I am writing this letter in response to the surge in gun crime over this summer. I would like to take a minute and go over a few things including, the lack of police and political attention to the real gun problem, the use of legal gun owners as a vote tool, and the difference between a criminal and some normal uses of a firearm.
One of the first things said whenever there is a crime committed with a gun that gets any kind of attention is, “ban all guns”. I feel this is a ignorant statement as the Canadian criminal code already outlines firearms used in a criminal offence as something that is illegal. 99% of people who commit a crime with a firearm do it with a illegally acquired, whether it be stolen or smuggled, firearm. I believe we do not spend as much time investigating these crimes, currently smuggling a firearm into Canada does not carry a very hefty fine, which is unfortunate,especially when almost 90% of crime guns are smuggled. If we investigated and stopped the source of firearms, we could curb gun violence. We also need to make using a gun in a crime a more serious offence, for example if you steal a legal firearm, it should be a 20 year sentence. criminal possession of a firearm should automatically be 15-20 years. Politicians and the police choose not to tackle this as it is much harder to go after criminals then law abiding citizens.
Law abiding gun owners are used as scapegoats whenever there is a gun issue. If someone is killed it is easier for a law to change, thousands of legal gun owners are forced to turn in their firearms, and the police and politicians can say we got x amount of firearms of the streets,however this is a false statement. It is smoke and mirrors, it’s an illusion they create to make the public think they are doing something. In fact nothing productive is being done, Crime guns are still out there in criminal hands, they didn’t turn theirs over when the law changed. They kept them, got more thru smuggled guns, and continue to use them for criminal reasons. They are never truly punished. Preventing a person from owning a gun do to its looks is absurd, if a criminal wants a Ak-47, they will have one brought across the border, the politicians will argue stricter gun laws will help stop crime,however many countries with stricter gun laws are in fact the most crime ridden places. Other countries with higher gun ownership tend to be safer. The United States is an exception to this, and i feel we would never become this if we had more open gun laws for legal owners.
One of the worst misconceptions is firearms are a weapon first, everything else second. this is not true, a firearm is simply whatever the person holding it intends it to be,the same as every other item. A firearm is a tool is a legal owners hands, they are using it to acquire food, enjoying a hobby, and using it in a safe manner. They do not intend to use it for anything criminal,they intend to use it for a legal reason, they follow all the rules, including getting a ATT for pistols when they want to use them. A ATT requires letting the RCMP know your intention for transporting a firearm, something no criminal has ever called for when committing the crime. A Restricted PAL is considered to be harder to get then a Canadian Passport, we go thru background checks every 24 hours, looking for anything that has been flagged. Legal gun owners are the most responsible, and law abiding people you will ever meet, yet they are targeted as criminals for political gain because the real criminals are to hard to find.
In short we need to change to the misconception around firearms. We need to look at the political agenda and what they are truly doing to curb illegal gun crime. We can not allow politicians continue to attack law abiding citizens for political reasons. We need to make them aware of the issue truly at hand, and force their hand at making the police do the job they are paid for. I understand it is easier for them to go after law abiding citizens who will not shoot back then the criminals, but we get nowhere with this. Stop the real crime, not the easy crimes that ultimately do not hurt anyone. If we focus the money used to combat marijuana, we could stop all illegal guns in this country and make the legal gun owner more free to exercise their privilege.