Saturday, August 8, 2009

From My Cold, Dead Hands...

Source: CBC NEWS: Duck Shooting Video Leads to Charges Against 3 Sask. Men
Source: CBC NEWS: Reward Offered to Help ID Illegal Duck Shooters
Source: CBC NEWS: Hunt on for men who Shot Ducks From Car Window

This is a bit of a short source, and may not seem political, but allow me to give a chance to explain why I've decided to talk about this.

When I read these articles, the first thought that popped into my mind was the issue of gun control. How some groups would argue that this is proof that gun control is too lax in Canada; while others would argue that 'leftists' would try and use a few 'bad eggs' to support taking away guns from 'law-abiding' Canadians.

Growing up in the riding of Yorkton-Melville, I've heard a lot about gun control during my life time. I've heard both sides of the argument, the idea over freedom and the idea over restrictions, and I like to think that I've chosen the right side on the issue.

I would like to start off by saying that while I don't own a gun, I've always been interested in the idea of taking up hunting at some point in my life. As such, I don't believe that a person should be restricted from owning a weapon for the sake of hunting.

However, there are limits. Why does someone need a semi-automatic or fully automatic rifle to hunt? Is an assault rifle really needed to take down a deer? A moose? Ducks?

The answer, of course, is no. The further question, which really complicates things, is the question of whether or not a person should own a gun solely for the sake of protection. The person does not engage in hunting, but simply owns the gun and keeps it stored away for the day when they might need it to protect themselves or their family.

The problem with this argument is the problem of escalation. When criminals start carrying knives, we start carrying knives around home to defend ourselves. They start using guns, we want a gun. And so on and so forth.

The bigger problem, of course, is that simply providing access to a gun is not a means of stopping crime. Were that so; if every Canadian had a gun or some kind of weapon, surely there would be no crime...

So what does that tell us? Unlike the Cold War, where the threat of the use of weapons was enough to prevent full scale war; the threat of gun use is not a deterrent in the face of crime. This is because if someone is driven to the point where they need/feel they need to commit a crime, then the risks are not outweighed by the benefits.

Sure, the person could shoot them; but they could also get away with whatever they are planning. As such, simply allowing guns for the sake of protection seems like an effort in futility.

As such, I do not believe that guns for the sake of protection while serving any no other use should be an option for Canadians, as there is no logical use for them.

This of course brings us to the gun registry. Much maligned by Conservatives since its inception, the gun registry has always been under constant threat of destruction and has been repeated subverted during Stephen Harper's tenure as Prime Minister.

Many people say, well the opponents anyway, that the gun registry is a waste of money. That it is an unfair tax against law abiding citizens who use their guns for sport or hunting, and that it does nothing to stop crime.

This is because of a misconception. The Firearms Registry alone is not going to reduce crime statistics. What is will do, however, is protect RCMP and City Police officers by allowing them to know whether a situation could be more dangerous than reported. No one is going to object to protecting our police officers in the line of duty, yet moving to scrap the gun registry would do exactly that.

I'm not saying that everyone with a registered gun is likely to shoot a police officer, what I am saying is that is allows officers to know whether a domestic abuse call is likely to include a person with a weapon and thus allow proper precaution to be taken.

The registry here poses a problem in that its implementation has been flawed since the beginning. But, then let's look at a country that seemingly had done the job right.

If you look at the United Kingdom, mainland Britain in particular, you see incredibly low gun related crime rates. According to these statistics, crimes committed in Britain with guns represented only 0.3% of all crime, or 1 in every 300 crimes. (Source: GNC Comment - Annual Gun Crime Figures)

Compare those 2008 figures with Canada; where gun crimes represented 2.4% of violent crimes. (Source: CBC NEWS: Gun Crimes Among Teens on the Rise: StatsCan) To make matters worse, the same statistics show that gun crimes were often two to three times higher in the Western Provinces than in the Maritime Provinces.

So, why does Britain have such a lower gun crime rate than Canada?

Well, probably the main reason: Britain has one of the lowest counts of private gun ownership world wide, and as legislation restricting and prohibiting many types of weapons from being owned privately.

