Watching 38-year-old Ali Nassir Showbeg produce a handgun from inside his pants and drop it to the floor of a Toronto Police Services cruiser, all with his hands handcuffed behind his back, is both priceless and shocking, for the following reasons.
First, it shines a spotlight on just how useless lifetime firearm prohibition orders really are.
In 2006, Ali Showbeg was convicted of firearm-related offences and was given a court-ordered lifetime firearm prohibition order. Somehow, he escaped charges of attempted murder in 2005.
He’s facing another eight gun charges for his actions as recorded in this police cruiser video.
Second, it shows the failure of police to adequately search Showbeg before putting him in the back of the police car.
From the Toronto Police Services news release:
On transport of the individual, officers heard the sound of something hitting the floor in the rear seat. Officers stopped and opened the rear door of the police vehicle and discovered a semi-automatic pistol on the floor in front of the accused. The firearm was secured, an additional search was conducted and the individual was brought to 41 Division for breath tests and processing.
“The type of apparatus that was used to holster the firearm is very unique – we’ve never seen this before,” Chief Mark Saunders told CP24.
Third, it reveals an ugly truth about public safety our government refuses to admit.
Neither the RCMP nor any other police force in the nation tracks violent criminals with firearm prohibition orders registered against them.
In 2011, approximately 324,723 people were prohibited from possessing firearms. I say “approximately” because CPIC, the Canadian Police Information Centre, tracks the number of firearm prohibition orders entered in the system, not the number of people who are the subjects of those orders.
Neither the government nor the RCMP will tell us how many there are today.
Ali Showbeg did not have a Possession and Acquisition Licence. He couldn’t obtain one because of the lifetime firearms prohibition order against him, yet that prohibition order didn’t stop him from obtaining another handgun illegally.
In all honesty, how could it?
A firearm prohibition order is just a piece of paper. By itself, it’s utterly useless unless the person named in the order is willing to follow it. Showbeg and countless others like him are not.
But what’s the most pressing issue for Chief Saunders?
Finding out how video of this criminal pulling a handgun out of his pants in the back of a police cruiser was leaked to the press.
Chief Saunders, I suggest there are far greater issues facing you and our nation.
When we expend hundreds of millions each year to trace licensed firearm owners yet refuse to spend a single penny to keep track of known violent criminal offenders with firearm prohibition orders against them, that’s not just stupid, it’s dereliction of duty by our elected officials.
Trevor Larose says
Good editorial, fully agree with your position.