RCMP CFP Evaluation – Part 5


Read along at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

– 36 –

Finding 4

Safety Training is believed to have resulted in safer handling, storage and use of firearms. The Program recognizes the need to continuously improve the delivery of the program through updating courses and the need to address specific concerns of the firearms community, including First Nations and Inuit populations.

“Believed” is not “proven” – if they had actual proof they would have said so.

– 37 –

A majority of interviewees perceived an improvement in the safe handling, use and storage of firearms attributable to the safety components of the CFP. From a statistical perspective, five of eight jurisdictions have reported that the rate of firearms-related unintentional deaths has declined; and five of thirteen jurisdictions reported a similar decline in firearms-related suicides.[23]

OK, the interviewees “perceived” an “improvement” – on what did they base this “perception”?

[23] With respect to findings for firearms-related unintentional deaths, owing to small sample sizes, five of the less populated jurisdictions were not able to provide statistically significant data; hence, only eight of thirteen jurisdictions were able to report.

And this goes to show what I said before – gun accidents (including accidental deaths) were so minuscule to begin with, they are hardly “statistically significant”; also, although “firearms related suicides” may be down, the total number of suicides has remained the same, and may actually be trending upwards.  Obviously, the focus here should not be on the “means”, but the “cause” of such mental states.

I think this would be a good time to “recap” the basics of this “survey”; from Appendix F, here is the list of the 5 “groups” that were interviewed:

A Senior Managers (i.e.: OIC, CFO, Senior Partners)

B Managers (i.e.: Processing Center): Processing Centre; CFO’s office

C Government Agencies (Police Justice): Police; Government Agencies; Advisory Committee; Safety Instructors; Firearms Officers; Conservation/ Game Officers; Crown; NWEST; Guns & Gangs

D Special Interest: Gun Clubs/ Ranges, Owners; Businesses; Aboriginal; Health; Victims Groups; Education

E Frontline Staff

So, out of all of these “stakeholders”, only those in Groups “C” and “D” have any actual gun owners in them – and even then it’s not clear if these are individual gun owners off the street, or if they are confined to the owners of clubs, ranges and businesses.

Here’s the question they asked, and the results:

(all) 3. Does CFP safety training, contribute to the safe handling, use and storage of firearms?

Using a ten point scale, with 1 representing poor and 10 representing excellent, how would you rate the CFPs safety training, for contributing to the safe handling, use and storage of firearms?

Score……………………..1 to 4   5 & 6   7 to 10

Govt agencies;police…. .3%       6%      90%

Special interest…………..5%      15%     80%

But this is difficult to explain – the only ones who have to take the safety training course are those who opted for the Possession and Acquisition License (800,000); those who opted for the Possession Only License (1 M) were not required to take the course.  So if there is an improvement in “safety”, how can it be attributable to said “training”, when over half of licensed gun owners never took the course?

What would be more indicative would be a study of how many gun accidents there were, and what kind of license the victims had.  This study provides no such information.

And again, if “safety” were the intended objective, why aren’t they requiring age-appropriate safe handling and shooting training in our schools?  Also note that none of these safety courses actually involve any kind of shooting proficiency.

And this only covers licensed individuals – it doesn’t even touch on the kind of ‘safety record” of illegal gun owners…

And said training does not need to be tied to licensing.

Again, they try to fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with…

Interviewees from all of the categories – from CFP officials, to Police Officers, to Firearms Instructors and Gun Club Owners – commented on the ongoing need for, and benefits of, the safety training aspects of the program.

Then why isn’t there any move towards implementing age-appropriate firearms safety and shooting training in our schools?

As a police officer in New Brunswick stated, “ …[just] like for a drivers license, you should have appropriate training before receipt of a license.” This comment reflects, broadly, the overall attitude among those who come into contact with firearms: that personal responsibility for the safe use and handling of firearms rests with individuals; and, public safety is promoted when individuals are trained to properly use and store their firearms.

But, as I said before, the firearms safety courses do NOT involve ANY actual firearms shooting safety training!  A driver’s license test requires that you actually drive a car.  Not to mention that the whole car/gun analogy fails on all counts…

– 38 –

Recommendation 5:

That a process of quality control or auditing be developed to ensure consistent, quality delivery of the safety training courses across the country.

Safety course instructors who were interviewed stated that there are a variety of modifications that could be made to the delivery and/or the content of the safety training courses. Offering recommendations to improve the delivery or content of these courses fell outside of the scope of this evaluation; however, an annex has been included with this study to provide this unsolicited – yet extremely valuable – advice generously supplied with the earnest intention of promoting a safety training program of the highest possible quality.

An anylysis of this information will have to wait for another day…

  1. colinpark

    To be fair some rural schools teach the CORE program as part of their curriculum. I know my cousin who taught in a one room school in Big Lake BC had them run the course for the older students that wanted it.

  2. colinpark

    I got the impression they didn’t talk about it with their Urban brethern in case it caused them faint and adopt stupid policies.

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