Furthermore, all certificates for guns licensed within Britain are issued by the local police authority and require the owner of the weapon to provide a good reason for EACH firearm they own. With the exception of Northern Ireland, self-defense is not considered an acceptable reason.

So, is that the answer? To follow the British example and require gun owners to demonstrate why they need to own the weapon or weapons they do? To further restrict certain weapons from public ownership?

Perhaps. It's often true that what works for one country won't work for another, so a Canadian made solution would be better.

What can be said, though, is that Canadians are indeed becoming as infatuated with 'gun culture' as our neighbours to the south. We, like them, are beginning to think that we have an inherent right to own a weapon.

And much like them, some of us begin to believe conspiracy theories that suggest the government wants an unarmed populace or will move to take away all their weapons; for a variety of reasons.

But where in Canadian law does it say that we need weapons?

And for those who argue in favour of the American Constitution, please read the following sentence:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,shall not be infringed. (Source: The United States Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net)

The second amendment is often cited by Americans who defend gun rights; but they often ignore that fact that private citizens do not constitute a militia and that it is these militias that are given the right to arms.

The fact of the matter is that Canada has no such legislation that enshrines gun ownership into our rights and freedoms. And even if we did, I fear it would become as twisted and as misquoted as the American equivalent.

So, perhaps this is only going to end one way: Either the guns are going to go, or we're going to live in a nation that begins allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons with a permit or allows them to store one in the trunk of their car.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like the Canada I know...And it doesn't sound like the Canada I would want to be a part of.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Crime Correspondent
Published: 7:00AM BST 02 Jul 2009

Analysis of figures from the European Commission


A breakdown of the statistics, which were compiled into league tables by the Conservatives, revealed that violent crime in the UK had increased from 652,974 offences in 1998 to more than 1.15 million crimes in 2007.

It means there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe.

Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland.

By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.

Jayde said...

Wow, Scott...there are so many inaccuracies in your post that I don't even know where to begin.

Since you mentioned the UK, I guess I'll start there. Yes, gun crime in the UK is lower than in Canada. However, their overall rates of violent crime are more than double ours.

When the UK brought in their gun control legislation in 1988, the violent crime rate was 315 per 100,000 people. As of 2007 the rate was 1930 per 100,000 people. That's an increase of well over 500% in 20 years (Source: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/hosb1107.pdf)

Similarly for Canada, in 1988 our violent crime rate was 868 per 100,000. As of 2007 it was 930 per 100,000. An increase of about 7% (Source: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/85-002-x2008007-eng.pdf)

The UN deemed Scotland and England, with their strict gun control policies, the two most violent developed countries in the world in 2005. Strangely enough, Northern Ireland, which has some of the most relaxed gun control laws in Europe, was the least violent developed country in the world (Source: http://www.unicri.it/wwd/analysis/icvs/pdf_files/ICVS2004_05report.pdf)

There is absolutely ZERO evidence that supports the claim that gun control lowers crime.

Rather than going through the rest of the errors in your post, I'll just point out a couple more quick facts for you.

Chicago has had a gun ban in place since 1982. As of 2007 they still have the most homicides of any US city. 70% of those murders are committed using guns.

Washington, DC relaxed their gun control laws in 2007. The murder rate in the District of Columbia continues to tumble.

Florida in the 1980s was suffering from an epidemic of violent rapes. They allowed concealed carry of a firearm in 1987. The rapes stopped almost overnight.

I could throw statistics and numbers like these at you all night long Scott. It's quite simple really. Gun control DOES NOT reduce crime. There is absolutely ZERO statistical evidence that proves otherwise.

As for the registry being a tool that improves officer safety, well I have a number for that one too. In an informal poll of front line police officers, less than 7% believe the registry is a useful tool. 93% believe it should be abolished. In fact, the registry is so inaccurate, that the data it contains cannot even be admitted as evidence in court.

I hope I've given you something to think about Scott. The only ones who benefit from an unarmed populace are criminals and dictators.

Michael said...

Wow, where to begin...

"Why does someone need a semi-automatic or fully automatic rifle to hunt? Is an assault rifle really needed to take down a deer? A moose? Ducks?"

