Thursday, December 08, 2005

Just Shoot Me

(Warning: I know this is going to generate 50 comments from angry right wingers)

I'm in shock. Paul Martin has come out with a policy that is:
a) bold
b) smart
c) politically savvy

I was beginning to worry that the entire Liberal platform would consist of extending current policies to 2030 and re-announcing projects which had already been re-announced in various Ralph Goodale budgets. But it looks like Martin actually has something new to say - he's proposing a complete ban on handguns. This one really caught me off guard, especially since Grant Mitchell had floated the idea about weakening the gun registry at one of his "made in Alberta" policy sessions last month.

Gun control has always been one of the issues that drove me towards the Liberal Party. I support the gun registry and would probably support a complete ban on all guns within major city limits if anyone ever proposed that. So this is a policy I can really get behind and I think a lot of Canadians in big cities, especially Toronto, will strongly support it.

The fact of the mater is, there is no reason for anyone to own a handgun that won't be covered by an exception to this law (ie. police officers and target shooters). There's a reason that I'm not allowed to own a collection of antique grenade launchers. There's a reason I can't own an assault riffle to hunt rabbits in my backyard. And the same principle should apply to hand guns.

Yes, I'm aware this won't affect a ton of people. And I'm aware this won't stop gun violence in Toronto. But it's a good start and, unlike most of the policies announced so far this campaign, I really don't see a downside to it.

79 Comments:

  • I'm not an agry rightwinger - but I disagree with the premise that this proposal is actually a good idea. I pretty much explain the reasons in detail on my blog so if you want the long version go there. The short of it is in two points.

    1: You can't control guns with legislation, criminals don't care if guns are illegal.

    2: The problem with gun violence is the violence not the guns. Even if gun control worked, dying from a stab wound or from blunt force trauma doesn't leave you less dead than a fatal gun shot wound.

    By Blogger DavidB, at 3:20 AM  

  • I am with you all the way on this CG.

    As with sexual assaults, most people believe that victims of gun related violence do not know their “perp” well. Outside of select urban centers this simply not the case when it comes to gun related murders and it is simply never the case when it comes to sexual assaults. Most gun murders are committed by those close to the victim. A hand ban will cut down on these types of murder. Moreover, the number of accidental shootings and suicides outweighs the number of people who are actually murdered in virtually every country by a wide margin. A hand gun ban will cut down on these types of homicides. What a gun ban will not do so well is to cut down on random gun violence. It is thus more than little ironic that the type of violence that is laying the political foundation for such a ban is exactly the type of murders such a ban will not work well to prevent.

    By Anonymous koby, at 3:21 AM  

  • Politically savvy, perhaps yes. A majority of Canadians support gun control.

    But the fact remains that it's not the legally registered guns that are the problem. There is no way at all to spin it in your favour...

    This is a deal-breaker kind of issue with me. I'll live with it – i don't own handguns – but really, like hoppin gonto Kyoto, it won't do what it promises to. It's just a typical libby political move.

    By Blogger Teddy, at 3:49 AM  

  • "the number of accidental shootings and suicides outweighs the number of people who are actually murdered in virtually every country by a wide margin."

    I should have said every western country.


    Stats Can: "Each year, there are about five times more suicides involving firearms than homicides committed with firearms."

    1996 figures "More than 1,000 Canadians die every year from gunshot wounds, most of them by their own hand. In 1996 the total firearm deaths amounted to 1,131, of which 815 were suicides, 45 were accidents and 156 were homicides."

    http://www.canadianembassy.org/government/guncontrol-en.asp

    By Anonymous koby, at 4:24 AM  

  • This idea does, on the surface, seem very intelligent and innovative; however there are flaws to it. First of all, banning handguns really won't change things in the cities, as the handguns used in these crimes are likely illegal, unregistered and summgled handguns anyways. Second of all, this is essentially prohibition of guns. Prohibition has not worked well in the past. So we might have the gun equivalent of rum runners bringing firearms up from the US, and nothing will change. As a matter of fact, this was tried in Britain, and gun-related crimes went up 40%.

    To control the gun violence, I think we need harsher sentences on the criminals involved, in addition to harsher sentences on gun smugglers. Rather than stopping the guns, let's stop the people supplying and shooting the guns!

    By Blogger BC Tory, at 4:27 AM  

  • Older research on the subject quoted in Stats Canada still hold today: http://www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca/pol-leg/res-eval/publications/reports/1990-95/reports/dom_rpt_e.asp

    "The evidence indicates that potential murderers are usually not persons engaged in premeditated homicidal acts, but rather, participants in family quarrels, arguments between acquaintances, brawls, clashes of personality, and so on. While such disturbances precipitate violence, they neither require a death for their resolution nor usually result in fatal consequences for those involved. It is unrealistic to assume that people involved in most murder cases are so determined to kill that in the absence of guns they will either seek to achieve their purpose with any available alternative or deliberately evade whatever restrictions may be enacted.
    ("Guns and Violence," pp. 13-14)

    By Anonymous koby, at 4:43 AM  

  • This policy proposal by the Liberals is just like the Conservative's promise to cut the GST: bad policy, good politics. I think we can all agree on that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 AM  

  • I'm going to agree that this sort of purely puff policy that's meant to evoke an emotional response in someone alloting no more than 30 seconds of thought to it will likely indeed play well in Toronto and perhaps even Vancouver. Simply on the basis that some people say "guns bad" in a knee jerk fashion.

