Thursday, January 05, 2006

Conservative Crime Crackdown

The deadly Boxing Day gang shootout outside the Eaton Centre in Toronto has produced the usual handwringing and excuses for the shooters, who, as Stephen Harper noted today in his announcement of the Conservative justice reform plan, apparently suffered so greatly from social exclusion that they had to make their getaway in a BMW.

Here's the plan to fight crime:

-Shutting down the federal gun registry.

-Raising the age of sexual consent to 16.

-Allowing 14 year olds to be tried in adult court for serious or repeat offences.

-Ending conditional sentences (house arrest) for serious crimes and making it harder to get parole and bail.

-Hiring 1,000 new RCMP officers.

Harper also said he would allow border guards to carry sidearms, echoing a pledge made by NDP Leader Jack Layton on Wednesday.

We all know how ineffective the long gun registry has been, mostly because it targets the law-abiding and not the law-breaking whose weapon of choice is the already heavily-regulated handgun. Unregistered, of course.

Raising the age of consent to 16 will keep more minors from being exploited without penalty in the sex trade, or by neighbourhood perverts. It will, however, face fierce opposition from the homosexual lobby, who want the age of consent for homosexual acts dropped to 14, and perhaps even follow the example of the Netherlands, the effective age is 12 if the child consents.

As for trying violent offenders at 14 as adults--you play like a man, you pay like a man. Those who are already hardened by rough and criminal living have the ability to understand the nature and consequences of their actions in a way more sheltered youth might not.

House arrest has saved the taxpayers money, because for certain offences, it is better to have the convicts out working to pay their debt to society instead of being cared for entirely at taxpayers' expense. But is appalling to see violent criminals, including drunk drivers who killed people, out in the community at all even if they're wearing homing devices.

Hiring more Mounties is always a good promise, provided they hire the most capable and not just those who can fill a quota.

Arming border guards would also show a willingness to treat border security seriously. If we can't even give the appearance of strength to deal with intruders, we can't protect our sovereignty and public order. Some crooks and terrorists might be dissuaded to crossing over if they expect to be met with equal or greater armed force.

We have a plan. Not a perfect plan, because no plan can end all crime. But it is a plan, with clearly-defined objectives, instead of promises to resolve anomie and alienation.

Source: National Post

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