Canada struggles to deal with increasing gun-related violence


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Desertdog
January 3, 2006, 02:59 PM
The second line says it's our fault. If it wasn't for OUR guns, the gangs wouldn't be armed. BS, if they would allow their honest citizens to arm themselves, the gangs wouldn't be so bold. Eleminate all firearms and the tough would rule over the weak. An armed 90 pond, 90 year old woman CAN protect herself from a 300 lb mean SOB.

Canada struggles to deal with increasing gun-related violence
Gang activity, U.S. weapons blamed for recent spike
By Rebecca Cook Dube Special for
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20060103/a_canadaguns03.art.htm

TORONTO — A 4-year-old is wounded in a drive-by shooting. A teenager is shot to death at the funeral of a friend, also a victim of gunfire. A gunbattle between rival gangs kills a 15-year-old bystander and wounds six others in the heart of the downtown shopping district.

The violence would be shocking anywhere, but it's especially so in Toronto, where Canadians pride themselves on their city's safety and civility. The number of gun-related homicides nearly doubled in the city last year.

The spike has prompted a debate in Canada over what is behind the unprecedented violence. Law enforcement officials and crime experts point to an alarming increase in gangs.

“The fact that street gangs are now emerging in our city is a huge problem for us,” Toronto Police Chief William Blair said. “This whole culture of urban gangsterism has emerged over the last four to five years. … There's no simple solution.”

Police have identified 73 street gangs operating in Toronto, 25 of which are involved in organized crime, Blair told CBC Radio. Many of the groups arm themselves and fight for turf. Some of the shootings are by young men attempting to emulate gang violence.

Blair has called for tougher sentencing laws and said police are frustrated that many of those arrested with weapons are soon back on the streets.

Some Canadian politicians are blaming the spike in violence on guns coming from the USA. “The system you have in place in the U.S. is causing violence to be exported to my city,” Toronto Mayor David Miller said.

Toronto police estimate that half the guns seized in criminal investigations come from the USA.

The United States disputes that claim. “We disagree that's an accurate figure,” U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins told CTV News in October.

All firearms in Canada must be registered with the government. Handguns require a permit issued to people who can prove they have a legitimate use for the gun.

U.S. gun laws are generally more permissive, though they vary by state. Maine and North Dakota, two states that share a border with Canada, don't require a permit, registration or waiting period to own a handgun.

Fifteen-year-old Jane Creba was caught in the crossfire of rival gangs while shopping with her family near Toronto's popular Eaton Center mall on Dec. 26. She was Toronto's 52nd gun victim in 2005 — a new record, and nearly double the 27 gun-related homicides in 2004.

With a population of 2.5 million people and 78 homicides this year, Toronto still has a lower murder rate than comparable U.S. cities: Chicago, with 2.8 million people, had 446 homicides last year. Houston, with 2 million people, had 329.

Gun control has become an issue in Canada's Jan. 23 election. Both of Prime Minister Paul Martin's opponents — Conservative Stephen Harper and New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton — say Canada should get tougher border security to stem the flow of illegal guns.

Martin has proposed a ban on private handgun ownership. His opponents argue that a ban is unnecessary because handguns are already severely restricted in Canada.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, police estimate that more than 90% of crime guns come from the USA. Toronto and Vancouver police reached their estimates by tracing the ownership of guns they seized in criminal investigations.

The United States says it is cooperating with Canada in fighting crime. “We're working hand in hand with Canadian officials to help solve this problem,” Wilkins said, referring to all cross-border crimes.

Canadians are far from unanimous on where the blame lies for the recent surge in gun violence. Some criticize Martin, Miller and the ruling Liberal government for being soft on crime, and others say blaming the United States is a diversion.

“People will point the finger at the U.S. and go on about those wacky Americans and their wacky gun culture,” said John Thompson, president of the Mackenzie Institute, a Canadian think tank. “That is a real easy way of diverting attention from the real problems the gang culture presents.”

Thompson said Canada will never be able to eliminate gun smuggling from the USA.

“We tighten up security and we interfere with a vast amount of legitimate commerce,” Thompson said, noting that trade with the USA makes up nearly a third of Canada's gross national product.

