1. Registration is Not Crime Control

1.1 Public Opinion

Firearm prohibitionists manipulate public opinion polls to insist that "...the public is on their side" and that Canadians support "tougher" gun control laws. Buckner (1994, pp.1-15), Mauser and Kopel (1992, pp.86-87), Kleck (1991, pp.359-377), and Wright, et al. (1983, pp.217-221) provide evidence that the majority of survey polls on "gun control" are so unrealiable and methodologically flawed as to be practically useless as an accurate barometer of public opinion.

Buckner's survey (1994, p.5) of students at Montreal's Concordia University found that the overwhelming majority of respondents were so uninformed on matters related to Canadian firearms law and firearm-related crime that they would have signed a petition requesting Parliament to enact laws that already existed!

"If the public is in general ill-informed about the existing laws, rules and regulations governing the ownership and use of weapons, then its opinion that the existing measures should be made tougher is rather difficult to interpret meaningfully."

Wright, et al. (1983, p.232).

"Questions about whether gun laws should be made stricter do not examine whether the respondents understand what the present laws are."

Mauser, Kopel (1992,p.86).

Buckner (1994, p.2) concludes that "gun control" is not a particularly important issue with most people. When pollsters aks, usually after a dramatic firearm-related crime, if more laws are required the majority of respondents say "yes" however, what in fact the public is saying is that they think "something" should be done about violent crime but have no strong opinions on exactly how this should be accomplished (Buckner, 1994, p.2; Kleck, 1992, p.366).

What is all too often overlooked in media reporting concerning public opinion on firearm-related issues is that, consistently, seven of every ten people in both Canada and the United States believe that gun control laws affect only law-abiding citizens and that criminals will always be able to obtain firearms (Buckner, 1994, p.13; Mauser, Margolis, 1992, p.197).

"In sum, media polls on gun control are often not scientific and should be interpreted with caution. Media polls may tend to exagerate popular support for sterner gun control measures."

Mauser, Kopel (1992, pp.86-87).