    On the other hand, I really don't think dealing with crime and gang violence in our cities should really be a partisan issue. Can't we all agree that we need more cops in the streets, and tougher minimum sentences to protect the public? Its such a basic proposition of government to protect its citizens.

    Now, I don't really care if Paul Martin wants to ban hand guns. I don't own any hand guns or any guns at all for that matter. On the other hand, if your law abiding citizen with a registered firearm, your really not the source of gang violence in down town Toronto or anywhere else for that matter. The problem is really gang activity and a prolific number of illegal handguns that enter the country from the United States and elsewhere.

    I appreciate that this might score some cheap political points. On the other hand, I do wish that rather than using the suffering and misfortunate of others as the set up to announce your going to ask criminals to "just say no to guns" and take guns away from people who have been shooting skeet, that the issue was taken seriously and real solutions offered and debated.

    Sadly, the Liberals evidently believe that telling people whom are already breaking the law and using firearms that they can't break the law by using firearms is going to have some sort of effect. Instead of a serious approach to the issue, we get a cynical political gesture that insults the intelligence of the voting public or at least those that bother to put their mind to it.

    Here in Edmonton, and in Winnipeg as well "stabbings" have been rather frequent. By the Prime Minister's logic, there a) shouldn't be any stabbings as its illegal b) we should create a registery of sharp objects c)ban knives and other sharp hand held objects.

    Announcements like this are what leads to voter cynicism and apathy, its a general lessening of the political discourse.

    By Blogger Chris, at 6:47 AM  

  • Canada already has huge restrictions on handguns and banning them outright will have absolutely NO EFFECT on gun crime. For a legitimate gun owner to take their firearm to a shooting range (no not Scarborough, a legitimate target range), the police are to be notified of the time and date of your travel plans. Does Mr Martin think criminals who purchased their weapons with drug money will call ahead to police and say "hey I'm just heading down to Jane and Finch to do a drive-by on a drug rival" ?

    This announcment is to give an impression that he is "taking action."

    By Blogger Joe Lamarde, at 8:26 AM  

  • Yeah, banning handguns will work, because our courts will ensure that those caught with illegal handguns are put away behind bars where they belong.

    Or not.

    Nothing but another feel-good, completely useless placebo masquerading as a valid piece of public policy. Par for the course for Liberals on criminal justice.

    By Anonymous Ian in NS, at 8:27 AM  

  • I am sick and tired of waking up and reading that another kid's been shot to death in my city.

    I'm beginning to wonder when it will be my neighbourhood that hosts the next gun fight, as it's no longer limited to select neighbourhoods.

    If all handguns are made illegal, and jailtime is made the default reward for having one, then so be it.

    I have yet to hear of a sane reason why anyone besides a cop needs to own one.

    -----

    To Davidb and others who say that guns don't kill people, people kill people: when was the last time an 8 year old kid was shot to death because someone was playing with knives in the upstairs apartment? Or the last time someone was taking a shower, and a stray knife came flying through the wall into the bathroom?

    By Anonymous Kelly, at 8:33 AM  

  • If it's such a great idea, why did they sit back and watch Toronto gangs kill each other until the eve of the election.

    That's the problem with any new Lib proposal. It looks pretty hollow given that that they were in power for 12 years (Martin for the last two).

    The real answer is they know it won't stop a single shooting on the streets (every single gun used is contraband, every one). But the reason the opposition may use (Layton in particular) is that it shows just how opportunistic the Libs are. Holding off while people die so they can use it as an election platform.

    Martin's going to get hammered (when the shooting starts after xmas) on every new proposal with the "they've had twelve years to do this, and only now they're making such promises???"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 AM  

  • I am a conservative voter, and although I applaud in principle a hand gun ban, any idiot can see that the problem goes much deeper. Take for example the recent shooting in T.O. A 20 year old was caught with a loaded handaun (serail number filed off) in a mall and then let go on bail. Within a short period of time, he is caught again, this time for murdering a used car salesman. We need to stiffen the sentences and all illegal hand guns (remember hand guns have been registered in this country sine the 30's)confiscated on anyone should be met with a minimum jail sentence. And anyone caught smuggling guns should be met with a significant minimum sentence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 AM  

  • CG,
    Since handguns have been registered for 60 years, doesn't the need to ban them implicitly prove that registration doesn't work?

    By Anonymous MSFan, at 9:05 AM  

  • I agree with a lot of what's being said here. If the only thing that the Liberals are promising to do is ban handguns without changing sentencing, this policy will have little to no effect on crime. Some sort of minimum sentence is required for illegal possession of a handgun. I seem to recall that a CPC MP had introduced a private member's bill to do this, but there was concern that a mandatory minimum would violate the Charter. That would be a good time to use the notwithstanding clause, IMHO

    By Blogger Dave, at 9:36 AM  

  • First, I agree with Kelly, that I don't see any reason for anyone to have guns except police officers and similar bodies. And yes, I also disagree with gun collection.

    Second, the policy has to be backed by tough policing. I am still getting over the rage of the recent Iranian guy being shot by a criminal who was let out by the judge. Gun crime is big worry in Toronto and I am happy the Libs are ATLEAST doing something about it. I want mandatory punishment for any crimes with guns, and it should be tough - a detterent, like 20 years in jail or so. So what if some socialist wimps about a young life (the gun man's) being destroyed because of one mistake of 'youth', try saying that to his victim.

