December 6, 1995 For Immediate Release
IF THERE WERE NO FIREARMS AT ALL, FEWER THAN 100 LIVES A YEAR WOULD BE SAVED
"Survey results show why anti-gun crowd refuse to be swayed by logic and common sense."
Ottawa - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, released a paper titled, "Gun Control -Will it Work?" sent to him by H. Taylor Buckner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology at Concordia University. "Dr. Buckner's paper helps explain why Allan Rock and his gun control advocates think the way they do," observed Breitkreuz. "People who don't agree with hunting and don't think we have a right to own firearms simply disregard common sense arguments by hunters and responsible gun owners."
Professor Buckner's gun control research divided survey respondents into two groups:
Group #1 - the 56% who agreed that Canadians have a right to own a firearm and the 51% who are in favour of hunting, and
Group #2 - the 40% of respondents who believed Canadians do not have a right to own firearms and the 43% who are opposed to hunting.
Buckner answered his own question, "Gun Control - Will it Work?", by saying it depends on whether you are in Group #1 - Right/Hunt or Group #2 - No Right/No Hunt. "Using a utilitarian point of view (Group #1 - Right/Hunt), it is hard to see how the involvement of thousands of police officers keeping track of millions of households that have informed the police they have guns, is an effective deployment of police resources. Of the eight million guns in Canada, only 1/20th of 1 percent will be misused in homicide, suicide, accidents or by being stolen in a given year. That is to say that 99.95% of the police effort will be wasted." In another part of the study, Dr. Buckner says, "Realistically, if there were no firearms at all, probably fewer than 100 lives a year would be saved."
"From the "No Right/No Hunt" (Group #2) point of view the goal of gun control is to reduce the number of firearms in the country, to reduce firearms use, and to reduce hunting. If firearms and hunting could be eliminated from Canada, even better. From this value point of view, gun control has already been extremely effective in reducing the participation of Canadians in shooting sports and hunting. Membership in shooting clubs declined by 14%. The turnout for competitions involving pistol shooting declined by 23%, rifle competitions 14%, shotgun competitions (trap and skeet) by 25%. The number of hunting licences issued declined by nearly 13%. The number of gun dealers declined by 21%. The political involvement of gun owners in the gun control debate increased by 50%," reported Professor Buckner.
Breitkreuz concluded with these observations, "Now Rock has divided the country and undermined respect for the rule of law, not because he has the support of the majority of Canadians but because he has the support of the majority of his friends in the No Right to Own Firearms/No Hunting group. Unfortunately for the Liberals and fortunately for firearm owners, it is the millions of Canadians in the Right to Own Firearms(56%)/Yes Hunting Group(51%) who will decide the outcome of the next election."
For a copy of Professor Buckner's paper please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394
Some newspaper editorials gloated after what they perceived as a victory for public safety. Others were more realistic with their opinions. For example, here is a summary of the main point made by the Saskatoon Star Phoenix editors on November 24th, "The principle article of democratic government is respect for the rule of law. It appears Justice Minister has failed in this respect. Where the relationship between government and firearms owners fell apart was over universal registration of long arms. Gun owners have failed to be persuaded of the need or efficacy of such a law, and on this point enjoyed the support of enforcement personnel, such as provincial justice ministers and police constables. As a result, the rule of law notwithstanding, there are good reasons to believe the legislation of registration will fail because of lack of compliance, lack of detection and lack of prosecution. The will appears to be lacking in all areas. As such, the new legislation takes us a step backward rather than forward."