Money down the toilet?

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Added: Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:21pm
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Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor

A former editorial explored the relation between guns and violence, demonstrating that tighter regulations, like those in Canada, are at least partially responsible for the low rate of school and mass public shootings we experience compared to our southern neighbours.
According to studies referenced, between 2009 and May 21, 2018, the U.S. had 57 times (288) more school shootings than the other six G7 countries combined (Canada had two) and there have been more public mass shootings in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world (90 between 1966 and 2012, whereas Canada has had under 25 in the last 50 years). While the U.S. has 5% of the world's
population, it represents 31% of all public mass shootings.
One study found the biggest determinant of mass shootings is the availability of firearms. The U.S. has more guns than any other country in the world: nearly one for every American. And there is evidence that restricting firearms reduces mass shootings; in Australia, gun control laws and a major buy-back program launched in 1996 so far have eliminated mass shootings in a country stricken with them prior to that point.
After the Conservatives abolished the federal long gun registry in 2012, Québec began plans to establish their own system.The Firearms Registration Act came into effect January 29, 2018, coincidentally one year after the fatal Québec City mosque shooting. According to the Service d’immatriculation des armes à feu du Québec, all non-restricted firearms, which generally includes rifles and shotguns,
present in Québec must be registered. Reports estimate the new registry will cost about $20 million.
While the registry is intended to save lives and speed up crime solving by
allowing authorities to trace recovered firearms to their owners and identify if they are present in dangerous situations, many argue the system is more of a useless expense than an essential tool. It mainly tracks law-abiding gun owners and
recreational shooters and there are no convincing reports confirming it has
actually saved lives or that it is a widely used, indispensable tool for solving crimes.
There is one major problem with the registry: it only tells police who has
registered firearms and it cannot prevent illegal possession. Dangerous criminals do not generally register firearms and trusting the registry can be a danger in itself when police approach threatening situations.
With few clear results, could the funds be better used elsewhere to combat gun
violence including creating better systems for tracking violent criminals on probation or parole? Or is the answer to direct resources to mental health, poverty, counselling services, youth programming, etc. – areas that generally suffer from insufficient and reduced funding and that target the root causes of crime?
Where would it do the most good?