Mr. Day: you're minister of public SAFETY, not of public gun ownership
Apparently, federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has put his own guns on ice (Ottawa Citizen, Feb.14/07), at least for now. Hopefully they're locked safely away, along with his jet ski and all the other accoutrements of his illustrious career.
But Day keeps demonstrating an understanding of 'public safety’ as shaky as his notion of a successful photo op. One of his ‘new’ ideas on gun safety is a hotline to "enable people to notify authorities if a gun owner they know becomes unstable,” an old idea that obviously isn’t good enough. Such a hotline was set up in 1998, focused primarily on spousal notification. But in some provinces --
Should average citizens take over Mr. Day's responsibility to keep us safe? Is this the Conservative government's idea of a plan, to have us psychoanalyze our neighbours?
Anyone with a true interest in public safety would know this: the risk of homicide is three times higher and the risk of death by suicide is five times higher in homes with firearms; the leading cause of gun death is suicide, usually committed with legally acquired hunting rifles; guns kill more children than cancer, drowning, falls, and fires combined; over 300 spousal violence incidents involving guns are reported annually in Canada.
The gun lobby perspective, that "guns are overregulated now and semi-automatics are unfairly vilified (
Some practices are bloodthirsty, archaic, and out of place in a modern, peaceful society.
Most Canadians don't think about guns that much; when they do, it certainly isn't as symbols of
· Edmonton Journal (Feb 10) A 10-year-old boy from a Hutterite colony near Donalda may never walk again after he was shot Thursday with a .22 rifle while playing a game of hide-and-seek.
· Montreal Gazette (Feb 02) A provincial coroner who investigated a murder-suicide in
· CBC News (Jan 29) An ongoing feud between two groups of friends (!) was the catalyst for a weekend shooting in
· Soleil de Valleyfield (QC; Jan 29) Nine rifles were stolen from a residence last week.
· Cochrane Times (AB; Jan 17) Blair Allan Elder, 27, was sentenced to nine months in jail on Dec. 19, following an incident . . . where a 17 year old was shot in the eye with a pellet gun, resulting in the loss of an eye.
· Globe and Mail (Jan 17) A
Maybe this one says it best: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American states where more people own guns have higher murder rates, including murders of children, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported (Jan 11; NY Times)."
Could the fight against gun control really be about money? In their 2006 book The Global Gun Epidemic, Professors Wendy Cukier and Victor W. Sidel point out the
The Conservatives are the party of big business; they’re also the pro-gun party. Coincidence? What proportion of the party’s funding comes from pro-gun sources? Inquiring minds want to know.
Last fall, Mr. Day, beholden to the special interests of the gun lobby, kicked the police chiefs off the firearms program advisory committee, presumably for the crime of saying the registry works. He kicked those concerned with violence against women and children, public policy, and gun control off the committee too, but kept the collectors and vendors of semi-automatic weapons. Yes, good thinking, Mr. Minister. You're sure to get unbiased advice now.