Canada Blames U.S. for Gun Violence

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by TankiesYank, Dec 29, 2005.

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  1. Canada Blames U.S. for Gun Violence

    I read this story on CNN and it's been picked up by some international papers as well...I honestly don't know what to think about this, since I know so little about Canadian gun ownership and even less about whether American attitudes differ from our northern cousins.

    I wasn't able to find very solid figures on gun ownership in Canada...lots of varying opinion on the license law, but not much else that supports this opinion. All of the stuff I read (both pro- and anti-gun) seems to suggest that there's a number of Canadian gun owners that have not complied with the new legislation. So I'd like to put it to our Canadian friends here:

    1. Could an increase in gun violence be the result of unlicensed gun traffic from the U.S?
    2. Is this attitude increasingly common in Canada?
    3. Or has someone just watched Bowling for Columbine one too many times?

  2. most murders and firearm crime in cannuklandia are committed with handguns illegally imported over the border from yankistan.

    this has been the case for decades.
  3. They're still feeling the after-effects of the loss of last year's hockey season.
  4. Interesting questions, TY and I will do my best to answer them. However, to give some context to my answers, I live on the Prairies and would be considered a redneck in many ways. That said, I have not owned a firearm for many years. I used to hunt, but just sort of fell out of it about 15 years ago and the urge to go and shoot ducks/geese/rabbits/deer just isn't there anymore.

    Anyway, to answer your first question, gun smuggling is a part of the problem. Currently, our Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin is quoting a figure of 50% of guns used in violent crimes in Canada come from the US. I haven't seen any data that would corroborate this figure, but neither have I seen any to counter it, so for the moment I will accept that figure. This means two things. Firstly, while half the guns used in violent crime in Canada come from the US, the other half originate from other than the US. What is Canada doing about the sourcing of this other 50% that they can't blame the US for? Not much apparently. Secondly, even if we accept that 50% of the guns used in violent crime in Canada come from the US, how did they get here? Simple, they were smuggled across the Canadian border past Canadian border guards. It is not the job of the US government to secure the Canadian border, that is the responsibility of the Canadian government. Again, apparently we aren't doing much other than blaming the Yanks for a problem that is clearly ours and not theirs.

    As to your second question, I'm not sure what you are asking, but I believe it is if the attitude of non-compliance with registering firearms is increasingly common here. Hard to say. Yes, we have a gun registry and yes handguns in specific have been registered since the 1930s. However, criminals don't tend to register their weapons. I believe the long-gun registry currently has some 7 million weapons registered. Prior to the implementation of the long-gun registry, the government estimated that there were some 20 million long-guns in Canada. Where have the other 13 million long-guns gone? Don't know, they aren't registered. As an aside, it should be noted that people have successfully registered such dangerous weapons as soldering guns, glue guns and caulking guns in the long-gun registry. Thankfully, none of these weapons have been used in Toronto gang-related violence as of late. As well, it should be noted that the long-gun registry was promised by the Honourable Alan Rock to have a net cost of $2 million Canadian dollars, at most. At last count the cost was well in excess of $1 billion Canadian dollars and quickly headed to the $2 billion dollar mark. Small cost to register almost 30% of the long-guns in the country, eh?

    Regarding Bowling For Columbine, well, an interesting flick and Mr. Moore certainly had some very complimentary things to say about Canada. However, as the current level of 52 gun-related deaths in Toronto alone this year attests, we really aren't too different from our American cousins in some ways.

    Hope this provides some answers. Cheers and best for a Happy New Year.
  5. wotan...thank you for such a comprehensive answer! The Tankie has fond memories of the prairie...up-ending big oily machines and freezing his nuts off...

    Anyway, just to clarify #2, I meant the attitude displayed by the quotees in the article about blaming the U.S. for the recent surge in violence. Is this just a politico's soundbite, or is this something that Canadian people generally believe as well?

    And how many people were killed by errant hockey pucks in Canada in 2003/2004, FFS? Nobody talks about that. :D
  6. TY, you are very welcome. I hope the answer wasn't too drawn out, but why use five words if fifty will do, right?

    Blaming the US for gun in Canada is a political weapon, especially now that we are in the midst of a federal election. But, there is an underlying sentiment of anti-Americanism throughout Canada. That is not to say all Canadians are anti-American, but the attitude exists in pretty much every region of the nation. In some cases, it is expressed as fervent anti-Americanism as for example was the case with the Honourable Carolyn Parrish, Member of Parliament for Missisauga-Erindale (Toronto area). A quote of hers is "Americans - I hate the bastards". Not exactly the diplomatic approach a federal politician should be taking with our greatest trading partner and ally, yet we are a democracy and she has her right to speak her mind. While I disapprove of her sentiment, I appreciate the fact that she is at least honest about her attitudes.

