Friday, June 01, 2007

Should we ban cars?

Global National just ran a story about a father who (allegedly) deliberately used his car as a weapon to mow down his daughter and two friends, one of whom was the daughter's boyfriend.

More to follow as reports become available.


Update: CityNews has more details. I saw the clip on Global. The father was taken away in handcuffs, grinning like an idiot. It was very frightening.

The Star has a report now. The whole thing is quite bizarre.


Sunday Update: Good grief, enough politics - Lorrie Goldstein.

38 comments:

Gayle said...

Well, we do have to register them, and require licence to drive them. I do not hear a bunch of people complaining about THAT.

Just saying...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, good point Gayle.

liberal supporter said...

To carry the gun-car analogy further, we do have certain kinds of cars that are banned, or only allowed in specific situations.

For example only police can drive police cars. I cannot drive an antique car without getting special permits. I am restricted in where I can drive a tractor on the road. I cannot drive a riding lawn mower on the road at all. I cannot drive racing cars on the road. I cannot drive "off road" cars on the road. They are banned.

Mechanically unfit cars are banned. Contrast that with the fact you can get a gun registered without providing any proof that it is mechanically sound.



What really annoys me in the gun registry debate (as opposed to gun control in general) is that somehow the cost of the registry is a reason to scrap it. Instead, why not prosecute the thieves and con artists are who managed to bilk the government out of a billion dollars?

Does it cost a billion dollars to operate the car registry? There are a lot more cars and a lot more paperwork involved than there are guns. Would they not base the gun registry on the car registry? The same links that allow the police to automatically check the car registry when they run someone would be needed. How is a gun registry so much more complicated? You record pertinent info about the vehicle (or gun) and info about registered owners. What's the difference?

It is simply inexcusable that a gun registry software package with very little really new stuff could cost so much more than its forerunner, the car registry.

Anonymous said...

Cars are registered primarily because of there value, after your home what is most individuals most expensive possesion?

Gayle said...

"Cars are registered primarily because of there value, after your home what is most individuals most expensive possesion?"

If the primary purpose is protecting personal property, as you suggest, then why is it illegal to have an unregistered car? If I choose not to register my own property and therefore protect myself by doing so, why should I pay a fine for not doing so.

A primary reason for registering your vehicle is so the police are able to identify the owner when that vehicle is involved in an offence - such as impaired/dangerous driving - or even just speeding.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gayle, that was going to be my response to Anon as well.

My view in all of this though, is that if a person is enraged enough, he will find a way to kill, whether it is by gun, car, knife or whatever is at hand.

I'm reading an excellent book by Daniel Goleman - Social Intelligence. If you get a chance to read his first one it is well the worth the effort. (Emotional intelligence).

He talks about the 'Amygdala Highjack', which is in effect a short-circuiting of the brain in extreme situations of emotion, where the cerebral cortex is bypassed.

I think these types of crimes of passion are the result of an A.H.

Anonymous said...

"If the primary purpose is protecting personal property, as you suggest, then why is it illegal to have an unregistered car?"
Because there is no way to tell if it is stolen, safe or insured. The more expensive an item is the more important proof of ownership becomes.

Gayle said...

joanne - I totally agree. I have seen people charged with some crazy things - one kid was charged with "assault with a weapon" for hitting someone with a rolled up poster. When someone is in a rage, s/he will pick up the closest thing and use it to inflict injury - or at least try to inflict injury - it is pretty hard to injure someone with a rolled up poster.

I will put those books on my summer reading list (I have to wait a couple months but then I have two glorious weeks at a cabin where I get to read while my husband spends his days fishing).

Gayle said...

"The more expensive an item is the more important proof of ownership becomes."

You could say the same things about the more dangerous the item.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I will put those books on my summer reading list (I have to wait a couple months but then I have two glorious weeks at a cabin where I get to read while my husband spends his days fishing).

Wow! Gayle, we have more in common than you realize!

Gayle said...

Well, I have to admit that the first book on my list is Harry Potter...

But then I will move on to the non-fiction :).

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Yeah, you have to have some light reading at a cabin. I have a few already tucked away.

For the heavy stuff, start with Goleman's Emotional Intelligence. The second one is something like Emotional Intelligence in the workplace, which is not as good. The one I'm reading now is very interesting (Social Intelligence). He talks about emotional isolation with I-pods etc. People tuning out in the city. Becoming disengaged.

