Friday, April 15, 2011

The Gun Registry: Some Questions and Some Answers

A Conservative poster: "The major question I do have is, if the registry is primarily used to take guns away from people who do not have them, why can't the licensing system be used for these purposes?"

Koby: "By having "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" register their firearms, authorities can ensure that guns, owned by "duck hunters and farmers" who are no longer fit to own a gun, are properly disposed of. A gun license only indicates that person has the right to own a firearm. It does not tell the cops whether someone actually owns a gun or how many guns they might have. Furthermore, as it allows guns to be traced back to their last legal owner, the registry makes illegal sales and straw purchases more difficult and so helps keep "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" honest. "Studies have shown that in the US, states with both licensing and registration (versus one or the other) had fewer guns diverted from legal to illegal markets."

A Conservative Poster: "So, what you're saying is;

1) The police are incompetent because they won't be able to find guns when they are called to seize them. "

Koby Look the issue is this. The number of legal gun owners in Canada, is huge (1.85 million) and with any large population certain very accurate predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that a small percentage of "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that a small percentage will develop a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership at least for period of time. Now, even though this number is small in percentage terms, in absolute terms the numbers are quite large, in the 10s of thousands. Enter the gun registry. It makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"

A Conservative poster: "the registry will never get all the guns in Canada"

Koby: I agree -- especially in light of what have already happened. Two points though. One, the argument I laid out still holds. After all we are talking about guns that have been legally registered. Two, the problem is with guns that were purchased prior to the registry and not with new guns being purchased. So, as time passes the percentage of unregistered guns will decrease.

read the whole exchange here. http://themaplethree.blogspot.com/2011/04/conservative-mp-john-weston-and-gun.html

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't assume that the posters are always Conservative.

Although I don't own a gun (long gun or otherwise) I believe that the gov't has proven incompetent on the file.

In my view a long gun owner risks more by registering a firearm than by not. If an LG ownwer registers the gun and it is stolen or lost etc. and if it is (highly unlikely) used in the commission of a serious crime then the gun owner has some "splainin to do". If it isn't registered than it is difficult to prove who owned the gun in the first place. The punishment for not registering the gun is virtually nothing. So why bother? If you promise to punish those who do not register them then you increase the backlash.

Those who strongly believe that the registry was important did not do a good enough job forcing the politicians to fix the problems. It was a scandal. The file has been botched. Lets admit it and move on.

WesternGrit said...

Meanwhile Conservative MP Nina Grewal is telling constituents that the Conservatives are acting to take guns away from people...

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/news/119955519.html

ridenrain said...

"She said the Conservatives have run the most comprehensive tough-on-crime agenda out of any of the federal parties. It’s become harder for people who would carry guns, race their cars or become involved in violent crime, Grewal said, adding the Tories also increased the age of sexual consent.
"

I don't think she was refering to police.

Tomm said...

With all due respect, picking one example from the thousand to use as a sword is like the other side doing the same, which you would clearly disagree with.

A long gun gun registry may make sense in Toronto. It clearly doesn't in Melfort.

Why don't the good people of Toronto pass a by-law...

...instead of using their voting might to force the good people of Melfort to either follow a nonsensical and expensive process in their community, or become a law breaker.

Savant said...

I live in Toronto, and I don't feel one bit safer knowing there is a 'long gun' registry. Do people honestly think gang-bangers are out on streets with rifles?

What's worse are the lies being spread about the use of the registry. It's been suggested that the police consult the registry before attending to some calls to see if the house is 'safe' to enter. That's has GOT to be one of the most assinine claims I have heard to date.

One of the first things you learn in police officer training is to ALWAYS assume that there are weapons in a house. (That's because criminals don't register their weapons.) Any police officer who uses the registry to determine if there are guns in a house is failing the most basic of training.

Frankly, as someone who lives in a city where you hear about murders every week, it's not how many guns people have that I worry about, it's WHO has those guns. The long gun registry isn't part of that, and that aspect of gun ownership (permit to buy guns) is something that is infinitely more important.

Lastly, I cringe when I hear people parrot the lame line "if people are required to licence their car, (or insert anything else you register) then why can't they be expected to register their long guns?"

My answer to that? Statistics Canada reports that in 2009 there were 179 homicides using guns, and 210 homicides using knives. If you expand this to all violent crime, knives are used in more crimes by a nearly 3 to 1 margin.

So if we resister our cars and our dogs, why don't we register knives, axes and other sharp objects that could be used as weapons? I'm serious here. If people want to make the arguement that registration of long guns supposedly makes the world a safer place, then please explain how we can justify NOT making people register ANY implement that could cause bodily harm, expecially knives, which are the #1 KILLER of Canadians in homicides.

It's time people stopped being hypocrites paying lip service to the reality of homicide in Canada. Guns aren't the biggest threat in Canada, knives are.

Why? It's simple. If someone wants to harm someone else, it doesn't matter what weapon is available, they will use whatever they can. You can't 'register' you way out of a problem like that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: In my view a long gun owner risks more by registering a firearm than by not.If an LG ownwer registers the gun and it is stolen or lost etc.

If the gun owner stores his firearm according to the regulations and it gets stolen; what is the problem, he just reports the theft to the authorites, and just maybe the authorities can recover the stolen firearm before someone gets injured.

You think a gun owner shouldn't report his firearm stolen to save his bacon, if someones gets injured so what. I believe gun owners are responsible people and will do the right thing.

Koby said...

"You shouldn't assume that the posters are always Conservative."

I am not. It just so happens that this guy is a Conservative supporter.

Tomm "A long gun gun registry may make sense in Toronto. It clearly doesn't in Melfort."

There are far more gun incidents in rural Canada, on per capita basis, than in urban Canada and the rate of gun ownership is higher. The higher the gun ownership rate the more useful the registy is.

Read what I said.

"The number of legal gun owners in Canada, is huge (1.85 million) and with any large population certain very accurate predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that a small percentage of "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that a small percentage will develop a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership at least for period of time. Now, even though this number is small in percentage terms, in absolute terms the numbers are quite large, in the 10s of thousands. Enter the gun registry. It makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"

Koby said...

"One of the first things you learn in police officer training is to ALWAYS assume that there are weapons in a house. (That's because criminals don't register their weapons.) Any police officer who uses the registry to determine if there are guns in a house is failing the most basic of training."

Again,gun registry makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"

Most of the guns that are seized are long guns. Of the 8,281 guns seized for reasons of public safety in a sixth month period in late 2008 early 2009 74% were non-restricted weapons.

Anonymous said...

First, I'm the anonymous poster responsible for the Conservative half of the exchange.

@Anon 6:08 - This is the first election I'll be voting Conservative. I've previously voted Green, and Liberal.

You're quite right to point out that the registry, or more broadly, the firearms act is in its self a huge disincentive to comply with the law. If even the slightest thing goes wrong, the result is a criminal charge. Lawrence Manzer and Ian Thompson come to mind.

@Anon 10:04 - Actually, there's a disincentive to inform the police as well. In general, if a safely stored firearm is stolen, the Police will lay a charge of unsafe storage, which if convicted is a criminal code violation. What's worse, is that in court, the victim is likely to have to prove his innocence. The argument goes something like this, "Your firearm was stolen which is its self evidence that you were not in compliance with safe storage regulations. If you WERE in compliance with the regulations, obviously, your firearm would not have been stolen." I abhor all reverse onus provisions, of which the firearms act has at least one spelled out in black and white, and about 10 or 20 that are implied.

@Koby Reverse onus is unconstitutional, and disrespectful of a person's private property. A right, may I remind you, that Trudeau and Chretien saw fit not to grant to us mere subjects.

Koby said...

"In general, if a safely stored firearm is stolen, the Police will lay a charge of unsafe storage, which if convicted is a criminal code violation."

I had dinner with a RCMP officer tonight. I asked her about this and about your previous example. "On the other hand, if I'm out duck-hunting, and a Conservation Officer asks for my registration certificate, and I can't produce it, then I face criminal charges. Never mind the fact that they can check the gun's serial number, against my PAL; it's a criminal code violation, despite the fact that it's roughly on the same level of triviality as driving without the physical registration in the vehicle." She said you were wrong on both counts.
She said she would seize your gun if you did not have both, but the notion that this would necessarily merit criminal charges is simply not true. In vast majority of cases the individual in question is not charged and the gun or guns are given back to the owner upon the owner producing the proper paperwork.

