Friday, May 05, 2006

Gun Crime: Tories Shoot Back

As Carolyn Bennett so thoughtfully informed us yesterday, parents who are irresponsible enough to raise their children at home without the training and wisdom that only expert and credentialed state-run and state-subsidized daycare providers can offer will be raising the next generation of criminals.

(But not, of course, parents such as Dr. Bennett and most of her constituents in St. Paul's. They could afford nannies to do the job so that their offspring did not have to be contaminated by contact with lower-class offspring in the same daycares--such as their nannies' own children.)

Equally thoughtfully, the Conservative government is providing more opportunity for these improperly raised children to find suitable prison spaces as they get older:

The Conservatives introduced a pair of crime bills yesterday that will put an estimated 4,000 more people in jail, even though they watered down their election promises for tougher gun sentences.

The two bills, one to stiffen mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and another to eliminate conditional sentences such as house arrest for a long list of crimes, were the first parts of a larger, get-tough-on-crime package promised in the recent election campaign.

Federal justice officials estimate the gun-sentence bill will add 300 to 400 people to the federal prison population, an increase of about 3 per cent. And they estimated as many as 3,800 people a year who would get conditional sentences now will probably go to provincial jail instead -- 15 to 20 per cent more inmates


Mr. Day said the federal government will set aside $225-million to $245-million over five years to build new federal prisons. But critics said the operating costs will be far higher, and provincial jails and courts will need much more money.


The federal gun-sentence bill was, in fact, a softening of the Conservatives' election promise for far tougher gun sentences. It was watered down so the law could survive a Charter of Rights challenge in the courts and get political support in the minority Parliament.

They had promised to extend most one-year minimums for crimes such as gun trafficking to five years, and that existing four-year minimums for serious gun crimes such as murder or kidnapping using a gun would be extended to 10 years. But they introduced a more complicated scheme that applies lighter sentences except for repeat offences.

Minimum sentences for eight serious gun crimes, such as kidnapping using a gun, will be toughened from four years to five for a first offence -- but only if the crime is committed using a restricted weapon such as a handgun, or by someone linked to organized crime.

Only someone convicted of a serious gun crime three times would face a 10-year minimum sentence.

At first glance, the left's opposition to stiffening sentences for gun crimes appears at odds with its general anti-firearms stance.

But the contradiction is only apparent, not real. The left seems to have an animistic belief in the power of a gun to turn an otherwise peaceful, law-abiding man into a bloodthirsty killer just by touching it. Or even looking at it. Maybe even just thinking about it.

So naturally it would be unjust to give a criminal an increased sentence simply because he used a gun. For it is the gun that controls the man, and not the other way round. It would be like using mental disease or defect to increase a man's criminal responsibility instead of mitigating or eliminating it.

So expect to see stiff opposition to this crime bill just on that basis alone. We shall not see genuine, thoroughgoing penal reform in this government's lifetime, or even our own, but at least this bill is a step in the right direction.

Source: Globe and Mail


Anonymous said...

crime rates in this country have been declining. i suppose the rural vote, which rarely sees toronto, will be happy that gun crimes are tougher. it won't take a single gun off the streets but conservatives can get all righteous on their own asses.

Alberta Girl said...


"it won't take a single gun off the streets but conservatives can get all righteous on their own asses."

And all those gangs and drug lords who used their "registered" guns will be locked up for longer so while the gun itself won't be locked up, the idiot who pulls the trigger will be.

Anonymous, (BCL - is that you), you get all sanctimonious thinking that somehow the centre of the universe will somehow be safer if Canada "bans guns" - yep those gangs will definitely just come down to City Hall and hand over their guns and join in the "amnesty barbeque" along with their tony neighbours.

You have been breathing that smog for way too long anonymous - speaking of "getting righteous" - take a look in the mirror.

Christian Conservative said...

Right... so if crime rates have been declining, why are you getting all upity about gun crime in Toronto? According to your logic, it'll all just go away... eventually.

You can take two approaches to gun crime... you can either try to take the guns away, or lock the gun users away.

In approach number one, a gun gets taken away from a gun toter. He then talks to his gun running buddies to get another one, since he's still out on the street. However, since there are fewer of them around, the price has gone up, therefore, he'll have to rob a couple more old ladies before he can get a new piece.

However, using the second approach, he ain't on the street to get humself a new piece... and the one the cops took from him has been melted down already. And the number of buyers for the remaining guns will drop sharply, because so-and-so heard about his buddy's cousin's brother who just went up the river for five whole years cause he got caught with a gun... and he decides the price isn't worth it, so he doesn't buy one himself.

davidson said...

conservative christian; you're wrong. you do both. take guns away and put offenders in jail. simple.

Anonymous said...

Today in the Newspaper a anti-Harper Nabob actually made a arguement for the death penalty .

The expert insisted that when criminals see that the minimal sentence for the gun offense is 10 years the thug will kill any witnesses to avoid conviction.

So we now hear someone actually admitting that killers have free-wills and choose to pull the trigger based on outcomes and odds of being caught.
These killers know they won't get the death penalty so kill all the witnesses and risk the early parole loophole for good-behaviour.
There is absolutely no way to tell how many murders are avoided when a criminal weighs the outcome for being convicted of murder.

Thank you MR.LIBERAL for finally exposing that the Death penalty does stop a killer from killing again, and that you also have no evidence that it has little effect on the choices to kill.

We can only default to protecting the innocent taxpayers that fund the prisons and live with the damage caused by these thugs .
Now if only Mayor Miller and Police Chief Blair would admit that the naked men in the Pride parade are harming children by flaunting their penis infront of little boys.
No surprise that the NDP and Bill Graham support the overt quasi-pedophilia.