Very thought-provoking.

liberal supporter said...

Cars are registered primarily because of there value, after your home what is most individuals most expensive possesion?

No, cars are insured because of their value, just as my other valuables are.

My house is registered to determine ownership, primarily for taxation and mortgage purposes, and for determining who to go after should someone injure themselves there. My car is registered to determine ownership, primarily in case of accidents and violations, and if the car is used in a crime. Same with guns.

Anonymous said...

"No, cars are insured because of their value, just as my other valuables are."

So if you had a very expensive diamond stolen from you how would you prove it to your insurance company? By some sort of id (Primary Key) that they deem appropriate for the value of the item It could be a photo, receipt, etched id as in the case of diamonds or cars.

Anonymous said...

Anyhow. Killing people with vehicles is hardly a crime. Two guys just got 'house arrest' recently for killing a taxi driver in Toronto. Anyone who goes through the trouble of using a gun is a dumbass.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anyone who goes through the trouble of using a gun is a dumbass.

Anon, I was reminded of that story too. Would you happen to have a link?

Anonymous said...

The gun registry only tells you if a proof positive gun was used to commit a crime (a gun that was stolen from someone who had registered it). Is that information really worth the expense? Considering that the majority of are smuggled from the US?

liberal supporter said...

So if you had a very expensive diamond stolen from you how would you prove it to your insurance company? By some sort of id (Primary Key) that they deem appropriate for the value of the item It could be a photo, receipt, etched id as in the case of diamonds or cars.

Yes, an etched id in a diamond would help in identification if it was ever found. But we don't register diamonds because not too many have been used to kill people or have run over and injured people.

Anonymous said...

The monetary reasons for registering cars fair out weigh the criminal ones. How big is the auto insurance industry anyway?

liberal supporter said...

The monetary reasons for registering cars fair out weigh the criminal ones.
Based on the diamond example, the "monetary" reason would be outweighed for cars. If the car registry was just to deal with stolen cars, there would be no legally required registry, just as there is no diamond registry and there was no horse registry before cars.

The other monetary reason is the huge liability that a car attracts due to the deadly results of accidents. For that, the registry ensures ownership and liability can be determined. The registry is not to protect the car owner, it is to protect the interests of anyone the car might hit.

liberal supporter said...

Is that information really worth the expense?
Yes. Especially if the cost of the registry was comparable to the cost of registering cars. Supposedly 25% of the guns are stolen legal ones.

There is this nonsense about gun owners being charged with unsafe storage if the gun is stolen. There should be no reason not to report it, and give the police a chance to track the thief.

I had another line of argument, though mac (an RCMP officer) didn't think much of it, so take it as a trial balloon. If the police attend someplace and the registry says there should be no guns there, then anyone seen with a gun can be presumed to be a bad guy. If it says there are guns registered there, you could walk in on a homeowner who has subdued a burglar and is covering them with a gun. You would have to hesitate, and determine if the gun is legal and in the hands of its legal owner. If it was the bad guy, he says he is the homeowner, then shoots you.

That is part of the logic of a total handgun ban. If I visit someone and see they have a banned weapon, I can call the police. I do not have to risk the embarrassment of calling the cops on them and then finding it was all legal. That can create a lot of animosity, and it is not unheard of for a "gun accident" to happen further in the future.

If it might be legit, I would likely "give them the benefit of the doubt" unless they seem certifiable. If it is clearly illegal, no chance of being legal, then not only can I be comfortable reporting it, I am legally compelled to, since I cannot claim I thought it was ok.

Anonymous said...

The value of registering cars contributes to the economy pays for the expense of registering them and then some.

liberal supporter said...

The value of registering cars contributes to the economy pays for the expense of registering them and then some.
How does it contribute more than not registering them does?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to correct some misconceptions here.

First, you "do not" have to register cars.
Second, you are able to drive a car "without" a license.

Both statements are true "if" the car is kept on private property. Registration and licenses are required only if the vehicle is going to be used on public property. Public property is any land you do not own personally.

Go to your nearest wrecking yard. Ask the owner if he registers every vehicle brought to the yard to be scrapped. Be prepared to be laughed at...
Take a look at the beaters being driven around the wrecking yard. The ones with no hood, missing doors, oxy-acetylene tanks strapped into the trunk, etc, and ask the owner if the licenses are up to date on those beaters. Be ready for more hilarity...

