Myths surrounding the discussion around gun control tend to focus on the problems of urban violence, gangs, and handguns. This however ignores the fact that most firearm deaths in Canada are suicides and the guns most often used are rifles and shotguns. In addition, referring to harmless “duck guns” masks the truth: if this law passes, police will no longer be able to trace non-restricted firearms including the powerful semi-automatic Ruger Mini 14 used in the Montreal Massacre and sniper rifles such as the L115A3 and the Steyr-Mannlicher HS50 which can pierce Kevlar vests and fire bullets over 2 km with great accuracy.
President of Coalition for Gun Control
May 25, 2010
Coalition for Gun Control Takes Aim at Myths About the Firearms Registry
[It may be that Cukier didn’t say those exact words. The news release is unclear about who actually wrote them. But the odds are very good she would not object to them being attributed to her.
Some of the myths she doesn’t address are those that she propagates. In just this one paragraph she does the following:
- Hints that suicide rates could be reduced if rifles and shotguns were registered. I don’t know of any data that suggests complete bans on firearms reduces suicide rates. Driving your vehicle into a concrete abutment, washing down an overdose of sleeping pills with alcohol, and using a razor blade to get an inside view of their veins always seem to be readily available substitutes for people lacking an interest in tomorrow.
- Hints there is a benefit in police tracing guns. The last time I had data on the topic (the Gun Rights Policy Conference in 2000) Canada had only solved two crimes with gun registration data after decades of handgun registration. If gun registration doesn’t help solve crimes then what is the point?
- The Ruger Mini 14 is not “powerful” compared to almost any other rifle. It shoots the intermediate (at best) .223 Remington cartridge.
- The L115A3 and Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50 are considered very powerful rifles and capable of long range accuracy but 2 km is a big stretch and can only be done when conditions are extremely favorable.
- To the best of my knowledge there have been zero crimes committed with these long range rifles let alone a preponderance of their use being criminal in nature. Without such evidence there is no rational justification for restrictions on them. Cukier is propagating a myth that there is some benefit to such restrictions.
- By saying the L115A3 and HS .50 can pierce Kevlar vests implies most other firearms cannot. This is not true. Nearly any center-fire rifle will pierce a Kevlar vest at ranges less than 200 meters and most will pierce a vest at 500 meters. Body armor for day-to-day use is intended for, and does a good job, of stopping pistol rounds. It is not intended for nor is it technologically feasible to make rifle resistant body armor that is appropriate for use in environments in anything other than battlefield environments.
Cukier apparently lives in a fairy tale land of her own making. I wouldn’t be surprised if she still believes in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and The Great Pumpkin too.–Joe]