Anonymous said...

She can't be terribly familiar with the criminal code in that case.

"91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of
(b) a registration certificate for the firearm."

"(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."

I'm glad the police are choosing to be generous, but really, I don't think it's appropriate to be required to continue relying on their continued generosity. Incidentally, does this person presume to speak for crown prosecutors?

As for unsafe storage:

"(2) Every person commits an offence who contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 117(h) of the Firearms Act respecting the storage, handling, transportation, shipping, display, advertising and mail-order sales of firearms and restricted weapons.

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment

(i) in the case of a first offence, for a term not exceeding two years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."

As for unsafe storage:
"Typical of his cases was a gun owner who reported a home break-in. His gun wasn’t one of the items stolen but the responding officers charged him with unsafe storage of a firearm — a hunting rifle in this case — even though it was unloaded."
http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/burlew-fires-bulls-eye-in-defending-firearms-violation-cases.html?print=1&tmpl=component

Also, if your house is being burnt down, better not pull out your gun, they'll charge you with unsafe storage:
"Wednesday in a Welland, Ont. courtroom, prosecutors apparently dropped the charge of dangerous use of a firearm against Thomson, but retained an unsafe storage charge."
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/03/03/lorne-gunter-crown-and-police-still-view-gun-owners-as-criminals/

Koby said...

"91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of
(b) a registration certificate for the firearm."

You are going to base your case on an absurdly narrow definition of "holder", viz., only a person who has a firearms certificate on his person is a holder.

As for unsafe storage, just because the cops can charge some one with X does not mean that A) such charges are common place or B) the cops will not use the law to serve some other purpose. Al Capone, being brought down on tax evasion is the classic example. The cops frequently use the letter of the law as leverage and as a way of serving the spirit of the law. The stated policy of the VPD and other BC based police forces, for example, is that they do not charge people with mere possession of marijuana. Yet, BC leads the country in such charges and this has been the case for some time now. The main reason for this is that they VPD is charging dealers with the a lesser count because they can not make the greater count stick.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter? Our system is such that a person subjected to such malicious and spiteful prosecution suffers an extraordinarily disproportionate burden in time and money trying to defend themselves against a fishing expedition.

As for commonality, are you barking mad?

Careless storage is the single most commonly laid charge under related to firearms under the Criminal Code. Therefore, the charges not just common place, they are the MOST common place.

As to the second, the cases of Ian Thompson and Lawrence Manzer prove that someone in authority is carrying on a campaign against legally owned guns, and legal gun owners. And those are only the most recent examples!

You really mean to say that political persecution is okay, just so long as it's not you?

Koby said...

come again. I thought we are talking about charging someone with unsafe storage of a fire arm after they had their home broken into. That raised her hackles.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's becoming quite tedious to have to educate you about every issue.

All of this is quite well-documented, in a plethora of sources.

What's starting to bother me is that you appear to know very little about this issue, yet presume to influence others. You don't seem to understand what we as gun owners experience. Why do you think the Conservatives consistently rake in more donations than every other party put together?

I remembered some of our earlier conversations and I realized that I'd forgotten about this:

http://epicfailuresgunregistry.blogspot.com/

And a few seconds on Google showed this:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/2710-gun-ownership-up-crime-down

And yet, you still maintain that the registry has made us safer...

Anonymous said...

Great point. You nailed it on the head. This person seems to be an agent of the Conservatives; spreading false information to make his boss look good, and get a few misinformed souls to give a vote to the Conservative fools.

Koby said...

Let us not loose site of who is claiming what. You claimed that "gun control, as it exists now, has made us less safe.". I pointed out that the evidence for such a claim is nonexistent and it is. It is that simple. There is no causation without correlation and the overall homicide rate has remained stable and the number of attempted homicides has declined slightly. However, scratch below the surface and your case gets even weaker. Homicide has become increasing concentrated among the criminal under class. Gang related homicides, for example, have goon through the roof over the course of the last 20 years. Indeed, in 1993 there were 627 homicides and 13 of those were gang related. In 2008 there were 611 homicides and 138 were gang related. The flip side of such a rise is the continued decline in the number of law abiding folk, "us", being murdered.

Of course, correlation does not prove causation, but then given the stakes, viz., fun with guns versus public safety the onus is on the fun with guns crowd to explain away the numbers.

As for the following, it was designed to do two things. One, cut through the crap and explain how the gun registry is supposed to work. Two, show how the gun registry helps police seize guns out of the hands of a particular class criminals, viz., former legal gun owners who have acquired a criminal record.

"Look the issue is this. The number of legal gun owners in Canada, is huge (1.85 million) and with any large population certain very accurate predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that a small percentage of "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that a small percentage will develop a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership at least for period of time. Now, even though this number is small in percentage terms, in absolute terms the numbers are quite large, in the 10s of thousands. Enter the gun registry. It makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"

Anonymous said...

I haven't lost site of anything, you won't believe evidence plainly presented.

Is this what you call safer?

Things like, dynamic entries:
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/01/19/16952131.html

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2011/04/19/ottawaopp-raid-mistake348.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/26/g20-veterinarian-couple-had-home-raided-by-police-in-error-husband-calls-incident-an-abusive-of-power/

http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2010/10/08/15625576.html

The Police abuse?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbdareHU4Ik&feature=player_embedded

http://www.nfa.ca/operation-zero-tolerance

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=a4574180-f7ef-43df-ba72-c92ce04ab4e3

The unwarranted irrational behavior?

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2010/11/10/16065946.html

http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/61180/Gun-scare-at-Okanagan-College

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/12/11/16514611.html

http://www.langleyadvance.com/causes+campus+lockdown/4486551/story.html

And that's just the Police side! What about the criminals who walk around with total impunity?
http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/20/man-faces-jail-after-protecting-home-from-masked-attackers/

http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/charges+dropped+against+self+defender/4380391/story.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2011/04/17/manitoba-armed-home-invasion-winnipeg.html

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a5ae9208-583f-45b0-9628-e2087091f2a4&k=53291

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/04/15/markham-home-invasion-murder-charge236.html

http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/02/20/17354501.html

http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/canada/2011/01/25/17026781.html

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20091120/091120_brampton_murder/20091120/?hub=CP24Home

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/09/16/15383171.html

I think you should inform your family that that should you ever be attacked, or you have your home invaded your unwilling to use deadly force to defend them. If this is safer to you, then you can have it.

Anonymous said...

And I ALSO informed you that the reverse onus provisions of the gun registry I consider unconstitutional.

Seems to me like Liberals only care about rights when they're being given to criminals.

Koby said...

I refer to the homicide numbers and point out that they are inconsistent with your claim that "gun control, as it exists now, has made us less safe" and you respond by spamming me with press clippings. Next are going to borrow a page from Stockwell Day's book and claim the unreported homicide rate is way up?

"And I ALSO informed you that the reverse onus provisions of the gun registry I consider unconstitutional."

You can think the sky green. It does not make it so.

Anonymous said...

You said there was no evidence that gun control has made us less safe. Unlike your repeated assertions, I've presented you with a sample of evidence clearly demonstrating that gun control has made us less safe. But a single chosen metric, is good enough for you, just so long as it fits your theory, regardless of all evidence to the contrary. Well, for myself, and probably Conservative voters everywhere, I sincerely hope that all Liberals display similar levels of intellectual rigor.

Koby said...

"I've presented you with a sample of evidence clearly demonstrating that gun control has made us less safe."

No, you have refereed to various murders and implied that if only the victim had a gun things would be different. So what! Leaving aside the fact that such hypotheticals are problematic to say the least, it is remarkably easy to come up with examples if you have a large enough data set. Tom Brady has been picked off a 103 times in his career. I would have a remarkably easy time pointing to instances since Charlie Weis left as offensive coordinator where Brady was guilty of forcing the ball into double coverage and as a result was intercepted. However, the fact that I am able to do so hardly allows me to conclude that Brady has been particularly reckless and error prone since Weis left. It is the numbers that matter and Brady was intercepted 52 times in 4 full seasons with Weis and 51 times in 5 full seasons without him.