About handguns... here in Canada the law has required that handguns be registered with the police since 1935. Police approval was required before a person could buy a handgun, permits were required to purchase and then transport handguns, and police were required to inspect the handgun when ownership was transferred. I know all this because I've been through the process.

AFTER the firearms registry was established, all that changed. Now the process is much simpler. The buyer and seller pick up the phone, call the toll free phone number, talk to a clerk, get an authorization number, and... that's it. Deal is done. No police involved. No police checking to see if everything is correct. No police oversight at all.

Don't you feel so much safer now?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anonymous at 11:56:00 PM - You make some very good points here. Yes, indeed how many times do we hear people being picked up for drunk driving and their license had been revoked, but they were still driving anyway; without insurance of course.

Just as with guns, it's usually the criminals who don't obey the rules. Funny, that.

Swift said...

A headline from the world of LS "HOME OWNER GRABS GUN FROM INTRUDER, THEN KILLED BY POLICE." In LS's world, you are not supposed to defend yourself of course, so it is the homeowner's fault that he was shot.

liberal supporter said...

AFTER the firearms registry was established, all that changed. Now the process is much simpler. The buyer and seller pick up the phone, call the toll free phone number, talk to a clerk, get an authorization number, and... that's it. Deal is done. No police involved. No police checking to see if everything is correct. No police oversight at all.

Does that apply to handguns? Are they not considered "restricted" weapons?

liberal supporter said...

Go to your nearest wrecking yard. Ask the owner if he registers every vehicle brought to the yard to be scrapped.

Every vehicle in the wrecking yard does have registration, signed for transfer by the previous owner. Whether the wrecker bothers to register them to complete the transfer, I don't know. Once it is obviously unfit to drive (like a gun that cannot fire) they do have a process to take it off the books. There is a lot of fraud involving Vehicle Identification Numbers being taken from wrecks and put on stolen cars, so they like to see writeoffs get de-registered. But I don't know for sure how this all works. Presumably there would be special cases for wreckers, just as car dealers have special things such as dealer plates.

liberal supporter said...

A headline from the world of LS "HOME OWNER GRABS GUN FROM INTRUDER, THEN KILLED BY POLICE." In LS's world, you are not supposed to defend yourself of course, so it is the homeowner's fault that he was shot.

Same problem for plainclothes cops. As soon as a uniform shows up, you reach for the sky and drop all weapons. Certainly after grabbing the burglar's weapon you won't wander around the house with it, while a registered gun owner might.

In "my" world, the headline would read "HOME OWNER GRABS GUN FROM INTRUDER, SHOOTS INTRUDER DEAD, CALLS POLICE, AND WARNS THEM ABOUT WHERE THE GUN IS".

And since I am not a registered gun owner, I have no idea how to use one. I was so shocked at finding the intruder, that after I grabbed the gun, "it just went off. Sorry".

Swift said...

Well in this world you better have a good lawyer, unless you want a long vacation behind bars(at least in Canada.)

liberal supporter said...

Accidents happen. If I am stupid enough to attack an armed person, how could they expect me to know how to safely hold the weapon till the cops arrive?

It's not like a gun owner shooting someone, you have to be trained in firearm safety. I am not trained in firearms safety, and safe storage laws are intended to keep me from stumbling on a firearm.

I would win such a case. You know how "liberals" are so good at faux outrage, even better than many "conservatives". I could do faux concern and much hand wringing about the poor misunderstood and recently deceased burglar.

Swift said...

LS has just lost all credibility, with the Liberals. You are never supposed to admit you would ever break the law. You should never admit you would lie about it. You should never admit you have anything but the utmost rerspect for the principles of justice. And to admit that your feelings of compasion and your understanding of the piteous plight of the disadvantaged is anything but genuine, is outright heresy. The only thing that could be worse than your sin is actually not breaking the law, never lying, revering justice, and having genuine feelings for the disadvantaged. These latter people are worse than you, because once they see behind the mask they become instant conservatives.

liberal supporter said...

It was your headline, swift. I'm not going to end up getting shot by the police, but given your scenario has me attacking an armed person, I would have to be an instant conservative, oops I mean crazy. Then of course, my story has painted itself into a corner and I have to do a deus ex machina to get out, hence the discussion of spinning the case.

I certainly wouldn't lie under oath the way Mike Harris is now known to have done.

