Canada' Firearms Act keeps Canadians safe from gun violence. That's what the head of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) will have you believe, anyway. It's a load of Public Relations garbage, but they keep saying it.
Let's take an example from news headlines to illustrate how useless the Firearms Act truly is. Off to Winnipeg, where flooding has the city very nervous, and rightfully so.
But what should make Winnipegers more nervous, indeed concerned, should be how a 15-year-old boy got his hands on a loaded handgun.
I think the head of the CACP should try explaining that to the family of Trevor Abraham Harper, the 22-year-old who was murdered on April 29th, apparently for the "crime" of sitting in his car.
Handguns have been registered and severely restricted in Canada since 1934. Funny how violent criminals just never seem to have gotten that message.To legally acquire a handgun in Canada you've got to take a firearms safety training course, pass a written and practical exam and then survive an RCMP background check that is designed to stop you from passing. Pass all that and then you can go buy a handgun legally. But all that's another story, really, and I've already written extensively on the subject elsewhere on this blog.
What should be concerning us is how a 15-year old boy got a handgun illegally and then decided that killing someone with it was somehow a good idea.
From published news reports, it seems the young man was attempting to carjack Trevor Harper and his friends. Trevor obviously didn't feel like giving up his car, and tried to get away by slamming the car in reverse.
Unfortunately all that got him was the young murderer's bullets in the chest.
We as a society have some very serious issues that need to be addressed when 15-year-old boys are willing to toss their entire lives away so easily.
We've also got to take a serious look at what will actually work to keep illegal handguns out of the hands of violent criminals who are willing to use them, no matter what their age.
Clearly the Firearms Act does not work. That a 15-year-old can get his hands on a handgun proves beyond all doubt that the system is fatally flawed.
The failure will be compounded by a justice system that cares more for the offenders than the dead, of course. Even with a second degree murder conviction this 15-year-old won't spend much time in jail.
It's sad, and it's pathetic that our justice system values human life so little, and the "rights" of the offenders so highly.
Last but definitely not least...
My heart-felt condolences go out to the family of Trevor Harper. You have suffered a terrible loss and are, no doubt, having a very bad time of it this week. Just know that the thoughts and prayers of Canadians are with you in your grief.