Look, it comes down to this. If gun control has truely made us less safe, then it would show up in the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I referenced a number of incidents involving police doing things like confiscating paintball, and pellet guns because our culture has developed a pathological fear of guns and everything that so much as resembles a gun. I also referenced a number of incidents where police have acted rashly, showing a prevailing feeling of invulnerability, and impunity among police forces. Oh, I did reference a number of incidents involving the criminal element, and I didn't imply anything at all. I flatly stated that it's possible, even sometimes probable that an armed citizen may have secured a better outcome against an attacker simply by being armed.

But leaving that aside, my argument is also that an armed citizenry is a DETERRENT to crime, because criminals do not fear the police. They never can arrive quickly enough to make a difference to the victim, therefore, criminals only need to fear the possibility that they will be caught after the fact. On the other hand, it's well known that criminals are afraid of an armed citizenry, because most of them want to survive long enough to enjoy the spoils of their labors. The presence of a citizen armed and willing to defend themselves, their family and their property is a severe deterrent. Every US state that has introduced concealed-carry has seen a marked decrease in street-crime, if only because would be criminals face a credible threat: they can no longer know with certainty which of their prey is prepared to defend themselves, and which are not.

You however insist on a single metric that you haven't even managed to interpret correctly. And the homicide rate is not necessarily indicative of violent crime overall, but corresponds really to just a handful of crimes! You prefer to ignore logic and appeal directly to statistics that don't even match your theory. If gun-control was so effective, we would expect to see a marked downward trend in violent crime starting in approximately 1998. But we don't see that at all. The homicide rate has remained quite flat since 1997, with some slight variation. Even IF it is becoming increasingly confined to the criminal classes, that actually supports an argument for looser gun control because it shows that those who bother with licenses are increasingly less-likely to be involved in homicide! The rate of serious assault however has increased steadily since the 1980's. There is therefore zero statistical evidence available supporting the idea that gun control makes us safer.

Logically, it only stands to reason that gun-control emboldens and strengthens the criminal element because they know full well that there is almost no chance that a Canadian citizen will be able to resist them.

Therefore, gun control makes us unable to resist state power should it become necessary, and it makes us unable to resist the criminal element in those rare circumstances when it is necessary. Therefore, gun control makes us less safe by taking away the one tool that can possibly give us an advantage over those who might prey on us.

Koby said...

"I flatly stated that it's possible, even sometimes probable that an armed citizen may have secured a better outcome against an attacker simply by being armed."

Three quarters of victims are male. 90% of accused are male. Most homicides occur in private residence. Most homicides are carried out by people known to the victim. Most accused have a criminal record. Most victims have a criminal record. Most homicides involve alcohol or drugs. "the one category that was common to all homicides, regardless of the relationship, was arguments, particularly those that involved alcohol and/or drug consumption." "While arguments involving alcohol and/or drug use were the most common characteristic of homicides against acquaintances and strangers, those that involved illegal activities occurred almost as frequently. These homicides typically involved gang-related activities, drug dealing or prostitution."

Gun control makes a hell of lot more sense when you realize that the following is infinitely more likely to happen than a young woman being raped and killed while out jogging. A couple of guys start drinking too much, a heated argument breaks out, soon after that a fight, then one guy reaches for an easily accessible loaded gun. One guy dead the other in the slammer.

Koby said...

" And the homicide rate is not necessarily indicative of violent crime overall, but corresponds really to just a handful of crimes!"

Homicide is the crime gold standard. Legal definitions, burdens of proof, a population's willingness to report a crime etc etc all vary greatly from country to country and from time period to time period, but with homicide you can count bodies. Brazil has a homicide rate that is more than 25 times that Japan and that calls into question official stats showing Japan having more assaults. In Canada the overall crime rate went through the roof starting in 1983, but that had everything to do changes to how assault, for example, was defined and the burden off proof needed for charges to be laid. No serious criminologist is going to be put any stock in the fact that overall violent crime rate in 2003 was far more than it was in 1977. They look first and foremost at homicide rate and the homicide rate in 1977 was 3 and it was 1.73 in 2003.

"If gun-control was so effective, we would expect to see a marked downward trend in violent crime starting in approximately 1998."

I will quote you for about the 10th time. You: "gun control, as it exists now, has made us less safe" Me: "the homicide numbers and point out that they are inconsistent with your claim" Got it.

"that actually supports an argument for looser gun control because it shows that those who bother with licenses are increasingly less-likely to be involved in homicide!"

What! You have got things ass backwards. The purpose of the registry is twofold. One, it is designed to help permanently seize the guns of people who should not have them. Two it is designed to help temporarily seize guns when there is question of crime having been committed (e.g., a domestic assault) or mental instability etc. It is the second function that matters here. Temporarily seize guns during times of trouble should in theory reduce the number of legal gun owners involved in homicide.

"The rate of serious assault however has increased steadily since the 1980's."

Type three assaults, i.e., ones causing serious bodily harm, has not risen. Between 1983 to 1990 the average rate was 11.3 Between 1991 and 1997 it was 10.5. Between 1998 and 2005 it was 8.8.

Serious sexaul assaults were also down in this time.

"The crime % change 1994 to 2004

Homicide -5.3
Attempted murder -29.4
Serious sexual assaults -32.6
Robbery -14
Total violent crime -9.7

The same broad decline can be found for property crime, down 24 per cent in the past decade, car theft (-3.5 %) and break-and-enters (-36 %)"

http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/realitycheck/violent_crime.html

"Every US state that has introduced concealed-carry has seen a marked decrease in street-crime, if only because would be criminals face a credible threat: they can no longer know with certainty which of their prey is prepared to defend themselves, and which are not."

That is what Lott contends and there any number of scholars that disagree. Highly debatable.

Anyway, I find it amusing that someone so distrustful of the police is willing to let any Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry pack heat. Honestly officer I was just defending myself.

Anonymous said...

"One guy dead the other in the slammer."

That's an argument for banning liquor, and other intoxicants. We tried that, and we know it doesn't work. Now we're banning guns, and that isn't working either. I sense a pattern...

"They look first and foremost at homicide rate and the homicide rate in 1977 was 3 and it was 1.73 in 2003."

So, establishing as you have that crime has been trending downwards for some time, and that trend has slowed, but generally continued after 1997-1998, you can't argue that gun control has had a net positive effect on overall crime. Homicide decreased BEFORE the current scheme of gun control. Therefore, current gun control didn't make us any safer, and this is by your own chosen metric. The metric is not consistent with your argument, not mine.

"The purpose of the registry is twofold."

The registry is not the sum total of gun control in Canada.

"Two it is designed to help temporarily seize guns when there is question of crime having been committed (e.g., a domestic assault) or mental instability etc."

Having only a fraction of the guns in Canada registered, and being otherwise riddled with errors, it cannot possibly accomplish this objective with any efficacy.

And if as you say homicide is being increasingly confined to people with criminal records, then this is an argument for looser gun control. People with criminal records almost without exception don't bother with licenses. People who bother with licenses aren't killing each other as much as people who don't bother with licenses, therefore, it's not the people who have licenses who are causing the problem. It's people without them: criminals.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11292-eng.htm

Chart 7 clearly shows a general upward trend in level 2 and 3 assault over the past 20+ years.

Chart 5 clearly shows a downward trend in both homicide, and attempted homicide until approximately 1997, at which point the rate doesn't continue decreasing, but flattens.

Your own metrics are leading the introduction of gun control for one, and therefore show that gun control has no effect on the overall trend. The worst possible interpretation is actually therefore that gun control actually put a halt to the decline in the rate of homicide.

"That is what Lott contends and there any number of scholars that disagree. Highly debatable."

There's not really much of a debate south of the border. In fact:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCXtfR0_roE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCXtfR0_roE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoIKlO20RqM&feature=related
"Gun Control is Bullshit!" - Penn Jillette

"Anyway, I find it amusing that someone so distrustful of the police is willing to let any Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry pack heat."

Why shouldn't I trust my fellow citizens with firearms? They're the ones who SHOULD have them, even more than Police, as demonstrated by the hopelessly broken internal investigation mechanism.

Koby said...

