Thursday, December 08, 2005

Handgun ban: Paul Martin

Blogging will be light today. There are some interesting stories developing in this election.
  1. The Goodale office Income Trusts leak. Developing...
  2. The handgun ban proposed by the Liberal party has been receiving some really negative response. It seemed like a sure fire hit. However, after reading some information, I am not so sure.
See here. Apparently the handgun ban in the UK has actually, causally or non-causally, increased handgun crimes since the ban. By 40%.

Ironically, a handgun ban is practically in effect already in Canada. Handguns are only given to registered owners. It has been this way for over 60 years. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the electorate.

Obviously no one is in favour of having unrestricted access to handguns. However, it seems like a smokescreen announcement, given the fact that the gun registry has not lessoned gun violence. And that an all out ban in other countries have not been proven to be successful.

So how can handgun crime be lessoned? For starters, how about severe penalties for possessions of handguns outside of a government sanctioned handgun?

Secondly, there needs to be a study done on handgun crimes on guns that have been registered. If handguns used in crimes are typically registered, that is a good correlation to measure. If handguns in crimes are illegal, then any registry has proved to be ineffective. Thus, registered owners that do no harm ought not be punished.

Third, the root of the problem cannot be solved by a quick fix. It means an agenda of education of values, where people are taught that problems are resolved between people and the law. Not vigilante justice. Violent vigilante justice ought not be tolerated by the community.

Of course, it is doubtful we are ever to see real vision on this issue. If people still want to kill each other, they will find a way. Whether that be a gun, knife, or some other method. The method is not the problem. The people controlling the method are. If violence is to cease, then people will need to smarten up. No statist law or regulation can instantly change people. If a government is to govern for the future, it needs to foster values - a hard word for a government to digest, let alone legislate.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"For starters, how about severe penalties for possessions of handguns outside of a government sanctioned handgun?"

The existing law provides for a penalty of up to ten years in prison. In practice though you never hear of such large penalties actually being levied, though to an otherwise lawful person the mere possibility of such a large sentence must be very intimidating.

In most criminal cases the charge of illegal possession of a Restricted or Prohibited weapon does not end up being applied (either there's enough stuff relevant to the actual crime committed to charge them with, or the gun charges are used as bargaining chips). This isn't anything worth getting too excited over though, it's not a gun-specific issue, this is consistent with general criminal legal practices.

"... a study done on handgun crimes on guns that have been registered..."

Already been done, year after year. In fact a lot of this can be gotten by reading the older RCMP annual reports on the handgun registry (when they administered it), or the newer annual Canadian Firearms Centre reports. Legally registered handguns (and firearms in general) just aren't much of a problem at all.

Ask a police officer, your MP, or the Canadian Firearms Centre how many firearms seized in criminal investigations turn out to be registered.


"... where people are taught that problems are resolved between people and the law. Not vigilante justice. Violent vigilante justice ought not be tolerated by the community."

Don't most of the problems seem to be with crime, not vigilante justice? As a matter of fact, I can't recall ever hearing in the news about acts of vigilante justice.



Signed,

- N.B. shooter

Jonathan said...

Isn't almost every crime a form of vigilantism? I mean, they would rather put a bullet into a person rather than take their disputes to the law.

I am not saying this vigilantism is right - but it is what it is: taking the law into their own hands, especially when there is no law that they are enforcing. Vigilante justice is strictly a foray into subjective ideas of justice, not something that mirrors justice.