Interesting perspective- not all Canadian media types are shrill antigunners.
Sun, December 11, 2005
Grits resort to grave-robbing to cover failures
By Ian Robinson
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan should give up grave-robbing as a hobby.
It's so ... unseemly ... and that's not a word you normally think of in connection with politicians. As a class, they're the kind of people who'd bite the heads off live chickens in a carnival sideshow in exchange for a jump of 0.5% in the public opinion polls.
So much as utter the word "firearm" in McLellan's presence and out comes the shovel, and there she is, great clods of dirt flying over her shoulder until the blade hits the coffin lid, exhuming the corpses of the 14 women murdered at Ecole Polytechnique Dec. 6, 1989, and using them to bludgeon gun owners.
(And, no matter how you feel about gun control up there in Redmonton, you folks oughta consider voting her into political oblivion, just to get that glass-cutter of a voice off the public airwaves. Just a thought.)
Recently, an umbrella group representing about 10,000 Canadian gun owners invited someone from the most successful U.S. lobby group, the National Rifle Association, for a few pointers on how to keep the fascists in Ottawa from further eroding their freedoms.
McLellan said "young people are dying on the streets of Toronto as a result of gun violence."
She also claimed NRA "efforts to foist a U.S.-style gun agenda on Canadians are inappropriate, especially given that this is the week when we remember the murder of 14 young women at the Ecole Polytechnique 16 years ago."
Just a reminder, Anne. The NRA guy was invited here. By Canadians.
The young people dying on the streets of Toronto are being shot by handguns, registered and regulated in this country since before the Second World War.
The NRA didn't kill those women in Montreal. And neither did a typical Canadian gun owner.
A loner loser named Marc Lepine -- actually Gamil Gharbi -- took out the woman-hatred he'd learned at his daddy's knee on women attending the engineering school at in Montreal.
The casualty count -- 14 dead, 13 wounded (including four guys, but you never hear about them) -- was so high because the cops didn't turn up until Gharbi/Lepine killed himself.
It took them 30 minutes to arrive and then they blundered around unable to find the engineering building.
The coroner ruled the type of weapon Gharbi/Lepine used was not a factor in the incident. (It was a semi-automatic rifle called a Ruger Mini-14.) The coroner ruled police response time was.
The response of the then-Tory government was to force gun owners to get firearms licences.
It was kind of dumb but hey -- gun owners went along.
The Liberals brought in registration of all firearms, despite the fact that registering handguns hadn't worked to prevent their use in crime, and handguns have been registered in this country since before the Second World War.
Reasonable estimates have the long-gun registry costing around $2 billion so far.
That works out to just over $71 million for each of the women killed at Ecole Polytechnique. Try getting our health-care system to spend that much on you and you alone.
The economist Steven Levitt, in his book Freakonomics, points out a backyard swimming pool is a greater threat to the lives of children under 10 than having a firearm in that same house -- 100 times more likely to prove fatal.
In the U.S., there's a fatal drowning of a child for every 11,000 pools and the fatal shooting of a child for every million guns: 550 killed by pools compared to 175 by guns.
Nobody's proposed spending $2 billion to make residential swimming pools safer.
Britain banned most guns. Its rate of violent crime jumped 50% in the 1990s alone. Australia did the same thing after a Gharbi/Lepine-style shooting. Armed robbery went up 166%.
In Canada, murderers aren't the guy with the shotgun he inherited from his dad. Fully two-thirds of Canadian murderers already have an adult criminal record. Interestingly enough, so do about half their victims -- which is relevant when we consider gang war victims on the streets of Toronto and Calgary.
But McLellan and the rest of the anti-gun types don't like statistics. Because when you crunch the numbers, they look stupid.
That's why they resort to grave-robbing, no matter that it does a disservice to democracy, to intelligent debate and to the dead they're so eager and happy to desecrate and exploit.
"Yeah, it's great living here. You never have to grow up here. Everything is always someone else's fault." -piccolo's sister, on life in Massachusetts