Are firearms the real issue, or are firearms the easiest target to blame a failing system on?
Canadians seem to forget that firearms both non-restricted and restricted are inanimate objects, a tool that if used in the correct manner can feed families, provide a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment at a firearms range and protect Canadian citizens.
The reactions and proposed changes the current government has tabled and suggested as the means of controlling firearms violence will not get to the source of firearms related crimes. It is amazing that the only solutions being put forth are aimed at the law-abiding firearms owners of Canada, a group absent from 98 percent of firearm related crimes.
Bill C-71, an act to amend certain acts and regulations in relation to firearms brings back the useless and ineffective long gun registry. The same registry that cost taxpayers in excess of 2 billion dollars before it was scrapped. Would it not make more sense to scrap Bill C-71 and allocate those funds to the RCMP’s Criminal Intelligence unit, a unit tasked with increasing public safety and following manifestations of unlawful activity local to global to prevent crime and investigate criminal activity? A unit which has roughly half the budget of the RCMP run Canadian Firearms Program who are tasked with the oversight of a licensed group utterly void of violent criminals due to already existing background checks, medical history checks and firearms safety courses.
Mayor John Tory and Toronto’s city council are requesting a ban on handguns after the latest attack, and Federal Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale says the Trudeau government is willing to consider the increasing calls for a ban on handguns. The question we should all be asking is how will focusing on law-abiding firearms owners have any effect on 98 percent of the problem, the statistics show the big picture so why is it being avoided?
Canada does not have a firearms problem, we have a people problem. We have a broken system that is threatening the safety of Canadians.
The sooner the focus turns to prevention of crimes before they happen rather than reaction when they do happen, the sooner Canada will be able to get to the true root cause of firearms violence. Invest in programs aimed at steering young people away from gangs, invest in firearms education programs, invest in prevention. Don’t punish the law-abiding firearms owners as this method will have minimal effect on the true issue at hand.