"And if as you say homicide is being increasingly confined to people with criminal records, then this is an argument for looser gun control. People with criminal records almost without exception don't bother with licenses. People who bother with licenses aren't killing each other as much as people who don't bother with licenses, therefore, it's not the people who have licenses who are causing the problem. It's people without them: criminals."

Let me get this straight. The registry is designed to prevent legally registered gun owners from killing themselves and from killing others. It is doing that. Therefore it is a miserable failure. That is a text book sequitur .

"Homicide decreased BEFORE the current scheme of gun control. Therefore, current gun control didn't make us any safer, and this is by your own chosen metric. The metric is not consistent with your argument, not mine."

Again. You claimed that "gun control, as it exists now, has made us less safe.". I pointed out that the evidence for such a claim is nonexistent and it is. It is that simple. There is no causation without correlation and the overall homicide rate has remained stable and the number of attempted homicides has declined slightly. However, scratch below the surface and your case gets even weaker. Homicide has become increasing concentrated among the criminal under class. Gang related homicides, for example, have goon through the roof over the course of the last 20 years. Indeed, in 1993 there were 627 homicides and 13 of those were gang related. In 2008 there were 611 homicides and 138 were gang related. The flip side of such a rise is the continued decline in the number of law abiding folk, "us", being murdered.

"People who bother with licenses aren't killing each other as much as people who don't bother with licenses, therefore, it's not the people who have licenses who are causing the problem. It's people without them: criminals."

Yes gang bangers are infinitely bigger problem than licensed gun owners. They always have been and always will be. So what. The point of the whole Fire arms Act is keep deaths down among licensed gun owners. Who else could it be aimed at. It is not like non gun owners are compelled to take safety courses. The fact that war and drugs has resulted in uptake in homicides among the criminal underclass is only tangentially related.

"Chart 7 clearly shows a general upward trend in level 2 and 3 assault over the past 20+ years."

"The rates of level 2 assaults have been generally rising since this information became available in 1983 (Chart 1). Level 3 assaults began rising in more recent years following a period of decline throughout the 1990s"

Type 3 assaults

1983 13.8
1984 11.7
1985 10.1
1986 10.4
1987 9.5
1988 10.6
1989 12
1990 12.5
1991 13.9
1992 12.5
1993 11.1
1994 10.3
1995 9.4
1996 9.3
1997 8.8
1998 8.7
1999 8.3
2000 8.4
2001 8.8
2002 8.7
2003 9.2
2004 8.6
2005 9.6
2006 10.3
2007 10.6
2008 10.7

Anonymous said...

"The registry is designed to prevent legally registered gun owners from killing themselves and from killing others."

No. That's what licensing is for. The registry was to make Chretien look good compared to Kim Campbell.

It doesn't work. It's never worked. It's only recorded 50% of the guns in Canada. Many times, a transfer won't "take" in the registry; the RCMP will phone some owner who sold a gun 6 or 7 years ago asking about the location. There are an unknown number of "ghost guns," being guns attributed to an owner who's never owned that gun, or those guns. When someone converts a non-restricted to a restricted, the registry has been known to issue papers for a non-restricted. Guns that are reported stolen remain on the owners record despite the reported theft.

"It is doing that."

No, it isn't.

"Therefore it is a miserable failure."

Yes, but the registry has nothing to do with licensing. Licensing works. The registry, DOESN'T. Neither licensing, nor the registry is the sum of gun control in Canada. There are copious regulations going beyond licensing. They are a mixed bag in terms of effectiveness: some work, some don't. There are also various clauses in the Criminal code and the Firearms act. THAT is the sum of gun control in Canada. Losing the registry will scarcely affect the rest.

"I pointed out that the evidence for such a claim is nonexistent and it is."

I provided you with copious evidence. You simply don't want to believe it.

"There is no causation without correlation and the overall homicide rate has remained stable and the number of attempted homicides has declined slightly."

So, the only evidence you're interested in is statistical? That's absurd, and hardly a correct way to consider reality. Again, I sincerely hope that all Liberals show the same level of intellectual rigor. If many Liberals share your myopia, I look forward to the end of the Liberal party as we know it. And in two or three months, the end of this Liberal albatross.

And even if you can deal with cold hard statistics, the UN's own figures show a negative correlation between the number of guns, and the homicide rate. More guns = less homicide. Less guns = more homicide.

"Homicide has become increasing concentrated among the criminal under class."

If the rate of homicide has remained steady over a few years, which it has, then Canada is experiencing roughly the same number of homicides year, after year. If the criminal underclass is responsible for an increasing share of those homicides, then we can conclude that the established class, or the "middle class" is responsible for a lesser, and lesser proportion of homicides. If the "middle class" is less inclined to murder each other, a trend which has continued, then targeting middle class gun owners is not an effective strategy for dealing with crime. Therefore, the registry is a waste of money, because it doesn't effect the criminal under class. Punishing the middle class for the crimes of the criminal under class is unethical, and it isn't a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

Anonymous said...

"The flip side of such a rise is the continued decline in the number of law abiding folk, "us", being murdered."

So why are you punishing so-called "law-abiding folk?"

"Yes gang bangers are infinitely bigger problem than licensed gun owners. They always have been and always will be. So what."

Then the Firearms Act ostensibly brought in to improve public safety targets the wrong group of people, and therefore, most of it is unethical, a waste of money, and it should be overhauled. Thankfully, it will soon get a face-lift, and afterward it will be fixed more thoroughly.

Treating licensed gun owners like part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, is a big part of the reason that the Liberals appear to be trailing the NDP in the polls.

What do you expect will happen when this registry is finally scrapped anyway?

Koby said...

"It's only recorded 50% of the guns in Canada."

We have been over this. Yes. There will be lots of guns that will never be registered. However, there are plenty that are. Furthermore, as time passes the percentage of registered guns will increase. Registering new guns is not problematic.

"Licensing works. The registry, DOESN'T."

They complementary and that they are is blindly obvious.

"I provided you with copious evidence. You simply don't want to believe it."

On the murder front what you have done is akin to providing me with a reference to every pick Tom Brady has ever thrown and wanted me to take this as proof that he is a bad QB. They mean nothing in and of themselves. You need the overall numbers to understand the big picture. The same goes for police abuse of power.

"Many times, a transfer won't "take" in the registry; the RCMP will phone some owner who sold a gun 6 or 7 years ago asking about the location. There are an unknown number of "ghost guns," being guns attributed to an owner who's never owned that gun, or those guns. When someone converts a non-restricted to a restricted, the registry has been known to issue papers for a non-restricted. Guns that are reported stolen remain on the owners record despite the reported theft."

Problems you mentioned about how the registry is administrated are much more interesting, but even here you need lay out some numbers. How many is many. Common enough that it has its one vocabulary I presume.

"So, the only evidence you're interested in is statistical?"

No there are other forms of evidence, but by and large its a numbers game.

Koby said...

"And even if you can deal with cold hard statistics, the UN's own figures show a negative correlation between the number of guns, and the homicide rate. More guns = less homicide. Less guns = more homicide."

UN figures also show a positive correlation between higher GDP levels and gun ownership. Anyway, the discussion is usually limited to the Western countries and invariably centers around the US. Gun laws in the US are comparatively lax, gun ownership is very high and the homicide rate is easily the highest in the Western world.

"Then the Firearms Act ostensibly brought in to improve public safety targets the wrong group of people, and therefore, most of it is unethical, a waste of money, and it should be overhauled."

Both Canada and Mexico have the same problem. Namely, the same lax gun control laws in the US that you celebrate make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns. That said, the border still offers some degree of protection in Canada's case and the registry here makes illegal sales and straw purchases more difficult and so helps keep "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" honest. Even in the states, were there is no border, this holds true. "Studies have shown that in the US, states with both licensing and registration (versus one or the other) had fewer guns diverted from legal to illegal markets."

Anyway, we are really back to where we started. You have regressed to point where you are spouting the Conservative's patently absurd criminals do not register their guns so the long gun registry is useless talking point and so I will say again. "The number of legal gun owners in Canada, is huge (1.85 million) and with any large population certain very accurate predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that a small percentage of "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that a small percentage will develop a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership at least for period of time. Now, even though this number is small in percentage terms, in absolute terms the numbers are quite large, in the 10s of thousands. Enter the gun registry. It makes it easier for authorities to seize the guns of people who should no longer have them. Why? Because the onus is on the gun owner in question to produce any registered weapons. If the police do not have proof that someone owns any unrestricted guns, how can they demand that he produce them?"