    There are also much lighter shades of anti-Americanism. A few years ago a US Marine Corps colour guard at a sporting event in Canada (a Toronto Blue Jays game I think, but I am open to correction) marched on the colours, however the Canadian National Flag was upside down. The immediate reaction of almost every Canadian was along the lines of "Well what can you expect of the stupid Americans, they don't know anything about any country but theirs". While having our National Flag is certainly grounds to be offended and upset, it seemed to me that most folks lost all sense of perspective about the event and simply allowed themselves to get carried away with a knee-jerk reaction. The officer in charge of the guard and the Marines under his command were absolutely mortified that they had goofed up, deeply apologized and begged to be given the opportunity to correct their error at another sporting event soon after. This they did and I am given to understand that they did an outstanding job. To my fellow coutrymen's credit, the most of the Canadians in attendance heartily cheered and applauded them and made it clear that all was forgiven. But, there were still those few that booed the colour guard and also booed during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

    All this to say that given the fact that we are in the midst of an election and given the prevalence of at least some degree of anti-Americanism throughout the country (ranging from hatred to just wanting to stand up and poke the big kid on the block in the eye), pandering to this sentiment can potentially turn into votes on election day. I don't think it is a wise policy or will solve any of our problems with the Americans the day after the election, regardless of who wins, but it is a matter of realpolitik and the Liberals have unfortunately decided to take whatever short-term electoral advantage they can.

    As for my personal opinion, the Yanks aren't always right and don't always have the solution. But they aren't always wrong and certainly aren't the bad guys out there. They screw up and sometimes they do dopey things. However, I believe that as a people, all politics aside, they are good folks who are trying to do the right thing. But the responsibility for having illegal guns in this country and soaring crime rates is not the fault of the American people or their government. It is a Canadian government responsibility and the sooner they start accepting that responsibility and acting upon it, the safer our streets will be.

    Sorry about the long-winded response, but hopefully it gives some perspective from this side of the pond and north of the great unwashed. Cheers.
  7. The 1992 World Series. The incident happened in Atlanta.

    An excellent post, wotan, and your quote above is exactly right. But I am not holding my breath that Martin, Miller, and McGuinty will ever come up with a common sense solution. I'm willing to bet that they'll trot out the tired "we have to address root causes" and throw more money down the drain in social spending and basketball courts, rather than actually doing something concrete.

    All I can hope is that Harper wins as PM. (Yes, I'm from Ontario, but I don't have the schizophrenic Ontario mentality that makes me despair for the rest of my province).
  8. The fact is, Guns were never a 'problem' in Canada before the first round of laws that created the FAC, the 'point a to point b' permits, and extra catogories of restricted, prohibited firearms.

    It has only become worse since then, especially with the most recent laws and 'long-gun" Registery. This Registery is a complete failure, and the Canadian Government will likely never admit it.

    It does not surprise me that blame would be placed on the US. It is certainly easier than blaming the current gun laws of Canada.
    Obviously there is a growing Criminal problem, that the simple curbing of any illegal smuggling of firearms across borders will not stop.
  9. Thanks for the kind words GB, much appreciated. And thanks for the correction on the locale of the incident as well. I'm not a big sporting fan, but the essentials of the incident stuck with me. Say, wasn't that the first of TWO worlds series the Jays won? lol

    RCSigs, you make a very interesting point. There seems to be, at least among gang members and other criminal elements, far less concern for the sanctity of human life as well as a complete disregard for the law and any repercussions that could result from their actions. I am sure that the two fellows that got cuffed in Toronto in relation to the shooting of that poor girl are going to trot out the usual nonsense about how they are poor and black and cut off from opportunities that Canadian society affords rich white kids. Utter nonsense, but I am sure a judge somewhere will buy it.

    We have good laws in this nation and adequate sentencing is available to judges, except in the case of young offenders. If we would simply apply adequate sentences, rid ourselves of concurrent sentencing and bring in "truth in sentencing" wherein life means life, I think things would quickly start to improve. But, when a kid of 15, 16 or 17 can get involved in a multi-million drug op (could be ecstasy, could be crystal meth or could be good old weed) and not fear much of a sentence, even if he kills someone, it becomes rather hard for that young man to see the down side even of being caught. However, explain to him that if he gets caught he will spend the next 50 years of his life learning to be the girlfriend of a group of nasty individuals, he may just reconsider his options in life.

    Just my .02 and I'm not a politician, so what the Hell do I know?