It’s sounding like a broken record, but another tragedy in Toronto–as the result of crimes being committed by gangs–has prompted the mayor there to call for a ban on handguns. In a shootout on a Toronto street another innocent bystander is shot and killed. A tragedy? You bet. Should it be stopped? You bet. But will banning handguns actually make a difference?
Let’s look at what would happen if the mayor convinced the federal government to ban handguns. Well, all legitimate handgun owners would have to give up their handguns, already the most regulated firearms in a gun owner’s collection. Right now, handguns must be securely stored at all times, and can only be used for very specific purposes, mostly having to do with use on shooting ranges. So, if those guns were banned, how would that affect criminal gangs in Toronto’s streets (or anywhere else in Canada)?
It wouldn’t affect them one bit. Why? Because guns used by gangs and other criminals don’t come from legitimate gun owners. Sure, a small minority of guns used by criminals are stolen from legitimate gun owners; but they are few and far between because of the restrictive regulations. Most guns used in crimes are smuggled into Canada from the United States where they were either legally or illegally purchased under much less strict regulations than we have in Canada. If you want to control the illegal use of guns in Canada, you need to stop the illegal importation–and good luck with that, as we have the longest undefended border in the world, and if you want to get something illegal across it, it’s not a problem.
What the Toronto mayor needs to do is to stop scapegoating legitimate gun owners and get to work on what’s really wrong–the control of gangs and their illegal activity. Focus your efforts on actually making a difference, Mr. Mayor.
So, what’s wrong with that?