The Liberals unwillingness to move past the tentative talking point about the gun registry being accessed x number of times every day has hurt them.
They would be in lot stronger position had they admitted the obvious. Namely, Gary Breitkreuz is right. The gun registry is, first and foremost a tool for seizing guns from people. What Breitkreuz gets wrong, and what the Liberals should gleefully point out, is that there have been thousands of "Canadian farmers, duck hunters", who acquired a criminal record over the last 12 years and given the huge number of gun owners, one can safely say that over the next 12 years there will be thousands more. Abolishing the "long gun registry" would make it easier for some criminals to keep their guns.
Of course, there is no reason to stop there. One of the main Conservative talking points is the following. "We know full well that criminals don't register their guns and that's what makes the long gun registry wasteful and ineffective," Now it is not so much that criminals do not register their guns and they can not register their guns. Semantics aside though, this talking point does not make much sense. Car thieves can not register their ill gotten goods with an auto insurer either, but I do see anyone giving this as a reason for not having to register cars. To make matters worse, it nearly impossible for the Conservatives to on the one hand throw their support behind registering hand guns and on the other hand demand that long guns no longer be registered. After all, the reason they give for the latter is that criminals do not register their guns period. The Conservatives can not have their cake and eat it too.