Sunday, January 20, 2008

Time To Deal With Reality, Not Lobbyists

Last week was not a good one in Toronto. For the second time, in one week, an innocent man was caught in the middle of gunfire in the city.

While overall I would still consider this city to be safe based on stat's, it's disconcerting that innocents are being caught in the middle of a problem that has not been dealt with as it could be.

Two years ago, Stockwell Day said he would increase police in this country by 2500, designating 1000 to Toronto. As with everything this government says, it has not happened. They, the Con's, are full of rhetoric and big on swagger but in the end they do very little.

Of course one of the first things that Day had to say about this issue was:

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has rebuffed calls for a ban on handguns, insisting tougher jail terms, more police and strict border security will win the war against gun violence in Canada's cities.

Nobody is suggesting that those efforts shouldn't be employed but to suggest that a ban would have no effect is to live in a very small box with lobbyists and the dearly devoted to Harper sleeping beside you.

O'Keefe was shot by a legal gun owner. Over 5000 guns are stolen from legal gun owners each year in Canada. In fact, the Toronto Police Chief has said that 52% of guns used in crime are smuggled in and that the remaining 48% come from Canada.

26% not registered
35% stolen
36% unknown
06% too old to trace

So, over 1/3 of guns used in crimes are stolen from legal gun owners. 26% think they are above the law and I suspect the bulk of the unknown 36% are also stolen from other legal gun owners but those who breached the rule of the law on how to keep them and therefore they did not report them stolen. Even if you dismiss that concept, 35% of our problem lies with legally owned guns. Hello?

Who needs a gun? Target shooters? My honest reaction is, tough! Get over it and get another hobby. Failing that, house the guns where you target shoot.

Oh I know, the lobbyists will tell you that you will create a repository prime for thieves by doing that, but that is absolute BS. It's 2008 people. We have the technology to protect these environments 24/7. Does it cost money? Of course, but that is not gun lovers argument. No, their argument is they have the right to own a gun.

It is time to tell them they don't.

Oh I know some right wing smart ass will bring up the Olympics but to them I say, same deal. Keep them locked up in one place.

This is crazy people. No one and I mean no one needs a gun in this country or any other. It's time we put our foot down and tell government that this is how we feel. Odd, the Con's are very keen on polling but have never polled on this issue. That would be telling, no?

They, the current government, are cowards as it relates to guns. They do not have the courage to stand up to the Gun Lobby nor could they afford to tick off their base. I've not heard one argument that doesn't support either of those groups.

Say what you will about Martin and yes it was political, but he at least took them on and said he would ban them. It's time for Canada to bring some sense to this argument.

To those who insist on focusing on smuggled guns, don't you think that some sort of technology could be inserted as they are manufactured that would detect them quickly as they are attempting to cross our border? Good grief, we have RFID in our credit cards, employee cards and many other forms of ID. That's almost simplistic in today's world. We have GPS tracking. Couldn't that be used from inception to use? Of course we could implement these things and many others but the US won't allow that will they? No, they believe as many here do, that they have a right to own a gun.

It is time that the Libertarian wing of the right was shut down. They serve no purpose in this current context. Ayn Rand is dead and you misquote her often and lean on her work like a religion.

2008 deserves a new head shake. One that will awake to the reality we face. Our current government is firmly footed in the past. It's time to stop day dreaming and musing about the world as it is not.

Banning anything is unpalatable, but it's time to down the medicine.


Anonymous said...

A handgun ban it does not work. There is a lot of criminal activity that goes on,on the internet. Do you want to ban that to? We have drugs that are banned in this country,but they seem to get threw our boarders with ease whether from our ports,airports etc etc. I'm not saying that we should make illegal drugs legal. In the U.K they banned handguns just take a look how that has worked here and here. My point is we cannot ban something just because you may not find useful or because certain segments of our society use to do harm. To do what you are saying is to give victory to the criminal element,because they will still have the banned weapons but the law biting citizen won't. I have said it before that I don't like guns but I will not force my believes on someone because he/she likes to use it as target practice.

