Some Issues with the Firearms Center & Legislation
Why is it a crime not to register a single shot 22 caliber rifle? Normally, criminal law is used to protect legal interests, for example life. If it is so, the Department of Justice should think about registering all kitchen knives. In the near future, the Law Commission of Canada will publish a paper -- What is a Crime? Philosophy of law (thinking or questioning the law) helps in this debate.
Seventy-five percent of Canadians may have favoured at one time the registration of all firearms. It is ethical to now use this argument in favour of maintaining the legislation? Canadians answered surveys without knowledge of the true costs associated with this venture. Economics do play a role in making and maintaining legislation.
The criminal law affects all of us. It should be made for the citizens, not for interest groups, nor for political reasons, nor as a knee-jerk reaction to particular events, for example, the University of Montreal massacre. All Canadians realize that the present firearms legislation has serious, if not fatal, flaws. It would be particularly imprudent and unwise to leave the defence of this deplorable situation to the creator, the Department of Justice. If the Auditor General had difficulty in its investigation, all members of the House of Commons have a duty to come to the rescue and reexamine this issue. Viable options include a commission of inquiry, a special committee of the House of Commons, or an emergency debate with a free vote. Democracy may solve the dilemma. If we can not find it today, we may have to wait for the next election.
6 January 2003
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