And true to form, we have a Wendy Cukier editorial disguised as a news article:
Canada needs tough gun control laws, says a Toronto expert, but lawmakers are up against a global arms "epidemic" that has circulated millions of weapons around the world, destabilizing countries and undermining cities.
And, says Wendy Cukier, professor of criminal justice at Ryerson University, the latest Toronto police figures — obtained through a Freedom of Information request — show that 52 per cent of handguns seized as "potential crime weapons" in 2004 came from the United States.
"The majority of those guns come from over the border," she says. "And the ones that are reported as legally registered in Canada may also be manufactured in the U.S."
"I knew that 230 million guns were owned by people in the United States, which is almost one per person," said Cukier, a founder of the Coalition for Gun Control and co-author of The Global Gun Epidemic. "But I also discovered that there are 700 million guns in the entire world, including those held by the military. The U.S. has about one-third of the world's supply."
Once guns enter countries, Cukier says, the effect is "like a cancer. It affects the whole system. And once you have it, there is no simple treatment."
The handgun Toronto police seized in the Castle Frank subway station after the Boxing Day shooting was identified as a 9mm Ruger semi-automatic. It's manufactured by a U.S. company an American shooting magazine describes as having "a profound impact on shaping the tastes of shooters and anchoring the semi-automatic concept in the general firearms market place."
Guns don't find markets without willing buyers. They don't thrust themselves into the hands of peaceful, law-abiding citizens, turning them into bloodthirsty killers. The people who want guns for illegitimate purposes will go to great lengths to get them, no matter how many laws are thrown up in their way.
If you want to cut off the supply of illegal guns, cut off the demand from criminals.
And work with legitimate gun owners and dealers. They know what genuine gun control is: gun owners knowing how to control their guns, because they've been trained to handle them responsibly.
There is no great mystique in firearms, once you actually handle them; they're a tool like any other.