You can bring up that guns are stolen this and that. Its like I have said before if these criminals want to have handguns they can always get it. We can in this country go to most street corners and get illegal drugs.The last time I looked illegal drugs are banned. I suggests that you take a look at the links and use the internet to listen to radio stations in the U.K.and you will see how well the handgun ban is really working.

P.S. I know that the links date from 2001. It is late and I wasn't about to read every single article.

I thought you were for individual freedom.

Gayle said...

johnny, in your attempt to paint KNB as being contradictory, you actually come across that way.

We do ban drugs in this country, to no real effect (as you have pointed out). Following your logic, there is either no need to ban anything, or we should ban everything we believe is harmful.

There is a big difference between durgs and guns of course, since one is used by an individual (generally to their own detriment), and the other is a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill human beings.

I recognize that drug addiction is a huge problem for our society (as is alcohol addiction), but banning drugs actually cause more violence than if they were legalized. our gang problems, with their attendant problems with violence, would be neutralized if we took away their main source of income. That would mean a reduction in gun crime, by the way.

As for guns, I wonder if you can find us the statistics on the number of people who have successfully defended themselves with handguns. There is a reason gun crimes are so high in the US - it is because they have guns. In Canada most convenience store robberies are comitted with knives. In the US guns are used for the simple fact that the robbers know the person behind the counter is probably armed with a gun.

Canada needs to lobby the US to ban handguns. I am sick of hearing about how marihuana is being sent from Canada to the US, when handguns are being smuggled the other way. If handguns were banned in both countries the market would dry up. Fewer would be made and therefore fewer would be available.

It is time for Canada to take a firm stand. Pressure must be brought to bear on the US.

Not to mention the fact that higher sentences have been proven to be ineffective in fighting crime, and are a lot more expensive (and dangerous) than simply banning handguns.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the joys of hunting as a right - the joy and thrill of killing animals for fun and sport -how delightful.

Don't forget about freedoms - why stop at owning a gun - why stop there - why not make murdering and killing a freedom and have the guns as an accessary? I don't understand this Texas mentality at all.

Ryan said...

Yeah, it's impossible to ban handguns when your neighbour keeps flooding them into your country. Most crimes are committed with illegal ones, anyway. Not that I don't agree with it on principle--I don't consider owning a gun an "individual freedom." Conservatives used to be for the public good, and this is a public good issue. Oddly enough, most Conservatives seem to be cool with the fact that in many states all you need is a drivers license to buy a handgun.

The problem is, as John also mentioned when it comes to drugs, our neighbor, the USA. For some reason, Canada is supposed to clamp down on "terrorists" and our entry into America is limited thanks to 9-11. No doubt, John, along with many other conservatives, probably see Canada as a haven for terrorism. I think there is much more real terrorism that is perpetrated against Canada through the importation of arms and drugs (even with America's war on drugs!), as well as inside the USA's borders thanks to guns. The problem lies with big brother, ands we need someone in government to come out and say it.

Jay said...

So with your logic Right is where its at we should allow grenades, rocket launchers and the sort because they don't kill people. People do! very comforting.

Did you also think about how a gun could be used other then for murder? When I was 10 I was sexually abused at gun point. Had there been no gun I would have screamed, kicked, or ran. Unfortunately I was told to put up with it or else. And if I spoke about it to anyone, he had a gun and knew where I lived just 6 houses down from him.

The stance you take on this issue is reprehensible, dangerous, and very self serving. Hiding behind the excuse guns don't kill, people do is quite cowardly as this excuse can be applied to anything anyone has that we view as illegal or unacceptable currently.

Anonymous said...

First has anyone read the links I provided? I do not think so.


I know that guns were invented to kill humans.Who are doing the killings? Criminals are!

Does anyone think that they will not still get them even if they were banned?

Has to defending yourselves you're simply missing the point here. Usually people who do this is not the first time. Why not put them in prison for the rest of their lives? How about that as a solution?

"It is time for Canada to take a firm stand. Pressure must be brought to bear on the US."

I presume you mean ban. It cannot be done not when the U.S.constitution says "the right to bear arms." Take a look it is Amendment II.