    And don't say the Tories have plans to deal with it. They were in power in Ontario for 8 years with a majority and we did not get mandatory sentancing. it was only after McGuinty came that a law was passed making it obligatory for doctors to report gun shot patients.

    I am as yet undecided but three factors will swing my vote - policy on crime, foreign policy (Harper scores a big minus here for his blind allegience to the States) and economics (Libs score a plus for the last 12 years).

    By Blogger mezba, at 9:40 AM  

  • This is a shore up the base policy which may be good short term politics but bad in the long term as it continues to polarize the politics in this country.

    Bad bad longterm politics and a knee-jerk reaction to the problem in Toronto, which comes from guns smuggled in from places like Rochester and Buffalo.

    Will it make a difference in crime ? Not a damn bit.

    Will it further drive politics into an ideological split? Certainly.

    By Blogger Michael, at 9:49 AM  

  • Mezba,

    I don't normally like to carry water for the Ontario Tories, but your complaints about them not introducing mandatory minimum sentences are off-base, given that the Criminal Code is a federal responsibility. How hard they lobbied the feds, I don't know, but it wasn't within their power to change the law. If you're going to point fingers on this score, point them directly at the federal Liberals, who haven't done a thing on this file for twelve years.

    By Anonymous Sean, at 9:51 AM  

  • Mezba,

    You're behind the 8 ball already. Sounds like you've been indoctrinated by liberal spin: "blind allegiance" uhmmmm well, yes that's what the Libs say, but there's nothing to back that up.

    As for your provincial reference, the Federal government passess criminal law, and sentencing laws your waaaaaaay off base there.

    Guess which party passes the "conditional sentences" (house arrest) which is mocked by every organized criminal in the country.

    You guessed it, the Libs.

    Guess which party presided over the worst increase in gun violence in recent memory.

    Right again, the Libs.

    Guess which party has consistently opposed CPC ammendements to get tough on crime.

    Yup, the Libs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 AM  

  • If guns were banned, then the police wouldn't need 'em either, would they.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 AM  

  • I'm afraid I just lost some respect for your opinion. You as much as admit that such a ban is irrational and ineffectual, yet you describe it as a "good start". A good start towards what end? The prohibition of all firearms? This ban is an assault on private property and personal autonomy that will safeguard no one. If the Liberals were serious about preventing gun crime, they'd put stiffer sentences in place for gun-toting criminals to keep them off the streets. Instead we get the criminalization of law-abiding citizens for the sake of a naked vote grab in urban Canada. Absolutely disgusting. Beware your enthusiasm for banning. You never know what they'll ban next.

    OC

    By Blogger Alan, at 10:18 AM  

  • Sounds like much ado about nothing. If PMPM is going to let target shooters keep their handguns (apparently the preponderance of registered handgun owners are target shooters) then exactly how many handguns is he going to take off the street? Perhaps a few thousand held by collectors, you know, Napoleonic duelling pistols, Webley pistols that your great-grandfather carried in the trenches in Belgium and, the largest group, the Luger that your gandfather brought back as a souvenir from WW2. The guns that have been sitting in a trunk in the basement, or framed under glass alongside Grandad's medals. Most likely inoperative, or gradually decaying through internal rust. WOW, what an advance in public safey.

    I would like supporters to answer me this question: How many murders and attempted murders were carried out with registered handguns in the last year (including target pistols)? The last five years? Toronto has a drug trade problem, deal with it. If anyone thnks they will be at all safer, ask yourself if you feel safer now that the gun resistry exists.

    BTW: Koby, I liked your use of reports to support your position. However, if you substitute the word knife for gun in domestic disputes, the same situation holds true. Your domestic partner is still dead or grieviously harmed. Knives are still the most common weapon of choice in homicides in Canada.

    OK, chat among yourselves.

    By Anonymous herringchoker, at 10:19 AM  

  • I'm hoping that CalgaryGrit will come back and answer this question, since it is his endorsement of the policy that I am challenging.

    CG said: "Yes, I'm aware this won't affect a ton of people. And I'm aware this won't stop gun violence in Toronto. But it's a good start and, unlike most of the policies announced so far this campaign, I really don't see a downside to it."

    For the most part, it won't affect any people. Handgun registration has been required in Canada since 1934, and carry permits have been extremely tight since the late 60s. Who can carry? People performing certain jobs, people involved in moving large amounts of money, target practice and competetive shooters. Who else? Well, pretty much no one. And I would hope that those people would all continue to have an exemption. So who does this affect? No one.

    Then you said, "I'm aware this won't stop gun violence in Toronto. But it's a good start..." You lost me here a wee bit. It's a good start to curbing Toronto gun violence? Or a good start to something else. If a good start to curbing gun violence in Toronto...How? The law won't affect anyone that isn't already breaking other laws. If it's a "good start" to something else, what else?

    Then you finished with, "unlike most of the policies announced so far this campaign, I really don't see a downside to it." You don't see a downside to the first major Liberal policy announced that is not a continuation of former programs is a complete puff piece? If the law won't affect anyone, it won't do anything. If it won't do anything, why waste the time and money on getting such a piece of legislation through?

    I have a lot of respect for you CG, even I do disagree with many of your positions. But this comment just doesn't seem to hold water.

    Can you explain?

    By Anonymous Johnny Pockets, at 10:20 AM  

  • Absolutely, Anonymous, if that is your real name, why should police officers be allowed to continue to carry handguns if the general public cannot?