Just as we can walk and chew gum at the time, we can maintain the registry and we can push for end to what is leading to the spike in gang land hits, viz., the disastrous war on drugs that the Conservatives wish to pursue with even greater vigor.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, as time passes the percentage of registered guns will increase."

And how long shall we wait before the system "works?" How much shall we be made to pay for a feel-good project?

"You need the overall numbers to understand the big picture."

I can't wait for that argument in court. "Your honour, the defendant didn't know the victim, so statistically speaking, my client is 80% likely to be innocent! Therefore, I move for a dismissal."

"How many is many. Common enough that it has its one vocabulary I presume."

Surprise, surprise, the RCMP isn't particularly forthcoming about their problems with the database. I think the rate of incidence is suspected to be between 10 and 20 percent.

As for interesting, perhaps it would interest you to know that the registry has been breached approximately 300 times since its inception. There have been incidents where it's been reported that criminals have broken into people's homes and stolen their guns by breaking their safes. And, they've ignored other more valuable objects in the home. That tells us two things: first, that they broke in specifically to steal legal firearms. Second, there's a reasonable possibility that the information was obtained by breaking into the registry effectively providing a shopping list for criminals. It's not difficult to get in from what I understand: CPIC is available online.

"Gun laws in the US are comparatively lax, gun ownership is very high and the homicide rate is easily the highest in the Western world."

Well, what do you define as the western world? Brazil has gun laws that are draconian, and the murder rate is about 4 times higher than the US. Russia has strict gun laws as well, and it's rate of homicide is more than twice the US.

"that you celebrate"

You're incorrect. I don't want US style gun-laws here. Authorizations to carry, fewer restrictions on hand guns and a more balanced approach. That's a far cry from US style gun-laws, though I'm sure it seems like it to a hoplophobe.

"make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns."

Gun laws have absolutely no effect on organized crime's access to guns. It's not a problem for those people, only people who want to try to live by the law. Those who make their living by breaking the law have no issues obtaining firearms, laws, or no. And they aren't actually as lax as you think they are. Who do you think requires the completion of more paper-work to import a firearm into Canada, Canada, or the USA?

"and the registry here makes illegal sales and straw purchases more difficult and so helps keep "law-abiding duck hunters and farmers" honest."

Nope. If I knock on the right door in Toronto, I can buy a gun, no questions asked. It won't be registered and the registry has no way of knowing about it, unless I tell them.

"Studies have shown that in the US, states with both licensing and registration (versus one or the other) had fewer guns diverted from legal to illegal markets."

That is I believe from the Coalition for Gun Control aka Wendy Cukier and company. Sources please?

"patently absurd criminals do not register their guns so the long gun registry is useless talking point"

It's not absurd to say that criminals don't register their guns. The registry was billed as a public safety tool, but does nothing to effect crime where it is most acute. If you insist on treating gun owners like they're a problem, then we have a far more serious problem than gun-ownership.

"the disastrous war on drugs that the Conservatives wish to pursue with even greater vigor."

I was wondering when that would come up. No legalization of marijuana unless the registry is scrapped also.

Koby said...

"Gun laws have absolutely no effect on organized crime's access to guns. It's not a problem for those people, only people who want to try to live by the law. Those who make their living by breaking the law have no issues obtaining firearms, laws, or no."

Mexican and Canadian officials beg to differ. This has been a major source of friction between the US and Mexican officials for years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/us/26borders.html

"In Canada, the illicit firearms market is supplied primarily by either smuggled firearms or firearms stolen from private residences or commercial venues. By virtue of its proximity to Canada and differences between Canadian and American firearms laws, the United States is the primary source of firearms - particularly handguns - smuggled into Canada."

http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/le/_fl/CombattingIllicitFirearms-en.pdf

"That is I believe from the Coalition for Gun Control aka Wendy Cukier and company. Sources please?"

Who? No it is from a letter to Parliament on behalf of 28 health organizations and 33 academics

http://www.caep.ca/template.asp?id=CF1C2F35673E427283575EABC9B995B0

"Well, what do you define as the western world? Brazil has gun laws that are draconian, and the murder rate is about 4 times higher than the US. Russia has strict gun laws as well, and it's rate of homicide is more than twice the US."

Are you really asking that? Anyway, Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada, Japan, S.Korea some include Singapore.

The situation in Brazil and Russia is utterly unlike the situation in Western countries. For starters, a major source of illicit weapons in Brazil and Russia is its own police and military. The Chechens armed themselves with guns sold to them by Russian soldiers they were fighting.

As for Brazil, one need only to look at what happened in Rio recently. In November 3000 troops and police commandos "invaded" what locals call the "Gaza Strip". Backed up helicopters, tanks, and armored personal carriers Brazil forces ousted gangs from two large favelas. This was not overkill. The three major Rio gangs (i.e., the Red Command, the Third Command and Friends of Friends) are very well armed and there are thousands of members. A-47s are ubiquitous, grenades are plentiful, the gangs have some RPGs and heavy machine guns and just before the "invasion" started one of the gangs shot down a police helicopter using an anti aircraft gun. Then there was what happened in Sao Paulo in 2006. The First Capital Command carried out 100 attacks on police targets in one night, killing 35 police officers. Having captured one favela soldiers raised the Brazilian flag a la what American Soldiers did at Iwo Jima. Police in Rio State kill far more people in any given year than Canadian police forces have killed since confederation.

"No legalization of marijuana unless the registry is scrapped also."

Ha ha. Who are negotiating with?

Anonymous said...

"http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/us/26borders.html"

Actually, the incident referenced in that NY Times article was precipitated by the ATF NOT lax gun laws. See Operation Gun Walker for details.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42352

Yup, smuggling guns into Canada is illegal, and it's done absolutely nothing to prevent gang-bangers at Jane & Finch from getting their hands on them.

"Who? No it is from a letter to Parliament on behalf of 28 health organizations and 33 academics"

They're quoting Wendy Cukier from the Coalition for Gun Control. http://www.guncontrol.ca/English/Home/Releases/wpMAW.pdf

Wendy has been known the cherry-pick her data. She's also not an expert of any kind on the subject, though she'd have anyone who listens believe otherwise. In fact, she quotes herself, she only references a single article to provide the "evidence" and that report didn't consider the overall crime rate, only the origin of the firearms in question. And furthermore, that article actually tentatively attributes a reduction in homicide in Canada to a gun control scheme established in 1977, not 1998 as Wendy would like to have us believe.

"Are you really asking that? Anyway, Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada, Japan, S.Korea some include Singapore."

So Switzerland then huh? Many guns, and a lower crime rate than the US. Guns don't make people violent. Violence is a cultural thing.

As for Brazil, they just had a guy kill 12 students (schools are a "gun-free zone" right?) with a revolver, which I believe is illegal there.

"Ha ha. Who are negotiating with?"

It's not a negotiation. A point of fact. Watch the riding of Ajax-Pickering on May 2nd. If the incumbent is defeated, it will send a very clear message to the Liberals. When the pendulum finally swings back the other way, we'll hopefully deal with your issue.

Koby said...

"Actually, the incident referenced in that NY Times article was precipitated by the ATF NOT lax gun laws. See Operation Gun Walker for details."

So! This is what I said. "This has been a major source of friction between the US and Mexican officials for years" This is what appears in article " Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels."

This also appears in the article. "President Felipe Calderón has characterized the stream of smuggled weapons as one of the most significant threats to security in his country. The Mexican authorities say they seized 20,000 weapons from drug gangs in 2008, the majority bought in the United States.

The authorities in the United States say they do not know how many firearms are transported across the border each year, in part because the federal government does not track gun sales and traces only weapons used in crimes. But A.T.F. officials estimate 90 percent of the weapons recovered in Mexico come from dealers north of the border.

In 2007, the firearms agency traced 2,400 weapons seized in Mexico back to dealers in the United States, and 1,800 of those came from dealers operating in the four states along the border, with Texas first, followed by California, Arizona and New Mexico."