First of all, fully automatic weapons have already been illegal for decades here in Canada. Semi-automatic rifles are limited to a maximum of 5 rounds in the magazine, which actually gives them less capacity than many traditional bolt or lever-action hunting rifles.

Semi-automatic rifles are actually very useful for hunters in heavy brush, where a fast follow-up shot is sometimes needed before an animal vanishes into thicker cover. They are eminently useful for hunting in many situations.

In terms of the argument regarding 'escalation' - good lord, man, are you actually suggesting that people should adopt an attitude of passivity and compliance when confronted in their own homes by an intruder bent on robbery, rape or murder?

If one is unable or unwilling to vigorously defend themselves from an assault, and prefers to rely on the mercy of someone who already committing a violent, aggressive crime, that is their business of course.

But don't tell ME that I cannot have access to a tool to more effectively defend myself solely because YOU don't feel comfortable using a weapon for self-defence.

Canadian law explicitly provides justification for individuals to use force, up to and including lethal force, to defend themselves from a threat to their life. Surely you don't have a problem with that notion? If not, then we are simply quibbling about what constitutes an effective tool.

"The bigger problem, of course, is that simply providing access to a gun is not a means of stopping crime."

That is simply incorrect. Areas where private firearms ownership is high (many US states, rural Canada, Switzerland, etc) see a correspondingly low rate of crimes like home invasion, assault, rape etc.

"As such, I do not believe that guns for the sake of protection while serving any no other use should be an option for Canadians, as there is no logical use for them."

Again, just because YOU do not see a logical use for them does not mean that I and others can not make safe, effective use of firearms for self-defence. Many Canadians live in rural areas where the closest police officer is many kilometers away. Others live in high-crime areas where the odds of being victimized in their own homes are high. Do not make the mistake of assuming that everyone in this country lives your lifestyle, or agrees with your outlook on matters such as self-defence.

"...what I am saying is that is allows officers to know whether a domestic abuse call is likely to include a person with a weapon and thus allow proper precaution to be taken."

Any police officer will tell you that whether or not the registry indicates a firearm is in the house, they are always alert to the possibility of a weapon. When is the last time you saw an officer leave his body armor and pistol in his vehicle after checking the registry and getting no hits?

Secondly, you are confusing the registry with licensing. Using CPIC (the Canadian Police Informations Centre) any officer running a 'check' on the home will see if any of the registered occupants is currently licensed to own a firearms. That is a system which exists independantly of the long gun registry, and is fully supported by every legal gun owner.

"The second amendment is often cited by Americans who defend gun rights; but they often ignore that fact that private citizens do not constitute a militia and that it is these militias that are given the right to arms."

That is flat-out wrong. The 'militia' is ABSOLUTELY composed of private citizens - that is the very definition of a militia, as opposed to a standing army controlled by the government.

"So, perhaps this is only going to end one way: Either the guns are going to go, or we're going to live in a nation that begins allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons with."

Hardly. Legal, responsible gun owners are simply looking to be left alone, at this point!

Anonymous said...

The 2nd Amendment in the United States Constitution does guarantee the INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms. This is one of the most common misunderstandings that pro gun control advocates make. Just think about and realize every other right enshrined in the constitution is an INDIVIDUAL right and it would take a fool to believe that for some weird reason the 2A was COLLECTIVE. Take for example Switzerland where all citizens are in the Army, they do not keep there rifles in a Barracks they are kept at home in the closet.

Your argument against the arming for protection is also absolutely flawed. Quick research into CCW laws and the statistical benefits from them would show you that places like Vermont where 10% of the population carries a pistol concealed has a lower murder and over all crime rate than Canada.

I hope you do some further investigation and research before interjecting your own emotional feelings to make a decision rather than statistical fact.

Rishi Maharaj said...

"What can be said, though, is that Canadians are indeed becoming as infatuated with 'gun culture' as our neighbours to the south. We, like them, are beginning to think that we have an inherent right to own a weapon. [...] But where in Canadian law does it say that we need weapons?"

