Thursday, December 08, 2005

Banning Handguns-Thinking Long Term

It is true, banning handguns isn’t going to help solve the immediate crisis in inner city Toronto and Vancouver. Yet that does not mean that we should not ban them. I will always remember when I was around eleven or twelve and I learned that it was actually legal to own a gun other then for hunting. I had always assumed that here in Canada it was illegal and that we understood that owning guns has no real purpose. It is true people kill people but people use guns to kill people also.

Mandatory minimum sentencing is a good idea, I have no problem with such a policy and I encourage it but we need to recognize that it will also not solve the problems. The issue isn’t so much keeping those who offend in prison, the bigger issue is how to get more people who offend in prison to begin with or more specifically how do we catch them. The key here is two fold, first more police are needed on the streets to both deter those who wish to commit crimes and secondly to arrest and prosecute those who do. Another issue which needs to be debated is the social and root causes of the problems. None of the parties have really addressed this issue yet so I will withhold my comments on that subject as it is a debate that is way to complex for a few short lines.

In the long term banning handguns will have a positive effect on society, and I really have not heard an argument on why it wouldn’t. All I have seen or read is why it doesn’t solve the immediate problems in areas such as Jane and Finch. I have read stats that 50% of guns used in crimes are illegally imported from the states. I think everyone can agree then that we need to put more resources into our border security to stop that. But what about that other 50%, I mean I doubt a large percentage is coming over by cargo ship. Now it is true those who commit most armed robberies or murders in these areas do not legally obtain weapons, but at some point that weapon was purchased by someone legally. Many times weapons are stolen from those who owned it legally or it has changed hands many times but at some point it entered society is a legal weapon in many instances. By banning handguns you stop that weapon from entering the system.

Secondly, we forget about other types of crimes that are committed outside of these gang related murders. Many hand guns are used to commit murder in spousal situations. Those guns are in fact most of the time legally purchased. By taking away the means of the crime you in many circumstances are taking away the crime entirely. I know that in many cases a person might commit that same crime with a knife or other means but for a small few they will not.

Let us look past the fact that this is an inadequate solution to a major problem and made primarily for optics during an election campaign. At the end of the day the policy, maybe for many other reasons is a positive step.


  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Halden said…

    Getting people to understand the long term, positive aspects of this legislation will be a tough battle. People want an immediate answer to the recent increase in Toronto but this is not that answer but that does not negate the value of these laws.

  • At 12:22 AM, Blogger Jamaican in Canada said…

    Well now its handguns, last week it was rapper 50 Cents. I wonder what next week will hold perhaps they will ban cell phones

    I am a new Canadian and as far as I see Liberals=Conservatives=Same for people like me

  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger Candace said…

    If you don't think that handguns aren't already effectively banned, I suggest you read this post (you need to go to the 3rd or 4th paragraph to see what gunowners go through), written by a legal hand-gun owner who shoots targets. The "50% from the US" number can't be verified (since, after all, they are smuggled); however, the last time YOU left the country, which customs agent asked you what you were bringing? The Canadian one? Uh, no, probably not. The Liberal gov't refuses to arm our border guards, yet expect them to take on gun-runners with... what, a notebook? The Liberal gov't has CLOSED RCMP detachments near and at remote border crossings in the Prairies. How are we going to "crack down" on gun smuggling under more of this silliness?

    Statistically, gun crimes RISE with banning - the UK is a classic example of that.

    What we need are mandatory minimums (not just "doubling" minimums of one year) of significance, to be served consecutively, rather than concurrently. That will get some of the creeps of the streets right away, and give pause to those considering a remake of the OK Corral at Bloor & Yonge.

    You should check out a few of the more conservative sites of those living in the heart of Jane & Finch for their perspectives. You might be surprised. is a good one, as is (she tends to do a fair number of postings on world politics, but has some real gems around life in Toronto's lower-income neighborhoods, you just have to dig a bit).

  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger AwaWiYe said…

    >that we understood that owning guns has no real purpose

    If we understand "X" has no real purpose, and "X" can be shown to cause public harm (eg. increase public health care costs, pose health and safety risks), we should ban "X". We can have a lot of fun with your philosophy, but not much fun when we've finished playing tit for tat. Smoking serves no real purpose. Intoxication serves no real purpose. Sexual activity other than for the purpose of procreation serves no purpose.

    Oh, wait, you mean enjoyment is a purpose? Well, you keep your smokes and drinks and drugs and whatnot, and the target shooters will keep their guns. Each will enjoy his pleasures and respect the right of others to enjoy theirs. How does that sound?

  • At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    On a slightly different tac. Can anyone tell me why convicted criminals serving their sentence should be allowed the vote ?

    Is it not a privilege much like a drivers licence.... if abused then its removed.

  • At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Leet Surfer Man said…

    Could you please expand on that man?
    Hi neighbor


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