Yesterday, a spokesperson for federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said that effectively, there is a ban on handguns in Canada. "They are already extremely tightly controlled and are only available to those requiring them for employment purposes, legitimate target shooters and approved collectors," said Melissa Leclerc.What, you may wonder, has prompted Mayor Miller's latest assault on the tiny minority of a minuscule group of Canadians who possess guns legally? Answer: an eleven year-old Toronto boy was shot to death on hizzoner's watch in spite of draconian gun control laws.
...Like the shooting of Cadougan [Shaquan Cadougan, then four] two years ago, [eleven year-old Ephraim] Brown's murder has sparked an outcry, with calls by Attorney General Michael Bryant and Mayor David Miller to push Ottawa to ban handguns.Ontario parents can rest easier knowing that AG Bryant did not mention the number of small Ontarian children and the potential for kidnapping in the same breath. We have laws, you know.
Bryant said yesterday Ottawa should heed the outcry. "We've got 215,000 (registered) handguns in Ontario alone and each one of them is a target for theft."
Miller and Bryant's hackish whining in favor of redundant feel-goodism reveals their faux-cluelessness. According to a Toronto Star story, there are two men charged in the death of Ephraim Brown:
...One man, Akiel Eubank, 20, has had numerous run-ins with the law and wears his gang affiliation razored into his haircut. Police describe him as a gang member with a history of violence and weapons offences. He was on probation and prohibited from owning weapons.So. One guy, a known gang thug, was banned (more banned than before, I guess) from owning weapons and was on parole. The other guy has an extensive criminal record, and was charged in the shooting of a four year-old two years ago. (It would be interesting to know why those charges were withdrawn.) So why aren't the Mayor and the Minister talking about banning criminals, since banning criminals from owning guns is demonstrably and tragically ineffective? It's because gangsta gun-violence on the streets of Toronto can't be the result of Toronto's mayor's feckless support of law enforcement: It must be the fault of the United States. Without a Second Amendment in the US, Canada's gun-related criminal problems would disappear.
The other, Gregory Sappleton, 21, two years ago faced numerous charges after a home in the city's north end was sprayed with bullets, injuring four people including Shaquan Cadougan, then 4, believed then to be Toronto's youngest shooting victim.
These two are the suspects charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the death of 11-year-old Ephraim Brown, believed to be Toronto's youngest fatal-shooting victim.
[Mayor] Miller called on Ottawa to press Washington to toughen U.S. gun laws.On the other hand, Canada is following the US in some gun related areas:
"I really believe it's time for the Canadian government at the national level to say to the United States of America, we're good friends, but your gun laws are exporting a problem to our country."
Canada's first armed border guards are to graduate from firearms training this week, ready to go to the border with their new weapons, a union leader says.These customs agents, of course, are the ones charged with keeping guns out of Canada. We can only hope their guns won't be stolen in Ontario.
"The next time each of the officers who complete their training report to work, they will be doing so with their firearms," said Ron Moran, national president of the Customs Excise Union, representing 4,800 guards who are to be trained during the next nine years.
In the past, the RCMP were called to the border to deal with threats that might have required firearms.
Twenty-four officers in Chilliwack and 28 in Ottawa have gone through three-week training programs. Both groups are being trained by the RCMP, who are also offering instruction on the use-of-force continuum - the responses to threats allowed under the law.
...Mr. Moran called the arrival of firearms "the most fundamental cultural change" ever for his organization. Their U.S. counterparts have carried weapons for decades.
In the past, some Canadian guards had abandoned their posts upon hearing reports that armed suspects were headed their way. [Who could blame them?]
Mr. Moran said there was an uncomfortable irony in the fact that Canadian border guards had been equipped, for years, with bulletproof vests so they were protected from being shot, but that they did not have weapons with which to defend themselves in such situations.
If the United States of America didn't exist, some socialist Canadian politician would have to invent it. TOC has commented a number of times on Canada's gun laws and anti-American political artful dodging. On rereading these particular posts on that theme, I think they're worth a recommendation:
Friday, August 26, 2005
Criminals, by Definition, Don't Respect the Law
Monday, August 29, 2005
Department of Departments Department
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monday, January 02, 2006
the void in their lives
Tuesday, January 03, 2006