    The answer is: to respond to illegal gun use, which exemplifies the silliness of this policy. Illegal handguns are the problem in this country and pretty much any country in the Western world with a problem with gun violence. Cracking down on law-abiding handgun owners/users won't have an effect on gun violence.

    By Blogger FRANCISM, at 10:28 AM  

  • Let's ban scissors!

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 10:32 AM  

  • Sean and Anon,

    You are right, punishing gun crime is a federal responsibility. I just talked with some guys at work who are gun owners, they told me of the laws they have to follow when they go to a shooting range (not talking about Scarborough here). I found out carrying an unregistered handgun is illegal anyways, so I now think martin's plan is useless.

    This is a make-or-break issue for a lot of people from Toronto. I now think the gun ban will accomplish nothing. We are tired of the revolving door policy. As I stated earlier, tougher sentancing and policing is the key (look at Australia). I would like Harper to come here and promise tougher sentancing AND looking at a social root of the problem, tackle it both ends.

    A lot of people blame the black community unfairly for not speaking up and pointing the police to the criminals. They don't do it as the police will let the criminals out after a day or two and then they are toast. Unless we get tough on prosecution, gun crime cannot be solved by making laws.

    By Blogger mezba, at 10:35 AM  

  • Go read Bob Tarantino's piece on this for the other side of the coin.

    If you think that criminals will stop committing violent crimes that are already illegal with smuggled weapons that are already illegal just because the Liberals make it more illegal, you're deluding yourself.

    On the political optics side, I'm sad to say it might do some good for the Liberals. But only if the Conservatives don't handle it properly.

    I lay out some thoughts about how they might do that over at my place.

    By Blogger Babbling Brooks, at 10:44 AM  

  • Let's see how this will work:

    Someone is charged with shooting and wounding someone.

    The charges are: owning an illegal gun, using a gun in a crime, attempted murder.

    Max sentences for each: 2 years, 5 years, "life" (but lets call it 10 years).

    Worst case scenario: first two charges are thrown out, third is plea bargained down to attempted manslaughter. Ten year sentence, out in 6.

    Best case: Max 2, 5 and 10, all sentences concurrent, out in 6.

    Yeah, this'll work...

    By Anonymous Caligula Jones, at 11:01 AM  

  • Don Newman just dropped the gloves with the 3 'strategists' this morning - none of them looked very competent when it came to this issue. My favourite was why has it taken 74 deaths for the Libs to act question. Mind you the NRA question to the Con looked good to. Bravo.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:11 AM  

  • So does this mean that the Liberals are admitting that the Gun registry was a complete waste of money? (2 billion$).

    By Blogger M. K. Braaten, at 11:22 AM  

  • I am all for Martin's plan, having less handguns (even legally registered guns owned by law abiding citizens) does make a city a safer place. I don't see a lot of downside to Martin's plan, it does not impact hunter and farmers so I don't see why they should complain.

    CG, I am a little disappointed that you have bought into the Toronto Gun violence connection. Last year Toronto's homicide rate was lower than that of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. I think this year there have been in the order of 60 to 70 homicides in the city. In most cases the victim and assailant knew each other and many did not involve guns at all. The media seems to portray an image of a city in crisis, this is clearly an inaccurate picture of the Toronto. We need only look south at ANY comparably sized U.S city to realize that Toronto is a very safe city.

    By Anonymous blah, at 11:28 AM  

  • Don't you just have to love the Liberals? Especially if you like pure unadulterated verbal diarrhea for policy. Paul Martin and his cronies know full well this will never work and will not solve or stop one crime. But they are only too happy to willingly and knowlingly lie through their teeth. Now you are getting the hidden part of their agenda. Start with registration and move onto confiscation. Policy right from the red book manifesto! Heil Comrade Paul!

    By Anonymous Jean, at 11:43 AM  

  • Screw these assholes. I have never owned a gun in my life but I am going to start the process today to buy one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:50 AM  

  • There is nothing substantively wrong with Martin's policy. Noone needs a handgun, and target shooters would be exempt (and don't use Glocks etc. anyway).

    But, there's nothing good about the policy. It won't do anything. All the horrible things that guns do which the preceding comments have alluded to *already happen with illegal guns*.

    The policy is a problem in that it eclipses viable alternatives; for example, the toughter gun sentences that the Liberals *chose* to let die on the order paper.

    And, of course, it's cheap in so far as it profits off the deaths of youth and the grief of a community.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:58 AM  

  • Blah, you said:

    The media seems to portray an image of a city in crisis, this is clearly an inaccurate picture of the Toronto. We need only look south at ANY comparably sized U.S city to realize that Toronto is a very safe city.

    Well, if you are going to do comparisons Toronto is a very safe city compared to Baghdad, Iraq.

    We should be asking is Toronto more or less safe now that 5 years ago.

    By Blogger mezba, at 12:02 PM  

  • Jean

    I have never understood why people have such passion for their guns. Explain to me why it is important that an individual be allowed to own a handgun, especially in a large Canadian city?

    Again try to remember this does not affect hunters and farmers and their rifles.

    As for stupid policies designed only to gain the votes of the ignorant masses, I guess you have already forgotten Harpers 5% GST proposal.

    By Anonymous blah, at 12:03 PM  

  • mezba

    Comparing Toronto to Chicago, New York, Dallas, or Boston is hardly like comparing it to Baghdad.

    If that comparison does not meet your requirement, how about comparing Toronto to Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver or any other major western Canadian city. I’ll let you guess which city has the lowest homicide rate.

