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  1. #1
    Member awndray's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    National Capital Region

    Ottawa's proposed handgun ban is as dumb as all the others

    Some days reading the news you struggle to remind yourself that people aren’t being daft on purpose and, even if they are, it’s not to annoy you personally. For instance calls for a handgun ban because some reckless thug shot a law-abiding citizen in Ottawa.

    It would not be correct to label these calls “symbolic” because cities lack jurisdiction over guns. If a municipal problem is legislatively the responsibility of a senior level of government, it makes sense to ask it to act. But not this way.

    The reason they’re symbolic, and silly, isn’t just that murder is already illegal. It’s that murders like Ottawa’s on Friday are committed by people using weapons it’s already illegal for them to carry or, usually, own. What’s the point of banning illegality?

    Ignoring this question leads to infuriatingly feeble proposals. The Ottawa Citizen says “Toronto city council this month is scheduled to debate a motion asking for the federal and provincial governments to ban the sale of handguns, assault rifles, semi-automatic firearms and handgun ammunition in that municipality.” As if someone prepared to use an illegal handgun in Toronto would balk at driving one into Toronto.

    I don’t want to get into the argument between Allan Rock and George Washington about whether government should take citizens’ guns away then tell them what to do for their own good. Canada faces no present danger of tyranny in the classic sense, despite constant nibbling at our liberties by elected governments claiming a popular mandate for every fool thing they do. But I will say the claim that ordinary Canadians cannot be trusted with dangerous objects is, like the claim that we cannot be trusted with dangerous ideas, incompatible in principle with democracy.

    I will also ask whether anyone seriously thinks it’s only difficulty acquiring a gun that prevents the average Canadian from blasting away at loved ones and random strangers. They wouldn’t put it that way, of course. But it is implicit in the tired argument that the United States has a high murder rate because Americans have more guns. Which is also an affront to that “evidence-based decision-making” we hear about more often than we see it, since statistics show no correlation between firearms ownership and murder internationally (compare Canada with Russia) or indeed between jurisdictions in the U.S. (compare “constitutional carry” Vermont with Chicago where handguns were long banned).

    So what is going on? Ottawa City councillor Rawlson King, who is bringing a gun ban motion later this month, also wants a pile of money to help get at the “root cause of gun violence.” But if you want to know what’s causing increasing gun violence, surely you’d look at what has changed since it was rare.

    It’s not rising gun ownership; guns in Canada were common and mostly unregulated until the mid-20th century. And forget poverty and “exclusion” both of which have fallen dramatically since 1960. But do include semi-feral youth roaming the streets because we’ve made a virtue of vulgar, undisciplined selfishness, including those who allegedly shot an Ottawa father trying to protect his daughter from their lewdness on Friday.

    Also be sure to include telling criminals potential victims are helpless as deliberate public policy. People in posh neighbourhoods with quick police response times may scoff. But Britain essentially banned civilian guns under Tony Blair, following Margaret Thatcher’s lead, and London’s murder rate recently exceeded that of New York City after centuries, with no gun control in either, where even New York’s non-gun murder rate was five times London’s. That policy sure backfired.

    Once again, incentives matter. The more we restrict guns the more only criminals carry them, exactly as Sir John A. Macdonald warned. Thus NBC just reported people in Britain building trenches and moats to protect their property against illegal trash dumping by organized criminals, on fancy estates and ordinary working farms. But “Many victims are reluctant to go on the record about how they were targeted due to fear of reprisals.” O Brave New World.

    The U.K. also has an epidemic of urban knife crime to which the official response has descended to the level of parody. Politicians propose banning home delivery of knives; stores remove kitchen knives from shelves; and police put out street-corner knife-surrender bins in case you stuck a shiv in your sock by mistake or something. So aspiring chefs suffer while any hood can sharpen metal against rock, even in prison. Give every tenth shopkeeper and homeowner a shotgun and see how many thugs pull knives, I say.

    Ottawa councillor Mathieu Fleury, a handgun ban supporter in whose ward the Friday shooting happened, just asked “Who carries a gun?” Uh, that’d be criminals. If you don’t know something that obvious, please try to stay out of my newspaper. It’s so annoying it feels deliberate.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Hidyn's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Calgary, AB
    I like it, short of that we are in no danger of tyranny in the classic sense. Someone once summed it up as 'Liberty is when the Gov't fears the people, tyranny is when people fear the Gov't'.

    You can't tell me that the average Canadian doesn't break out in a cold sweat whenever there is a chance that they may be violating a law.

    People get stressed out about having their water and power turned off, being heavily fined, being flat out arrested.

    How many times in a day do you hear someone offer a potential solution to a problem to then have someone else say "oh, but that's illegal".

    Canadians very much fear their government. Smells a bit tyrannical to me.
    "You can break the surgical procedure of removing an appendix down into about 30-35 individual steps – each of which is not overly complicated or beyond an enthusiastic amateur."

    -Survival and Austere Medicine, 3rd ed.

  4. #3
    Senior Member RangeBob's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    What nonsense
    -- PolySeSouvient, June 11 2019,

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by RangeBob View Post
    What nonsense
    -- PolySeSouvient, June 11 2019,

    The responses are phenomenal.
    And yet, after nearly 10 years of government by Stephen Harper and his anti-choice army, you can still get an abortion in Canada. At this point, the political right’s agenda is so well hidden Sherlock Holmes couldn’t find it with a Huawei P30 powered by a trillion Watsons.

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  8. #5
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2015
    The National Post has always been the most rational of any of the Media. I've always wondered who pays for the lobotomy presumably intelligent people get upon being elected to any office. They couldn't possibly be as stupid as they act.
    Twitter isn't rational about anything at the best of times.

  9. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    A politician's purpose is to get elected and stay in office. Basically pander to the biggest voting block.

    In case of liberals, the blocks are single women (many of them end up in government jobs, don't generate GDP, live off men's taxes), single mothers (cancer of society, most males in prison nowadays are products of single mothers), old people who don't want their social programs messed with (never saved much for a rainy day, but they worked for many years so the government better pay up, even if it goes to further bankruptcy, after all, they won't be around for many years so it's not their problem) , and young people who can't get a job that will pay for those student loans and allow them to live in the city with their own personal space (those 3-4 roommate living conditions must be wonderful).

    People demand it, politicians will give it. Politicians aren't stupid, the people are. All these groups are weak useless people, who are self-serving. They only think of the present, the now, they don't think of the future and the problems this method of thinking will lead to.

    As cities grow, so will these groups, the tyranny of the weak.

    Trudeau a while back mentioned that the top 20%, the most wealthy, pay for about 70% of all income taxes. One of the few sane things he has said in all his career. He got criticized by his own party for opening his mouth and letting some truth slip by.
    If these groups keep on demanding more, the politicians will just say "yes sir!!" .

    What do you think will happen when many of these wealthy people leave Canada looking for better waters to invest in? No new money to invest in new companies or existing companies?

    I'm glad I have 2 passports just in case. Honestly, I don't see this changing, only getting worse.

    Last year New York slapped some new taxes on people who live outside of the state but spend at least 50% of their time in the state doing business/work , well the wealthy moved their business to New Jersey, Florida and other states and New York had 2-3 billion dollars in deficit, now the state is chasing these people with audits. Btw there are federal taxes, state taxes and city taxes in New York City, insane.
    California is having the same problem as more tech companies are fleeing California to Salt Lake city, Utah, and Austin, Texas. Some leaving the country altogether.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2014
    Btw there are federal taxes, state taxes and city taxes in New York City, insane.

    That’s pretty common/standard in the US. As are additional sales taxes levied by individual cities, counties, etc.

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