A letter appeared in a number of Canadian newspapers with the heading “Strict gun laws needed,” or something similar.
The letter was written by the President of the Canada Safety Council. The writer may not be aware of it, but Canada has had very stringent handgun regulations since 1877.
He may also not know that since 1934, all handguns in Canada have been registered, and applicants have had to show a good reason for wanting one.
In spite of the foregoing, a recent news item was carried by Canadian TV stations about crime in Toronto. We were told that 13 young black men have been murdered by handguns this year.
They talked about the prevalence of handguns in Toronto’s youth gangs, and about the increase in execution style killings. All of this, in spite of strict handgun control in Canada for over a century.
Ottawa recently released “Focus on Firearms.” The publications is filled with facts and figures on the possession and use of firearms in Canada, as well as death rates. Firearm related deaths are 18.5% in the Northwest Territories, and 11.8% in the Yukon. Ontario has the lowest rate at 2.9% per 100,000 population.
Ask any law enforcement officer why the death rate is so high in Canada’s hinterlands, and he’ll point out that it’s taking place in aboriginal communities.
The publication makes it clear that nearly 40% of firearm deaths are men, and that nearly 80% of all firearm deaths are suicides.
Draconian firearm laws have solved nothing in Canada.
Natives are paying no attention to recently imposed registration laws, and handguns are still being smuggled into Canada for use in the criminal environment.
When a crime is committed with a firearm, the courts have been far too lenient, and that alone is the problem.
Peter E. Sticklee