Monday, July 23, 2007

Gun crime, and what to do about it. (It's not a ban)

Banning guns does not reduce gun crime.

The reason? Well..does mayor Miller have a handgun? Does the reader? Do I? Not likely. That's because we are not criminals or in gangs, and have no reason to have Glocks on us at all times.

Criminals will continue to get guns, regardless of there being a ban or not...that's because they are c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l-s, and need guns! A ban will have no effect, and will only waste valuable resources in taking guns away from legitimate target shooters and collectors.

It is the guns that make their way into the hands of Toronto's criminal gun dealers that are the problem, not those in the hands of responsible owners.

These smuggled guns make their way into Toronto on the province's 400 series highways, and that is where the gun problem should be addressed. You can go from Cornwall to Toronto and see no OPP cars...not one. At most you will see two in the same trip, that's all. Same for from Buffalo to Toronto. That is not acceptable.

There has to be more money from the government of Ontario for policing of the 400 series highways. Only this can help stop the stream of guns entering Toronto. And as a side benefit, more officers on the roads can only make things safer for everybody.

This cannot be laid entirely at McGuinty's door, all sides do need to do something. The feds arming border guards is a good step. An armed guard is more likely to search individuals he believes may pose a danger, but the federal government could also increase the training of guards, and the resources available to them.

Mayor Miller needs to address his own fiscal shortcomings and provide more money to the Toronto Police force. Toronto's social safety net is admirable, but it comes at the expense of the policing budget. Miller has to face facts and find more money for policing in the community.

There is a sensible way to address the problem of criminals with guns in Toronto, but a call to ban handguns is a red herring.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Afghanistan mission public relations 101

This is exactly why Stephen Harper has to take to the national airwaves and provide an unfiltered explanation of the whys and whats of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

The firm said the “communications landscape” is dominated by mounting casualties, and a feeling that “things are getting worse.” Many Canadians believe that the soldiers are part of a U.S.-led mission, and some even think Canada invaded Afghanistan.

Relying on the national media, which are obsessed with body count and little else, will not get the message out on our involvement in Afghanistan.

The media will gladly cover Jack "Taliban" Layton and his cries for retreat, because he is in a comfy media centre just down the hall from their air conditioned offices. The media will not cover the digging of a well in an Afghan town..too far, too hot, too boring. The media will not cover the opening of a girls school in a remote Afghan district..too far, too hot, too boring. The media will not trumpet disgust at the Taliban for beheading a 10 year old boy for delivering bread to an Afghan police station..too far, too hot, too incendiary for peaceful Canadians to read about. (Good on Don Martin for this one.)

The only way to reach everyday Canadians is to speak directly to them through a state of the union type address. Harper needs to explain the UN/NATO involvement in the mission, the reconstruction work, the training of the Afghan Army so they will be better able to replace us and provide security, and he needs to describe the ruthlessness of the enemy. The Taliban are not only brutal enemies of the Afghan people, they are enemies of civilization.

If Paul Martin can go on national TV to beg for his job, surely Mr. Harper can do the same to explain to Canadians why our soldiers are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the people of Afghanistan.