"Yup, smuggling guns into Canada is illegal, and it's done absolutely nothing to prevent gang-bangers at Jane & Finch from getting their hands on them."

Yup another red herring. Me "Both Canada and Mexico have the same problem. Namely, the same lax gun control laws in the US that you celebrate make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns." What is said in the article. "By virtue of its proximity to Canada and differences between Canadian and American firearms laws, the United States is the primary source of firearms - particularly handguns - smuggled into Canada"

"They're quoting Wendy Cukier from the Coalition for Gun Control."

You are 3 for 3. There is no quotation marks around the sentence in question. So they are not quoting anyone. Furthermore, the footnote mentions a study by Webster DW, Vernick JS, Hepburn LM. "Relationship between licensing, registration, and other gun sales laws and
the source state of crime guns." Inj Prev 2001;7(3):184‐9.

"So Switzerland then huh? Many guns, and a lower crime rate than the US."

Gun ownership in Switzerland is high (e.g., in large measure do to mandatory military service), but read what I said about the US again. "Gun laws in the US are comparatively lax, gun ownership is very high and the homicide rate is easily the highest in the Western world." Swiss gun laws are not nearly as lax as they are in some US states.

"Guns don't make people violent."

No guns just make violent people a lot more dangerous.

"As for Brazil, they just had a guy kill 12 students (schools are a "gun-free zone" right?) with a revolver, which I believe is illegal there."

Nope revolvers are legal. It was illegal for the gun man to have one though. He was under 25. Anyway, this was first kind of shooting of its kind in Brazil that I can think of. I lived in Rio for bit. They have had school shootings before, but never by a lone suicidal gunman shooting up a school. Usually, the Red Command would shoot up a high school or university as a way of getting the government to bend to their demands. Schools across much of the city would be closed for a couple of days and then reopen once the threat had lifted. Canada has snow days. In Rio they have gun days.

"When the pendulum finally swings back the other way, we'll hopefully deal with your issue."

Harper has made it plenty clear that the Conservatives will legalize marijuana when hell freezes over.

Anonymous said...

"So! This is what I said... ...that American gun dealers are arming the cartels."

So when the ATF let's the guns "walk" it's still the store owner's fault?

"Yup another red herring."

It's not a red herring if the problem is an American one.

"Namely, the same lax gun control laws in the US that you celebrate make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns."

Now it's your turn: Me, "I don't want US style gun-laws here. Authorizations to carry, fewer restrictions on hand guns and a more balanced approach. That's a far cry from US style gun-laws, though I'm sure it seems like it to a hoplophobe."

Have fun getting the Americans to change their laws though.

"You are 3 for 3. There is no quotation marks around the sentence in question. So they are not quoting anyone."

Now you're quibbling. Would you prefer I said parroting? The talking point is taken almost verbatim from a "report" published by the Coalition for Gun control. There was only one study done in Injury Prevention, and it only considered the origin of the firearm, without considering the overall crime rate. It did not establish any correlation between the crime rate, and the licensing and registration scheme, because it didn't consider that.

And there's an advantage to criminals procuring guns locally, as counter-intuitive as it may seem. It's much easier to track and shut down local sources than interstate, or international ones.

"Swiss gun laws are not nearly as lax as they are in some US states."

That's true. But, Swiss gun laws are more reasonable than Canadian gun laws. Yet our homicide rate is higher. The mandatory military training helps, but essentially that only proves that training helps keep the homicide rate low. So if we want to lower our rate of homicide, we ought to invest in better training. What we have is basically a joke.

"No guns just make violent people a lot more dangerous."

A violent person using a gun to be more dangerous isn't terribly bright to begin with. There are more simple materials available that have the potential to end a lot more lives.

"In Rio they have gun days."

Well, there you go. It was illegal for him to get the gun, but he got it anyway.

"Harper has made it plenty clear that the Conservatives will legalize marijuana when hell freezes over."

We'll have to see how the appeal goes. But if it's successful, then you'll need to elect an NDP majority government. By then, the LGR will be long gone, and hopefully we'll be back to some sort of sanity with gun laws. Then you can smoke all the pot you want. Or are you already doing that?

Anonymous said...

"So! This is what I said... ...that American gun dealers are arming the cartels."

So when the ATF let's the guns "walk" it's still the store owner's fault?

"Yup another red herring."

It's not a red herring if the problem is an American one.

"Namely, the same lax gun control laws in the US that you celebrate make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns."

Now it's your turn: Me, "I don't want US style gun-laws here. Authorizations to carry, fewer restrictions on hand guns and a more balanced approach. That's a far cry from US style gun-laws, though I'm sure it seems like it to a hoplophobe."

Have fun getting the Americans to change their laws though.

"You are 3 for 3. There is no quotation marks around the sentence in question. So they are not quoting anyone."

Now you're quibbling. Would you prefer I said parroting? The talking point is taken almost verbatim from a "report" published by the Coalition for Gun control. There was only one study done in Injury Prevention, and it only considered the origin of the firearm, without considering the overall crime rate. It did not establish any correlation between the crime rate, and the licensing and registration scheme, because it didn't consider that.

And there's an advantage to criminals procuring guns locally, as counter-intuitive as it may seem. It's much easier to track and shut down local sources than interstate, or international ones.

"Swiss gun laws are not nearly as lax as they are in some US states."

That's true. But, Swiss gun laws are more reasonable than Canadian gun laws. Yet our homicide rate is higher. The mandatory military training helps, but essentially that only proves that training helps keep the homicide rate low. So if we want to lower our rate of homicide, we ought to invest in better training. What we have is basically a joke.

"No guns just make violent people a lot more dangerous."

A violent person using a gun to be more dangerous isn't terribly bright to begin with. There are more simple materials available that have the potential to end a lot more lives.

"In Rio they have gun days."

Well, there you go. It was illegal for him to get the gun, but he got it anyway.

"Harper has made it plenty clear that the Conservatives will legalize marijuana when hell freezes over."

We'll have to see how the appeal goes. But if it's successful, then you'll need to elect an NDP majority government. By then, the LGR will be long gone, and hopefully we'll be back to some sort of sanity with gun laws. Then you can smoke all the pot you want. Or are you already doing that?

Koby said...

Me: "Both Canada and Mexico have the same problem. Namely, the same lax gun control laws in the US that you celebrate make it harder for officials in both countries to limit organized crime's access to guns."

You: "Gun laws have absolutely no effect on organized crime's access to guns. It's not a problem for those people, only people who want to try to live by the law. Those who make their living by breaking the law have no issues obtaining firearms, laws, or no."

Me: Mexican and Canadian officials beg to differ. This has been a major source of friction between the US and Mexican officials for years.

You: "Yup, smuggling guns into Canada is illegal, and it's done absolutely nothing to prevent gang-bangers at Jane & Finch from getting their hands on them."

Me: "Yup another red herring." If the issue is how lax American gun laws make it easier for criminals in Canada to get guns and hence gun laws most certainly do have an effect on organized crime's ability to get guns, then it is red herring to claim that smuggling is illegal. Moreover, to say that weak US gun laws make tough Canadian gun laws pointless is also incorrect. As in the US, weak gun laws in the US make tougher gun laws in other states less effective, but "comprehensive gun sales regulations that include permit-to-purchase licensing and registration can affect the availability of guns to criminals" nonetheless.

Koby said...

"Then you can smoke all the pot you want."

I do not even drink. I want it legalized because I think it is the right thing to do. I also believe that if Canada was to lead the way other countries would gladly follow suit. In Canada marijuana legalization is bit of ha ha issue and given the level of crime not something that even supporters think about much. Outside the Western world though drug profits feed low grade civil wars. If you are there, you then think it all the time. I will not bore you with the day to day details, but I will refer to what was coming to a boil when I left Rio. I lived in the Duque de Caxias.

"Brazil's intractable problems of police violence and death squads reached a grisly zenith in the early morning hours of March 31, 2005, when armed men executed twenty-nine people – including women and children – outside Rio de Janeiro. Only one person escaped. The Baixada Fluminense area, where the killings occurred, is notorious for its high murder rate and for death squads connected to the military police. In the wake of mass demonstrations by Brazilian rights groups, and a public outcry from around the world, unprecedented cooperation between state and federal authorities led to the arrest of eleven police, who are being held in police custody pending trial.