    Do you know if Toronto is actually less safe than it was 5 years ago?

    Got a link?

    By Anonymous blah, at 12:14 PM  

  • I agree that banning handguns will not change gun crime in Toronto or any where else. The guns used in these crimes are already illegal. But if a ban has the side effect of harsher penalties issued by judges, then it might work. For some reason legislators are loathe to define minimum sentances. Probably something about judicial discretion.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 12:15 PM  

  • Does anyone else think the timing of this policy announcement might be a tad suspicious? Could this be a way to try to divert attention away from the Income Trust story? If this is the case then it's worked...but it has made this cynical voter, even more cynical.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 PM  

  • While I am no fan of guns and a big fan of gun control, this is political pandering at it's most pathetic. Ironic that this announcement is occurring during a difficult time for Torontonians. Had the Liberals truly been interested in a ban on hand guns, why wait until a whack of people have been killed and during an election to make the announcement. Why not years ago, like when they brought in the gun registry? It's pathetic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  

  • CP: Dec. 9...

    A source inside the Liberal Party and close to the Prime Minister has leaked news that tomorrow Paul Martin will announce a ban on all deseases in Canada.

    It is believed among Liberal strategists that such a ban will save Canadians literally hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare costs, and thus allow a Liberal government to spend that money on more important things...like, f'rinstance, sending a rocket ship to the planet Zork in search of an intelligent life form, the theory being that surely to God there must be at least one example of this somewhere in this universe.

    Liberals believe that obviously not too swift voters...evidenced by the fact that Liberals, despite being nailed for stealing millions of dollars, still lead in polling..., will be thrilled with such an initiative, particularly those in the GTA.

    Developing...

    By Anonymous springer, at 12:33 PM  

  • Didnt work in England.

    Didnt work in Australia.

    Why would it work here?


    The Lieberals are devoid of original thought, but at least they should learn the lessons of history from others.

    Look it up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:39 PM  

  • Lets put it this way, if it doesn't work will you vote against the Liberals next election? No, nothing will change a Liberal voter, not policy, not corruption, not scandal. Its all regional now. Atlantic Canada is the worst for regional support - 58% for the Liberals in the most recent poll. They must be scared of the Bloc or Bush or something. Anyone betting against a Liberal minority no matter what the policy is in la-la land.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:40 PM  

  • Check out this Liberal Interview gone bad...
    The people speak...!!

    http://www.conservativegroundswell.com/audiovideo/ProudToBeCanadian.ca__Liberals_to_ban_guns.wmv

    gotta love it...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger william, at 12:46 PM  

  • Why allow guns to non-cops? Some people believe that people have an inherent right to defend themselves from attack, and (to be blunt) some people simply do not have the same opportunities to defend themselves against a fit, 100-kilo man without some form of weaponry as, say, other athletic 100-kilo men do. If you weigh only 45 kilos, or are wheelchair bound, you need some tools to be able to have the same possibility of self-defence that others inherently have through 'the genetic lottery'.

    I'd admittedly be fine with limiting that to mostly nonlethal weaponry (mace, pepper spray, tasers, stun guns) but most of those are banned too.

    Koby: when you talk about murders outside of urban areas with guns by people that know each other, aren't you likely referring to long guns (Spousal disputes, etc.), and not hand guns, at least so far as Canadian deaths unrelated to other criminal behaviour are concerned? Many rival bikers may count as "knowing each other well", but those aren't the kinds of murders that will get seriously impacted by anything short of absolute bans on guns, ammunition, and the components for same, in addition to full inspections and fences along the entire border and coasts to combat smuggling....



    As for the suicide argument, I guess in part that depends on whether or not you believe that people's right to live and control their own lives includes a right to decide on their own not to live any longer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 PM  

  • This is going to go regional and something fierce. The Liberals have done such a good job of frightening one region about another that it'll be years before we ever trust each other again. Quebec will separate out of disgust at english voters that can so readily support theivery and corruption. Westerners are going to realise that the chances of electing a Western PM are slightly less than electing Osama - then they'll separate. Atlantic Canadians will be wondering what happened to welfare - so they'll rejoin England. Newfoundland will declare independence when they start realising what oil revenue means. Ontario will still produce a 'national media' and not realise everyone has fucked-off until one of them is forced to cross the Ontario border and forgets their passport. Really the opposition parties should get together and produce an ad campaign that says: "Vote Liberal, Fuck Canada!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 PM  

  • William, that video link was brilliant.

    Pretty much sums up why Martin's announcement is a joke.

    And to hear it from those "most affected" no less.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 PM  

  • Here's my scorecard:

    1. the liberal brought forward NEW legislation on gun crimes on the 2nd last day of this parliamentNOVEMBER 25th. Not one word on a ban.

    2. The goodale' office CARP story moved last night.

    3. prior to that the reporter had to checked facts with goodale.

    4. suddenly the campaign leaks a new gun policy for the thursday morning papers.

    The gun they are truly worried about is last night's smoking gun.

    It's also a handy wedge issue. Another way to say anyone who disagrees with them is a closet American.

    Policy is a whole different question. Gun control is already tough on paper and weak when it comes to enforcement. Why not work on the latter instead of trying to benefit from 12 years of failed policies?

    By Anonymous yyc, at 1:29 PM  

  • What does this part mean?

    The Liberals plan to introduce the ban as an amendment to the Criminal Code and invite the provinces and territories to participate to make the ban national.

