Thursday, December 08, 2005

Smoke and Mirrors

Via CBC News we learn Paul Martin has announced he will ban handguns if he is re-elected.

The Liberal strategy for making the streets of Canada's cities safer begins with banning all handguns and getting tougher on crime. Paul Martin announced the proposed ban in a troubled Toronto neighbourhood on Thursday.

"I've come to the conclusion that significant change is needed. I've come to the conclusion that we should ban handguns," Martin said at a community centre in north Etobicoke, a Toronto suburb rocked by a spate of shootings this year. Gunfire has been responsible for 50 of the 74 homicides in Toronto this year. "In a number of our cities ... there has been an upsurge in violent crime involving handguns," he said. "This is not the Canada we imagine. It isn't the Canada we want for our families."

The Liberal strategy, Martin said, would also mean tougher sentences for people convicted of crimes involving guns, better enforcement at the border to stop gun smuggling, and more police assigned to fighting guns and gangs.

This is disingenuous. Handguns have been very tightly regulated in Canada since the 1920s. Banning the legally regulated variety will do nothing to stem the gang shootings in places like Toronto. These handguns are not the ones being used to kill people. It is the illegal handguns being smuggled across the Canada-U.S. border by Canadian criminals that is the problem. And if the Liberals had spent the money wasted on their useless long gun registry ($2 billion and counting) on policing the border we would all be safer from internal urban violence.

The long gun registry, you may recall, was demanded by its proponents by the "Montreal massacre" in which Gamil Gharbi (aka Marc Lapine) murdered 14 women with a rifle at l'Ecole Polytechnique. The registry has cost a fortune and has done little or nothing to address the problem of urban handgun violence.

But then, it was never intended to do that. It was a cynical political move intended to show how deeply the Liberals cared about women. In electoral terms, it probably worked, as it targeted well educated, left leaning, urban women who had never held a rifle in their manicured hands and thought them icky boy toys. They took it for granted that guns were intrinsically evil, as were the men who owned and used them. After all, those of us who didn't massacre women were certainly ready, willing and able to shoot Bambi down in cold blood. It's one thing to bring home the bacon from the supermarket, and another thing altogether to bring home the venison from the hunt.

Meanwhile, the Liberals were actually cutting the resources and staff of the RCMP and closing detachments close to border crossing points. Mr. Martin now says if he is re-elected his party will address related policing and border issues. One has to wonder why, if they cared so deeply, this hasn't been the case from 1993 when they took office, to now.

Spin without real substance is a dreadful thing in the hands of politicians seeking high office.


At 6:45 pm, December 09, 2005 , Blogger Canadi-anna said...

You said it. This was one of the most cynical displays of politicking I've ever seen.

At 11:30 pm, December 09, 2005 , Blogger Kermit said...

For fear of sounding TOO Liberal...

As a conservative in the U.S. of A., I share your pain.

Should it become more than you can bear, all of Canada (well, at least all of CONSERVATIVE Canada, is invited to drop by for a healing soak in the warm mud of the Bog.

Bring beer. If you call ahead, I'll get some chips and sandwiches ready.

Peace and all good,


At 7:34 am, December 10, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...

I'll bring some of the local microbrews. Excellent stuff. Not everything is totally screwed up up here.


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