I cannot disagree more completely. The Criminal Code of Canada provides for any level of force - provided it is necessary - to be used in self-defence or the defence of others. Such a right is toothless if one is not permitted to own the tools necessary to apply such force. Firearms are the only device which allow any person with a modicum of training, regardless of age, gender or physical fitness, to defend themselves against a person or group of persons who present a threat. If the action of non-culpable homicide is legal, then how can the tools necessary to perform a legal act be made illegal?

The right to bear arms, though not expressly stated, is implied by recognition of the greatest natural right - that of self-defence. You make the fallacious assertion that unless a right is explicity stated in law, it does not exist. I do not believe that. I believe, as the Founding Fathers of the United States believed, that certain rights are native to all human beings - governments exist simply to secure those rights, not to establish or legitimize them. It is based on this concept that we can rightly condemn human rights abuses in foreign nations which, although legal in those countries, violate the basic freedoms which no law can take away.

Recall that before R v. Morgentaler, abortion was not illegal in Canada. However, it was so strictly regulated that for all practical purposes it was impossible to obtain for many women. If we ban the tools reasonably necessary for the exercise of a recognized right (self-defence), then we pay only lip service to that right.

You are also incorrect on the notion that widespread lawful ownership of firearms does not deter crime, and only causes escalation of criminal activity. Were this the case, our entire criminal justice system ought to be dismantled and replaced with counseling and support services for criminals since one of it's principal concepts is the idea that severe consequences deter crime. Criminals are not suicidal. Furthermore, the introduction of concealed pistol licenses for ordinary citizens in 48 US states has produced no discernible effect on violent crime rates. They have continued to decline as they have been doing for decades. Meanwhile, violent crime continues to skyrocket in the UK, as pointed out by previous commenter Jayde.

In Vermont, any citizen may legally carry any legally owned firearm concealed, no license required. That means that you or I, were we residents of Vermont and not convicted felons, could walk to the nearest gun store, buy a handgun, then put it into a holster and go about your daily business. They must have shootouts in the street every day, right? Vermont is ranked 49 and 47 for violent crime and homicide respectively (out of 50, of course). Incidentally Vermont is one of the most prosperous states in the union. Still think it's the guns that cause violence? The National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the US Department of Justice indicates that the number of legal defensive gun incidents outnumber criminal use of guns by a factor of six.

Tell me Scott, why do criminals run from the police instead of turning and confronting them? Criminals don't assault police officers on the street, or break into police stations. That's because the police are 100% guaranteed to be armed. Who wants to mess with an armed person when there are plenty of unarmed civilians to victimize? Everybody knows that if you threaten a police officer's life you are going to get shot. Maybe if they thought the same of average Canadians, they'd reconsider a career in crime.

Anonymous said...

The 2nd Amendment in the United States Constitution does guarantee the INDIVIDUAL right to keep and bear arms. Obviously you are behind in current events read the Heller decision

I find it odd that the only reason you give for owning a gun is hunting.
little mention is made of sport shooting or practical shooting, none of which are protected rights

S.7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. all of which is meaningless left to the cold dead letter of the law as Sir William Blackstone put in his commentaries on the Laws Of England.

If you have the guaranteed right to life what are you left to defend that life with? Under the law nothing but tooth and nail. The firearms act has seen to that including the Order in Council which forms the list of prohibited weapons, even pepper spray is on that list.

The Liberal government over the years has eroded and in 1995 drove a stake through the heart of 1000 years of English Common Law. Among these articles of Common Law were the Assize of arms, The Statute of Winchester, The Hue and Cry Act. and the English Bill of Rights 1689 which restored the right for us to keep arms in our defence suitable to their condition and as allowed by law.

But before you point out that this seems to couched in qualification please give deference to the linguistics of the time it was written. "Suitable to their condition" is a reference to the ancient assize of arms. which was like a tax on arms. You could have what you could afford to pay for. "As Allowed by Law" which is often misconstrued by some to mean a limit. However this too is incorrect because first it is in the past tense, referring older law. Secondly the bill of rights 1689 was restoring to the people things that were taken away contrary to law by King James II.

In Britain in the early teens of the twentieth century it was common for Genteel people to carry pistols for personal protection. Even an Irishman could carry a firearm in the streets of London unhampered by the law crime was one fortieth it is today in Britain. Police were and for the most part even today are unarmed but that is changing in the post gun ban years.