Other parts of Canada also are grappling with firearm violence.

In rural Alberta, four Mounties were shot to death while raiding a marijuana farm in March, the worst loss of life by Canadian law enforcement in 120 years.

In Vancouver, several shootings have shaken the suburbs this winter, including the fatal killing of 23-year-old artist and skateboarder Lee Matasi.

Matasi was fatally shot in December after he objected to someone shooting a gun in the air outside a nightclub, according to the Vancouver Police Department report on his death.

“I don't get it,” Matasi's mother, Susan Jessop, told The Province newspaper of Vancouver. “This isn't supposed to happen in Canada.”

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longeyes
January 3, 2006, 03:12 PM
Time to revise the utopian thinking?

Modern society has lost its soul, and Canada is a good exemplar of that. Do they have the heart and spine to crack down on the criminal elements in their midst, some of them, dare I say it, imported as part of their utopian multiculturalist policies? Or would they rather blame the Great Satan to the South? The secular welfare state, with its faux compassion and entitlements imperative, doesn't have the moral core to deal with the modern behavior it itself has engendered. Canada is about to undergo a very painful lesson.

Thefabulousfink
January 3, 2006, 03:13 PM
“This whole culture of urban gangsterism has emerged over the last four to five years. … There's no simple solution.”


That's right there is no simple solution, but politicians are sure itching to find a simple thing to blame it on (guns). If they really were interested in stopping violent gang crime they would have more success by putting more police on the streets, improving urban conditions, and stimulating the economy so that urban youths have more opertunities than joining a gang.

Henry Bowman
January 3, 2006, 03:20 PM
“I don't get it,” Matasi's mother, Susan Jessop, told The _______ newspaper of ______________. “This isn't supposed to happen in _________.”It's never supposed to happen in ______________. But crime knows no bounds.

ReadyontheRight
January 3, 2006, 03:27 PM
All firearms in Canada must be registered with the government. Handguns require a permit issued to people who can prove they have a legitimate use for the gun.

No -- all firearms are SUPPOSED TO be registered by law. LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF handguns BY LAW-ABIDING SUBJECTS require a permit. Criminals don't follow the law or register for permits.

Maine and North Dakota, two states that share a border with Canada, don't require a permit, registration or waiting period to own a handgun.

They also do not require that the purchaser run a sub-4-minute mile or be able to hit the high notes in 'The Star Spangled Banner'. They DO require that purchasers be residents of that state and pass an instant background check.:rolleyes:

longeyes
January 3, 2006, 03:30 PM
“The fact that street gangs are now emerging in our city is a huge problem for us,” Toronto Police Chief William Blair said. “This whole culture of urban gangsterism has emerged over the last four to five years. … There's no simple solution.”

Try forty years of tearing down the family and mocking individual moral responsibility as an explanation. For starters. Then look at how you've willfully decided to deconstruct your nation's social and cultural fabric to genuflect before academic utopian theories that make you feel superior.

The little monsters have grown up, baby. Enjoy.

NorthernExtreme
January 3, 2006, 03:39 PM
“The fact that street gangs are now emerging in our city is a huge problem for us,” Toronto Police Chief William Blair said. “This whole culture of urban gangsterism has emerged over the last four to five years. … There's no simple solution.”

The gangs are growing because the wicked no longer fear the good. The more you disarm the good, the bolder Evil will get. Evil people are kowards by nature, and they have always preyed on the week. What the Canadians are doing is creating a larger problem by weakening the good (by disarming them).

I hate to see good people suffer. But when the good sit by and do nothing to protect their self, they will be eaten by the Wollf. The longer they look to the South for the cause of their problems, the closer the wolf comes (from the North).


America is not your problem Canada! Learn that now before it's too late.

Regards,

ArmedBear
January 3, 2006, 03:44 PM
Evil triumphs when the weak believe they can just wish it away.

Master Blaster
January 3, 2006, 05:32 PM
Here is an article from Todays Toronto SUN, maybe their are a few sane folks left in Canada. Anywho it puts the onus where it belongs and it never mentions the USA or Guns as being the cause of their problem.