    From the CBC release. Does that mean provinces have the option to opt out?

    By Blogger Jim, at 1:31 PM  

  • Thanks for the link william, pretty much sums up this whole policy and by someone who lives with this issue, good for her!

    By Anonymous Anne (mad in Ontario), at 1:42 PM  

  • Like said above... this sounds like better politics than policy. Just like the Conservatives and the GST rate cut.

    How about this for a modified policy... ban all hand guns (and assault rifles) and do away with the registry for shotguns and hunting rifles?

    By Blogger Jaybekay, at 1:53 PM  

  • Jaybekay

    I want to know who has a legally registered shotgun or hunting rifle.

    I agree with Martin 100%, ban handguns, register all other guns.

    You have no problem registering your car, why do you care if I or my government know that you own a weapon?

    By Anonymous blah, at 2:04 PM  

  • Yes, this won't stop gun violence in Toronto. But there's no real reason to allow handguns, so I don't see any downside to this policy.

    Assuming it's part of a great crack-down on smuggled guns, gun crime, etc, I don't see any reason not to bring it forward.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:09 PM  

  • So if you know it won't stop gun violence then why support it?

    As my bumper sticker says, "Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun."

    Nothing like disarming the law-abiding firearms community to make the streets safe again for well-armed gangs.

    I guess you really are a liberal after all, CG: you support creating ficticious "rights" (gay marriage), and taking away rights long-held (property rights), without a thought to public policy.


    Typical liberal defender of the Charter crap: only some people's rights are important.

    By Blogger A. Carlton Sallet, at 2:58 PM  

  • All guns start as legal weapons, unless there's a big illegal weapons factory somewhere.

    People who own guns legally need to be accountable, fine them if their gun is lost/stolen, and don't allow them to own another.

    By Anonymous Random Liberal, at 3:15 PM  

  • Random Liberal, what are we going to do, go to other countries and fine people for letting their guns get into Canada?

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 3:19 PM  

  • Ted Kennedy's car! Classic reference!

    So classic that it has zero to no relevance.

    Can't come up with Candaian equivilant, eh? Or something that happened in this century, huh?

    By Anonymous Michael, at 3:24 PM  

  • No, that is a border problem. Sadly, only War on Terror(tm) related security trumps trade.

    By Anonymous Random Liberal, at 3:35 PM  

  • Michael,

    What's "Candaian"? huh? eh?

    Liberal genius!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:41 PM  

  • Liberals during campaign for support for C-68:

    "Trust us! We don't want your guns!"

    All those firearms owners who believed this line of crap, please raise your hands.

    I thought so.

    Everyone else who believed this line of crap, please raise your hands.

    Other than from the GTA, I mean...

    Right.

    All those who plan nevertheless to vote for these theiving liars anyway?

    Figures.

    *sigh*

    Only in Canada.

    By Anonymous springer, at 3:54 PM  

  • William, thats just an amazing clip.

    The comments are so dead on its almost hilarious.

    If, of course, it wasnt just so damn sad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 PM  

  • Reference "I want to know who has a legally registered shotgun or hunting rifle.

    I agree with Martin 100%, ban handguns, register all other guns.

    You have no problem registering your car, why do you care if I or my government know that you own a weapon?"

    Ok, I've registered my firearms, now you register your kitchen knives and baseball bats. They are, after all, used in a lot more crimes then firearms are.

    The line of reasoning that, while banning handguns won't do anything worthwhile, but it is good to do... thanks for being nice and loose with my money. How many millions of dollars will you spend on a policy that won't do, frankly, SFA, other then inconvenience law abiding citizens?

    A good friend of mine has a good $5,000 invested in his (legal, registered) handguns. This policy will cause the value of the firearms on the open market to go down because of a decrease in pressure on the demand side. So, you are now costing him part of his savings.

    At least this will have an exception for target shooters, although I wonder if the LPC will require an asinine level of proof to be considered one.

    Some more detail on this policy would be nice - would, if nothing else, let those of us with firearms used for target practice/competiton know if we need to export then right away, don't have to worry, or may need to "lose" them. Of course, this is a campaign promise... and Martin's record on those isn't so good, so probably not a real need to worry

    By Blogger Greg P, at 4:25 PM  

  • Yes, this won't stop gun violence in Toronto. But there's no real reason to allow handguns, so I don't see any downside to this policy.

    Assuming it's part of a great crack-down on smuggled guns, gun crime, etc, I don't see any reason not to bring it forward.


    Yes, changing all the first names of Flames' players to Jarome won't help them win games, but since I don't see any reason for them not to be named Jarome, I see no downside to this policy.

    Assuming it's part of a great increase in goal-scoring, combined with tighter defensive play, I see no reason not to bring it forward.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 PM  

  • @blah

    blah said "I want to know who has a legally registered shotgun or hunting rifle."

    I was under the impression that tons of people have resistered their rifles, wasn't that the point of the Gun Registery? But there are more unregistered guns out there than registered ones (if my family is indicative!)

    Long guns are legitimate tools in huge swaths of the country. And in rural and western Canada they are seen (rightly or wrongly) as a tradition and a right (not saying I agree)

    @Greg P
    I doubt your friend bought handguns as an investment. That's like saying my TV is an investment. And if it were an investment, we live next door to the US where there are at least 10 times as many gun collectors as in Canada. He should have no problem recouping his "investment"

    @blah and Greg P

    Ban handguns (and assault rifles)because thats what killed that teenager in Edmonton a month ago and who can keep track of how many in the GTO.

