Registration, please…

I’d like to share a personal memory about the need for registration of guns (below), but first…

Over the last few weeks, we have seen the latest round of debate over the gun registry develop and diversify.  There are upcoming votes of various sorts (on Parliament Hill, of course, plus one at the Region).  In a follow up to tonight’s Waterloo City Council proceedings, Jeff Outhit’s online Record article states:

“The issue is not under the purview of this council,” Coun. Mark Whaley said in an interview. “It’s a federal matter.”

…and Jeff wraps up with this:

Council took no action after hearing delegates express their views.

Is is just me, or does “Council took no action” hardly seem like success?  The message needs to be clear.  One person who deserves kudos for a clear and articulate message is Police Chief Torigian himself, with a great op-ed piece on September 4th.  He does readers a service by shedding light on the need to get past partisanship and provide officers with the resources they need to save lives.

For a nice overview of some of the noteworthy political mechanics around the issue, check out Geoffrey Stevens’ piece from this past weekend.

So, a few years ago, I had just spent a few weeks in a new apartment when there was a knock on my door.  I opened it to find my property manager and a police officer advising me that there was “a situation in the street” and that I should remain in my apartment.  Sure enough, I heard officers closing the street to pedestrians.  Later that evening, I watched coverage of the event on CKCO (always odd to see your own street on the news).

According to the news report, police had been responding to a call when they were able to determine that registered guns were present in the household, and they decided to play it safe.  This information allowed them to protect the lives of many neighbours until things were resolved well over an hour later.  People in the area were able to be informed and removed from potential harm, including the elementary school students in class nearby.

Why on Earth would we take a program that cost so much (yes, perhaps too much) to initiate, and which provides the potential to save so many lives, and throw it all away?

Some highlights from a package assembled by Andrew Telegdi for his delegation to Waterloo Region Council on the matter, set for Wednesday September 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at 150 Frederick:

  • Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council calls for decisions based on evidence [they shouldn't have to ask]
  • Canadian Association of Police Boards’ open letter to MPs notes concern over “ideological attack” on gun control, and the manipulation of public opinion with falsehoods taken as fact.
  • Representatives of major associations in the health professional community showcase important statistics and facts highlighting the reality of gun deaths in our communities [prescription: know the facts]
  • More stories of prevention and investigative value offered by the registry.
  • Let’s hope that Waterloo Region Council declares support for the gun registry and its role in protecting our neighbours.  Let’s hope that the reason the federal government is using a private member’s bill is because they know it will fail.  Let’s hope it does.  Let’s hope our local MPs put partisanship aside and vote against the bill.