07 November 2006

The Jungle drums continue beating

UPDATE: 9 Nov 2006 - Liberals "Catch & Release" Program

LONDON -- A man charged with shooting four people in London on Thanksgiving weekend has disappeared in Toronto one day before his release on bail was up for review, outraging politicians and London's top cop.

Ahmed Moalin-Mohamed, 23, is "another headache on our hands," said London police Chief Murray Faulkner, repeating his recent demands for changes to the justice system.
UPDATE: 8 Nov 2006 - What about a Ladder Registry?
The single greatest threat to the physical wellbeing of Ontarians this month has nothing to do with violent crimes or robberies, according to a new Canadian Institute for Health Information report. The true menace, oddly enough, is ladder falls.

On average, 30 people a day were sent to hospital in Ontario last November after falling from a ladder, as people prepared their homes for winter or clean up their gardens, according CIHI.

While I recognise that there are certainly distasteful political moves made regularly by all parties, to enhance the status of their particular political entity, I'm thinkin', "This one's gonna leave a mark".

Are the Conservatives climbing down from their oft-stated principles on this Gun Registry issue?

In 2005, there were 658 homicides in Canada. About a third of that number, or 222 people, were killed with a firearm.

They don't break out the classification of firearms involved, but I'm willing to bet you have a better chance of being killed by a plane falling out of the sky, than with a registered "restricted rifle".

Additionally, among the 478 solved homicides,half were killed by an acquaintance, a third were killed by a family member. Only 20 percent were killed by a stranger.

The biggest threat to a homicide victim, by far, is not a specific type of firearm... it is their family & friends. If you run with a gang, your numbers go way up. Big surprise, huh?

Will "restricted rifles" now be banned altogether?

Apparently, this is being presently being discussed by the Conservative government. It is not based on any real threat, but is a reaction to spree killer Kimveer Gill, who, like fellow madman Gamil Gharbi (who you probably know better as Marc Lepine), also gunned down a bunch of people in the province of Quebec.

So what do the numbers tell us about homicide? Well, for a start, that unregistered guns are the real threat... that's guns smuggled into the country which could never, ever actually be legally registered.

The second thing is that a goodly (and rising) number of these killings were committed by Young Offenders.
The vast majority of guns used in murders that were recovered by police agencies were not registered (83 per cent since 1997).

The youth homicide rate reached a peak in 2005, rising to its highest point in more than 10 years. A total of 65 youths aged 12 to 17 were accused of homicide in 2005, 21 more than in 2004. That’s despite a general decline of six per cent in 2005 in youth crime.
Making an issue out of restricted rifles, which are statistically insignificant, is exactly the same thing the Liberals did after Gharbi/Lepine killed those fourteen women at Ecole Poly-technique in Montreal.

It's smoke and mirrors that changes nothing in the real world.

This politically motivated sleight-of-hand could spell serious trouble for Stephen Harper, outside of the major urban centres. For many decidedly un-metrosexual Conservative Party supporters, taking a solid stand against the 2 billion dollar Farmer Bob Rifle Registry... is seen as an issue of "principle". The solution here, as they found out in Toronto, is more cops and more importantly, more targeted enforcement.

The afore-mentioned principle being that, to combat gun crime, you go after criminals, not the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens, farmers, hunters, collectors and target shooters, who happen to own firearms.

"Restricted rifles", like handguns, are already heavily regulated. Legal owners of both these types of firearms have to take special training and jump through hoops to own them. That the process failed to weed out obvious lunatic Kimveer Gill, speaks to the failure of someone in the regulatory body, not the criminality of every person who owns a firearm.

Be that as it may, it now seems as though this contentious matter was not a rumour, or even a possible trial balloon, as postulated by some people earlier this week.
"Further to our telephone conversation, I can confirm that the government is currently in consultation regarding the possible reclassification of restricted firearms. This process is being conducted with Provincial, Territorial and Stakeholders across Canada. The intention is to improve Canada’s laws, enhancing public safety while keeping with our platform. Please note that this is only a consultation process.

I have requested more information from Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, and as soon as I am in receipt of same, I will be in touch with you.


Elecia Elliott
PA to the Honourable David Emerson, PC, MP
Vancouver Kingsway
This ought to be interesting.

LAST WORD: Who cares about punishing criminals?

Obviously not the Opposition parties.
The Conservative government wants to bring in a series of escalating minimum jail terms of up to 10 years for gun crimes, targeted especially at offences committed with restricted weapons or by gang members.

But Toews faced a combined opposition of Liberal, Bloc Québécois and NDP MPs at the justice committee — who have already watered down the government's bid to restrict conditional sentences, including house arrest.

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