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Troubling: The Obamacare/Gun Control CGI Group Connection

Since the present administration has been in office, the one policy goal above all others is now known as ObamaCare.  The other policy that they are just as deeply passionate about is gun control.  Would it surprise you to learn that there is at least one place these two passions intersect?  An intersection that, if the public had known about it sooner, may have been a serious impediment to the passing of the Obamacare train wreck?

It seems a good time to raise this issue, since both of these topics, Gun control, (because of the Sandy Hook anniversary) and Obamacare (because of its disastrous implementation), are top-of-mind news items right now, and lobbyists are working overtime to leverage support for both causes.

The Canadian company that so famously mismanaged the Obamacare website (CGI Group) has had other spectacular failures before it.  Had I realized who was running this circus, I’d have gladly warned you sooner.  Yet, though you may think the damage is done, you might want to call your elected officials, and demand that it be scuttled entirely.  Why?  If history is any tutor, the price you’ve paid so far is merely the beginning..

Let’s start at the beginning.  In 1989, long before Sandy Hook, and even before Columbine, there was École Polytechnique.  What’s that?  It was a massacre in a Montreal technical school where, twenty eight young women were shot (fourteen fatally) before the killer turned the gun on himself.  (Among other things, if you read the story, it was a tragic failure of male courage and chivalry.)  The gun used (a Ruger Mini-14) had been legally obtained, and led to a national debate on gun ownership.

Despite the fact that background checks already existed for the purchase of firearms, the government of the day decided that in addition to the registration all handguns are already subject to, a law would be enacted to require all long guns of any sort or age, (even ancient collector’s pieces) to be registered in a national police database.

Because it was viewed as heavy-handed, intrusive, wasteful and burdensome on lawful gun owners — potentially creating criminals of honest farmers unwilling to comply — there was backlash against the law, and those who proposed it.  The urban voting districts supported it, but the rural ones were apoplectic.

What was promised?  We were promised that the Long Gun Registry would be a simple process, just a database to provide a tool for police officers in the execution of their duties. It wouldn’t be all that expensive, either.  Or at least, that was the Big Lie.

That simple process kept getting bigger, and more expensive.  The original projection of $2 Million per year was promised in 1993.  By 2011, the actual annual cost had ballooned to $66.4 Million.  In fact, the total cost from its 1995 launch until it was mothballed in 2012, exceeded $2.7 Billion.

(Remember… this is the company that set up your Obamacare.)

For that kind of money, there must have been something to show for it, right?

Some people thought so… every big program has its proponents.  But here are some significant facts:

While the numbers are disputed (gun control advocates suggesting wildly compliant numbers, and gun ownership groups suggesting equally high non-compliant numbers) a middle-of-the-road estimate suggested that no more than half of long guns were included in the registry.

Has this registry contributed meaningfully to the safety of either the general public, or that of police officers?  No.  There has not been a single instance in which the long gun registry has lead to the identification of a murderer.  

Quoting the Left-leaning Globe and Mail:

Is it vital to public safety? The registry did not stop James Roszko of Alberta from killing four Mounties in 2005, with his arsenal of three unregistered guns and one registered (but not to him) gun. It did not stop Kimveer Gill of Montreal from his deadly rampage at Dawson College in 2006. […] And it does not stop drug gangs in urban Canada from obtaining and using their weapons of choice – the vast majority not registered.

How about security of private information?  What’s their track record there?  Government webmaster John Hicks reported breaking into the website in less than 30 minutes, and expressed concern that anyone with a home computer could have done so.  He claimed that anyone could have accessed names, addresses and specific details of the guns owned by a particular person.

For all their errors, at least they weren’t foolish enough to provide the tax man with direct access to anyone’s personal banking account, right?  I mean, really, who would actually do that?  Riiiiiight.  Sorry — touchy subject.

Canadians eventually got sick of this white elephant, and scrapped it altogether.  But that wasn’t the only shoddy project of CGI’s that was scrapped.  

Obamacare is not their first Health Care related failure.  They had a role in the spectacular failure called “eHealth”.  They were awarded a $46M contract to provide (you guessed it) a registry!  This one was for Diabetes.  It was supposed to be a “portal”, offering important aids and solutions to people suffering from Diabetes.  In 2012 that contract was cancelled, and among the reasons given was that “CGI had regularly missed development deadlines”.  (Sounding familiar?)

Do yourself a favour.  Shut it down, ASAP.  ANY solution is better than something with these people’s fingerprints on it.

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Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck