Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Bad" Handguns

If you read the Star's editorial today (Ban handguns before more die), you'll see a small typo near the end of the piece which, if it hasn't been corrected yet, ironically illustrates the knee-jerk way this liberal op-ed must have been thrown together:

But the most pressing need in this struggle to control violence is a nationwide bad on handguns.


You can almost hear Bryant and Miller chanting in the background, "Bad handguns; bad!!!"

Michael Bryant seems to be on a mission to ferret out those nasty guns:

"We've got 215,000 (registered) handguns in Ontario alone and each one of them is a target for theft," Bryant said. "I say `no gun, no funeral,'" he added, referring to the deaths that have plagued Toronto in recent years.


And in a way, the Star's typo pretty much sums up the sole remedy of Miller and Bryant for this ongoing problem - Guns are bad. Therefore once we ban them, our problems are over. All those young people selling drugs and growing up in fatherless homes are going to suddenly see the light. It will be an amazing day. The city of Toronto will be shining with virtue and prosperity.

To its credit, today's Globe takes a more realistic view of the possible endemic causes (h/t Neo):

Toronto has undertaken a variety of useful responses: setting up four 18-member police squads that blitz high-crime areas on foot, creating extra social programs, and keeping schools open for summer programs. But the underlying problem of large, poor, fatherless families, alienated teens and a gangster culture transplanted in part from Jamaica is sinking its roots into Toronto, and will not soon let go.


Tough words, but they had to be said.

The question is, will Miller et al listen?


* * * *
Related: Exactly Right - Apparently it's guns that kill people; not criminals. (Interesting comment by one of Dave's readers, who says he owns several handguns).

Sandy - Don't change the subject! Pass the crime bills! One of Sandy's readers mentions a recent article by Licia Corbella. It's well worth the read.

Excellent post at Jack's Newswatch - The dumbest editorial the Star has produced in years!

* * * *
Wednesday Update: Lorrie Goldstein - Missing the target on gun crime. Well worth the read.

Sandy - Canada has a "criminal" control problem.

54 comments:

SouthernOntarioan said...

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns defend people from other people with smaller guns." - American Dad

Handguns are already heavily restricted and have been since the 30s. Outright banning handguns would do little to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals since most handguns enter our country illegally anyways.

But it is a feel-good act. Like toughening penalties for crimes, gun bans have not proved that they are useful in reducing overall crimes. In England, since the handgun ban was enacted, crimes involving handguns has tripled. (oops)

I'm not some gun-nut who believes that we should all have AK-47s for personal safety, but no one has convinced me yet that banning handguns or guns in general will reduce crimes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

S.O. - I hear ya. Cars have been used as murder weapons too; as have knives. If someone wants to kill someone else, they will find a way.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I'm not some gun-nut who believes that we should all have AK-47s for personal safety, but no one has convinced me yet that banning handguns or guns in general will reduce crimes.
I guess the correlation between the availability of guns and violent crimes are not enough for you...

Here's a hint - have a look south of the border.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm almost at the point that I'm in favour of a total handgun ban, just to prove the lefties wrong. Let's try it and watch it fail, and then we'll have to really face the problems.

Sorry, but I just can't buy the argument that the drug trade will cease to exist.

Moebius said...

I have never owned or fired a gun, but am pretty damned sure more gun banning/registering rules aren't going to help solve this problem.
The problem comes from both the availability of weapons and people willing to use them on others.

Legalize and control all distribution of drugs. Can it be worse than the situation we have now?

Anonymous said...

You know the quote better than I do. The great unspoken truth in this debate is that the fact is the Americans are absolutely right:

The last defense against tyranny is a well armed citizenry!

Do you want the socialist left (Miller,McGuinty, Dion) in charge of a defenceless population in hot pursuit of their agenda of appeasement to the enemies of democracy, local and foreign?

liberal supporter said...

Sorry, but I just can't buy the argument that the drug trade will cease to exist.
Good, because nobody is making that argument.

If you are not making the argument that having citizens packing heat deters crime, then why not ban handguns? Do you think it will make things worse? If not, it might help.

The British experience seems mixed, the crime rate rose, then has dropped in the last couple of years. Maybe people are running out of ammo.

But in 2005/2006, they had 50 homicides with firearms. A similar number to Toronto in 2005, but a population (England and Wales) of 53 million, not 2.5 million.

Twenty times the population, same number of murders. Yes, the handgun ban may not have caused that, but it's not making it worse. And it may be keeping the murder rate where it is.

Moebius said...

So, what have we not already done, short of a handgun ban in this country?

Paul Martin even banned them twice before the last election; didn't work.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good, because nobody is making that argument.

My point is that if drugs are behind the shootings, then banning handguns may not necessarily deter the murders. Criminals will find a way to access guns. If they don't have guns, they will use other means. Gangs will continue to exist.

But I'm so sick of this handgun knee-jerk reaction, I'm ready to say, O.K. try it.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Legalize and control all distribution of drugs. Can it be worse than the situation we have now?
Now the Libertarian in me supports that 100%.

Prohibition did not work, so why not extend that liberty to drugs.

Anonymous said...

Um, can we not suggest 'trying things' we know won't work, but will cost me thousands of dollars in legally held property?

Thanks!

Moebius said...

Drugs for all, I say!!!

I can imagine the Beer Store truck in front of my house delivering my weed.

Anonymous said...

CWTF ... your comments at 8:01 about "look south of the border". I do and would not be foolish enough to approach a home with the thought of robbery knowing that the occupant might have a gun and that I could be blown away for my stupidity. And I don't raise the "Trudeau Salute" when driving down the freeway either. Guns Work my friend!!

West coast Teddi

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Prohibition did not work, so why not extend that liberty to drugs.

Or guns?

Moebius said...

The ban on drugs has created a black market mark-up that makes it profitable for crooks. The buyers must steal from you to support their habit (we wouldn't hire addicts, would we?).

Guns are only really useful to protect your turf.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Anon - I suggest that you look at the crime rates in the US.
Just for "chuckles", look at countries where they do have strong gun control/banning.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

FYI, there is a serious manhunt on right now in the London-Sarnia area for this guy. The local London station had interviewed several people in the area showing how they were planning to protect themselves - guns if they had them, knives otherwise.

In a situation like this, what do you do?

Cherniak_WTF said...

JJ, I have no problems with strong gun laws in Canada. And that includes a registry of all firearms.

I was lucky enough to learn how to shoot. But to be honest, I see archery as being more sports-like when it comes to hunting wild game.

A gun ban would not work either, if that's your question.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

More here.

A gun ban would not work either, if that's your question.

So, you're disagreeing with Miller & Bryant?

Cherniak_WTF said...

In a situation like this, what do you do?
I don't panic easily JJ.
I have had my share of threatening situations. I usually stand my ground without being cocky.
And the few times where I have been cocky is because I knew that they would back down.

It also helps that I look like a biker (at times)...

In this case, here is a desperate individual. Give him what he wants and send him on his way.

Cherniak_WTF said...

.So, you're disagreeing with Miller & Bryant?
Yes but I am for strong gun control.

Moebius said...

I look like a biker too, most of the time.

Most like a tricycler, which is less threatening.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Most like a tricycler, which is less threatening.

Me too. But I can put on a scary face in the morning if I don't have my coffee!

liberal supporter said...

Um, can we not suggest 'trying things' we know won't work, but will cost me thousands of dollars in legally held property?

Thanks!


That was a great argument when they decided to ban slavery, too.

People lost a lot of money because suddenly they could no longer resell their thousands of dollars of legally held property.

I do and would not be foolish enough to approach a home with the thought of robbery knowing that the occupant might have a gun and that I could be blown away for my stupidity.

And just what kind of gun might that soon to be dead home owner be packing? Do you think they'd be any match for your scoped machine gun? Will they have the ammo to pierce your kevlar jacket?

You already have a flimsy door lock to keep the kids out. But serious crooks have serious weapons.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Most like a tricycler, which is less threatening.
I can't wait to be wheelchair bound... nothing so scary as an old man with an electric chair.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes but I am for strong gun control.

Meaning?

SouthernOntarioan said...

Wow.. a lot of posts. Cherniak_wtf:

The correlation of the availability and the crime rate makes sense only when you take into account the entire situation.

For example, in Washington DC all firearms are banned unless in police hands (or army I guess) and yet, lo and behold, they have one of highest murder rates. The university campus Virginia Tech was a weapons-free zone. And still, there was a mass murder there.

Also consider, that nations such as Japan and England where gun bans are in effect are islands and as such it is much more difficult to import weapons than say.. driving across the border from the USA to Canada. As well, in Japan's case, they attach their gun ban with stronger police presences in neighbourhoods (police boxes), stiffer penalties (capital punishment), and an incredible (hard to believe?) solved crime rate (~95%). And still, kids get their hands on swords and kill their classmates.

In England, crimes involving knives have become so common that they recently introduced a 'knife amnesty' and asked people to turn in their excessively large knives. Check it out on BBC.

The idea shouldn't be to ban guns owned by legal gun owners but to teach gun owners better storage and safety techniques to prevent accidents and make theft more difficult. (which they do now by law - a good idea)

Another thing could be to arm our border guards and empower them so they are willing to stop and search people they suspect of bringing guns. Currently, their union policy is "if you think they have a gun, let them through". Not even joking about that, that's what border guards are told.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Wow.. liberal supporter..

Don't you feel that comparing someone's dislike for the government wasting money on a gun registry to the tragedy of slavery is a bit... of a stretch?

Its like comparing the holocaust to the fact that my local Tim Hortons just increased prices.

Cherniak_WTF said...

SouthernOntarioan, banning guns in a city surrounded by easy availability is not your strongest argument...
Still, maybe the stats of gun death per capita and control should be the stat you are looking at....

JJ, I favour a gun registry.

LS, I like your arguments but I'm afraid they are too cerebral for some to understand...

Dirk said...

"Cars have been used as murder weapons too; as have knives. If someone wants to kill someone else, they will find a way."

A gun is a tool whose specific purpose is to kill. Cars and (most) knives, while they've been used to kill people, are not designed for that purpose.

I quite like the idea of a handgun ban. There's really no sensible need for civilians to own a concealable killing tool. I don't understand the opposition to this.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Cherniak_wtf:

You have just pointed out why gun control won't necessarily work in Canada. "banning guns in a city surrounded by easy availability is not your strongest argument..."

Allow me to extend your argument slightly.. banning guns in a city (Toronto) only a short drive away from easy availability (USA) is not your strongest argument...

I don't like to consider 'gun death per capita' stats in lieu of 'murder per capita' stats. Because if banning guns truly does save lives (which is the goal right?) then murder per capita should decrease. Otherwise people are just switching to other weapons to commit the same crimes.

Dirk:

I propose to you that one might want to own a handgun for the following reasons: Antique collectors and target shooters.

Would you begrudge an Olympic target shooter the right to practice their sport in Canada?

I agree that owning a Tech 9 doesn't make much sense, but those sort of handguns are already illegal in Canada. Current laws only permit target shooters, antique collectors and aboriginals to own handguns. (special exemptions do exist)

Opposition to handgun bans exist because many people are not convinced that a handgun ban will solve anything. So why do it? I mean, have we heard if the gun used to kill that 11-year old was even legal or not? Probably it wasn't. So banning handguns would not have prevented this tragedy.

Mac said...

cherniak_wtf said... "Now the Libertarian in me supports that 100%."

Still trying to claim you've got Libertarian leanings despite all evidence to the contrary, I see...

I'm curious... what exactly do you think a firearm registry will do? How do you account for the absolute lack of results from the ten year, +$2 billion Liberal boondoggle of a long arm register?

SouthernOntarioan said...

