Skip to comments.Is happiness a banned gun?
Posted on 12/09/2005 3:24:28 PM PST by proud_yank
After a horrendous summer in Toronto, where more than three dozen people were shot to death on the streets, it was inevitable that gun control and gang violence would figure prominently in the current election campaign.
Indeed, even before the campaign began, Prime Minister Paul Martin promised: "We're going to take handguns out of our communities."
Now, with the election campaign in its second week, the prime minister has returned to the hard streets of the country's largest city and promised an outright ban on handguns "to make our communities safer."
Nobody would disagree with the hope. But handguns and gang violence in a modern big city may prove to be more complex than any other problem confronting Canada's political leaders in this election campaign.
However chaotic the streets of Toronto may have seemed last summer, the rate of gun homicide this year in the city is actually fractionally lower than it was in 1991.
And Toronto's murder rate per capita this year is lower than the rate for Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary.
But the nature of firearm violence has changed dramatically since the first of the stronger gun-control laws of the modern era was passed in 1991 and then strengthened four years later. There has been a 68 per cent decline in homicides involving rifles and shotguns. By contrast, the rate of murder by handguns has dropped by a more modest 30 per cent.
In theory, handguns have been controlled through registration since the 1930s and effectively illegal for all but target shooters since 1991.
The harsh reality is that people inclined to use handguns are not concerned much by what the law says. Virtually all the handguns on the streets of Canadian cities have been stolen from legal collections in Canada or smuggled from the United States.
The estimate of U.S. authorities is that 280 million people in the United States own 230 million guns. Every year, 500,000 of those are stolen and disappear into the underworld.
How many of those stolen American guns make their way into Canada, nobody knows. Canada Customs seizes about 1,500 smuggled guns every year, but that gives no indication of the real number. Only about three per cent of the traffic across the Canada-U.S. border is inspected, so the guns they miss may number 50,000 or many, many more.
It is the appearance of armed gangs using illegal handguns on the streets of Toronto and other large cities that has created the greatest uncertainty about public safety. The Coalition for Gun Control cites the case of a Toronto man who unknowingly tried to cross the border with 23 high-powered handguns that someone had hidden in the trunk of his car. The guns were destined for a Toronto gang.
The reality is that despite the newspaper headlines and concern of politicians, there has not been a massive rise in violent crime. Over the past 30 years, the level of homicides has declined dramatically, so it is hard to see what difference the current election campaign will make.
"The Canada Border Services Agency says it has intercepted 318 guns so far in 2005, below the more than 1,000 seized guns that border guards have averaged annually during the past five years, and far fewer than the 1,500 seized annually in the 1990s.
And while Toronto Police Service Chief Bill Blair was widely quoted last week as saying his officers have seized more than 2,000 guns so far in 2005, civilians in his statistics department say the chief inadvertently "misspoke." Their official tally is only 1,151, consistent with the pace of seizures in recent years.
Source: Globe and Mail, 'Statistics belie flood of guns from U.S.', August 15, 2005
The marijuana industry in BC alone is ~$6-7 Billion annually, and much of it is smuggled into the US. With that much trafficing, I bet that more illegal guns enter the US from Canada than visa-versa. Is that a fair statement? Would anyone disagree with me?
Criminals making weed-gun exchanges? Doesn't seem all that farfetched. Even if they aren't straight barter deals, I would certainly imagine that the profits made from one exchange fuel the others.
I would NEVER trade even my worst gun for weed.....
That's because you're not a dope dealer.
A Raven .25 for a hundred pounds of BC Gold? Homey do that deal now.
Well, in that case, I might have an old Ortgies 32 for someone up in the big Canada....
Oh, yeah. Any drug dealer that isn't packing is either A) a hippy with a clientele too stoned to try to hurt him, B) about to die, or C) Both.
The estimate of U.S. authorities is that 280 million people in the United States own 230 million guns.
Must be some of that "time share" Co-Ownership stuff liberals think up.
Dang, does this mean I own enough guns for 50 people?
I better buy more ammo.
I am rather moderate on the whole 'legalize pot' issue, but I do find it really, really tough to believe that the larger growers & dealers are not armed when moving that much $$ in illegal substance.
Anyway, Lennon said it best, "Happiness is a WARM gun..."
All I know is that one can never have too many guns. I'm asking Mom and Dad for another shotgun for Christmas. I had to try anyways!
Now I have been around the block a few times in my day, but when I seen this, assuming BC is British Columbia, Canada, I had to chuckle a bit. I imagine this is some potent herb....
My son just brought me home a 5 shot Derringer for Christmas.
When you are already a smuggler ( dope ) it is no big deal to toss in some iron ( weapons ) for resale over the border.
"We're going to take handguns out of our communities."
----Too many of our citizens are shooting our robbers, rapists and killers and we won't stand for that! These people have rights too that are being violated when they are shot! ( just kiddin )
Apparently you can order your British Columbian weed seeds on the internet, using your Visa or MasterCard. I'll pass, thanks...but there's no denying it's a big business.
Some sort of timeshare or fractional ownership plan or something? 230MM into 280MM?