Sunday, January 20, 2008

Layton lays out smart, no-nonsense anti-gun plan

Over at CfSR, the allegation du jour against Jack Layton is that his five-point plan to crack down on gun violence is somehow inconsistent.

That's not true at all. Let’s take a look back to the 2006 election, shall we?

It will be recalled that Paul Martin called for a “total ban” on hand guns from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

But Martin’s plan had holes in it that you could fit . . . well, an entire province through. As Martin’s justice minister pointed out, a nation-wide ban held no hope of being enforced if any province didn’t want to enforce it.

Instead, Layton is supporting Toronto Mayor Miller’s call for a ban on handguns in the city -- which would involve federal support for tightening existing restrictions on handgun possession in Toronto. Layton is doing what Martin didn’t: working with jurisdictions who want change, one at a time.

Also, yesterday’s announcement is a full five-point plan which includes strengthening witness protection programs, support for crime prevention, a summit with US leaders on cracking down on gun smuggling, and finally getting Harper to fulfill his promise to fund more cops. The Toronto gun ban is just one element.

But no one should be expecting Liberals to come up with good ideas to fight crime. As Ontario’s Liberal justice minister Michael Bryant pointed out, when it comes to crime, the federal Liberals are “stuck in the summer of love.”

While the Liberals bicker among themselves, the NDP’s putting forward smart solutions.


CfSR said...

Are you trying to tell me that while it may be bad to be shot on Yonge Street with a gun stolen from, say, Oshawa or Simcoe County, if the municipal council chooses not to enforce a handgun ban, it would be far worse to be shot with one stolen in Toronto.

That's the basis of the Layton's Toronto gun ban plan. It's stupid. And it won't work.

Either you favour a meaningful handgun ban or you don't. Jack Layton's gun ban is even less meaningful than Paul Martin's proposal was. And that's saying something.

The rest isn't objectionable.

Well except Layton's allegation of consistency which, as is easily demonstrated, is nothing but a big can of poppycock.

Blogging Horse said...

"Jack Layton and the NDP will introduce an omnibus Safe Communities Act, including .... Support legislative, regulatory and sentencing initiatives to embody the principle that handguns have no place in cities, except in the hands of law enforcement officials." - NDP Platform, 2006.

Today, the city of Toronto is asking for powers to get handguns out of the city and Layton is saying let's give them to them.

So, where's the inconsistancy?

CfSR said...

Not defending the necessity and the mechanics of a meaningful ban when the Martin proposal was made is inconsistent. God knows Martin left the filed wide open.

I can't find any quotes from Jack Layton or any other New Democrat saying that the Criminal Code should be amended to put his vision of gun free municipalities in place. I see some guns don't belong in cities stuff, but no real proposal.

The American experience is clear. Municipal bans don't work. Illegal guns leak into cities with gun bans.

If a handgun ban is an effective tool to combat gun crime, it has to be put in place nationally.

A victim is just as dead on Yonge Street from a bullet shot from a gun acquired in the Simcoes, Durham or Calgary as one stolen in Toronto.

To limit any ban to Toronto is short sited. Anything else is just really rhetoric.

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