I'm going to be a bit blasphemous and take data straight from a pro-gun control group www.guncontrol.ca (Coalition for Gun Control). Now the data is a bit dated (1990-1998) so bear with me. And I'm going to use cherniak_wtf's advice and consider firearm homicide per capita stats.

The province with the highest per capita firearm homicide rate (between 1990-1998) was.. *drumroll* Quebec! Which also had the third lowest gun ownership rate. Of course it was closely followed by Alberta which was the province with the most households with firearms and BC which had similar ownership rates as Quebec.

Need more? Saskatchewan and Ontario have the same firearm homicide rates but Saskatchewan has double the number of households with firearms.

So, what have we learned? That firearm homicide rates and gun ownership is not necessarily directly related and that obviously reality is more complicated.

Mary said...

seems to me that the more we try to fix our world the more it goes bad. Mankind has this fixation on thinking that if only we did this or did that things would finally get better. Thinking that in order to stop the gun killing in the streets all we have to do is ban guns. No the killing will still go on and so we try harder to improve the lot of all the citizens so that poverty is eliminated and that should solve that problem, but we know that people go bad sometimes even if they come from, a good family and good circumstances.
The problem is one of the heart and soul but mankind in its arrogance goes about thinking it I do this or that I will make an improvement or if I ban this or that it will solve this or that problem, but not so!
There has always been a problem between good and evil, right or wrong and the war is still going on down here on planet Earth.
What can I say?
Dare I mention God?
No, to be politically correct I must be aware of sensibilities of those who are offended when I mention God and that the struggle is in the heart of each and every person and will not change until mankind admits there is a fundamental flaw within each and every person that needs to be addressed before the planet can be at perfect peace.
Now I know that this stir up a whole lot of annoyance with so many people, but it is what I believe and I don’t need to tell you what my beliefs are it is just sufficient to say, the world needs saving from itself and I know that the Savior named Jesus that is up to the job.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mary, you're right. There will always be evil, and those who choose evil will always find a way to do it, no matter what we try to ban.

Here is a picture of someone who has "allegedly" chosen evil. If we had no guns in Canada, I'm sure he'd still have found a way to kill those three people.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

JJ, I favour a gun registry.

So, status quo, right?

A gun is a tool whose specific purpose is to kill. Cars and (most) knives, while they've been used to kill people, are not designed for that purpose.

That's right. Hunting knives are not meant to be used to chop onion. They should be banned too.

Cherniak_WTF said...

ah mac, glad to see you bring up the gun registry.
Now none of the extra expenses are due to pro-lobby groups tying up the system, right?

None of the police associations want that registry, they have said they love going to house where they don't know if the possibility of guns in the house are there....

Cherniak_WTF said...

S.O. - how about expanding your search to include other country. I did say to look south of the border...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Dare I mention God?
You did.
Well, that fine that you found your saviour.

It does not mean he will ever be mine - and so far, I've yet to turn into evil, although I may be sarcastic at times.

JJ, silly you, hunting knives are usually for skinning game, not chopping onions...

SouthernOntarioan said...

Sure Cherniak_wtf, lets include Switzerland and the USA into the data. Again we find that the USA (on average) has high gun ownership and high crime rates. But, many areas of low gun ownership (Washington DC) have higher crime rates while some areas of incredibly high gun ownership have low crime rates.

In Switzerland, gun ownership is just about universal and yet, lo and behold, they have crime rates that according to the BBC are 'too low to count'.

Again, there is no correlation between gun ownership and crime rates.

About that guy JJ, if the newspaper I read was correct, Windsor Star, he murdered the first guy by strangling him to death.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

About that guy JJ, if the newspaper I read was correct, Windsor Star, he murdered the first guy by strangling him to death.

So we should ban hands.

liberal supporter said...

Hunting knives are not meant to be used to chop onion. They should be banned too.

Unless you are a circus performer, you probably cannot hurt me with your knife unless you are within arms length of me. I can run away from you and your knife, but I cannot outrun a speeding bullet.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I can run away from you and your knife, but I cannot outrun a speeding bullet.

