Mayor Miller doesn’t need the facts; just an excuse

Toronto Mayor David Miller has showed once again that he will not let facts get in the way of his gun-banning agenda.

On September 16th, 2008, the media reported a shooting at a Toronto school, upon which Toronto the Bad’s crime fighting Mayor leapt on to his soap box to tell the world that the city’s schools were safe and that if the Federal government would only ban all handguns, crime and violence across the land would disappear. Or at least in Toronto.

Then it was further reported that the shooting took place near a school and not actually at a school and the final revelation came when it was revealed that the person who had been shot was not a victim but a perpetrator in an attempted armed robbery, who was accidentally shot by his partner when their robbery victim fought back. As it turned out, the two thugs were attempting to steal the victim’s cell phone and were also looking for drugs when everything went wrong.

Like most of these incidents that we read about in the newspapers we will probably never know all of the background and history of the two thugs and whether the victim was a random choice or otherwise. But what we know with certainty is that Miller will continue to use any excuse or incident to push his gun ban program to the media, facts and circumstance be damned.

One can only wonder if Miller really believes his own rhetoric. Does he really believe that confiscating guns from honest Canadian citizens will in any way affect the violence associated with the drug trade in his city?

It was refreshing to read an articulate column in the National Post by Matt Gurney speaking directly to Miller’s rhetoric.

The common declaration that no one “needs” a handgun infuriates me even more. I can’t deny it – it’s true. No one needs a handgun, short of the obvious exceptions of police officers, military personnel, and a few select other professionals. I’ll grant that right now. But what I want to know is this: why does that matter? I would argue that I don’t need most of my material possessions, if we’re defining “need” as only those items required to keep me alive. I need food, I need water, I need oxygen, and in this climate, I need shelter for more than half the year. Everything else beyond that is a “want.”

I think most of us would agree that clothing, education, and medical care are pretty universal “wants”, but go much further than that and the argument bogs down as personal opinions diverge. I don’t need meat, I could survive quite well on a vegetarian diet, as several friends of mine have chosen to do. I don’t need a car, there’s public transportation in my area, and many in my neighbourhood rely on it exclusively. I don’t need any of the little luxuries I treasure so: my nice big TV, my beloved laptop computer, my constantly used iPod. Indeed, some might argue that I’d in fact be better off without these modern “conveniences.”

I know many will say that these items aren’t comparable to handguns, and I’m not blind to the differences, but, let’s face facts. I bought my handgun legally, paid all necessary taxes on the transaction, and registered it in accordance with the law. What it’s for is irrelevant: I own it, it’s mine. For all of those who wish to see me stripped of it, I offer this proposal. You can take my handguns, but I want unrestricted access to your home, so that I can remove from it any items that I deem you can live without. Maybe it’s just the libertarian in me, but I suspect that most of handgun ban types wouldn’t appreciate that kind of intrusion into your personal lives. May I please have the same courtesy? Sorry to trot out a cliché like “freedom”, but before we go down the path of stripping people of their possessions because they’re unpopular among certain political circles, perhaps we should take a minute first to ponder the broader implications?


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