Instead of enjoying this August long weekend with family and friends, Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman, the beautiful 25-year-old shown here, is dead because our government refuses to take seriously the threat of violent repeat offenders already prohibited from possessing firearms.
Her [alleged] killer, Darnell Reid, repeatedly violated restraining orders and Firearm Prohibition Orders.
For example, in May, Darnell Reid was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Six days after his arrest, “this accused, who regularly ignored his conditions of release and continued to offend by possessing illegal firearms, was released back into the community with a GPS monitoring device.”
Darnell Reid was released from custody “despite clear concerns regarding his risk to the victim, the community and the potential to continue to re-offend.”
I’ve said this so often I feel like a broken record.
Canada’s Firearm Prohibition Order system is BROKEN.
The federal government’s failure to fix our broken firearm prohibition order system cost this beautiful young woman her life. Her brilliant future was snuffed out in an act everyone, literally everyone, saw coming.
Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Diraiappah explains.
The sadness I feel for the victim and her family is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her.
At the time of this incident, the accused was the subject of an interim judicial release stemming from a previous domestic violence incident between the accused and the victim.
Since that charge, he had been arrested on four separate occasions for breaching terms of his release by being in contact with her.
The family and police struggled to keep her safe.
This resulted in another life being taken by a violent offender with another illegal firearm.
This unacceptable failure is becoming entirely too familiar in our communities.
But not a single word out of the mouth of Bill Blair, our useless Minister of Public Safety, to offer his insincere condolences to Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman’s grieving family.
I suppose I should be grateful that, for once, Bill Blair is not offering his usual hypocritical platitudes.
But neither will he lift a finger to stop violent, repeat offenders with Firearm Prohibition Orders like Darnell Reid.
I’m beyond disgusted with this government (and every other past government) when it comes to the issue of Firearm Prohibition Orders.
The system is broken.
It needs to be fixed.
The solution is both simple and cost-effective.
Yet this Liberal government fritters away every opportunity to save the lives of young women like Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman so they can waste billions of dollars taking away guns from RCMP-vetted firearm owners.
The focus of this Liberal government could not be more misguided.
As I write this, the number of violent, repeat offenders the police re-arrested for violating their existing Firearm Prohibition Orders since November 1, 2019 is 310. That’s not all of them, of course, just the ones I am able to find in published news articles using a simple series of Google alerts.
Firearm researcher Dennis Young, in one of his myriad Access to Information Requests, learned an average of 1,100 violent offenders with Firearm Prohibition Orders are re-arrested in illegal possession of firearms every single year.
1,100 violent repeat offenders.
And our hapless Minister of Public Safety can’t be bothered to lift a finger to stop a single one of them.
Bill Blair, you disgust me.
The senseless death of Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman lays at your feet because of your continued refusal to take this issue seriously.
You insist target shooters with AR-15s are a threat to public safety – a statement that is provably false – while you ignore the real and present danger presented to violent, repeat offenders with illegal guns.
I spell out a proven and effective solution for you in this report, Minister Blair.
“If it saves just one life, it’s worth it.”
Isn’t that the mantra you keep spouting to the nearest television camera?
Put your money where your mouth is.
Prove your word is worth something.
I wrote it specifically for you, Minister Blair.
I dare you to implement it.
While it’s too late to save Darian’s life, if you have the stones to act now, right now, you will save the next young woman’s life who, today, lives in fear of a former intimate partner with a Restraining Order and a Firearms Prohibition Order against them.
Pieces of paper don’t stop violent people, Minister Blair. You, of all people, ought to comprehend that fundamental truth.