Archive for March 23rd, 2007

Barred from US travel?

March 23, 2007

I am a strong supporter of firearms ownership and a strong opponent of most of Canada’s gun laws, but this guy gets little sympathy from me.

In an ironic twist, a city man may find himself barred from travelling to the U.S. for driving around Calgary with a loaded handgun, his lawyer said yesterday.

Defence counsel Andre Ouellette said Ali Mohamed Ayyazi’s conviction on two firearms offences could prevent him visiting his parents, who now reside in Texas, which has more liberal gun laws than Canada. 

 Then the story unfolds a little further.

Crown prosecutor Robert Bassett said Ayyazi was arrested last July 5, during a “high risk” traffic stop by police Canine Unit members.

Officers pulled Ayyazi over on Deerfoot Tr. N.E., after he’d left the residence of his wife, Essence Hohn, Bassett said.

“The accused was arrested and a loaded, cocked, 9 mm handgun was located underneath the seat in the vehicle,” Bassett told Erb.

The prosecutor stayed seven other charges after Hohn failed to show up in court after being subpoenaed to testify.

Among the dropped charges were breaking into Hohn’s Huntley Cl. N.E. residence, pointing a firearm at her and using a gun in the commission of an offence.

The latter charge carries a minimum one-year sentence, consecutive to any other term given. Three unrelated assault charges were dismissed last Oct. 31, when Hohn didn’t appear to testify.

This jerk gets no sympathy from me.

Iraqi children murdered

March 23, 2007

This story literally makes me ill.

Police said Wednesday that children were used in a weekend car bombing in which the driver gained permission to park in a busy shopping area after he pointed out that he was leaving his children in the back seat.

The account appeared to confirm one given Tuesday by a U.S. general. He said children were used in a Sunday bombing in northern Baghdad and labeled it a brutal new tactic put to use by insurgents to battle a five-week-old security crackdown in the capital.

Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, said the vehicle used in the attack was waved through a U.S. military checkpoint because two children were visible in the back seat. He said it was the first reported use of children in a car bombing in Baghdad

“Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back,” Barbero told reporters in Washington. “The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn’t changed.”

Can they really justify this in the name of religion or is this the case of psychopathic terrorists that hide their true nature behind a sick interpretation of their religious teachings?

Airport internal security sloppy

March 23, 2007

A Senate report now confirms what many people long suspected: While airport security was checking out the passengers and worrying about nail clippers and tooth paste in our bags, they weren’t watching their internal operations for security problems.

Major security problems have been allowed to fester unchecked at Canada’s airports despite ample signs of safety gaps, according to a Senate report that recommends responsibility for security be taken away from Transport Canada.

“The folks at Transport Canada simply appear to be insensitive to the realities,” said Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, chairman of the Senate’s national security committee.

“Frankly, [airport security] looks to us a lot like it’s a PR show,” he said. “The fact is, most Canadians have the impression that this is a problem that’s well in hand and what we’re simply saying is the underside of it isn’t.”

Of course the Minister in charge had a different take.

Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said the report twists reality and his department has taken major steps to improve airport security. “It’s misleading to say that our airports are not safe places. They are indeed very safe,” Mr. Cannon said.

He was so busy making sure that Canadian airports were safe that he probably missed the story out of Orlando a few days ago where baggage handlers were arrested for smuggling guns and drug on a commercial airliner bound for San Juan.

The Senate report is refreshingly blunt.

Among problems highlighted in the report is the lack of daily screening for most airport employees, who can wander in and out of secure areas and even aircraft without being checked for dangerous goods.

Although about 2,300 airport workers are screened on a random basis every day, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, that represents just 2% of the 110,000 airport workers in Canada, says the report.

“This is nothing short of blatant stupidity,” it says. “Once again, we have good reason to argue that Transport Canada should not be in charge of security at Canada’s airports.”

I’m not sure that the RCMP would solve all of the potential security problems but it seems to me that they would have more incentive to do a thorough job than Transport Canada.


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