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Subject: [can.talk.guns] FAQ List [quarterly posting]

This article was archived around: 7 Nov 2000 15:04:11 GMT

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Archive-name: talk-politics-guns/canadian-faq Posting-Frequency: quarterly URL: http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Faq/ctg.txt
[To send me e-mail, be sure to change my address by replacing "nospam" with "sfn".] The can.talk.guns FAQ List E-mail additions and suggestions to ab133@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca Your help is welcome and appreciated! Last modified: 01 December 1998 (minor changes made when Bill C-68 came into force) My aim is to keep this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list as short as possible while covering a lot of areas quickly and pointing people toward more information. Instead of providing exhaustive detail, I have listed references and "recommended reading". The trade-off between precision and brevity will be an ongoing struggle. This FAQ list has undergone a major restructuring that is not yet complete. The "myths and facts" statements have finally been amalgamated with the FAQs (where they always belonged). I hope to have it better-organized and cleaned up Real Soon Now[TM]. ============================= Table of Contents ============================= Sections/lines that have been changed recently are marked with a "|" in the first column. (Typo corrections don't get marked.) A. Frequently Asked Questions 1. [1]Where is the latest version of this FAQ list? 2. [2]What about the 1400 Canadians who are killed each year with guns? 3. [3]But even if most of the deaths are suicides, won't gun control help? 4. [4]Wouldn't it help to at least ban handguns? 5. [5]What about "military-style assault weapons"? 6. [6]Don't we have to do something about violence against women? 7. [7]Does gun control work? 8. [8]Doesn't the US have many more guns and higher murder rates than Canada? 9. [9]But if anyone could get a gun, like in the US, wouldn't we have higher 10. [10]What about violent crime rates? 11. [11]What about the Vancouver/Seattle study? murder rates, just like the US? 12. [12]What about children and firearms? 13. [13]What about firearm accidents in Canada? 14. [14]Why do some say we have a right to have and use firearms when we have no "2nd amendment" in Canada? 15. [15]Isn't the US-style self-defence illegal in Canada? 16. [16]What is Bill C-68? 17. [17]What is Bill C-17? 18. [18]What about Bill C-51? 19. [19]What did the Auditor General write about "gun control" in Canada? 20. [20]What is unlawful about our gun control laws? 21. [21]Did a judge really say our laws are badly written? 22. [22]Was there a coroner's report that focussed on firearm storage? 23. [23]What did the coroner write about the murders at L'Ecole Polytechnique ? 24. [24]What is "banned" in Canada? 25. [25]What is "restricted" in Canada? 26. [26]How many people in Canada legally own firearms? 27. [27]Do tougher gun control laws reduce armed robberies? 28. [28]Do mandatory jail sentences deter the armed criminal? 29. [29]What about the claim that "People without guns injure, people with guns kill"? 30. [30]Aren't dogs more regulated than firearms? 31. [31]Aren't motor vehicles more regulated and taxed than guns? 32. [32]Aren't guns more lethal on a per use basis than motor vehicles? 33. [33]Doesn't easy access to firearms contribute to crime? 34. [34]Don't the majority of Canadians support tougher gun control? 35. [35]Don't the experts support tougher gun control? 36. [36]Isn't a gun in the home 43 times more likely to kill a friend or loved-one than be used against an intruder? 37. [37]Didn't someone find that firearm ownership causes higher murder and suicide rates? [38]B. Questions firearm prohibitionists can't answer C. Miscellaneous [39]Recommended reading: [40]Periodic reports: [41]Other FAQ lists: [42]Where to go for more information: [43]Credits: [44]Personal note: [45]DISCLAIMER: [46]Copyright notice ======================= A. Frequently Asked Questions ======================= 1. Where is the latest version of this FAQ list? The latest HTML version of this FAQ list is at: main: [47]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Faq/ctg.html [48]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Faq/ctg.html mirrors: [49]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Faq/ctg.html archives: [50]http://www.cs.ruu.nl/wais/html/na-bng/can.talk.guns.html [51]http://www.faqs.org/faqs/talk-politics-guns/canadian-faq/ The latest plain text version of this FAQ list is at: main: [52]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Faq/ctg.txt [53]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Faq/ctg.txt mirrors: [54]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Faq/ctg.txt archives: [55]ftp://ftp.uu.net/usenet/news.answers/talk-politics-guns/canadian-faq.Z [56]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/talk-politics-guns/canadian- faq [57]ftp://mirrors.aol.com/pub/rtfm/usenet/news.answers/talk-politics-guns/c anadian-faq You can also get the HTML version from the Canadian Firearms Home Page at: [58]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/homepage.html [59]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/homepage.html Just select ``Research Related to "Gun Control"'' and you'll see the "The can.talk.guns FAQ list" link near the top. 2. What about the 1400 Canadians who are killed each year with guns? That was only true for a couple of years, and it's only a partial truth. Deaths with firearms from 1980 to 1990 can be broken down like this: Suicides 80% Homicides 15% Accidents 5% TOTAL 100% However, over the last ten years: gun used no gun used -------- ----------- murder 33% 67% suicide 30% 70% accidents 1% 99% Two-thirds of all Canadian homicides do not involve firearms[9]. Stabbings, strangulations and beatings account for the majority of homicides[10]. The percentage of homicides involving firearms has varied from 45% to 29% over the years. Since 1926, firearms have been involved in about 37% of murders. For example, causes of death in Canada in 1992: Total Involving Firearms ----- ------------------ Suicides 3,709 1,050 28.31% Homicides 732 247 33.7% Accidents 8,801 63 0.72% Deaths 196,535 1,360 0.69% and from Selected Canadian Mortality Statistics 1994: FOR ALL: Total Involving Firearms ----- ------------------ Suicides 3,749 975 26.0% Homicides 596 196 32.9% Accidents 38 TOTAL 1209 FOR WOMEN: Total Involving Firearms ----- ------------------ Suicides 780 59 7.6% Homicides 199 39 20% Accidents 3 TOTAL 101 FOR MEN: Total Involving Firearms ----- ------------------ Suicides 2,969 916 30.9% Homicides 396 157 39.6% Accidents 35 TOTAL 1108 Mortality 1991 - Statistics Canada - Summary List of Causes Accidents, Suicide; Homicide (from Juristat) ------------------------------------------------- Causes Number Percent ------------------------------------------------- ALL CAUSES 195,568 100.00% ACCIDENTS 8,212 4.20% SUICIDE 3,593 1.84% HOMICIDE 753 0.39% ALL OTHER CAUSES 183,010 93.58% ACCIDENTS 8,721 100.00% Transport 3,882 44.51% Falls 2,053 23.54% Poisoning 699 8.02% Drowning 390 4.47% Inhaling Food 341 3.91% Fire and Flames 318 3.65% Medical Misadventures 146 1.67% Other Firearms 62 0.71% Electric Current 39 0.45% Theraputic Drugs 33 0.38% Explosives 22 0.25% Lightning 5 0.06% Handgun 4 0.05% All other accidents 727 8.34% SUICIDE 3,593 100.00% Other Firearms 1,065 29.64% Hanging, Strangulation 1,034 28.78% Drugs 502 13.97% Gas 393 10.94% Other Solid or Liquid 46 1.28% Handgun 43 1.20% All Other Means 510 14.19% HOMICIDE (Juristat) 753 100.00% Stabbings 224 29.75% Beatings 140 18.59% Other Firearms 135 17.93% Illegal Handguns 131 17.40% Legal Handgun (Est.) 5 0.66% All Other Means 118 15.67% Note: There are numerous errors in the 1991 Mortality Tables, totals that don't match the range they are supposed to cover, etc. I took the figures for homicide from Juristat because they are better. The mortality tables list about 200 fewer homicides than Juristat, and far fewer handgun homicides.[Prof, H. Taylor Buckner] It's also interesting to note that while 33% of homicides involve firearms, over half of murders involve alcohol or illicit drugs. Alcohol and drug use was evident in 50% of all homicides in 1991[14]. Historically, alcohol has been estimated as the most important contributing factor in two of every three homicides in Canada[15]. Roughly half of Canada's murder _victims_ have serious criminal records.[StatCan] In 1991, two-thirds of all accused murderers had criminal records, of which 69% were prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms due to previous violent offences.[43] Firearm homicides typically represent less than 2% of all externally-caused deaths in Canada[11]. Since 1975, the homicide rate for Canadian men has been twice as high as women's[12]. Lightning killed more Canadians in 1987 than did legally-owned handguns [13]. Between 1961 and 1990, less than 1% of all homicides involved firearms legally registered in Canada. [42] [9] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 12 No.18, "Homicide in Canada 1991" (Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Oct 1992) p.2. [10] Ibid, p.8 [11] Health Reports Vol. 1 No.1, "Mortality: Summary List of Causes 1987", (Statistics Canada, Health Division, Oct. 1989), p.60. [12] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 No.21, op. cit., p.11. [13] Health Reports Vol.1 No.1,"Causes of Death 1987", (Statistics Canada, Health Division, Oct. 1989) pp, 176-178 [14] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 NO.18, op. cit., p.15. [15] Neil Boyd, "The Last Dance: Murder in Canada", (Prentice-Hall