    Don't register long guns (and kitchen knives) because:
    1) there are too many to be reistered efficiently (see Gun Registry cost overruns)
    2) they are legitimate tools (try scaring a bear off with a kitchen knife - I know from experience a shotgun works way better!)
    3) shotguns and rifles aren't the weapons of choice for gang-members crackhead holding up 7-11's

    By Blogger Jaybekay, at 5:04 PM  

  • Under the Liberals of 13 years crime has sky rocketed. Soft on crime, soft headed Liberals...all they can do is 1. make promises 2.spend billions 3. create bureaucracies 4. get kickbacks

    Liberals wouldn't have a clue how to bring down the crime rate. But how to spin votes and confuse people...they are masters. They can cheat, steal and lie...do anything to further their cause...and soup for brains Toronto will still vote for them. Liberals best weapon is low IQ Ontario voters.

    By Anonymous Pat, at 5:18 PM  

  • jaybekay

    If you and your family have not registered your weapons, you should be charged. You have had plenty of opportunity to register. The only reason your weapons are not registered is your own stubbornness. I advise you act responsibly and register your weapons as soon as possible.

    Gun owners share responsibility in the problems with the current registry, many of them purposely went out of the way to thwart its functionality. Registration is not an unreasonable burden to place on gun owners. I am sure you have no problem getting a fishing license, hunting tags, snowmobile permit or camping permit. (Please don't tell me you are a poacher.)

    I agree that there is a legitimate need for long guns in rural Canada, be it hunting or defense in remote locations. However, in an urban environment their benefit is far exceeded by their cost. When was the last time a life was saved in a Canadian city because a civilian had a handgun?

    The real problem here is that the gun lobby does not wish to further stigmatize guns. It feels like they would prefer a society were everyone is armed and completely responsible for their own safety.

    My problem, I don't trust people enough to have that responsibility.

    By Anonymous blah, at 5:50 PM  

  • OK I'm obviously a partisan on this, and I'm depressed, distraught, and really confused by current polling, but I see this as a worse strategic move by PM^2 compared to Steve's GST move.

    This is only going to add to their base in Lib. heartland, will hurt them with their supporters in other ridings, and should serve to further solidify the opposition outside of GTA, GVA and GMA. GST cut was a party broadening manoeuvre that only brings questions in terms of relative effectiveness from very involved policy geeks. The guy on the street worried about crime is mopre likely to come out with questions on bailing gun suspects and actual sentences imposed than he is going to question the effectiveness of consumption tax cuts vs income tax cuts on marginjal propensity to spend, save, and work. This seems like a plus to CPC.

    As to policy, it would seem that a better approach would be to strengthen policing, sentences, mandate custody until trial for gun posession, and to change the way sentences are applied in gun crimes. Eliminate pre-trial credit for time served, eliminate eligibility for parole and statutory release, and mandate consecutive sentencing for gun crimes.

    That's popular as well as effective, while all elements of the current plan are useless in terms of policy (is any of the funding new or just a reannouncement? are customs officers still unarmed and without police powers?).

    I love the fact that even on the CBC drive home show today the host and all of the guests mentioned that handguns were already effectively banned. The rapper from Jane & Finch said that he thought guns (i.e. handguns) were already illegal but since apparently they weren't maybe this was a good idea. Everyone mentioned how this seems like it was going to do much, given that most murders use smuggled american weapons.

    If you want to see the logical steps form this, look at the UK where they do actually have knife control. Under-16s can't buy knives, and they are under lock with warning signs at kitchen stores. There was a serious proposal to ban all knives that might be capable of stabbing someone, but this was met with complete outcry from chefs, gardeners, sportsman, etc who need actual useful knives.

    Also, look at the UK's rise in gun violence, with police facing increasing dangers and looking to be armed.

    PS I don't own any type of gun, though some family and friends do own shot guns for hunting and farm purposes.

    By Anonymous annextraitor, at 6:05 PM  

  • There are two gun cultures in this (and in most other) country. The Hunter/farmer/rancher one and the criminal one. Which one does the Liberals go after? Why the first one of course, makes sense to me.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 6:21 PM  

  • I’m going to borrow from Michael Moore/Chris Rock here and go one step further, saying ban bullets. I have no knowledge about where one would go to purchase bullets, but we shouldn’t need to sell them anywhere. Sport-shooters could buy bullets at the range which are only used at the range and cannot be taken away since they don’t need them at home, gun collectors don’t need bullets for their WW2 replicas, and hunters etc don’t generally use handguns as far as this city kid is aware. People with rights to guns (e.g. law enforcement) don’t get bullets from a store anyways. Without bullets, guns are just an empty shell and although I don’t have any statistics on this, I’m pretty sure that the number of homicides from pistol-whipping is fairly low and we just don’t hear about pistol-whip suicides, 6-year olds accidental pistol-whipping themselves or their siblings, drive-by pistol-whips, or death by ricochet from a pistol-whip gone awry.

