The Liberal Party attacks law-abiding gun owners with misleading statistics, says Ontario NFA Director

Written By Guest User, Posted on January 6, 2020

In 2019, violent gun crime is a hot button issue for our country, reeling from a divisive election. In light of recent tragedies that have inflamed discourse, firearm laws, further restrictions, and potential confiscations have surfaced as possible solutions. But frankly, the federal government has misled Canadians.

Seeking an emotional appeal to voters, the Liberals have tried to capitalize on the anger felt by millions of Americans south of the border. To win the hearts and minds of Canadians, they demonize and mislead the public on law-abiding gun owners.

Statistics hold no merit for Bill C-71

As MP Pam Damoff said, “We talk about law-abiding firearms owners. A lot of times they are until they’re not.”

According to Jordan Vandenhoff, the Ontario Director for the National Firearms Association, “There is no common sense in the Liberal’s gun control legislation.”

Ontario NFA Director, Jordan Vandenhoff.

Ontario NFA Director, Jordan Vandenhoff.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m a law-abiding citizen.”

In defence of Bill C-71, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “We trust the experts making decisions on the basis of facts and evidence.” The same ‘facts and evidence’ that former Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, misled Canadians with.

On September 20th, 2018, he cited a Statistics Canada report on violent gun crime in metropolitan areas as justification to “intensify [the] battle against guns and gangs, followed by an appeal to keep “our communities safer and to support law enforcement while not targeting law-abiding firearms owners.”

Yes, firearm-related violent crimes jumped 42 per cent between 2013 and 2017. However, “43% of the national increase since 2013 is due to more victims in Toronto,” according to the same study. A factoid conveniently left out in his address to Parliament.

One of the amendments addressed in Bill C-71 is to “put decision-making about weapons restrictions back into the hands of police and not politicians.”

Well, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders provided his input in a recent interview on gun violence in his city, stating, “these shootings, by and large, have street gang connotations to them or are street gang-related.”

The head of the Toronto Police Guns & Gang Task Force, Inspector Joe Matthews, cites that 75 percent of the guns seized come from the states illegally, rising to 84 per cent for handguns.

The interviewer then deflected and proceeded to discuss the mass shooting in Danforth, describing the emotional state of those who witnessed the tragedy, as to detract from the points made.

According to Vandenhoff, “Bill C-71 is not going to do any good because the authorities are missing the target. They are going after law-abiding firearm owners, and not the criminals.”

“The criminals are the ones that are committing the shootings in Toronto. They are the ones that are not following gun regulations and smuggling guns into the country.”

According to data from Toronto Police Services, the gap between U.S.-sourced and domestic crime guns and crime handguns seized has widened since 2017. 

From 2017 to 2018, crime guns seized were U.S.-sourced more so, from 55 per cent to 70 per cent. For crime handguns seized during the same span, it increased from 68 percent to 78 per cent.

According to Public Safety Canada, “In 2016 alone, police-reported 141 gang-related homicides, 45 more than in 2015. Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled.”

Focus on the criminals

The prime minister’s emotional tribute to the six Canadians killed in the Quebec Mosque Shooting and the aftermath of the Danforth shooting facilitated immense pushback against the gun-rights lobby.

By that time, Bill C-71 was law, and the gun-rights lobby remained opposed to its contents herein.

Why? Because the legislation mentioned above targets the wrong people while capitulating to the emotional demands of gun-control advocates.

Local mayors in the Toronto-area have advocated that the Liberal’s plan did not go far enough. In effect, a national handgun ban is desired, which Trudeau has not committed to enforcing.

Rather than seeking a thorough explanation for why violent gun crime occurs, including the rare mass shooting, gang or domestic violence, politicians and activists will convey narratives that reaffirm their politics.

PolySeSouvient, which consists of survivors from the École Polytechnique, but represented victims from the Québec Mosque Shooting and others in a letter that called for a national handgun ban and to end assault-style gun sales.

Yes, six in ten violent crimes with a firearm involved handguns nationwide. And yes, 65.30 per cent of gun-related homicides were carried out with handguns, in 2018. But, according to the same Stats Canada report, the percentage of gun-related homicides have fluctuated between 2014 and 2018. 

Since 2014, the numbers are as follows: 70.55 per cent, 60.00 per cent, 65.33 per cent, 61.18 per cent, and 65.30 per cent.

For rifles and shotguns, they are 23.29 per cent, 21.76 per cent, 25.13 per cent, 27.43 per cent, and 25.57 per cent.

As the homicide rate with handguns increased nationwide 2017 onwards, so did Toronto’s share of the crime. As well, more U.S.-sourced crime handguns were seized by its Police during that span, raising severe concerns on the merit of Bill C-71.

Vandenhoff says no to Bill C-71

“What was concerning was how the gun-control lobby conflated America’s gun culture with Canada,” says Vandenhoff. “Canada has a different gun culture from the States.”

“Our laws are a lot tougher. You cannot just go into a gun store, buy an AR-15 and take it home the same day.”

Vandenhoff explained how stringent the process is to own a gun in Canada. He says, “you are going to do a written and oral test, extensive background checks and can only get approved by the RCMP, following a trial period. Then, they will issue you a license, bringing the entire process to about two to three months.”

“We do not obtain a license overnight. We are vetted more than some of the police officers that we trust to enforce the law.”

“It’s not like we have people running to the gun stores grabbing a gun. In a moment of heat, and going out and doing these crimes, it just doesn’t happen. Our gun laws are stringent as is, so why fix what isn’t broken?”

As it stands, there is no clear definition of what constitutes assault- or military-style firearms in Canada.

Progressive gun control does not work

With Goodale promising $327.6 million over five years to combat “guns and gangs,” starting in 2018-19, the uptick in the U.S.-sourced crime handguns seized by Toronto Police and the uptick in handgun-related homicides in 2018 is not coincidental.

The previous comments of Toronto’s current Police Chief substantiated the initial ineffectiveness of this initiative for 2019.

Since 2014, shooting victims have tripled in Toronto, with 43 fatalities and 750 victims in 2019 alone.

While some blamed the end of the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk program in 2014, others blamed Bill C-71 for its messaging problem. 

Notably, the gun control lobby intends to expand upon the efforts of Bill C-71, if given the chance.

It is not “sensible and practical legislation,” as Goodale and co. would have you believe.

Wendy Cukier, the head of the Coalition for Gun Control, states, “As we progressively strengthened gun control in Canada, we saw the rates of gun violence, particularly suicide, violence against women, and so on, fall. And for the last few years, we’ve seen an uptick.”

Regarding violence against women, that was a misleading statement.

From 2017 to 2018, intimate partner violence with a firearm, and when the victim was female, marginally increased from 506 to 510 victims nationwide. During the same span, non-intimate partner violence with a firearm, and when the victim was female decreased from 1,841 to 1,706 victims nationwide. 

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