May 24, 2015

Hamilton gun ban idea is foolish

Brian LilleyArchive

The video released by Hamilton Police of Sunday’s broad daylight shooting is disturbing. I was born and raised in Hamilton and have driven that section of road more times than I can count, I’ll likely drive it next time I visit home.

A group of men engaged in a shootout on a busy urban road is something that should disturb us all, but in calling for a gun ban as his solution, Mayor Fred Eisenberger has violated one of my key rules for life:

Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than open your mouth and prove it.

“I think we should really try to ban guns in this city. I don't know if we can do it. I haven't fleshed out the constitutional issues,” Eisenberger said at city hall.

Now of course a municipality cannot ban guns and Eisenberger -- a bit of a career politician who has also run federally for the Conservative Party -- should know better. The fact that he is saying this tells me he either isn’t serious or simply opened his mouth and proved himself a fool.

Unfortunately, Eisenberger didn’t stop with his question on the constitutionality of banning guns.

“I think most reasonable people would wonder why are people carrying guns in the first place,” he said.

Well, he is kind of right. Most people would ask that especially since these were handguns at play and likely not registered in the handgun registry, which means we aren’t dealing with law abiding gun owners but criminals.

Criminals being criminals, they aren’t likely to follow the law, so Eisneberger’s proposal to ban guns is pointless. Firing off a handgun in the middle of the street is already illegal and yet it happened.

Ban crime, than see how that works.

If we are going to ban things dangerous to the streets of Hamilton, why not ban cars? In 2010 the last year the city released its traffic safety report online there were nine driver fatalities on Hamilton roads, three passenger fatalities, two cyclist fatalities and seven pedestrian fatalities.

Yet no one reacts to those events by calling for a ban of motor vehicles, instead we most often blame the driver. It is the driver, not the car that caused the problem.

So why when a criminal uses a gun to shoot up a street do politicians, or many in the media, suggest banning guns?

Politicians far too often react to a situation they cannot control by looking to control something they can, and thus the handgun ban idea. Hamilton has a crime problem, not a gun problem.

But dealing with crime is tougher than floating the idea that law abiding gun owners should be punished due to the actions of criminals.

While Hamilton cannot ban guns, that doesn’t mean gun owners in Canada’s tenth largest city can’t be punished in other ways for the city’s inability to deal with crime. In response to crime in Toronto, then-Mayor David Miller led the charge to ban shooting ranges.

I first learned to shoot in the basement of the James Street Armouries. That and other facilities might have to close if Hamilton follows Toronto’s lead and punishes the law abiding to deal with law breakers.

That would be foolish. It would also be a shame.

READ Brian Lilley's book CBC Exposed -- It's been called "the political book of the year."

Richmond Hill city council won’t sing O Canada because it contains the word “God.”

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commented 2015-06-21 14:10:32 -0400
Banning guns only succeeds in making criminals feel safer. They sure as hell are not afraid of police or politicians who want to disarm their victims.
commented 2015-05-25 22:44:18 -0400
Olivia Chow proposed banning handguns in Toronto during her mayoral campaign last year, too. Again, it just shows how little she understands of the issue of gun violence and — more importantly — her ignorance of the limits of a municipality’s jurisdiction and how the Canadian law works.
commented 2015-05-25 22:39:38 -0400
Brian Cameron, thanks for your analysis. I was going to jump in and talk about this, but you’ve already effectively (and probably more succinctly) done so. That said…
Banning guns won’t stop crime and isn’t likely to reduce homicide statistics. There were far more crimes and murders in virtually every society before the gun was even invented.
Statistical comparisons across countries of firearm legality and accessibility, rates of legal private gun ownership, gun-related crime and homicides are entirely useless in this debate, and can actually be misleading. Many of the countries with the highest homicide rates don’t even have statistical data on legal gun ownership. Some countries (including developed OECD countries like the UK) deliberately mischaracterize their homicide rates by excluding cases that don’t result in conviction and those that aren’t prosecuted due to self-defense (newsflash: these are still homicides.) Depending which statistics you look at, one could argue that higher levels of legal gun ownership actually decrease the number of firearm-related homicides. Just look at Switzerland. See for yourself:
Whether a country (not a city) should promote or prohibit private, responsible gun ownership is a decision that should be based on logic and reason and internal/national considerations, not questionable statistics concerning the experiences of other countries. Such comparisons are not just overly simplistic and unrealistic, they are dangerously misleading. Canada is not Switzerland, but neither is it the United States or Mexico.
And as Brian Lilley notes (and he’s hardly the first to do so), it is utterly illogical to even propose banning guns when far more unnecessary deaths result each year from the irresponsible operation of automobiles.
What’s more, the shooters in Hamilton are criminals, and I don’t need to know anything more about them than the fact they engaged in shootout to make that conclusion. Questioning why criminals are carrying guns just shows how ignorant Hamilton’s mayor truly is. Mr. Mayor, I’ve got the answer: they’re criminals.
commented 2015-05-25 22:34:38 -0400
There were musings earlier this week in the Edmonton Sun from the police chief Rod Knecht about banning guns as well.
commented 2015-05-25 15:26:04 -0400
Any politician who trots this old shopworn gun ban albatroll out after a crime , is devoid of vision and admitting they have neither the will, guts or brains to deal with violent criminals – easier to blame a duck hunter – it’s old debunked anti-gun blather used by weak and stupid politicians to escape dealing with crime in their jurisdiction.

