That said, firearms are the most efficient means currently available to kill.
No, they're not.
What was the worst mass murder to ever take place fully on Canadian soil, and what means was used?
Most would pick the ecole polytecnique killing by Ghamil Gharbi, son of an Algerian woman-hating wife beater, and who preferred to be known as Marc Lepine.
They would be incorrect.
It took place at the Blue Bird Bar in Montreal on 1 September 1972. Thirty-seven people died. The weapon was a quantity of gasoline and a match. It is extremely hard to find any info about it - I only knew about it because a friend's sister was one of the victims. Had a firearm been used, though, we'd still be subjected to sickly annual memoria.
That was far less labour-intensive than shooting that many people. Apparently more politically acceptable, too.
What the US has, in perhaps far greater levels than any other developed country, is a variety of social dysfunctions coupled with ready access to firearms (legal and illegal).
The social dysfunction statement is correct, however the "ready access to firearms" is only incidental. Problems stem more from a background of slavery and racism which still keeps large numbers of citizens out of main-stream society. Those thus marginalized, especially the youth, tend to seek outlets for their frustration and compensation for their poverty elsewhere - drugs and the attendant violence as gangs protect and invade each others' turf. During Prohibition, alcohol fuelled gang warfare.
We are starting to see similar problems here, with race-based drug gangs. And as long as moronic politicians looking for nothing more than votes continue to focus on one particular implement sometimes used in some crimes rather than the crimes and criminals themselves, the problems will continue to grow. If somebody does not believe that, and/or if somebody thinks that Canada is homogenously safe, I invite that/those person(s) to take a leisurely stroll through the Jane-Finch area or some of the other choice locales in Toronto
It is not the availibility of firearms that is a factor. It is the motivation of those carrying them. The firearms themselves are neutral, inanimate objects. While a firearm can indeed be used to kill an innocent person, a firearm can also be used to defend an innocent person (and usually without a shot being fired; criminals are not so stupid that they cannot appreciate the concept of personal risk).
And reducing lawful access to firearms of any sort has no effect on criminal access to firearms whatsoever.
Jamaica has very restrictive firearms laws and its murder and violent crime rate puts that of the US to shame. It's also an island, which in theory makes it easier to control firearms access but in actual fact only disproves the notion that criminal access can be controlled by restricting access to anybody. It's simple supply and demand. If there is a demand for firearms in the underworld, there WILL be a supply - the only questions revolve around specific source(s), means of smuggling, and price.
While I really don't see the need for everybody and their dog to possess a vast basement arsenal, I also believe that the only folks who would be impacted by the laws, are the law abiding folks. The criminal element will always find a way to get more guns.
Correct, save that nobody is advocating that everybody possess even one firearm. Nobody who collects, shoots targets, or hunts wants a crook or nincompoop next to them on the range or wandering about in the woods either.
"Need" is a common anti-gun red herring, as in "nobody needs a gun". It is partially true, but it's also completely irrelevant. Nobody needs a home theatre, a Harley-Davidson, a backyard pool, a Ferrari, Scotch, or anything else beyond oxygen, warmth, food, and basic shelter either. Not all of our desires are born of need, yet nobody questions them. Questioning my interest in owning firearms is no more justified than questioning any of my other purchasing habits.
And yes, the notion that without privately held weapons, we would become a police state is pathetic. It merely represents a radical argument with no real means (from a historic perspective) to back itself up.
Quite the contrary. No nation that has oppressed its citizenry has been able to do so without first disarming them. That was the driving force behind the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The US Founding Fathers intentionally restricted the powers of the federal government in favour of the States and the people at large in order to protect them from domestic tyranny.
Just because something is highly unlikely does not mean that it will not or could not occur, otherwise I for one would have no insurance whatsoever, or smoke detectors, or life jackets, or wear seatbelts etcetera.
My ideal, would be to see a balance struck, whereby legal and responsible ownership is possible, and illegal possession or use is harshly punished.
Yes, precisely. We had that once.
For years, as a military history buff, I've wanted to collect weapons from prior conflicts, yet it's just far too prohibitive these days.
Do it regardless. It's worth it. Pyss Off a Liberal - Buy a Gun.
BTW - does anybody know what the ratio of firearms related murders to non-firearms murders is? I've read about more stabbings than shootings, but they don't seem to get the same press.
Firearms are historically used in about one-third of Canadian homicides. Nobody needs a gun to kill somebody else. There is no shortage of other methods. And where downward changes are noticed, they are compensated by increases in other methods although much of this can be accounted for by normal statistical variation - we're dealing with small numbers so blips can be significant.
Suicide is also means-independent. A decrease in shooting has been accompanied by an increase in hanging.
This is why weaselly organizations (sorry, weasels) like the Coalition for Gun Control only talk about reductions in gun
deaths as a result of stupid Liberal legislation as there is no corresponding reduction in overall deaths. Essentially, we have blown around two billion bucks simply to increase rope and knife sales.
Nobody has yet been able to prove a link between firearms laws and reduction in violent crime or suicide. Studies that purport to do so usually fail to account for other variables. A continuing overall decline in murder can be linked to an aging population, improvements in trauma medicine, the replacement of ambulance attendants with paramedics, and the increased ability to contact emergency services through cellphones and the 911 system.