative and enforcement support to all partners involved in the licensing of firearm owners/users, registration of all firearms, and the issuance of authorizations related to restricted firearms.”
So the fully integrated, automated information system that is used to enter, analyze, maintain and store all firearms-related information required under the Firearms Act is useless?

Jim said: “As well, I would suggest that you ask a rank and file police officer if he trusts his life to the information contained in the registry. I think you will find the resounding answer is no.”

So the rank and file police don’t use the CFRO? Or do they?
Daily Queries to the CFRO for 2008: For Serial # 202 hits
Licence# 141 hits, certificate# 19, individual names- 6440 hits.


Maybe, if there was not so much misunderstanding on registering or renewing firearms licences brought on by numerous amnesties then the CFRS would be more dependable.

Renewal Statistics for Licence Holders who have Registered Firearms
24,234 people did not renew their licence in 2005
58,463 people did not renew their licence in 2006
55,829 people did not renew their licence in 2007
66,006 people did not renew their licence in 2008

It seems with the current government’s lack of focus on gun control some people are not renewing their firearm licence. Granted a person may have renewed their licence in the next year, or they may have legally disposed of their firearms and a firearm licence was no longer required.
I would guess that there are a lot of people who own firearms and don’t have a valid firearms licence and our government is doing squat.