Action is needed on gun control.

Last night’s senseless and tragic shootings on the Danforth are more evidence of Toronto’s gun problem. More ruined lives and shattered families at the hands of a (probably disturbed) young man with a gun.

I agree with Mayor Tory when he asks, “Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?”.  There is no good reason for anyone in this city to own a handgun. If you are a target shooter or collector, sorry; you should realize that the safety of the public must come before your hobby.

For those who believe that owning a gun will protect you and your loved ones, think again. The numbers show that guns don’t work for self defence. Statistics from our neighbours to the south amply demonstrate that the person most likely to be shot by a gun is its owner. About one child per week in the U.S. is accidentally shot by a family member’s gun.

A person pulling the trigger on a gun is most likely to be shooting themselves, then their family, then commit a felony, then way, way, way down the line, if they’re lucky, they hit a bad guy.   – Psychology Today

Until recently, most guns used in criminal acts came from the U.S. Now, the majority are supplied domestically from legal and illegal sources or from burgled gun collectors.

The Harper government weakened gun laws in this country in 2012. At the time they insisted that it was the right thing to do, emulating their Republican and NRA friends. Unfortunately, we are seeing the results of that misguided legislation.

Firearms flooded into Canada after Stephen Harper’s Conservative government dismantled the federal long gun registry in 2012 — nearly two million rifles, shotguns and handguns were imported for retail sale across the country over just five years, federal records show. iPolitics.ca 

The Trudeau government has proposed legislation that will tighten gun purchasing requirements. The legislation has been criticized for being too weak. This Liberal platform promise has languished for too long and needs urgent action.

One thing is clear in all the (legitimate) studies; gun control works. What then needs to be done?

There should be:

Guns are far too readily available to far too many people – Mayor Tory

14 thoughts on “Action is needed on gun control.”

  1. “Until recently, most guns used in criminal acts came from the U.S. Now, the majority are supplied domestically from legal and illegal sources or from burgled gun collectors.”

    I would be interested in seeing the source of this information. I couldn’t find anything to confirm this by googling it. Anecdotally, it seems the vast majority of “crime guns” seized in Toronto are sourced from the US; for example, Adam’s post of June 24 indicates that most (all?) of the 60 handguns seized were purchased in Florida (where they cost 1/10 of what a Toronto gangster would pay).

    Why is this important? Because the VERY UNUSUAL tragedy on the Danforth and the wider problem of (apparently increasing) gang-related gun violence has been seized upon by Mayor Tory and others to suggest our gun laws are inadequate, to mirror the ongoing rancor over the issue of gun control south of the border, and distract from the issue of effective urban policing. This is a gimmick, just like the Shotstopper gimmick you criticized the other day.

    The level of gun crime in Canada is low, and has generally dropped since the 80’s, particularly when one considers the porous 6,500 km-long border with the United States. Canadian gun owners are not responsible for anything like the same level of accidental death and injury that one sees in the US, where there is no mandatory safety training and most States have no laws on safe storage and only rudimentary background checks.

    I do not own a handgun and I have no desire to own one. However, it seems to me that the number of gun owners who are legally entitled to own handguns is so small, and they already operate under such a restrictive regime, it is doubtful that further restriction would have any meaningful effect on the level of handgun crime in this country. Such a policy would be little more than a symbolic gesture, similar to when shooting ranges were banned under Mayor Miller.

    Sure, it might be said that nobody “needs” to own a gun, but this is a poor basis upon which to form public policy. One might just as easily argue from a “public safety” standpoint that Trampolines or ATVs should be banned because nobody “needs” to own them and used improperly they are involved in far more serious accidents than legally owned handguns.

    1. Hi Eric and thanks for your thoughtful reply.
      I don’t believe it’s a gimmick to be tough on guns. Canadian gun crime may be lower than in the U.S. but it’s considerably higher than in Europe where access to guns is more restricted. In places like Australia and Scotland, crackdowns on guns occurred after mass shootings there and this has resulted in a dramatic decline in such events. With regard to trampolines and ATVs, unlike guns, these items were neither designed nor intended to kill people.
      Here are some links that might be of interest:
      https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2018/06/08/how-to-stop-gun-violence-in-toronto.html
      https://www.news1130.com/2016/04/15/gangster-guns-canada/
      https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/04/world/gun-control-uk-australia/index.html

  2. Gun control is necessary, now! Strict enforcement by police and work to get those Harper-expedited guns out of circulation.

    Now.

  3. Harper expedited guns? Wow. Thats a real stretch. Lets call it for what it is. Illegal hand guns coming across the border at various points where there are very little checks or monitoring. You want to stop it, tighten the borders. Easier said then done.

  4. Come on folks, the problem has virtually nothing to do with legal Canadian gun owners. The problem stems from the degenerates that Canada has long allowed to enter the country, hip hop and rap media portraying crime as cool, drugs, fatherless children and most importantly, an absolutely wimpy, ineffective legal system. Want to see gun crime decrease? Hang criminal shooters and punish illegal gun owners and traffickers VERY harshly. No short country club or jail time. AND… make incarceration a living hell.

  5. The vast majority of Canadian guns are “long guns,” i.e. rifles and shotguns. Although difficult to obtain a long gun, the process is considerably more stringent to obatin a “restricted,” assault type rifle or handgun. In fact, Canada has a particularly structured ans controlled application process compared to most developed world countries. The guns prevalently used in crimes are handguns and as mentioned, difficult to legally obtain. We’ll soon learn where the Danforth shooter obtained his weapon, and I bet he wasn’t it’s legal owner. Straw buyers of firearms may be increasing in Canada as the media reports, however handguns are, if any, a micro fraction of that. Don’t believe everything you read or see in the media.

    1. There is no registry or requirement to register non-restricted guns in this country (thanks Harper). If a weapon (such as a handgun) is restricted, you need a firearms acquisition license in order to purchase and register it. Most civilized countries have extensive checks on who can own a gun. It’s not easy to buy a gun in most civilized countries. Try buying a gun in Australia or the U.K. It’s next to impossible after a couple of mass shootings.
      The U.S. has a patchwork of regulations but gun shows provide a gaping loophole and this is where many are traded.
      You’re probably right that he didn’t buy his gun legally but it may well have once belonged to a legal collector or have been smuggled in from the U.S.

    2. The gun was stolen in 2015 from a dealer in Saskatoon. If handgun sales had been banned in Canada, those lives would not have been lost.

  6. This just in..

    The Danforth shooter’s weapon belongs to his his older brother, the gangster who is in a coma. And, apparently they found another gun on site when they searched the apartment unit.

    Now, how he learned to handle the weapon adeptly is another thing.

    Plus, he died of a self inflicted gun shot that night.

    Naturally, ISIS wants to take credit for his assault.

  7. There’s no shortage of so-called insight & opinion out there when it comes to this topic. Nevertheless, just caught up and heard a couple of good chats From the CBC Radio site.

    The first, on “Metro Morning” w/ Matt Galloway (July 24) who spoke with Dr. Peter Donnelly, a Scotsman who worked toward improving life in Scotland and in particular, Glasgow – both the nation and largest city known to be the most violent on the planet. He now heads up a health group here in Ontario and has some thoughts to share about mental health & (gun) violence. (Glasgow’s massive murder rate was gang & knife related.)

    The second decent chat was on “The Current”, also on the CBC Radio 1 site (July 24) where their guest host spoke with former Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief, Peter Sloly, who resides near the Danforth. He has much to say about the guns & mental health topic as well.

    Anyway, not hard to find – CBC.ca / Radio

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