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LILLEY: Trudeau's gun control promise off target


On a sunny Friday morning, Justin Trudeau strolled along Toronto’s Danforth Avenue seeking votes.

He was there for a specific reason and not just to make sure this riding that was once represented by NDP Leader Jack Layton didn’t flip back from red to orange.

Trudeau was on the Danforth because he wanted to talk about gun control.

On the evening of July 22, 2018, gunman Faisal Hussain walked along this popular destination for locals and tourists alike, shooting indiscriminately at people who were simply out enjoying a night on the patio.

Hussain wasn’t a licensed gun owner — the gun he used to kill two people and injure 13 others was stolen.

Now, more than a year after that shooting, Trudeau wants to act by banning a rifle that has been legal for more than 50 years in Canada and is only known to have been used in one shooting in Toronto — the AR-15.

Trudeau invoked recent shootings in Mississauga and Calgary as he made his announcement to ban the AR-15, even though those shootings both involved organized crime or gangs.

In the Mississauga example, a 17 year-old innocent bystander was killed as rival gangs shot up a neighbourhood in what police believe was an argument over disrespect in a rap video.

In Calgary, police called it a “targeted shooting.”

So in both cases we are talking about people who were not shot by legal gun owners, never mind by a rifle like the AR-15, and yet Trudeau’s plan for gun violence is to target legal gun owners once again.

Trudeau proposes to buy back the roughly 250,000 AR-15 rifles in Canada, a move that would cost the federal government between $400 million and $600 million just for that one rifle, according to Liberal numbers.

Yet they also want to ban other rifles as well, rifles that are widely owned and are not a problem when it comes to crime.

So the true figure will be what? At least $1 billion or more for the Trudeau Liberals to buy back  firearms that aren’t used in crime so that they can tell people worried about crime that they are doing something?

Is that a good investment of your money?

I get the arguments that we need to do what we can to reduce gun crime but let me ask the obvious question once again. How does making new laws that target law-abiding gun owners keep any of us safer?

We all want out streets, our neighbourhoods to be safer. We all want to know that our kids can walk around the block without getting shot.

But if the shootings happening in Canada are being carried out by gangsters with handguns, how does banning certain rifles help?

Yes, the Trudeau Liberals say they will seek to make it so that cities and towns can ban handguns, but that only works if the provinces work with them and I don’t see that happening.

Even if it did, will people who are currently in violation of more than half a dozen laws as they fire bullets at will suddenly stop shooting because there is a new ban?

The answer is an obvious no.

To deal with crime, we need to deal with criminals and that is not something that Trudeau’s new proposal comes close to dealing with.

blilley@postmedia.com

ONTARIO AND ALBERTA OPPOSE INCREASED GUN CONTROL

“Protecting people from violent crime is a top priority for our government, and we’ve always been clear that our focus is on action that makes a meaningful impact in reducing illegal gun and gang violence. As law enforcement experts routinely highlight, criminals don’t respect geographic boundaries and the vast majority of gang and gun crimes do not involve legally obtained guns.”

“Today is the first our government has learned of this campaign commitment, nor have we received any details on this plan or any similar plan since we’ve been in government. However, the Premier has been clear on a handgun ban. The Premier doesn’t believe in blaming law-abiding hunters and gun-owners for the crimes of gang members. He supports evidence based decisions and stands with of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.”

“Our government will continue to work on fighting gun and gang violence and providing funding to the priority areas identified by police.

“We will continue to work with our partners including regional police forces and municipalities in putting the safety of our citizens first.”

— Kayla Iafelice, Director, Media Relations, Office of the Premier of Ontario

“Criminals already ignore gun laws, and will continue to ignore any future gun laws. Albertans understand this.”

“We believe that Ottawa should instead dramatically increase penalties for the criminal gangsters who willingly endanger the safety of communities.”

“It’s clear that Justin Trudeau is simply trying to distract from his multiple blackface/brownface scandals, which have exposed his rank hypocrisy.”

— Jonah Mozeson, Office of the Hon. Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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