Sunday, October 03, 2010

Quebec Police: "The Registry Helped Us"

If I was to jump in front of you to take a bullet, it would be hard to say that I saved your life; afterall the bullet may have only gone on to cause a flesh wound or it might have even completely missed. There are situations however where it is more likely lives were saved from the actions we took, and saving the long gun registry was one of them.

On Friday night Quebec Police used the registry to determine that guns were in the residence of David Abitbol, a 28-year-old man who had online uttered death threats against former teachers and classmates. The Police went into his and his parents' home to find the five weapons improperly stored along with boxes of ammunition. Speaking about this most recent example where the gun registry was used Sgt. Richard Gagné said, “I know some people want to eliminate it, but the registry helped us.”

David Abitbol acknowledges making the threats on Facebook but he claims they were not serious. Because police made the raid and stopped any possible plans from happening, it's difficult to say whether Abitol was just joking or not. However considering the situation, Abitol lives with his parents, is single, plays video games constantly, has a gun obsession, and had just recently made death threats, it seems there was a high probability tragedy was pending. Any disaster was diverted though thanks to a tip to the police, the quick response from the Quebec Police department, and the often impugned gun registry.

In this recent example can I say the gun registry saved lives? No, not with certainty, but I can say there was a good chance it did. And in the end I'm thankful for it just as I would be thankful for someone jumping in front of a bullet that only had a good chance of hitting me.


ridenrain said...

The registry didn't seem to help with the shooting in Central Technical School . That illegal handgun and the shooter are still on the loose. said...

You're right Ridenrain, and the Police didn't stop that shooting either. That must mean we should get rid of them.

ridenrain said...

Get rid of the police? I thought they were the left's BFFs.

The purpose of the registry is to identify who owns guns so they can be confiscated. When the police are already determined to confiscate, all they need is an excuse and no storage methods would ever be sufficient. I seriously question if these people will ever get back their legal property either.

All these vital resources are not available to hunt for the school shooter and his illegal handgun. This is the result of a ideological answer to a problem.

Ted Betts said...

Crime is not going to disappear because of the long gun registry. But it is information that assists the police in both approaching a scene (like knowing the criminal history of someone they are investigating) and in pursuing a crime (like fingerprints). And at such a low cost, I think it is money well spent.

But Ridenrain proposes to go even further than Harper and the Conservatives and get rid of the handgun registry. Even the Harper Conservatives, as extremely ideological as they are, are not that extreme.

Interestingly, also published on the blogs today, a snippet of Harper's thoughts when he was writing policy:

"...the cost of licensing must be borne primarily by firearms users themselves. Those who are not gun owners should not be forced or even asked to subsidized those who do exercise this freedom."

"There must be higher priority on the right of Canadians to public safety than on the right to own and use firearms."

lance said...

Logical fallacy TSR.

The gun registry is supposed to address gun crime and specifically eliminate violent gun crime. It failed in the case ridenrain brought up and arguably hasn't failed to address the majority of gun crime.

The purpose of the police is to address all crime. They are very successful at the majority of cases.

One has a history of failure, the other a history of success.

The Rat said...

So if the registry wasn't there the police wouldn't have searched his house? If the registry wasn't there they wouldn't have known that the suspect had a gun licence? Did the police stop searching as soon as they found the five registered guns? The answer to every question is "no". Face it, the registry is only useful for future confiscations from legal gun owners. Otherwise every single "benefit" of the registry is also a benefit of licensing.

To use the favoured car analogy, just because someone has one registered car we wouldn't assume they haven't borrowed one, would we? said...

Lance, the gun registry was never meant to eliminate gun violence, no one expected it to be a miracle cure. The gun registry is only to help the police in knowing whether there are guns in a house they'll be rushing into.

The Rat, the police said it helped them. But you're probably right, I'm sure the police lied, afterall they put their lives on the line saving lives while you're an anonymous commenter.

Ted Betts said...

The registry is only there so those mean old men and women in uniform can confiscate guns, eh?

And yet for some odd reason, after nearly 80 years of the registry we haven't become a police state. Go figure.

If the registry says he has 4 guns you know two things right away: (1) it's a strong indication he's got some violent tendencies in his personality, and (2) if you only find 3, you need to keep looking. You may not think that is valuable information and that police are lying about that being useful, but I think most people, most non-partisans would agree that at the very least there is some value in that and the police are not lying.

I, for one, don't think our men and women are lying, corrupt, sel-serving idiots the way Conservatives seem to. It is shameful the way they feel the need to attack and besmirch and even slander those who risk their lives so they can continue to sit on their tushes behind their desks sucking on the government teat ... in peace... while they attack and besmirch and even slander our cops.

Ted Betts said...

"The gun registry is only to help the police in knowing whether there are guns in a house they'll be rushing into."

Actually, Scott, according to the cops, it is used in a number of other ways too. If there is a domestic abuse or suicidal person, they will always check to make sure they are aware of the potentials. They also use it to test the honesty of persons of interest (any guns in the house, sir?). More often than that, they also use it in solving crimes after the fact like a fingerprint (eg. a gun is stolen and then used in a crime. The registration links the two crimes giving cops two crime scenes full of potential evidence in building a case.).

That is what is so insulting and arrogant about the Conservative's position. Not just accusing our men and women in uniform of being self-serving liars, but of claiming it has "no use". A reasonable objective person might argue that the many uses are minimal and do not justify the expense; only an unreasonable hyper-partisan claims it has no use and the cops are lying.