Fire this bum running Hamilton he has no brains or guts – Rob F, looking for a new job?
commented 2015-05-25 08:16:24 -0400
Brian Cameron, you are right. The evidence that gun crimes are lower in areas when the population is allowed to have guns and there is less regulation imposed upon the law abiding gun owners is overwhelming. One has to think that those who propose greater gun regulations must know these statistics. If they do know, then what else is their motivation, obviously not the safety of the people.
commented 2015-05-25 07:46:03 -0400
Depends where in Europe. Parts of Europe are quite violent and do have a lot of gun crime. There are parts of Europe that it is not really difficult, but very expensive for a criminal to get a gun and they still have lots of murders they just use knives and clubs. The most interesting bit is there are also parts of Europe that have very loose gun laws much like the USA’s and they don’t have gun crime problems at all. Switzerland and Sweden. There are many parts of the USA that have almost no gun crime and are very safe to, with extremely low levels of gun homicide. Do you know what Switzerland, Sweden and many places in the USA that have very low to no gun violence but very high gun ownership all have in common? No gangs. If you remove a few of the gang ridden cities out of the equation ( I can’t remember them all there were 6 or 7 ) like Chicago. Gun homicides in the USA drop to insignificant numbers. Same in Canada, almost every single gun homicide in Canada each year is gang related. Homicides that would happen whether guns existed or not. Are problem is gangs, whose purpose is usually drug trafficking. It is a difficult problem to go after though, even talk about, especially for a politician in a country like ours that has become more concerned with political correctness than fact. Dealing with the gangs and gangbangers would all but end gun crime in Canada and the USA.
Also after England’s big gun ban how ever many years ago it was now they started changing how they count and report firearm related homicides and crimes. They did this of course to fool the voters into believing that there gun ban had worked and saved lives etc when in fact over those several years gun homicides had gone up not down. They manipulated the data to reflect what they had hoped to achieve but in fact made worse.
Canada under Trudeau
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
commented 2015-05-25 00:30:16 -0400
Any thoughts as to why there is so much less gun violence in Europe where guns are mostly illegal?
commented 2015-05-24 15:49:03 -0400
Eisenberger should look at Chicago where guns are hard to obtain. It’s the murder hell-hole capital of America, because the criminals know they are the only ones with guns. That’s what his proposal to ban guns in Hamilton would turn that city into, for the same reason: a murder hell-hole. Better to follow Dallas’s example: very low murder rate (for America) because guns are easy to obtain and so are carry permits. Therefore, criminals know they will be jeopardizing their own lives by opening fire, and avoid doing so. But of course, all this logic is wasted on gunophobes who fear and hate guns almost as much as they hate logic that saves lives but defies their politically correct phobia.
commented 2015-05-24 15:12:36 -0400
just came back from visiting my kids who live north of Pittsburgh. Went to the local gun range shot about 300 rounds of M4 ammo and 9 mm. sig. Had a great time. Learned to strip an m4 and clean it and learned great respect for firearms. We need to have the proper training but the comments are valid. As comments suggest and proven valid, criminals do not register guns either sidearms or long guns and it is weapons in the hands of criminals, obtained illegally, that result in gun violence. Strong background checks administered properly work!, Brian is right, ban cars for killing people and just give the idiots that drove them a counseling session to help them understand their inner self! Government control leads to population dependency and ultimately slavery.
commented 2015-05-24 14:22:59 -0400
Who wants to open a shooting range just outside Hamilton’s Jurisdiction? Might be an excellent opportunity.
commented 2015-05-24 12:38:05 -0400
Funny. Stupid socialist politicians at work again.

Store your guns “across the border” in Beamsville. LMFAO!!!
commented 2015-05-24 11:56:07 -0400
You are 100% correct Brian. More people are killed or injured every year by vehicles, and I believe workplace accidents than by firearms. Are we all supposed to stop working and driving, cycling, walking etc. Maybe a ban on foolish political statements would be just as practical.
commented 2015-05-24 11:48:28 -0400
If it had been knives, no one would have complained.

The problem is not guns – the problem is crime.

Criminal behaviour will always find a way and foolish people will always jump to conclusions.

There is an advertisement on television and it has Bart Simpson saying this line:

“I am a Simpson – and a Simpson never gives up until he has tried one easy thing.”

Sounds like the mayor is related.