    By Anonymous Regan, at 6:40 PM  

  • How much have firearm offences decreased in the UK since handguns were banned? They didn't. They almost doubled. (National Post, October 28, 2005)

    What percentage of gun crimes are committed by lawful registered handguns in Canada? Where police have detailed firearm information, 84% of homicides were committed with unregistered firearms and four of every five (79%) accused persons did not possess a valid firearms license. (Juristat: Canadian Centre for Justice Statisics)

    How much has Canada's homicide rate risen in the past year? 12% (Statistics Canada)

    What are the sentences for the trafficking in illegal firearms, including assault rifles? ? Minimum sentence of only one year

    How many unfilled RCMP positions are there currently in Canada? 1,059 (Tabled in Parliament on November 14, 2005 by Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan)

    What happened to Canada's Ports Police, which once patrolled and protected against gun smuggling? Dismantled in 1997 by the Liberal government

    What powers do Customs officials have to fight gun smuggling at our borders? No powers of arrest

    Did Mr. Martin's Bill C-82, introduced on November 25, 2005, propose to toughen violent gun crime penalties? No

    Did Mr. Martin's Bill C-82, introduced on November 25, 2005, propose to toughen penalties for serious drug offences? No

    How many illegal firearms are there in Canada, according to federal government agencies? They have no idea

    By Anonymous joe lamerde, at 8:43 PM  

  • I've got an old handgun in my gun safe, a .22 single-shot boot-pistol. It's about 100 years old, not that great a shape. It was bought and carried by my great grandfather circa 1905. It came down to me via my grandfather, my dad, and my older brother (all deceased now).

    It's a part of my family and a valued heirloom. It never leaves my safe, except to show it the odd time to family members.

    Drug dealers are shooting each other in Toronto, the Liberals don't enforce existing laws worth shite, and to win an election now, the slimey bastards are going to take this pistol away from me out in BC.

    Anyone who thinks that:

    a) This makes Canada safer...

    b) This will solve gang wars over drug turfs...

    c) This is justice...

    Frankly, is f***ing warped, and living in Disneyland.

    First the Liberals treat me like a lowlife criminal because I'm a gun owner...

    Now they're using me to pad their fortunes in the GTA as they desperately cling to power in spite of being busted for grand theft of millions of dollars. I'm basically roadkill for the greater cause of city voters in Ontario.

    Some wonder why I get so passionately heated over this endless crap.

    And wonder why I, as I watch theives and liars on the verge of re-election, while an honest man from the west gets crapped on, have arrived at the conclusion that the west had best pull the plug on this toilet.

    All of this is warped and revolting beyond comprehension.

    True north, strong and free, my ass.

    By Anonymous springer, at 9:21 PM  

  • Yikes. You know I love ya, CG, but you're way off here. Let me show you the cause and effect I see happening, here.

    The demand for unregistered handguns is not going to suddenly disappear. If this ban negatively affects supply, the quantity of them available will go down, but the price will go up. If people are willing to purchase an illegal handgun, they're probably willing to steal whatever money it takes to buy one. So I can't imagine that the demand is very elastic. That means that the increased price of the guns will probably outweigh the reduction in quantity, so that the sellers actually make more money after the ban than before it.

    That, in turn, means that the gun-running game is going to get more attractive. Which means you're going to have more competition. And I'm under the impression that increasing competition in an illegal market usually leads to violence.

    So from that elementary economic analysis, banning handguns is likely to make the smugglers richer, and increase violence among the people who will still have the guns.

    I might be wrong. There may be factors I'm not aware of. But until someone can tell me what they are, and no one has yet (in over 70 comments), I'm going to say this policy borders on the retarded.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 10:21 PM  

  • Calgary Grit.

    How about a friendly comment from a Conservative:

    If this is a good policy tell me what this actually changes in the few provinces that will voluntarily enact it.

    Keeping in mind that handguns were registered decades before C-68, does anyone know how big the new legal pool would be compared to the existing legal pool and to the pool illegally out on the streets?

    The firearms registry site states that the most common current legal pool is target practice and target shooting competitions.

    Any idea what the following new proposal will actually look like after the feds sit down with the provinces?

    "Legitimate target shooters who meet strict requirements would be eligible for a narrow exemption to the ban, which would be established in partnership with the provinces and territories".

    From the registration site:

    "There are only four purposes for which you can be licensed to acquire and/or possess a restricted firearm, the most common being to use in target practice or target shooting competitions, or to form part of a collection.

    In limited circumstances, restricted firearms are also allowed for use in connection with your lawful profession or occupation, or to protect life".

    How many weapons are registered under each category? Is there any estimate as to how many guns from each category end up elsewhere?

    The NDP is right. This is one policy that doesn't belong in an election as an urban/rural wedge issues. They had years to bring forward legistation and chose not to. It can wait for serious review in the next parliament, without all of this spin that may or may not mean anything.

    Let me guess. They're running on the competence of the gun registry?

    By Anonymous yyc, at 2:07 AM  

  • Just checked CTV's reality check. Comartin NDP addresses the questions I raised. No numbers. But if he's right this new platform is just lipstick on a pig.

    "Basically, all handguns in Canada are illegal now. The only people who get permits are those who are using them for recreational purposes or those who need it for their own personal safety, and there's not a lot of those that are granted"

    By Anonymous yyc, at 2:35 AM  

  • UD and Hedy were absolutely roasted yesterday in Vancouver over this announcement. It has gone over like a lead balloon out here in the west.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 10:10 AM  

  • So a convenience store owner can't own a handgun to protect his life's investment from a criminal who couldn't care less about Paul Martin's announcement.

    By Blogger ferrethouse, at 1:30 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous:

    "Candaian" is called a typo.

    And your sarcastic use of the word genius plus your fear of using an identifiable name says everything we need to know about you.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 3:16 PM  

  • LOL OMG what planet are you from? It's time you took of your tin foil hat and came out of the closet!

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