Saturday, December 10, 2005

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 Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times)
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.

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."
(7.30 report, Dec. 2003)
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:

"...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)

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?

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.

7 Comments:

Blogger angryroughneck said...

Its about piece of mind for the criminal perpetrators. It is very scary breaking into a house and not knowing if its inhabitants are armed. But with this rule we all know one thing. "nobody has guns except criminals."

12:39 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Great post.

What people seem to overlook is that if you increase the penalty for something, you increase the motivation to avoid getting caught. Hence, there is greater incentive to get rid of witnesses.

The same goes for CPC policy to increase penalties for marijuana grow-ops.

Both policies seem designed to increase the flow of blood in the streets, rather than reduce it.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Liam O'Brien said...

Excellent post. I think this reminds these so-called "liberals" that their action isn't very "liberal" at all. It's authoritarian in the worst kind of way . . .

3:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Cust said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Michael Cust said...

Peter,
I think your post captures an interesting truth about Canada. In questions regarding socialist enterprises (the war on drugs, gun control, and healthcare) all that matters are nationalist considerations.

Yup, apparently all that matters to Canada's political class -- and too many of its voters -- is nationalism and socialism, good 'ol national socialism.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Michael Cust said...

Peter,
Where did you get those quotes? I bet you most of them -- if not all of them -- are fake.

The general rule is that if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

8:24 PM  
Blogger P. M. Jaworski said...

A simple Google check would have verified these quotes for you, Mike. But, anyways, here you are:

For Gandhi: 1, 2, 3, 4.

For the Dalai-Lama: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

If you don't trust any of these sources, just Google it until you're satisfied that both Gandhi and the Dalai Lama did say what I quote them as saying.

I'm just assuming, of course, that you have issues with the opening two quotes. I can assure you that all the quotes are accurate.

9:02 PM  

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