The Gun Control Lobby is working hard to convince the public and our MPs that gun control is a gendered issue, in particular, a women’s issue. They’re right, but not in the way they would have us believe.
Their angle is that abusive men use firearms to intimidate, threaten and harm women. While this is true in some cases, it still doesn’t make sense to focus on the gun rather than on the person who is wielding it. Take away the gun and the abuser will use a knife. Take away the knife and the abuser will use their fists. The key is to stop the abuse, not to regulate objects that an abuser may or may not use.
This is where the long gun registry becomes a women’s issue. By taking away money from programs that could actually help victims of abuse, gun control activists are ensuring that the abuse will continue.
Estimates vary regarding how much money will be saved by scrapping the long gun registry – most are in the neighbourhood of $3-11 million per year. However, those estimates don’t take into consideration the hidden costs of the registry. Things like law enforcement, court fees, and endless mountains of paperwork to name but a few.
Looking at law enforcement alone, let’s do a quick run through the numbers. Taking the RCMP numbers at face value, the registry is accessed 3.4 million times per year. Assuming each “hit” takes five minutes that works out to 283,333 police hours per year. At an average work year of 2000 hours per officer that means that 141 police officers do nothing but registry checks each year.
If that wasn’t bad enough, how about we take it a step further? Let’s take an average salary of $70,000 per year, plus an additional $30,000 in benefits, giving us an approximate value of $100,000 per officer per year (not taking operating expenses into account). That’s a total of $14.1 million per year spent, or 141 officers off the streets, without solving or preventing a single crime.
Even with my very low estimates, if you add those numbers up we could save $17-25 million in tax dollars per year!!!!!
Now, let’s go back to the issue of abuse: there are approximately 10,700 beds in 569 women’s shelters, nationwide. Those beds accommodate well over 100,000 abused women and children each year. The money saved from scrapping the registry could fund an additional 550-830 new shelter beds across the country. [Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2009]
The money doesn’t have to go towards shelters though. Imagine what $17-25 million could do in public awareness or education campaigns to teach young women how to avoid abusive relationships, or what their options are if they are in one. Imagine what $17-25 million could do for mental health programs that help treat and prevent abusive behaviour.
Over the last fifteen years, hundred of millions of dollars have been funneled into the firearms registry. According to the Auditor General’s Reports in 2002 and 2006, large sums of that money are still unaccounted for. What have our tax dollars purchased? The registry didn’t stop the Dawson College shooting. It did nothing to save Jane Creba. Nor did it prevent the murder of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. There has been no impact on the spousal homicide rates either. Those have been falling steadily since the 1970s – long before the registry was ever considered.
Organizations like the Coalition for Gun Control (CGC) thrive on women as victims. In fact, they need victims to support their cause. They manipulate victimized women and their grieving families, convincing them that they or their loved ones would have been safe if not for the presence of those “evil” guns. They know there are no facts to support their claims, so they parade these unfortunate people in front of the media in a blatant attempt to influence public opinion with emotion instead.
With the help of many of the organizations that make up the Gun Control Lobby, we have been trained to expect women to be abused. We have been urged to believe that there is no way to foresee this abuse, prevent it or stop it, even though there are several identifiable risk factors. The Gun Control Lobby ignores sources like the Department of Justice or Statistics Canada, who point out that substance abuse, particularly alcohol, makes a person six times more likely to abuse their partner. They neglect to mention that common law couples are four times more likely to experience abuse than legally married couples. Instead, they loudly insist that the mere presence of a gun in the home leads to intimidation and abuse. Where are the facts backing up those claims?
For the last fifteen years, despite a complete lack of any data to support their statements, the CGC and their Gun Control Lobby cohorts have been trying to convince us that guns are the problem. Their inability to look past the object to the person who is wielding it, has caused immeasurable harm to the women they are supposedly trying to help. Fifteen years and billions of dollars could have made a huge difference in the lives of abused women across this country. If that money had gone towards even one of the issues mentioned above, countless women and children could have been helped. It’s time to stop throwing good money after bad, and direct our resources to where they are really needed.
WOMEN AND GUN CONTROL – PART 2
WOMEN AND GUN CONTROL – PART 3