Banning guns = no more gun crime
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
- Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography by M.K. Gandhi, p.238).
“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”The Martin Liberals must be desperate. Having received little positive news, and being unable to trump Harper's policy announcements, they have gone to the drawing board and pulled out a shocking policy announcement geared to feed on fear, and grab the headlines.
—The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times)
BAM. It worked! Banning handguns in Canada has screamed onto the front pages of Canada's newspapers. That's right--banning handguns! With this, they plan on changing the law to double the mandatory minimum sentence for handgun crime, support some community-based initiatives to help stop gangs and drugs, put more border guards at the border, and create a brand new 250-officer strong RCMP unit for gun purposes.
Martin says they will follow the Australian example to allow for target shooting. We'll be following Australia in more ways than one, since that country has decided to ban handguns as well. Here's what we can expect:
"Drive by shootings, revenge killings, and armed hold-ups. Gun crime has become an almost daily occurrence in Australia."We'll also be following the British experience, a country that also chose to ban handguns. There, "crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned." That same report further explains that:
(7.30 report, Dec. 2003)
Wait... those experiences don't sound so good. Hmmm, why would handgun crime increase after a ban on handguns? I mean, did the politicians not say the guns were banned, not allowed, against the law, and so on? And didn't the right people mark down the right pieces of paper with the appropriate words all to the effect that guns were banned, not allowed, against the law, and so on? What happened?
"...there was no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession.
Of the 20 police areas with the lowest number of legally held firearms, 10 had an above average level of gun crime.
And of the 20 police areas with the highest levels of legally held guns only two had armed crime levels above the average."
(BBC News, July 2001)
Everyone must be confused, since drumming up a new law instantly gets rid of the crime the law is supposed to fight. Consider Harper's drug announcement--if he manages to get in, we'll see no more drugs, and everything will be rainbows.
Economics talk of incentives, market rewards, the impossibility of the police being everywhere, and so on, are too 'academic' for policy purposes. Soccer moms want laws on the books that say you can't say mean things to their children, and everyone must hug at the end of the day, and, well, we do live in a democracy so let's put the laws together and avoid talking to the pointy-headed professors.
Not that we care (we have snookums to drive to the mall for an X-Box 360), but economists might say crazy things like: 'a ban on handguns is likely to disarm law-abiding citizens, and make it in the interest of every criminal to have one.' Or 'a ban on handguns lowers the potential costs of engaging in crime to the criminal, making criminality more likely.' Or, 'if banning handguns were a good policy to stop handgun crime, then it would have worked in Australia and England.' Or they might quote a mafioso:
“Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You’ll pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.”
—Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, Mafia hit man.
What these academics are missing is that we are not Australia and England. We are Canada! And apart from the confusing similarity of having three 'A's in our name just like Australia, our country clearly begins with a 'C', which is really different from those other two. In short, we can just pretend that the experiences of other countries will not be our experience. We can create policy as though we were in an empirical vacuum, starting from scratch, the first policy of its kind, and so on.
Besides, we can't let Britain and Australia write our policy--we must be independent. Learning from other countries is like ceding sovereignty or something. Consider the health care debate. Some idiots are comparing Canada's system to other systems like France, Germany, Britain, etc., and concluding that our system is one of the worst (ranked 31st, or thereabouts). Such comparisons ignore important criteria like "was a Canadian in charge?" and "just how was Tommy Douglas involved in the construction of the health care system?" and "what is the opinion of the Canadian Nursing unions?" You will note that Canadians are not in charge in other countries, Douglas only helped construct Canada's system, and nursing unions in Canada love our system the best. Including these important questions will probably yield the outcome that Canadian elite commentators have known instinctively for years: Canada's system is the best in the world (or better than the U.S. system which amounts, of course, to the same thing: We're number 1! We're number 1!)
So it would be rash to conclude that we should have similar outcomes from similar policy enactments in other countries.
The only policy better than this one, would be one that addresses the root causes of gun crime, which is criminals. I anticipate that the Liberals will see this, and propose a new similarly effective policy announcement of banning criminals and criminality. This proposal is probably also the best because we can then get rid of our prisons, our justice system, and so on, since there will be no criminals if we banned them.