Thursday, August 18, 2005

Present Arms

Never underestimate the power of the left to compound one problem with an even bigger problem.

Since the $2 billion gun registry has done nothing to stop the recent wave of Toronto gang shootings, let's find another way to penalize and aggravate law-abiding owners of firearms!

Gun owners in Toronto may soon be prohibited from keeping their firearms at home even if they are properly licensed and registered, Mayor David Miller said yesterday.

"There's no reason to own a gun in Toronto -- collector or not. If you are a collector and you have a permit, the guns need to be stored in a way that they can't be stolen. And perhaps a centralized facility of some kind could accomplish that goal," Mr. Miller told the National Post. "The law requires gun owners to have proper storage, but obviously not everyone adheres to that."

Following a spate of shootings in Toronto, the Mayor has asked city lawyers and the police to determine whether the municipality has the "legal ability" to require individuals to store their weapons at a secure facility such as a gun club.

"It's a very serious issue and I don't have all the answers to it, but I've spoken to the [Police] Chief as well as our own legal department to see what we can do," Mr. Miller said.

City dwellers, not all of them leftists, seem to have this bizarre notion that firearms possess the magical power to turn anyone who owns or touches one into a violent maniac.

Having grown up in rural Nova Scotia, where most of the people I knew kept a rifle or two in the house, I fail to understand this unwarranted fear of firearms per se. We were all taught as kids how to properly handle and store them; above all else, we were taught to treat every firearm as though it were loaded. You'd catch unholy hell if you pointed one at anyone while just playing around. That way, you learned to regard them as just another tool to be used only for its proper purpose.

I also take issue with Mayor Miller's claim that there is no legitimate reason for anyone to own a firearm in Toronto. Self-defence is not the only reason; a rifle can come in handy if you need to kill a rabid or violent animal, like a raccoon or coyote. Animal control can't be everywhere.

Mayor Miller's proposed armouries would also create inviting targets for the same thugs who have been responsible for the recent spate of shootings. Why risk life and liberty to steal just one gun when you can steal a whole arsenal?

The thugs will not deposit their guns for safekeeping until they need to blow off some punk's head for dissing them or screwing them on a drug deal. Nor will law-abiding firearms owners take kindly to being told they can't be trusted to store them properly.

If this plan goes ahead, no one's life will be saved, but we'll all be out of pocket.

Source: National Post

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