The right to keep arms is the "when all else fails" clause or "doomsday clause" if you will. We live under the rule of law and peace order and good government. Democratic Governments have a self life. In the beginning they are vital and vigorous as time wears on people become apathetic and become more marginalized. Leaving governments to pass laws that suit their interests and their supporters. Canada is a prime example of this, we don't vote for something we vote against something when we do vote.

I digress We as a people cannot allow this right to vanish nor can we say no we don't need one type of firearm or another, indeed certain firearms are more suited for conflict therefor we must ensure that these will be available to future generations to defend a free and democratic society. From what you may ask, after all we have an army?

Has this escaped everyones notice that coup d'etats are usually carried out by the military? In fact that was the very reason it was put into the bill of Rights of 1689 because James II maintained a standing army.

Dave said...

"The further question, which really complicates things, is the question of whether or not a person should own a gun solely for the sake of protection. The person does not engage in hunting, but simply owns the gun and keeps it stored away for the day when they might need it to protect themselves or their family."

Scott, are you trying to say that ordinary citizens like you and me should not be able to protect ourselves from criminals? That is simply absurd.

What if your home got broken into by armed rapists and murderers. Would you do absolutely nothing, except for calling the police and hope that nothing happens to you or your family? Would you stand idly by while your wife or daughter gets raped or killed? I know that I certainly wouldn't.

You also mention that the long gun registry helps police officers when responding to 911 calls, because we all remember those 4 Mounties that were gunned down by that maniac. Police always respond to 911 calls armed and protected and all they have to do is check if the person has a firearms license. If the perpetrator had an illegal gun, then it wouldn't even show up on the registry.

The billions of dollars wasted on the registry could be better spent hiring more officers to make our cities safer.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Scott.

There are quite a few shooting ranges in Saskatchewan that I'm sure would be glad to have you over for a day. They need to be federally licensed, so you'll be hard-pressed to find a safer environment, rest assured. Just give them a call before-hand.

The gun culture is very complex and multi-faceted. To talk solely about hunting and self-defense would be to undermine the historical value, the mechanical engineering and the plethora of sports (none of which, you'll find out, are even remotely dangerous in their execution. It's no fun if someone gets hurt!).

I would also like to point out that the duck "hunters" in those articles were brought to light (and apprehended, they will go to trial on Monday) thanks to the firearm community. We're just as outraged about the whole ordeal as anyone else, if not more-so.

I don't agree with all you've said in this blog post, but I don't get the impression that you're simply trying to push an agenda. I hope to see a blog post from you in the near future with the title "my trip to the range". :)

DaveC said...

the threat of gun use is not a deterrent in the face of crime. This is because if someone is driven to the point where they need/feel they need to commit a crime, then the risks are not outweighed by the benefits.

Ask any criminal where they would prefer to attack— a gun owner or non-gun owner.

Sure, the person could shoot them; but they could also get away with whatever they are planning.

No. They would move on to an easier victim.

As such, simply allowing guns for the sake of protection seems like an effort in futility. As such, I do not believe that guns for the sake of protection while serving any no other use should be an option for Canadians, as there is no logical use for them.

Holy leap of illogic Batman!

You don‘t believe there’s a difference between being armed or defenseless – therefore everyone must be defenseless?

What is will do, however, is protect RCMP and City Police officers by allowing them to know whether a situation could be more dangerous than reported.

Like it did for the cops killed in Montreal and Mayerthorpe?

No one is going to object to protecting our police officers in the line of duty, yet moving to scrap the gun registry would do exactly that.

Shenanigans.
Put yourself in a cop's shoes: You're called to a home. The registry says there are no guns in the home. But you know it's inaccurate, and you know criminals don't register their guns.

Are you going to believe what a government database tells you, when it's your life on the line?

Registration provides criminals with shopping lists where guns are stored. To date, the registry has been compromised at least 300 times, according to the RCMP.

DaveC said...

So, why does Britain have such a lower gun crime rate than Canada?

