I find the destruction of any kind of government data utterly abhorent (sic) and contrary to the concept of open government.
In response, I’m posting publicly a copy of the gun registry database I received via the Access to Information Act in 2007.
October 26, 2011
You can have my gun registry data when you pry it from my cold, dead hands
This is regarding the Canadian long gun registry.
[“Any kind of government data”, really? What if it was a registry of one of the following:
- Undercover police officers.
- Confidential informants.
- People who are racially “impure” (the “heroes” of The Turner Diaries would have found this useful).
- People who are HIV positive.
- Homosexuals and all their known lovers.
- Women who had used an abused women shelters.
- People who are Jewish/black/Christian/Islamic.
- People who had voted Conservative/Liberal/Whatever.
- People who subscribed to GayCalgary and Edmonton Magazine.
- People who have written letters to the editor opposing/supporting Health Canada.
What McGregor apparently doesn’t understand is that this registry is something that should have never been allowed to exist in the first place. There are some datasets which only use is abuse or the risk of such abuse is much greater than any benefits that might be gained. When a list is a set of people who are in the minority and who historically have been victims of oppression then extreme scrutiny must be given to the existence of such a list let alone the publication of such a list.
I will give McGregor a little bit of slack that some of his commenters don’t in that he claims his copy of the list does not have any names or addresses in it beyond the first two characters of the postal code. This helps some. But an oppressor (think of the Belgium Corporal story) could use this data to confiscate all the firearm in a particular postal code area by going door to door demanding to know who owns, for example, the Remington 700 chambered in 30.06 with serial number XXXX.
The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental natural right and for any government to keep records on the exercise of such a right is to put the right in jeopardy of infringement.
Your “cold, dead hands” McGregor? I don’t think it will go that far. I believe the threat of a prison sentence will be more than sufficient to get the data destroyed. But if not then I don’t have a problem with him dying in prison over it.—Joe]