Tuesday, August 30, 2005


If you have a problem, it's often easier to blame someone else rather than deal with it. And with Canada's murder rate rising 12 percent last year and a recent rash of murders by gangs in Toronto and other cities, it's understandable that Canadian politicians want a scapegoat. That at least was the strategy Canada's premiers took when they met last Thursday with the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, and spent much of their time blaming their crime problems on guns smuggled in from the United States.

Of course, there is a minor problem with the attacks on the U.S. Canadians really don't know what the facts are, and the reason is simple: Despite billions of dollars spent on the Canada's gun-registration program and the program's inability to solve crime, the government does not how many crime-guns were seized in Canada, let alone where those guns came from. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in late July that they "cannot know if [the guns] were traceable or where they might have been traced." Thus, even if smuggled guns were an important problem, the Canadian government doesn't know if it is worse now than in the past.

Even in Toronto, which keeps loose track of these numbers, Paul Culver, a senior Toronto Crown Attorney, claims that guns from the U.S. are a "small part" of the problem.

There is another more serious difficulty: You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well.....

Many things affect crime: The rise of drug-gang violence in Canada and Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. (Few Canadians appreciate that 70 percent of American murders take place in just 3.5 percent of our counties, and that a large percentage of those are drug-gang related.) Just as these gangs can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

With Canada's reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.'s (which is 475), Canada's politicians are understandably nervous. While it is always easier to blame another for your problems, the solution to crime is often homegrown. [Hey! Maybe it is a bad idea to take guns off law-abiding citizens!]

More here

What did this guy do wrong?: "A 23-year-old McMinnville man faces a trio of criminal charges after allegedly pulling a 9 mm handgun on a truck driver during a Tuesday traffic dispute. According to Newberg-Dundee police, Kevin Forsman was northbound in a white 1999 Honda Accord. They said he set off the chain of events when he used a left-turn lane to pass a log truck as he approached a red light coming into Dundee. At the light, the truck driver got out and approached Forsman to confront him about the traffic maneuver. Police said Forsman responded by pointing a Polish-made Makarov P-64 semi-automatic at the man, who returned to his rig and called authorities. Police tracked Forsman down at First and Edwards streets in Newberg. They seized his highly concealable pistol and his concealed-carry permit, then cited him on charges of menacing, reckless endangering and pointing a firearm at another."

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