Authorities believe that the Baixada massacre was committed in retaliation for the previous detention of nine police officers accused of killing two people and leaving their bodies behind a police station in Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada region. The police, whose actions were caught on film, decapitated one of the bodies and threw the head into the station."

"Would you prefer I said parroting?

No. You are basically accusing them of plagiarizing her. I very much doubt that is the case. In fact I am willing to bet money that many of people who signed the letter have no idea who she is. I find it far more likely that it is she who is "parroting" them and not the other way around.

"There was only one study done in Injury Prevention, and it only considered the origin of the firearm, without considering the overall crime rate. It did not establish any correlation between the crime rate, and the licensing and registration scheme, because it didn't consider that."

Sure, but I never said otherwise. By the way, the authors did say this. "This finding suggests that state level gun control measures may not have a substantial impact on criminal gun availability unless the measures are very comprehensive, including both licensing, registration and other restrictions." And they also said this. "Our findings suggest that comprehensive gun sales regulations that include permit-to-purchase licensing and registration can affect the availability of guns to criminals."

Anonymous said...

"Moreover, to say that weak US gun laws make tough Canadian gun laws pointless is also incorrect."

That's not exactly correct. Tough Canadian gun laws target the wrong people, and they don't prevent crime. They also make us into a nation of hoplophobes, and that's something I find deeply troubling. But I've also not been arguing for weak gun laws, I've been arguing for SANE gun laws.

"but "comprehensive gun sales regulations that include permit-to-purchase licensing and registration can affect the availability of guns to criminals" nonetheless."

Criminals everywhere would beg to differ.

"I also believe that if Canada was to lead the way other countries would gladly follow suit."

I think you're mistaken. I think the Americans in particular have invested far too much in the War on Drugs to go gently into the night as it were.

"In Canada marijuana legalization is bit of ha ha issue and given the level of crime not something that even supporters think about much."

I sort of hope that the Ontario appeal fails, and it becomes legal. But I do worry about the Americans tightening their border security and hurting the economy. I suspect that's the big reason why the federal parties are quite reluctant to deal with the issue. The Liberals and NDP will turn a blind-eye to it, just so long as the Americans don't get antsy about any bleed from our side of the border. A court judgement will give the progressive parties an out. Of course, I'm not sure what the Conservatives would do. Possibly nothing, I'm not sure there's much they could do.

"Outside the Western world though drug profits feed low grade civil wars."

I'm well aware of that. Legalization and regulation would help offset a lot of that, but too many parties are invested in either prohibition, or the conflicts themselves. You've waded into a very thorny issue.

Anonymous said...

"No. You are basically accusing them of plagiarizing her."

No, I'm actually accusing them of accepting and parrotting Wendy Cukier's argument uncritically. I don't care in the slightest that they've picked up the argument, with or without credit. I do care that the argument its self is based on tenuous evidence that has been twisted to fit a certain agenda that empowers police and disempowers citizens.

"In fact I am willing to bet money that many of people who signed the letter have no idea who she is." Really? How much? Alan Drummond of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety on 13 May, 2010. At the very next meeting on Tuesday May 25, 2010, Wendy Cukier of the Coalition for Gun Control appeared before the very same committee. I should know, I watched both meetings live via the Internet. Now that doesn't necessarily prove that they're aware of Wendy Cukier, but given the letter the comments by Lucie Thibodeau and her position as president of the Quebec Public Health Association, it's a rather safe bet for me that at least one person signed the letter knows exactly who she is. Probably more. And besides, even if they don't know who she is, she certainly knows who they are: http://www.guncontrol.ca/English/Home/Releases/Just_the_Facts.pdf. To have two arguments from two different sources using the same source, using nearly identical language? The weight of the evidence strongly suggests that they are quite well aware of Wendy Cukier.

"I find it far more likely that it is she who is "parroting" them and not the other way around."

Her brief was written well before theirs, in 2001 in fact.

"Sure, but I never said otherwise."

You certainly implied that if we can only keep guns out of the hands of criminals that things will be better, with the implicit implication that guns legally traded amongst gun owners will eventually find their way into illegal markets. I argued that this can be used as an advantage, because when guns used by criminals for crime are procured domestically, we have the ability to choke off the source of those guns as we locate them. Farming that responsibility out to the United States is clearly a non-starter if the homicide rate in Toronto is any indication. Instead we punish people who don't contribute to the problem, and create a nation of hoplophobes.

"This finding suggests... ...criminals."

The findings also suggest a scheme that targets the wrong people. Throwing out the whole proverbial apple cart to get at a handful of bad ones. Regardless of whether the findings bear themselves out in reality, shall we ban and register knives because they've become the murder weapon of choice in Canada? Shall we have police knocking on the doors of people to inspect the storage situation of knife owners who own more than 10 knives? What about criminal penalties for failing to renew your driver's licenses, because cars cause a great deal of accidental death?

You see, NOW it's come full circle. Criminal provisions within the Firearms act are disproportionately punishing to a group that is largely not responsible for gun violence, yet every time there's a gang-related murder, gun owners get the blame. We never blame knives for stabbings, and only in the case of mechanical failure do we ever blame the car for accidents. By this logic, if we want to stop climate change, we need to ban cars, and coal-fired power-plants, because it's not human activity that causes pollution, it's cars and power plants.

Koby said...

"I think you're mistaken. I think the Americans in particular have invested far too much in the War on Drugs to go gently into the night as it were."

Proposition 19 failed, but the issue will likely be revisited in 2012 and this time it stands a good chance of passing. Voter turn for mid term elections is always significantly less than when the presidency is up for grabs. (133 million in 2008 vs 87 million in 2010)For proposition 19 to have stood any chance of winning Democrats, and the young needed to be energized. They were not and stayed away in droves. Even with everything stacked against them, though, the yes campaign still garnered 46% of vote.

Legal production of marijuana in California will make the legalization of marijuana elsewhere in the US all but inevitable and by extension in Canada as well. Obama is not going to go to war with California in order to maintain a federal prohibition. Never mind the risks of alienating the most populous State in the union, Obama's ability to push back for other reasons are limited. His hands are tied in ways another leader hands would not be. He freely admits to having marijuana in the past ("I inhaled frequently. That was the point") and his marijuana use is not a part of some redemption narrative, a la George Bush. It was a path he choice not to continue going down. Drug use was never presented as a demon he had to overcome yet alone one he still struggles with the way an alcoholic does with drink. This would leave him open to the charge of hypocrisy. Far more importantly though, the war and drugs, especially with regard to marijuana, has had a profound impact on the African American community in the States. If Obama was to toe the standard line in the face of California promising to end the war on drugs, he would be in a world of hurt politically. The African American community would not, of course, abandon him, but they would be unhappy and their unhappiness would have the potential to throw his whole presidency out of whack politically. His whole message of being the candidate of change would be called into question. There is also some evidence that it may be unpopular with Obama's many online supporters.

All that being said, it was Obama and Holder that set the wheels of legalization in motion in the first place by declaring that the feds would not crack down on medical marijuana. For you see, unlike in Canada, in California, for example, one does not have to be afflicted with a particular aliment to be eligible for medical marijuana. A doctor can proscribe marijuana for whatever they see fit. Needless to say, such a system is ripe for abuse and the Bush administration was right to see medical marijuana program as a potential Trojan horse. But Obama let a wooden horse to be wheeled into California and other states anyway. In so doing, Obama has allowed the medical marijuana industry in California and elsewhere to grow to the point there is no saving prohibition from Odysseus. There are more medical marijuana dispensaries in LA than Starbucks.

Koby said...

Then there is Mexico. "Such is the crisis in Mexico City that President Calderón, who is a member of the conservative National Action Party, now seems willing to at least open a debate about a radical change in drug policy: the legalization of marijuana. Soon after taking office, in December of 2006, he had refused to even consider the idea. But last week he presided over a series of round-table gathering of intellectuals, academics, and drug specialists and said merely that he was “taking note of the debate that has been started here, regarding the regulation of drugs … I think, first of all, that it must take place in the context of a democratic pluralism.”

