LETTER – Canada does not have a ‘gun problem’; we have a ‘crime problem’


Dear editor,

Re: June 1 editorial – Gun control a shared issue

What happened at that Texas school was a gut-wrenching tragedy. One of the things that makes it even worse (if such a thing was possible) is when opportunistic politicians and ideologues try to exploit the tragedy and the fragile emotional state of its aftermath in an attempt to thrust forward their agenda. “Never waste a crisis,” they cry.

One of the first obstacles to having a ‘conversation’ about ‘gun control’ (a very broad subject which does not lend itself to finding specific, effective solutions) is that the people crying loudest for gun control are almost all ignorant. Ignorant of the facts – particularly regarding the current, extremely strict laws in Canada.

It’s not my intent to be insulting, it’s just a fact. Legal gun owners in Canada, some of the most vetted citizens, face criminal prosecution if we make even the slightest error related to storage, transportation or paperwork. As such, we make it a point to fully educate ourselves on all those pitfalls so as to avoid jail. In my experience, the average legal gun owner in Canada understands the minefield of Canadian gun law better than the average police officer (unless he/she too is a private, legal gun owner – many are).

Justin Trudeau is just such an opportunistic politician/ideologue. He and his colleagues cannot stand the private ownership of guns and are constantly on the lookout for tragic opportunities to exploit. He did it with the Nova Scotia murders and he’s done it again with the Texas tragedy. He has metaphorically climbed onto the bodies of dead children to manipulate your emotions. It’s absolutely disgusting.

Nothing he announced on May 30 would have any effect on a similar incident nor is any of it even related to that particular horrific event. It’s all just posturing and virtue-signalling – Trudeau’s particular specialty. Naturally, the media gobbles it up and regurgitates it back to its ignorant audience, further misinforming them.

We do not have a ‘gun problem’ in Canada. We have a ‘crime problem’ in which unlicensed criminals misuse illegal handguns in support of their illegal drug trade. How is freezing the legal commerce of handguns going to fix that? It won’t. Contrary to the Black Press editorial, ‘straw purchases’ by licensed gun owners and theft of legal guns only accounts for an extremely minor source of crime guns. It is well known that over 80 per cent of crime guns in Toronto are illegal, smuggled handguns.

I haven’t the space to correct the rest of the misinformation in the editorial but I’ll mention two other misleading statements: a. There has not been 30 x K – 12 ‘school shootings’ so far this year. That figure covers all gun-related activity in the environs of a school. Included in that are incidents not related to a school or on school property. In fact there have only been 13 incidents in the past 60 years that meet the criteria for a ‘school mass shooting.’ (Yes, I agree, one is too many.) And b. The US does not lead the world in murder, gun crime or school shootings. These are facts you can verify and not just parrot the talking points of the anti-gun lobby.

Herein lies a major problem. As long as we are distracted by ever increasing restrictions on the legal gun community, we are wasting time and resources that should be spent on the actual root causes of our crime problem. Yet, following a tragedy, the politicians and media parade out the ‘usual suspects’ of the anti-gun lobby who spew false statistics, half truths and outright lies while giving no time for comment from calm, articulate and factual speakers like Rod Giltaca of the CCFR. We can’t have that valuable ‘discussion’ if one side ignores all the facts and screams at the other side.

So why does Trudeau keep attacking legal gun owners? Simple. Because he can get away with it. Removing guns from private ownership is a pillar/cornerstone of leftist ideology. It has been for over 50 years. Trudeau is determined to pursue that ideology regardless of public safety or the actual facts. His main aim, however, is not to sacrifice any power in the pursuit of that ideology.

Enter 2.25 million licensed gun owners. We are lost to him. We will never vote for his party so we don’t matter. He can toy with us as he wishes and appear to be ‘doing something’ when actually he is doing nothing meaningful. All while never losing a single vote. He gains votes among the ill-informed general public and boasts about it in his party’s re-election propaganda.

Remember, more criminals vote liberal than legal gun owners. So, rather than go after actual criminals in a full court press, he wastes resources and tax dollars attacking a safe minority group. This clouds the real issues and nothing of any efficacy gets done.

Finally, to all those who cry, “why does anyone need a (insert handgun, semi-auto rifle etc). Much of the private property we own in Canada is not needed. Why does each household need more that one car? Particularly when cars kill more than 10 times the people than guns (suicides account for more than 60% of all gun-related deaths). A killer in Toronto murdered 10 people using a white van (5 times more victims than those shot and killed on Danforth). Where are the cries to ban ‘assault vans’? Why do we need motorcycles that can exceed 200kms/hr? What’s the fascination with ‘scary’ dog breeds that intimidate pedestrians and attack children?

‘Need’ has nothing to do with it. If, in pursuit of ideology, politicians decide, on a whim and contrary to all logic and facts, to outlaw the legally-obtained private property of citizens who have done no wrong, the onus is on them to prove their case. They have failed to do so. So what’s next? Ban antique cars in the name of climate change? Ban the aforementioned ‘scary’ dog breeds? Why not? Most of the rifles on his banned list from 2020 have never been used in a crime and are only on the list because they are ‘scary-looking.’

D.J. Vernon,