Where there's a will there's a way. Wasn't there a stabbing spree going on recently at the Calgary Stampede? Something about somebody engaging people in a conversation in a crowded area and then stabbing them? Don't have the specifics, but I do recall seeing that on the news.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Yes JJ I remember that news story, and knives can be smaller than guns and more easily concealed.

A person with a sword/knife is just as capable of killing someone as a person with a gun.

Handguns are also horribly innaccurate. The downside to this means that while a knife hits its intended victim and rarely misses a gun may hit bystanders.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Handguns are also horribly innaccurate. The downside to this means that while a knife hits its intended victim and rarely misses a gun may hit bystanders.
You are dropping in bizzaro world here...

liberal supporter said...

A person with a sword/knife is just as capable of killing someone as a person with a gun.

I'd rather be up against a knife than a gun.

Did that stupid Liberal government send the troops to Afghanistan with, with, (gulp) with guns? How stupid could they be? We should have sent the troops with knives, of course.

Or the best of both worlds, a gun and a knife. Yes, we should be equipping our soldiers with bayonets.

SouthernOntarioan said...

cherniak_wtf:

Do your rely on television for your knowledge of handguns, where the protagonist can shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hands?

Why do you think that in the shootout only an 11-year old bystander was killed and neither of the two men shooting? Handguns are horribly inaccurate in the hands of a novice.

Even in the hands of a trained professional it is difficult to fire accurately at great distances, which is why police often are trained to aim for the torso rather than the legs, its a much bigger target.

LS: The bayonet is still used by soldiers although bayonet charges fell out of style back in the 1910s. Something about machine guns being able to mow under soldiers before they could reach bayonet range. Something that isn't true in an urban setting.

But the bayonet is useful in close combat, stabbing opponents, picking spinach from one's teeth and most importantly chopping tomatoes.

Which reminds me, wasn't one of our soldiers killed by an axe-wielding villager?

SouthernOntarioan said...

Its something that isn't necessarily true in an urban setting because a criminal armed with a knife only needs to get within arms reach. And since we do that everyday with strangers...

Moebius said...

Guns are completely unnecessary in this country, except for hunting, and to shoot other bad guys with guns.

If there were a minimum 10-year sentence for any crime involving a gun, maybe there might be fewer of them.

The registry is a waste of time and money. It's mainly a dream for goverments that prosper on bureaucracy, and need jobs for their friends. Prosecute users severely.

Oh, yes, and legalize drugs!

Thank you for your cooperation!

Mac said...

cherniak_wtf said... "ah mac, glad to see you bring up the gun registry."

Actually, you brought it up first, c_wtf. In response to that, I asked you a couple of direct questions. As usual, you respond with piffle and spin.

If both the long gun registry and the handgun registry disappeared tomorrow, the effect on frontline policing would be nil. I'm sorry if that doesn't fit your leftist vision but it's the truth.

Mac said...

Actually, SouthernOntarioan, what they taught us in training in Regina that if someone who has even minimal training in using a knife or other edged weapon is within 8 metres (or roughly 26 feet), you will get cut. It's amazing how fast someone can cover that distance... and how long it takes to observe the movement, recognize the threat and react... Whether that cut is fatal, debilitating or simple depends on how you react.

Cherniak_WTF said...

If both the long gun registry and the handgun registry disappeared tomorrow, the effect on frontline policing would be nil. I'm sorry if that doesn't fit your leftist vision but it's the truth.

Proof, studies or any other evidence to back up your claims?

Dirk said...

"Which reminds me, wasn't one of our soldiers killed by an axe-wielding villager?"

Nope. He was severely injured, but didn't die.

I agree that handguns aren't as accurate as, say, a rifle. But If you're shooting off ten rounds, you only need 10% accuracy to kill your target. And those nine other rounds? Some of those end up in a kid's throat, or in people's houses.

Mac said...

cherniak_wtf said... "Proof, studies or any other evidence to back up your claims?"

Should I answer your questions since you don't answer mine? If you applied a bit of thought, you'd realize my assertion is accurate; it's elementary.