Guns, crime and public policy

by Aaron Wherry

To the official statements on last night’s shooting in Scarborough, the Globe adds comment from Julian Fantino and John MacKay.

“This is not a time for panicking. It is a time for people to work together at all levels and find solutions that actually will deal with these people in a preventable way,” Mr. Fantino, the International Development Minister, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. Perpetrators of these types of crimes have not been deterred by the criminal justice responses that existed for many years, he said. “That is why we are stiffening things up somewhat to make the consequences more meaningful and more certain. And, although that’s not the cure-all and the end-all, it does provide some answers.”

… Liberal MP John McKay, in whose riding the shootings took place, said there are better ways to spend crime-fighting dollars than the measures introduced by the Conservatives. But “to be candid about it, I frankly don’t know that any legislation can deal with something like this,” Mr. McKay said. “This is some immature individual who decided that they are going to solve their problems at the end of a barrel of a gun.”

Meanwhile, Vic Toews laments for judges who have refused to abide by mandatory minimum sentencing legislation.

“We are very concerned about the courts doing that, because illegal firearms — especially those smuggled in from the United States … minimum prison sentences are absolutely essential to create a strong deterrent against that kind of activity,” Toews said in an interview with Prairie network Golden West Radio. ”These guns are being used by gangs in order to perpetrate the kind of violence that we’ve seen on our streets.”

For last week’s print edition, Colby Cosh looked at the two rulings this year in Ontario that have found the mandatory sentences inappropriate.




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Guns, crime and public policy

  1. Note to Cons….aka The Party of Stupid…..you have long since run out of scapegoats, and have now recycled them several times…..and you don’t even believe in recycling!

    Stop it.

  2. The perpetrator was undeterred by their new crime legislation, proving its ineffectiveness?

  3. Does a provincial government have the right to ban handguns and the bullets that fit them?

    Of course there would be a problem with border control.

    But if the Province of Ontario put up signs saying handguns were banned and will be confiscated and destroyed along with bullets if discovered while in Ontario, and safe storage sites were established at border entry routes for the temporary storage of visitors guns, it would be a step in the right direction.

    Quebec would likely join in this effort with the same rules so you wouldn’t have to worry about the Quebec border.

    This would have to be quick and decisive like pulling a licence and confiscating a car for stunt driving. Find a gun? destroy it within 24 hours and then let the courts sort it out.
    People will say this won’t stop criminals blah blah blah, but it would be a step in the right direction and a big one. Just ban all handguns. They did it with pit bulls!

    Just ban all handguns in Ontario and the hell with Harper and Toews and the rest of Reform.

    • I would like to see a middle solution – all handguns must be stored at a licensed gun club who are required by law to maintain strict security including at least one 24 hour guard. Allows people who like to shoot for sport to do so while keeping guns off the streets.

      • I’m kind of negative on ride checks for impaired driving, pulling a licence impounding vehicles, BUT can’t we do that for handguns? Combine storage idea of GFMD, with RIGE- (remove and impound guns everywhere) checks, searches, confiscation and melt em down.

    • You’ve got it exactly right W.B. It’s a Toronto problem, not a Canada-wide problem. Nobody outside of Ontario would have a problem with Ontario banning hand-guns. It’s when the population of downtown Toronto insists that duck hunters in Northern Saskatchewan are the cause of all the gun violence in Toronto that people start getting a bit insulted (rightfully so).

      It would be really great if provincial/civic leaders could actually start LEADING on some of the issues that effect their jurisdictions exclusively. Trying to find a federal solution for every local problem is inefficient, stupid, and lazy.

      • We need a firewall at the Manitoba border to keep Ontario progressive.

        • Agreed, and to keep Dirty Western Oil Money in Western Canada.

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