Government officials to discuss gun violence

By STEVE ERWIN




TORONTO (CP) - Top cops and civil servants will "roll up their sleeves" to get working on Toronto's rising gun violence at a Wednesday meeting, but it could be weeks before any comprehensive action plan is in place.

Amid pressure to act after a brazen Boxing Day shooting in downtown Toronto lifted the city's shooting death tally last year to 52, senior bureaucrats from Ottawa, the province and the City of Toronto will meet to discuss strategies to curb gun violence.

The meeting was called after a Saturday telephone call that included Prime Minister Paul Martin, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller.

The meeting is being closely watched by Toronto residents eager for immediate action. But a spokesman for the premier characterized Wednesday's session as a "working group," not a task force that will result in any immediate policy or program announcements.

"It's an opportunity for people to come together, roll up their sleeves, talk about what needs to be done and what more needs to be done," said spokesman Chris Morley.

Provincial Conservative critics have been calling on McGuinty to move swiftly on plans to address gun violence, claiming the premier has stalled on making any progress.

"It's a good thing that they are meeting. It's just very late in coming," said Conservative Leader John Tory, who two years ago called for McGuinty to hold a summit on youth violence.

Government sources say McGuinty doesn't want to rush into any decisions, but Tory said there are short-term measures that can be put in place now "to make sure 2006 doesn't end up like 2005."

On Monday, Miller said the Wednesday talks will include discussions about legal changes needed to make the justice system work better.

That includes calls for so-called "reverse-onus bail," which would force those charged with gun crimes to prove why they should be eligible for bail release while charges are pending. McGuinty has already sent a letter to federal leaders asking for such a commitment, which Martin has made part of his Liberal party election platform.

Miller also said the Wednesday meeting will involve "changes we can do now without changes to the law or new money to ensure the streets are safe." Sources say that could eventually mean more community-based counselling programs.

The mayor also anticipated there would be discussions about "finding the money to start investing to prevent more young people from getting involved in the gangs." Sources say such talk could lead to internship programs aimed at getting young people from poorer families a chance at a first job.

Internships were among the various recommendations the Ontario Tories put in an action plan on gun violence released last month. Tory said that if the public sector shows leadership, they could rally the business community to get new internships in place this spring.

"The more kids we can offer a better choice to . . . the less chance there is (that) kids are going to fall on the wrong side of the law," Tory said.

New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton urged the province to scrap the Safe Schools Act, which leaders of Toronto's black community say has led to a disproportionate number of black students being suspended or expelled - making them targets for gangs.

"This failed law is really the Gang Recruitment Act," Hampton said. "It drives youth out of school, onto the streets and into crime."

Tory has also called for Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant to stop provincial Crown attorneys from making "disgraceful" plea bargains and sentence reductions for those found guilty of gun crimes.

Bryant was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Tory also said the province needs to get the 1,000 new police officers it promised to help hire on streets by the end of this year, not next as the government has promised.

Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter has said the government is working as fast as it can on its program to help fund roughly half the salary of new municipal police officers.

"The problem is, the municipalities can't absorb them sooner and we've also got to train them at the police college," Kwinter said in an interview last month.

During a speech Tuesday in Winnipeg, Martin repeated his support for reverse-onus bail conditions. Experts say it would require a change to the Criminal Code and court recognition that revised conditions for offenders are justified under the Charter of Rights. Currently, Crown officials must convince a judge that the accused should be kept behind bars.

rick_reno
January 3, 2006, 05:58 PM
Is it possible that blame points south? Canada blames us for social problems, we blame Mexico for social problems. I don't pay much attention to what happens in Mexico, but are they blaming the various Central American banana republics for their problems?

NorthernExtreme
January 3, 2006, 07:02 PM
Is it possible that blame points south? Canada blames us for social problems, we blame Mexico for social problems. I don't pay much attention to what happens in Mexico, but are they blaming the various Central American banana republics for their problems?

Illegal immigration is OUR problem and WE have to fix it. We cannot fix the problems in Mexico which cause people to jump the border. Canada has a criminal problem and THEY need to fix it. Mexico is what it is and we need to deal with it (we have no authority in Mexico). The US is what it is and Canada needs to deal with it (They have no authority in the US).

