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Gun Culture and crime, Liberals

When all else fails--blame the Americans

By Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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According to the Toronto Star, the Liberal government is set to announce new and tougher laws to fight crime. In addition to proposed new legislation the federal government is also considering suing U.S. gun manufactures for the fact that some of their firearms are smuggled into Canada and used by Canadians to kill other Canadians. Toronto police have estimated that 50 percent of the guns that are found on the streets of Toronto have their origins south of the border.

The government intends to sue the manufacturers both in the United States and in Canada if the company has assets in this country. If the government intends to sue in the U.S. they better be quick about it. Last Thursday Congress passed, and George Bush is expected to sign, a law prohibiting people from suing manufacturers of guns because their products work as they are intended to work.

There is no doubt that the Liberals are in full election mode and an election is expected to be called within 30 days of the final report of Mr. Justice Gomery that is scheduled to be released on February 1. So this is the time that the Liberals start to promise everything to everybody as a prelude to the vote next spring. And the Libs are under more pressure this time around because of the negative fallout that will undoubtedly come from Gomery’s report. For Paul Martin fans that may be wavering this time around, Martin will be seen on being tough on the United States in the wake of that country’s refusal to abide by a NAFTA appeal panel’s ruling on softwood lumber that was favourable to Canada.

And the notion of suing American companies will play well with the not insignificant anti-American wing of the Liberal Party as well as those voters who are undecided between the Liberals and the NDP. Although Carolyn Parrish is gone for good from the Liberal Party fold, the good fight against those dastardly Yanks has to be kept up. At least suing American gun manufacturers is more grown up than calling Americans names or stomping on a George W. Bush doll on national television as Parrish had done.

It is hard to see how American companies who sell a legal product in the United States can be held responsible for their product getting past our customs officers. Beefing up the border might be a better solution but it won’t get as many votes as blaming the Americans will.

The proposals that were given to the Toronto Star seem strangely silent about the other 50 percent of the guns that presumably have Canadian origins. Oops – almost forgot the gun registry. The billion dollar boondoggle was supposed to stop all the violence that is currently taking place. But it seems that the bad guys aren’t registering their guns; they should be put in jail. So to all those who will get wasted in the weeks and months ahead on the streets of Toronto or Vancouver by a Canadian gun, looks like you’re out of luck. So sorry.

Along with blaming the Americans, there are other proposals to fight violent crime. It is being proposed that minimum sentences for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime be increased from one year to a whopping two years. It’s as if someone will risk an extra year in jail (or realistically, 3-6 months) but not two years. This solution is too silly even for the soft on crime Liberals. And increasing minimum sentences will be a change from the mantra that Justice Minister Irwin Cotler has been constantly telling the unwashed masses that minimum sentences don’t work. Considering these sentences are often plea-bargained away, of course they don’t work.

Another proposal calls for the prohibition for possessing or owning a firearm be increased from the current 10 years to life!!! That’s sure to stop the killing. The reality is that many people who are found in possession of illegal firearms are already subject to a prohibition order. Ten years is long enough – most of these guys don’t live that long anyway. Increasing the prohibition to life sounds good but will have no practical effect; which is the way of course that the Liberals want it.

And of course there is something in the proposals for those such as Toronto Mayor David Miller and Police Chief Bill Blair who believe in the group hug theory of fighting crime--more money for education. What are they going to be teaching--that shooting people is wrong?

These proposed changes may improve the Liberals’ electoral fortunes but they will do nothing to reduce the violent crime on our streets. What we need is more policing and substantially longer sentences for no other reason than to keep some of the scum off the streets for a longer period of time.

Blaming the United States is nothing more than political claptrap. If the government was half as good at fighting crime as they are at fighting elections, Canada would be a much safer country.

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at:

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