Operating hypothesis: gun registration is such an issue because it is about the symbolism of freedom verses safety.
Israel, as well as various other modern democratic nations, turns all of its adult (some of these countries, just male) citizens into deadly weapons with mandatory military training. Wouldn't this be fairly close to just giving every citizen a gun? Sure, Israelis know how to march and are, thus, generally in better shape than Canadians, but is this training ever considered to be a potential breach of national security? No, it is considered to be quite the opposite. So what's the difference with guns? Don't they improve national security? Well, there are some differences, but they are still comparable. I would imagine that someone with military training is made able to kill someone like me with his or her bare hands. I hope that he or she never decide to try it - but you know people, mistakes and anger happen. Should people who are able to kill me with their bare hands be made to register themselves? And I'm no wimp: I'm over 200 lbs of manly goodness and power. Someone who might not be able to kill me with his bare hands might still be able to kill my 90 lbs friend down the road.
But let's get serious here. No one considers hunting rifles weapons of crime, just like they don't consider compound bows weapons of crime. Clearly, they could be used to commit crimes. They would be little match for a police man's sidearm, but they are still able to kill people. So is the knife I use to cut rhubarb and grilled cheese sandwiches, as is the chisel I use to clean up wood joints, etc. What .22 hunting rifles and AK47s have in common is a name only. If weapon control is about giving police an advantage over criminals, then one might wonder how restricting .22s in any way contributes to that. If it's about making it more difficult for terrible slaughters like that in Montreal in 1989 or Columbine to occur, again, rifles as a whole seem no more relevant to this than knives. I bet more people were murdered with knives than with hunting rifles. I bet astronomically more were.
Guns are neat. I've only discovered that recently.
Why not just have people in Toronto and Vancouver register their weaponry and leave the rural hunters alone? Think about it. Suddenly it seems really silly to think that if this were the law the criminals in those cities would rush to register their weapons. People who don't want to break the law are the ones who got their firearms registered. Robbers and murderers and drug dealers are not included in this group.