"Not to mention the fact that higher sentences have been proven to be ineffective in fighting crime, and are a lot more expensive (and dangerous) than simply banning handguns."

It would cost a heck of a lot more to try to ban guns. We share a boarder with the U.S. from here to eternity.

Anon post 9:50 am

"Don't forget about freedoms - why stop at owning a gun - why stop there - why not make murdering and killing a freedom and have the guns as an accessary? I don't understand this Texas mentality at all."

I will not even dignify this with an answer. It is so stupid and immature of you to say this nonsense.

Banning will not work read the links the UK has banned handguns and it doesn't "work."

Anonymous said...

People can we be a little bit serious? And stop making stupid comments like Jay just did.

Jay said...

Whats silly about being sexually abused with a gun in your face?

Calling me a liar? Or is it silly because you can't respond?

There is nothing silly about child sexual abuse. You are obviously more obnoxious than I thought.

Strange how conservatives always try to discredit REAL stories and prefer to stick with the hypothetical. Its the only way their ideology works apparently.

Watch your next comment Rightie or it may just come of as sounding you could care less about child victims of abuse.

Anonymous said...

Look Jay I never said that being sexually abused is silly. Or that you are a Liar. It is just that your comment is so stupid. Any clear thinking person reading your post 10:39 am would see it for what it is.

Jay said...

And what is that? That a gun was used as a way of shutting someone up so they could be taken advantage of? I fail to see what you find humourous/stupid in that.

Please explain yourself more fully.

What exactly is stupid without referring to what hypothetical people would hypothetically think should they hypothetically read this post.

What do YOU find stupid about it?

knb said...

John while your 2001 articles support your point a more contemporary view is far more valid:

Facts & figures
- The number of overall offences involving firearms fell by 13% in 2006/07 compared to the previous year.

- This was the first time the number of firearms offences fell since 1997.
Firearms were used in 58 homicides , compared to 49 in 2005/06 - a drop of 18%.

- The number of armed robberies involving guns dropped by 4%
13% fewer gun offences resulted in serious injuries in 2006/07 than in 2005/06
(Source: Crime in England and Wales 2006/07)

Note, point number 2 has the numbers reversed.

As for individual freedoms, I do not consider the right to own a gun a basic right or freedom.

A ban is not the only solution, nor are higher sentences but they are pieces of the same puzzle.

Gayle is quite right when she refers to how many crimes are committed in the US with guns. That stat is due to the availability of guns.

No one in this country outside of law enforcement needs a gun, period.

knb said...

Ryan, it's not the whole solution but it can't hurt.

knb said...

For the record I do not find jay's comment stupid. He is making the point that for the public good, some items should be restricted.

Guns imo should be on that list.

He also expands the argument to include uses for guns that fall outside the obvious.

knb said...

Anon, I have a problem with hunting too, but I won't go there except to say that I think he registry should be maintained.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Karen I hope you don't mind calling you Karen.:-) Overall I disagree with your statement on handgun ban.But for the record I never said to own a handgun is a right. Maybe I should have used the word "privilege" in stead of "individual freedom."

ottlib said...

I have been very busy these days so I have not had as much time to blog but I still had to put my two cents into this conversation. :)

In and of itself I have doubts about the efficacy of a ban on handguns. I believe it could be effective in the context of a broader package of measures to reduce gun violence that includes the ban, enforcement measures and programs that promote the reduction of violence. What those programs are I do not know but surely this country has some really smart people who could think of some and not just copy the failed practices of the Americans.

History has demonstrated that outright bans do not really work and often have the opposite effect. Witness prohibition and the War on Drugs.

So, when I hear politicians spout off about banning handguns without any real plan to deal with some of the root causes of the violence I just cannot agree with it. Which is not to say I am against a handgun ban on principle.

I find in that situation it is just crass politics where politicians are just playing on the people's fears. I cannot stand it when the likes of George Bush and Stephen Harper use such strategies and I do not like it any more when progressive politicians do it.

knb said...

We're on the same page ottlib. Any policy would have to be multi-faceted.

In general, I'm not for bans but in this case I just do not see how it could hurt. Well except of course some of Harper's base.