It doesn’t.
Your beliefs are not valid statistics.

http://www.lewas.ch/gun_stats_dailytelegraph.pdf

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1576406/28-gun-crimes-committed-in-UK-every-day.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

some of us begin to believe conspiracy theories that suggest the government wants an unarmed populace or will move to take away all their weapons

In the 20th Century governments murdered four times as many civilians as were killed in all international and domestic wars combined. More people were murdered by their own governments than were killed by common criminals.

Can’t happen here, you say? Canadians are too civilized?

Tell that to formerly sophisticated societies in Argentina, Cambodia, China, Germany, Guatemala, Russia, Rwanda, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, and anyplace else where millions of people were first registered, then disarmed, and then slaughtered.

Remember the Liberal Prime Minister choking a much smaller man on national television? That’s only the beginning.

The second amendment is often cited by Americans who defend gun rights; but they often ignore that fact that private citizens do not constitute a militia and that it is these militias that are given the right to arms.

Then you also believe...

The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1791, refers to the National Guard, which was created by an act of Congress in 1903.

The National Guard, funded by the federal government, occupying property leased to the federal government, using weapons owned by the federal government, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a state militia.

The phrases
"right of the people peaceably to assemble"... ”right of the people to be secure in their homes"..."enumeration's herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people"... and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people"

All refer to individuals... but

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.

Either the guns are going to go...

George Jonas’ wrote:
“There’s a huge difference between eliminating and outlawing things. Eliminate something, and it’s gone. Outlaw something, and it’s gone … underground. This being so, outlawing what you can eliminate is unnecessary, and outlawing what you cannot eliminate is inadvisable. Outlawing things you cannot eliminate usually makes them more dangerous, not less.”

paulm said...

The '2nd amendment refers to state militias' argument is weak.

I would suggest checking out the SCOTUS (US Supreme Court) decision in Heller, which said that:

a) firearms ownership is an individual right, and not linked to state militias.

b) That a D.C. law which prevented handgun ownership specifically violated that right, and D.C. must issue permits to possess handguns.

With regard to semi-automatic firearms, they are widely used for hunting (the most popular firearm in Canada for hunting is the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle). Semis are popular because:

a) They have less recoil, which makes their use more manageable by smaller people (a lot of women prefer them).

b) Some can be operated with one hand, which makes them useful for those with disabilities (I knew a guy one who had lost an arm, but he still hunted one handed).

c) They allow you to keep the sights on the target for a second shot. If you are shooting at a distance (say at a deer for example), and you score a marginal hit on the animal, and you have a bolt action rifle, you likely won't be able to get a second shot off before it flees into the heavy bush. This means you have to spend hours tracking a dying animal in pain. A semi can often allow you to get off a second shot after scoring a marginal hit, possibly resulting in a more humane quick and efficient kill. That way the animal doesn't suffer.

Military styled semi-automatics tend to be very popular hunting rifles by some owners because they tend to be overbuilt to withstand the rigours of war. Compared to that, hunting is easy work for the firearm. Having a dependable rifle that holds zero, shoots consistently and is easy to maintain is a great bonus.

I actually hope that some nice guy from Yorkton-Melville invites you to the range. IF you have the opportunity, go and have fun. You sound like you're still sorting this issue through, and for that I commend you. Many NDP supporters reflexively parrot back the talking points from the urban parts of the party, most of which are ill informed on this issue, and urbanocentric.

Jim Leeper said...

The previous commentors made the case much better than I could. A small point: Assault Rifles, while they may look different than other rifles, are usually underpowered for hunting. The term itself came from the German "Sturmgewehr" which was used to sell Hitler on the low powered MP-44.

On the point of the U.S. National Guard being the "militia": The definition of "militia" in the U.S. National Defense Act of 1916 is "the militia consists of every able-bodied male citizen between the ages of 18 and 55 years".

SaskAtheist said...

Scott, assuming you don't have your mind made up already about what "the truth" is, I would like to suggest that you review your statements and statistics and compare them against the real numbers put out by the British, Canadian and State Governments in the U.S.

That being said, I'd like to ask you, don't you think that in a free society one group shouldn't force their ideology on an other?

There are laws in place that deal with crimes, whether committed with guns or not; why complicate the matter further and deprive law abiding people of their right to pursue happiness in whatever direction they want, just to satisfy the ideological needs of one group of people, at the expense of another?