"A one-stop e-shop for gun thieves" Lorne Gunter op-ed

If I can find the link, I will put it up. This is a nice op-ed by Lorne.

PUBLICATION: National Post
DATE: 2006.03.20
EDITION: National
SECTION: Editorials
COLUMN: Lorne Gunter
BYLINE: Lorne Gunter
SOURCE: National Post
NOTE: lgunter@telus.net


A one-stop e-shop for gun thieves


The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters set off a minor firestorm two weeks ago when it released an advance copy of its April newsletter, Hotline. The issue contains an interview with John Hicks, former Webmaster for the Canadian Firearms Centre (CFC), who contends that anyone with a home computer, an Internet connection and a little patience can hack into the national firearms database and find out who owns guns, where they live and what makes and models they possess.

Sort of a one-stop-shopping service for criminals.

To Hicks and other critics, the CFC counters that its computers are as secure as the RCMP's.

But after months of freedom-of-information requests from Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz, the Mounties were forced last year to admit they haven't got up-to-date statistics in this area. Their most recent numbers show 306 illegal breaches of the national police database between 1995 and 2003, 121 of which were unsolved at last report. . . .

Since last fall, there have been half a dozen high-profile gun thefts from shops and collectors' homes in southern Ontario, and unconfirmed reports of nearly 20 more in and around Edmonton.

While there is no proof of a connection between the CFC's hackable computers and these break-ins, it's not hard to imagine that after Ottawa spent billions compiling information on millions of guns in a single database, thieves found it convenient to penetrate the firewall and compile a wish list.

So far, computers have been the largest single known cost of the federal gun-control scheme. (I say "known," because even after eight years, the government still refuses to release any information on enforcement costs.)

Ottawa has already spent or announced spending of $527-million on firearms computers -- or more precisely, on computer failures. There have been 133 computer contracts or amendments made in the last decade to five different companies.

Despite this massive expenditure, no company has been able to make the system work right. . . .

Rather than making Canada safer by letting police know where most of the guns are, the registry may be making the country more dangerous by letting criminals know, instead. Your tax dollars at work.


Blogger Ryan said...

I think this is one of the most persuasive argument against national registry. No matter how the data is stored it will get into the wrong hands.

3/20/2006 2:16 PM  

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