Mac said...

liberal supporter said "Same problem for plainclothes cops. As soon as a uniform shows up, you reach for the sky and drop all weapons."

You're speaking from experience, LS? For someone who has never handled a gun, you seem to have many opinions about them. I wonder if your opinions would change if you had actual experience with them as opposed to what Hollyweird and the media tell you about firearms?

Good luck with those “thieves and con artists”, LS, since most of them are Liberal friendly firms hired on untendered contracts. It really shouldn’t be all that hard to find them since they were, in fact, working for the government. How odd the media didn’t pursue that aspect, eh?

Scrapping the firearm registry makes sense. Why maintain an expensive bureaucracy which achieves nothing? If a firearm is used in the commission of an offence, the ownership of the firearm is almost irrelevant. It’s a “nice to know” as opposed to a “need to know” and certainly NOT worth the huge cost of the firearm registry.

As Paul “Dithers” Martin blurted out in panic, the final goal of leftists is not firearm registry; it is total firearms ban. The registry serves only as a stepping stone... and if they achieved a ban, it would serve as a guidebook to round the guns up. It’s not the Conservatives who have a hidden agenda!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for jumping in here, Mac. I was hoping you would.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good letters in the Sun today:

...Why do church groups decry the rampant impregnating of unwed teenage girls by reckless youths who then raise new generations of gang-bangers while we naively cry “where are the fathers?”

How can criminals and gangsters occupy the vacuum of societal structure and police are scolded for trying to rid us of them?

Why do politicians like Mayor David Miller and Premier Dalton McGuinty mouth platitudes while they cling to their own turf rather than provide serious leadership?

Why do community leaders of all colours point fingers instead of engaging in meaningful debate followed by constructive action?...


And from another:

...Anyone who believes banning handguns is going to have an impact on the violence in schools, or anywhere else, is out to lunch. Society’s ills are a product of the permissiveness that was ushered in more than 40 years ago, and which has been exacerbated by the actions of our politicians, lawyers and courts ever since. If the politicians are serious about making our society safer, they must address the real evils — and not pretend making guns illegal will magically create a utopia. But that would take courage. Do we have any politicians who possess that quality?

Gayle said...

"Scrapping the firearm registry makes sense. Why maintain an expensive bureaucracy which achieves nothing? If a firearm is used in the commission of an offence, the ownership of the firearm is almost irrelevant. It’s a “nice to know” as opposed to a “need to know” and certainly NOT worth the huge cost of the firearm registry."

Really?

So if a firearm can be traced to a certain gun owner, and that gun owner can then identify the person most likely to have taken it - that will not assist police investigations?

If a gun was fired off in a neighborhood, causing damage or even injury or death, wouldn't the logical place for the police to start their investigation be checking the registry to see if there were any gun owners in the neighborhood? (I use this example because that is exactly what happened in a case I worked on, and the offender was found and charged immediately).

Why is it the Police Chiefs support this registry? I know you are a cop, and you do not support the registry, but that is not the official position is it? Does your opinion represent rank and file cops, or rank and file cops who happen to own guns (ie gun owners). See, you give away your bias when you throw in terms like "Dithers" and "leftists", which makes your position far more likely to be based on your political leanings rather than on your experience as a cop.

Why do you think we have a vehicle registry? By your comments one would think it is too expensive for its value.

liberal supporter said...

mac: So plainclothes cops do not immediately surrender when uniforms show up? Yes, I am unenlightened and your condescending attitude is not helping. What do plainclothes do in the "real world" when the uniforms show up? I'd like to know. It's not surrender, since you laughed at me for saying that, so what is it?

You seem adamant that the registry be scrapped, yet the chiefs of police all seem to like it. Since you have this "end state" that the registry should be found to be useless, all your arguments will support that political view.

I was intrigued that an RCMP has a different view than the chiefs, who favour the registry. Could you provide more coherent arguments for it? You cited cost. I expressed outrage at the cost overruns. You then decided to try to score cheap political points. But that does not make the registry a bad idea.

And a police officer telling me that the fact that the "thieves and con artists" are not behind bars is somehow the fault of the media? How odd the media didn’t pursue that aspect, eh?
How odd the RCMP is not pursuing it! You are supposed to uphold the law and catch the lawbreakers!

Or is that just some "liberal fantasy" of mine too? That cops catch crooks? Please enlighten me on what you actually do, then.