If Canada wishes to help stop the illegal transport of stolen guns into Canada I'm sure the US will gladly accept. Just as we try to help in Mexico. But Canada is not saying it wants to help US customs and Border security to catch and stop the gun issue (if there really is such a big issue). They are just blaming us.

The guns (from the US) that do make it to Canada are the result of US and Canadian criminals working together to achieve a goal, and it seems to be working according to Canada. Imagine how things would be if US and Canadian authorities worked together to stop them (the criminals have a better handle on it than the Canadian authorities).

Blaming the US is not going to solve a Canadian EVIL people problem.

longeyes
January 3, 2006, 07:55 PM
Miller also said the Wednesday meeting will involve "changes we can do now without changes to the law or new money to ensure the streets are safe." Sources say that could eventually mean more community-based counselling programs.

The mayor also anticipated there would be discussions about "finding the money to start investing to prevent more young people from getting involved in the gangs." Sources say such talk could lead to internship programs aimed at getting young people from poorer families a chance at a first job.

Internships were among the various recommendations the Ontario Tories put in an action plan on gun violence released last month. Tory said that if the public sector shows leadership, they could rally the business community to get new internships in place this spring.

"The more kids we can offer a better choice to . . . the less chance there is (that) kids are going to fall on the wrong side of the law," Tory said.

New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton urged the province to scrap the Safe Schools Act, which leaders of Toronto's black community say has led to a disproportionate number of black students being suspended or expelled - making them targets for gangs.

"This failed law is really the Gang Recruitment Act," Hampton said. "It drives youth out of school, onto the streets and into crime."

Yawn. Perhaps they should try cracking some heads?

No one drives you into crime. You turn to crime because it's easy and you lack any sense of morality or responsibility. There's a "better choice:" HUMANITY. It's always available to those who want it. Those who don't should be dealt with as the savages they are.

Gunpacker
January 3, 2006, 08:02 PM
Canada should just ban guns in the US. That would solve their problem. Maybe their UN buddies can help them get it done.

Spiggy
January 3, 2006, 08:04 PM
I blame Michael Moore, showing Would-Be Canadian gangsters how easy it is to enter houses in Canada...

Standing Wolf
January 3, 2006, 08:27 PM
Yes, there is a simple solution: get the criminals out of circulation.

Is that so difficult to understand?

longeyes
January 3, 2006, 08:37 PM
The Canadians are "nice people." They are addicted to being nice people. Anything can become a fatal addiction, even virtues. It should be interesting to watch the internal psychological contortions Canada has to go through merely to recover enough non-guiltridden aggression to deal with the obvious in a direct and forthright way.

BostonGeorge
January 3, 2006, 10:57 PM
U.S. gun laws are generally more permissive, though they vary by state. Maine and North Dakota, two states that share a border with Canada, don't require a permit, registration or waiting period to own a handgun.

Good thing no one's clued them in on Vermont yet. Not only can one purchase a handgun without a permit, but regular people, just like you and I, are able to walk aound in public with a firearm secreted on their person without governmental permission. Can you believe it? The Horror! :rolleyes:

Manedwolf
January 4, 2006, 01:07 AM
Blair has called for tougher sentencing laws and said police are frustrated that many of those arrested with weapons are soon back on the streets.


WHY can't any politician get it through their head that the ONLY way to end gun crime is to lock up gun CRIMINALS for good, not to blame the guns? :banghead: :banghead:

CAnnoneer
January 4, 2006, 02:45 AM
In a way, Canada can be our great social experiment. If they ban guns, but crime perseveres, then clearly guns would be shown to be irrelevant to the problem.

Oh, wait. They will claim that so long as there are guns in the US, Canada will always suffer. Doh!

:barf:

Crosshair
January 4, 2006, 03:37 AM
I say we bring back chain gangs. Have them be out picking the fruit and doing hard labor. (Hey, we solved our "cheap, unskilled labor" problem right there.)

In Canada, put them way up north. It will be so cold that they won't have any time to be fighting. Plus, you won't need any fences if the nearest civilization is 150 miles away.

If we let the stoners out we could solve the prison overcrowding problem overnight.

/Just ranting

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