Gun Registry Poll in Canada

The most frustrating part of this entire long gun registry "debate" is the lack of any middle ground, as proponents and detractors distort and present one sided arguments, that can’t even entertain any evidence which doesn’t fit nicely into the preconceived bias. As a matter of fact, the long gun debate is really symptomatic of a larger commentary on how discourse seems to unfold in the modern political world.

For the life of me, I still don’t know how much this gun registry actually costs? If you’re in favour of the registry, it apparently costs next to nothing, if you’re against, it is an obscene waste of taxpayer money. For anyone trying to decipher the dueling the exaggerations, you’re left with nothing but confusion and frustration. How many times a day do police officers actually use the registry for "real" applications? Again, I haven’t the slightest and I basically give up on anyone providing a detached review of the true facts. Do police officers unanimously support the gun registry or does every single one of them hate it with a passion, can’t wait for the day that it’s gone? You’re guess is as good as mine.

There’s one more question, that thankfully is outside of the confusion- what do Canadians think of this gun registry, and do they believe it worth saving? Today, Angus Reid releases a poll, which seems to be in line with previous findings. The bottom line conclusions- Canadians don’t see much value in the registry and more of them want it scrapped then saved:
44% support scrapping the long gun registry; 35% oppose such a move

The only province where people support keeping the registry is Quebec, and by a large margin. In the rest of the country, sentiment is clearly in favour of scrapping the registry. It is worth noting, that 1 in 5 Canadians is unsure, and I suspect part of that is due to the confusing presentations criticized prior.

Maybe more troubling for those on the pro-registry side, Canadians really don’t see it as a useful tool. An embarrassing low 13% of Canadians think this registry successful in preventing crime in Canada, while 43% think it unsuccessful. A further 29% think the registry has had no effect whatsoever. The only caveat here for the anti-registry side, people believe crime is increasing, gun crime a serious issue(as outlined in this poll), so one would expect a negative response to any question on effectiveness. However, it is fair to say that Canadians don’t see this registry as a meaningful tool.

So, there you have it. I don’t have a clue what is what with this gun registry, but it would appear that once again, a sampling of opinion shows a "two solitudes" divide, but an overall negative impression of the registry and its usefulness. And, that’s the no spin reality.

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