Prime Time Crime  


(Published in the Chilliwack Times week of Aug. 13, 2007)

Guns don’t kill – Criminal Coddling Senators do


  By John Martin

Last week’s gangland style shooting in Vancouver is being described as the worst such incident in the city’s history.  Like something right out of a John Woo movie, two people were killed and another six injured in the early morning attack at an all night restaurant.  Meanwhile, gang related shootings in Toronto continue to claim innocents along with gangsters and drug dealers in another “summer of the gun”.

So naturally the calls are increasing to ban handguns.  The fact that handguns are already banned for everyone other than collectors and sport shooters, who do not execute people in Chinese restaurants at 4:30 in the morning or engage in drive-by shootings in residential neighborhoods, seems not to matter one iota to those making the usual noise once again.  Further handgun restrictions would have about as much impact on criminals as our marijuana laws do on users and cultivators.

The worst of the lot are federal Liberal mouthpieces who shamelessly and hypocritically attempt to scoop some political currency from the latest gun related violence.  Meanwhile, Liberal Senators continue to hold up passage of two pieces of legislation that would enhance public safety overnight.  Bill C-10 would establish serious, mandatory prison sentences for crimes with guns and Bill C-35 would toughen bail for people charged with gun crimes.

But there appears little likelihood the bills will become law.  Criminals have long been able to count on Liberal governments maintaining a spineless justice system that consistently favors violent criminals over public safety.  But even though they’re finally out of office, they’re still able to use their majority in the Senate to ensure gun-waving gangsters need not worry about losing their freedom anytime soon.

The bills have the support of the House of Commons and have been endorsed by chiefs of police and prosecutors across the country.  Mayors, a majority of premiers and countless civic organizations are on side.  It seems the only ones who favor the status quo are Liberal Senators.  And criminals of course.

Little more is going on here other than the ugly, stark reality that the Liberals do not want the Conservatives, during the next election, to be able to point to “getting tough on crime” legislation they managed to pass despite being a minority government.  Liberal MPs, most of them philosophically opposed to playing hardball with criminals, knew they didn’t dare oppose the legislation and appear even softer on crime than they already do.  So the dirty job of ensuring the bills never become law fell to the unelected Senate which is full of failed Liberal candidates, party hacks and entitled loyalists who are much too incompetent to be appointed to a position where they could cause some serious damage.

By focusing on handguns instead of criminals, Liberals and other apologists needn’t face up to a failed justice system that continues to allow even the most violent of the criminal element to come and go as they choose.  It allows them to beat the same, tired, old drum they’ve been wearing out since the sixties that crime is simply a product of poverty.

No sense mentioning to these dinosaurs that unemployment is at a thirty year low, the dollar is at a thirty-year high and the economy is rock solid.

For them, everyday is “hug a thug day” and facts are completely unwelcome.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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