Ottawa Sun Editorial
by Lorrie Goldstein

Date: 2007-08-09

Here in Ontario, we're lucky to have Attorney General Michael Bryant, who is a master of the clever slogan, the brilliant riposte and the bon mot when it comes to fighting gun crime.

This is important because clever phrases are an effective tool when it comes to stopping the deadly gang and gun violence in and around Toronto, as armed thugs shoot and kill each other and innocent bystanders in a war over turf and the drug trade.

That said, they're not quite as effective as clever slogans on buttons, and Bryant has that base covered too.

Just last week, this up and coming Liberal cabinet minister revealed to the Toronto Star -- where trial balloons by Liberals go to die -- that he has made up some buttons featuring the brilliant phrase: "No Gun. No Funeral" and now carries them around in his pocket.

Wow! Take THAT Bloods and Crips! Never mind that Bryant doesn't actually mean "No Gun. No Funeral."

What he means, since this is all being done as part of his campaign to pressure the federal Conservative government to ban handguns is: "No LEGAL Gun. No Funeral."

But that, of course, would be a stupid thing to put on a button, since it isn't true.

After all, Canada could ban all "legal" handguns today and people would still be shot and killed by thugs using illegal ones.

In fact, the powers-that-be here can't even agree on how many gun crimes are committed by criminals who use guns stolen from legitimate owners, and how many use illegal guns smuggled in from the U.S.

Until very recently, we were assured that guns stolen from legitimate owners accounted for almost half of the weapons seized by police, with the rest smuggled in from the U.S.

Now, we're being told that, oops, actually, guns stolen from legitimate owners account for only about 30% of guns seized by police, while 70% are illegally smuggled in from the U.S.

The figure is significant because Canada can only "ban" handguns belonging to legitimate Canadian owners, since, for mysterious reasons apparently unknown to the crack minds in the Ontario Attorney-General's office, criminals don't register guns, nor will they hand them over if they're "banned."

Indeed, given these latest stats, it looks like even if we banned all legally-owned handguns in Canada, the difference could easily be made up by a couple of extra smuggled-in shipments from the U.S. per year.

To be fair, Bryant and the government he represents have urged Ottawa to strengthen efforts to combat gun smuggling and coughed up some cash to hire more cops and Crowns.

I just wish they'd concentrate a lot more on stuff the Ontario government can do to fight gun crime, instead of always telling the feds what to do. (Either that, or run federally.)

Stuff like, say, assuring we have enough, modern provincial remand centres for people being held without bail pending trial for violent gun crimes, so judges don't keep giving them up to TRIPLE TIME for time served in custody prior to their conviction, to protest what the judges say are appalling, overcrowded conditions and lengthy trial delays.

Then again, Bryant does have another clever slogan in his arsenal, his witty reply to people who point out Canada has already effectively banned handguns, except for legitimate shooters and collectors.

To which, Bryant retorts: " "Handguns are banned in Canada like prostitution is banned in Amsterdam."

Ha, ha ha! Of course, Canada has also "banned" cocaine, crystal meth and heroin, but oddly, they still exist.

But never mind. Inspired by Bryant, I have come up with my own clever slogan based on Ontario Liberal government policies toward gun crime, which I plan to put on a button and carry around with me. It will say: "Scared of gun crime? ... DUCK!!!"

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