The following day the Primate of the Mexican Catholic Church, an arch-conservative who has opposed making drugs legal in the past, said merely that the issue should be studied from a public health perspective. President Calderón subsequently clarified that he himself is against legalization, considering the evident risks such a change in policy poses. But former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, and César Gaviria of Colombia, came out in favor of the “decriminalization” of marijuana last year, and they have now been joined by President Calderón’s immediate predecessor and fellow conservative, Vicente Fox. “This doesn’t mean that drugs don’t hurt the people who use them,” Fox wrote in his blog on August 8. “We should see legalization, rather, as a strategy to … break the economic structure that allows [drug] mafias to reap enormous earnings … which in turn are used to corrupt, and to increase their share of power.” There is no question of legalizing all drugs, or making any immediate change on marijuana policy without careful coordination with the principal drug market in the world, just north of the border. But as leading Mexican intellectuals and public officials leap to join the discussion, a debate that has long been taboo has suddenly become the order of the day."

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/aug/12/quiet-shift-mexicos-drug-war/

Koby said...

This is what kicked started things.

"It all started with something that is by now horrifyingly routine: a YouTube video of the gory execution of a Mexican policeman by a gang of narcotraficantes. Posted on July 22, it begins with the interrogation of the policeman, who was from the northern state of Durango, by masked gangsters employed, in this case, by one of Mexico’s most powerful trafficking groups, the Zetas. Such interrogations have been circulated on the Internet before, and, as here, they often end in death. However, in the course of this particular video the policeman stated that the director of a federal prison in Durango was in the habit of releasing and arming certain prisoners at night, so that they could commit murders aimed, broadly speaking, at the Zetas. The recent massacre of seventeen people attending a birthday party in the neighboring state of Coahuila was the work of these temporarily sprung assassins, the policeman said, as were two other mass killings earlier this year.

The policeman’s account gained instant notoriety, and came to the attention of federal authorities in Mexico City. At a press conference on July 25—three days after the YouTube posting—the Attorney General’s spokesman confirmed the story, adding that the R-15 rifles used in the Coahuila massacres were indeed standard issue for federal prison guards—a fact that had apparently gone unremarked before. Pending further investigation, the government placed a number of people under temporary arrest, including the director of the Durango prison, a chunky, tough-looking blonde by the name of Margarita Rojas Rodríguez.

What happened next was astonishing. The inmates of the prison rioted, killed a prison guard, and demanded that Señora Rojas be restored to her post immediately, surely the first time in history that prisoners have risen up on behalf of their jailer."

Marijuana legalization is coming. It is matter of when not if. A good hard kick from Canada and the whole rotten edifice should come crashing down.

Koby said...

"To have two arguments from two different sources using the same source, using nearly identical language? The weight of the evidence strongly suggests that they are quite well aware of Wendy Cukier. "

I looked at her footnotes. I could not find the Injury Prevention study mentioned. I also could not find her saying anything like the following. "Studies have shown that in the US, states with both licensing and registration (versus one or the other) had fewer guns diverted from legal to illegal markets."

The best I could come up with is this.

"In some cases, weapons that may be legally purchased and possessed in one jurisdiction are trafficked to others where there are stricter regulations.15"

And this was the footnote.

"15 See, for example, Lora Lumpe, ed., Running Guns: The Global Black Market in Small Arms. London,
Zed Books, 2000; or Small Arms Survey 2003."

"Criminals everywhere would beg to differ."

I quote from a study and you respond by saying you "beg to differ". Being adamant does not make your case any stronger.

"Farming that responsibility out to the United States is clearly a non-starter if the homicide rate in Toronto is any indication."

Come again. Toronto and Montreal have easily the lowest homicide rates of cities their size in North American. New York is considered a safe big US city and its homicide rate is 4 times what it is in TO. Toronto's homicide rate was 1.61 in 2009 and Montreal's was 1.15. Canada's homicide rate in 2009 was 1.81. From 1999 to 2008 the average homicide rate in Toronto was 1.79. Winnipeg had by far the highest rate of any large Canadian city in 2009 (4.1) and over the last decade (3.3) it also leads. Still a homicide rate of 4.1 when staked up against large US cities would rank it right near the bottom. Of the 35 US cities over 500,000 only 5 had a lower homicide rate than Winnipeg in 2009.

Not to sound too you have not experienced what crime is I know what crime is on you, but to put things into perspective there more homicides in Duque Caxias in most years than there are in all of Canada. In "the year of the gun" in Toronto there were 103 murders in a City with 5.6 million people. That year in Caxias there were 710 murders in a city with a population of 850,000.

Anonymous said...

"Marijuana legalization is coming. It is matter of when not if. A good hard kick from Canada and the whole rotten edifice should come crashing down."

Wishful thinking to be sure. Perhaps you're correct, but I'm certain that there's at least one big fight left in the prohibition industry. There's big government money in the US government jails these days. Don't make the mistake of assuming that they'll let go of their empires easily. Unless of course there's some other vice to take the place of marijuana, and thus keep the enterprise going...?

"I looked at her footnotes. I could not find the Injury Prevention study mentioned. I also could not find her saying anything like the following."

You didn't look too hard:
http://www.guncontrol.ca/English/Reports/Report01Nov2001.pdf

Must be awful to know that there are so many illegal guns floating around out there...


"I quote from a study and you respond by saying you "beg to differ". Being adamant does not make your case any stronger."

Not when the gang-bangers themselves say so.

They say things like, "Gang members like myself like gun control laws because they're a joke."

and

"Gun laws? They don't effect me the criminal, or the gang-member. They restrict the citizen."

and

"I'm not worried about the government saying you can't carry a gun, I'm gonna carry a gun anyway."

and

"I'm not going in the store to buy no gun. So I could care less if they had a background check or not."

http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=j_YTM_eAWnQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoIKlO20RqM&feature=related

"Come again... ...than Winnipeg in 2009."

Fair enough, so the statistics clearly show that there's more homicide in US cities. But, you mention the year of the gun.

Oh... oops.
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2007/12/27/murder-rate-surpasses-quot-year-of-the-gun-quot-2005.aspx

"“The growing availability of guns means more people are going to be willing to arm themselves for self-protection,”

The growing availability of guns...? In Canada?

"Despite a stringent federal gun registry, illegal guns continue to end up in the wrong hands."

Prohibition has done nothing to stop guns used for crime from entering Toronto. And yes, it's certainly true that the crime rate in Toronto hasn't risen to the same level as virtually all of the US.

But all of our efforts haven't made a dent in the flow of guns ending up in the hands of somebody who won't hesitate to hurt you if the risk is potentially worth the reward. They can get them if they want them, the Police CAN'T stop them. It's only a matter of time before your house, or my house falls under their cross-hairs. Thanks to our gun laws, they know that there's probably nothing at all to stop them doing whatever they want to you or to me. Now hopefully that time never comes, but if the worst should happen, and it does, well, the difference is that I'm prepared, and equipped to meet them with sufficient force. I'm guessing that you probably are not.

Koby said...

"You didn't look too hard:"

You sent me a different link. The first one you sent me was about banning assault weapons and now you are saying I should have been looking in one about border controls. By the way, she did not refer to the study there either. Maybe you are thinking about a third report whose link you have not sent me yet.

"opps"

opps is right. "Toronto's homicide rate was 1.61 in 2009 and Montreal's was 1.15. Canada's homicide rate in 2009 was 1.81. From 1999 to 2008 the average homicide rate in Toronto was 1.79."

"And yes, it's certainly true that the crime rate in Toronto hasn't risen to the same level as virtually all of the US."

That is because it has not risen in Toronto at all.

"It's only a matter of time before your house, or my house falls under their cross-hairs."

ha ha. That is gut busting funny. You need to stop watching TV. It is making you paranoid.

"

Anonymous said...

"By the way, she did not refer to the study there either."

Oh really? Care to read what it says on page 5, footnote number 7?

"That is because it has not risen in Toronto at all."

That's funny, I thought that criminologists only cared about the homicide rate.

"ha ha. That is gut busting funny. You need to stop watching TV. It is making you paranoid."

So, recordings 911 dispatchers listening to people being murdered in their own homes while they wait for the police to come in and photograph their sexually assaulted body is funny to you? Because that's not very funny to me. That's um... oh what's the word...? Outrageous...? Disgusting...? Vicious...? Horrifying...?

No... it's evil. That's the word! Evil.