Blue Line publisher hits out at gun registry straw poll

Andrew Davidson
October 01, 2010
By Andrew Davidson
Morley Lymburner doesn't sound happy. On the phone as he makes his way to Red Deer (with his wife driving), the publisher of the national law enforcement magazine Blue Line says he didn't want to break his publication's neutral position on the federal long-gun registry.

Aug 25 2010

Morley Lymburner doesn't sound happy.

On the phone as he makes his way to Red Deer (with his wife driving), the publisher of the national law enforcement magazine Blue Line says he didn't want to break his publication's neutral position on the federal long-gun registry.

But Lymburner says he felt "painted into a corner" by media reports this week about a straw poll conducted by an Edmonton police officer on the government's move to scrap the registry.

In an interview with CBC News earlier this week, Const. Randy Kuntz said 92 per cent of the 2,631 respondents to his "simple survey" on Blue Line's online forum voted in favour of scrapping the registry.

In a statement to Blue Line members, Lymburner attempts to distance his publication from the poll and says the officer is "semi-breaching the sanctity" of the private section of the forum. He adds that he doesn't support getting rid of the entire registry.

"If a house is extravagantly built the wrong way we do not put the entire house in the dumpster," Lymburner writes.

(In fairness to Kuntz, I never heard him say Blue Line was planning to write or had written an article on the poll, as Lymburner says in his statement.)

On the phone, Lymburner also makes it clear he's not supporting Canada's police chiefs on all their positions. He says he wants some kind of protocol established that would determine when dispatchers, not front-line officers, can consult the registry and pass the information on.

An officer on a stolen bicycle call "has no business checking the gun registry," he says, and insists the "worst thing" is to have officers told there are no guns registered to an individual or household because they could "let their guard down."

UPDATE: Just talked to Kuntz, who says he felt he's been saying all along that Blue Line "had no involvement in it whatsoever, other than to give me a vehicle to solicit information."

"I made it clear that this was me acting alone," he says.

Kuntz says he posted his personal email address to the online forum to give officers on both sides of the issue to have their say, but noted that many posted their feelings on the registry in subsequent discussion threads on the site.

He adds he's "one-hundred per cent certain" all the respondents are police, based on the information they willingly provided in their responses.

"I'm simply a cop who gave cops who didn't want to speak out publicly a chance to be heard," Kuntz says.

Read the full statement Lymburner put out to members, unedited, below:

Randy Kuntz went on national news to support his anti firearms registry position by pointing to me and "Blue Line Magazine". His attempt to damage the magazine's neutral position is out of line along with semi-breaching the sanctity of this section of the Forum.

So he has forced my hand to take a position on the issue:

Here it is and I have shared it with others as far as it can go:

  1. BLUE LINE MAGAZINE DID NOT PUBLISH NOR DID IT ENDEAVOUR TO WRITE A STORY ABOUT A SURVEY AS SUGGESTED BY KUNTZ. OUR POSITION HAS BEEN NEUTRAL UP TO NOW.
  2. THE PRIVATE POLICE ONLY SECTION OF THE BLUE LINE FORUM IS CLOSED AND NOT TO BE DISCUSSED PUBLICLY.
  3. THE OPINIONS FROM THE PRIVATE SECTION ARE MIXED AND INCONCLUSIVE IN THAT ONLY THOSE WITH STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT IT WOULD POST. THE POSTS WERE FROM APRIL TO MAY 2009. THERE WERE FEW POSTS BUT HE DID ASK PEOPLE WITH OPINIONS TO SEND HIM A PRIVATE MESSAGE.
  4. MEDIA AND POLITICAL HYPE IS BACKWARDS. THE REGISTRY IS ABOUT RESPONSIBLE FIREARMS OWNERSHIP NOT POLICE USE. POLICE ARE CALLED UPON TO REFER TO IT FOR MANY REASONS BUT JUST LIKE RESPONSIBLE CAR OWNERS, RESPONSIBLE BOAT OWNERS AND RESPONSIBLE HOME OWNERS HAVE A REGISTRY, FIREARMS SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENT.POLICE INTEREST IS REALLY ONLY WHEN THEY ARE STOLEN, STORED, REGISTERED OR USED IMPROPERLY.
  5. REGISTRY IS A FORM OF INSURANCE FOR OWNERS IN THAT IF THEY ARE STOLEN RECOVERY IS ENHANCED.
  6. THE MONEY HAS BEEN BLOWN (RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY) AND IF SO WE MUST SALVAGE WHAT WE CAN. IF WE NEED TO THROW OUT PORTIONS THEN DO SO. BUT NOT THE WHOLE THING. THAT WOULD NOT BE RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT. (IF A HOUSE IS EXTRAVAGANTLY BUILT THE WRONG WAY WE DO NOT PUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE IN THE DUMPSTER.)7. WE DID PUBLISH A STORY FROM THE CANADIAN FIREARMS ASSN A FEW YEARS AGO (NOT SURE RIGHT NOW BUT ABOUT 8 YEARS AGO) WHERE THEY ESPOUSED A REGISTRY OF THEIR OWN. WHY NOT HAVE GOVT AND ASSOCIATION GET TOGETHER ON THIS. I THINK THAT IS ABOUT ALL FOR NOW.

--Morley S. Lymburner Publisher Blue Line Magazine Inc.Celebrating 22 Years! www.blueline.ca

(CBC News Inside Politics Blog)

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