Canada, 1988) pp. 156-157 [42] Number of Restricted Guns Used in Homicide Offences by Year, (Statistics Canada, Can. Centre for Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Program), pp.1 to 8 [43] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 12 No. 18, Homicide in Canada 1991, (Statistics Canada, Can. Centre for Justice Statistics, Oct. 1992), p. 15 3. But even if most of the deaths are suicides, won't gun control help? While suicides account for the overwhelming majority of all gun-related deaths in Canada (80% in 1987), over two-thirds of all suicides are committed by methods other than firearms[19]. For "gun control" to prevent suicides, potential suicides would have to be very fleeting impulses that would pass before a person could get a key, put it into a lock, open the lock, load the firearm, and fire it. Since roughly as many people hang/suffocate/strangle themselves, the argument is absurd. Many suicides are contemplated for weeks or months and there are many methods that are just as "impulsive" and just as deadly, such as jumping off buildings. There are two main types of suicides: the ones who want to die and the ones who "cry out for help". The former uses methods that offer little in the way of a "second chance" (firearms, jumping off buildings) and the latter group uses methods that take a long time (pills). Most suicides follow months or years of depression or illness, unlocking a gun takes at most a couple of minutes. From the book Waking Up Alive by Richard A. Heckler 1994: "Although there are no official statistics on attempted (ie non-fatal actions) suicide, it is generally estimated that there are at least 8 to 20 attempts for each death by suicide." While roughly 30% of suicides involve a firearm, the "success" rate approaches 100% when a firearm is involved. If, on the other hand, the other 70% of suicides actually have 8 to 20 attempts for every death, then only 2 to 5% of suicide attempts involve a firearm. This is especially interesting when you consider that 1 in four Canadian homes has an average of 3 firearms. Wouldn't it be more prudent to expend our resources trying to help the 20 to 50 thousand persons attempting suicide every year than on trying to control a method employed in a minority of suicides? Canada has very strict firearm regulation yet it also has a higher suicide rate than the US. (Japan has nearly no legally owned firearms and their suicide rate is higher than Canada's.) [The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy; [60]Observations on a One-Way Street] Until 1960, Canada's suicide rate was fairly stable at about 7 per 100,000. Between 1960 and 1980 the suicide rate roughly doubled and has remained high around 14 per 100,000 persons. The suicide rate for males aged 20 to 24 roughly tripled between 1960 and 1980. [StatCan] Studies indicate that the suicide rate in Canada increased after Bill C-51 was adopted[20]. Alcohol abuse is estimated to be a significant contributing factor in 50% of all firearms `accidents' and suicides[22]. Recently, the suicide rate in Canada has been dropping, as it has been in many other countries, including the US. However, suicide by _all_ methods has decreased, and our rate is still higher than other industrial nations with less restrictive firearm laws, such as the US. Even the Canadian government finds it difficult to claim that Canada's suicide rate has been reduced by our anti-firearm laws. [ED-1996-1e] [19] Health Reports Vol.1 No.1 "Causes of Death 1987" (Statistics Canada, Health Division, Oct. 1989), pp. 184-186 [20] Robert J. Mundt, op cit.; and, David B. Kopel, op. cit. [22] National Safety Council, "Accident Facts 1988-1991". 4. Wouldn't it help to at least ban handguns? Handguns have been required to be registered since 1934 (unlike most rifles and shotguns), yet their use has been increasing (even though the less regulated and more deadly rifles and shotguns are easier to procure). From the 1960s to now, the use of handguns in homicide has roughly doubled (from 10% of homicides to 18%). [StatCan] Shotgun and rifle use has actually dropped. If registration works, why are criminals moving from firearms that need not be registered to ones that must? If we ban pistols to prevent use in crime, the effect will only be to confiscate over half a billion dollars in property from those who legally possess roughly 1,000,000 registered pistols. More control seems to be increasing use, one reason could be that the now-existing smuggling infrastructure (thanks to high cigarette and alcohol taxes) makes it trivial to "import" pistols. [Misfire: The Black Market and Gun Control, The Mackenzie Institute, 1995] The strict anti-gun laws make smuggling profitable. Project Cannon and Operation Gunrunner in 1994 both found that about 90% of pistols recovered and/or purchased "from the street" were unregistered and could not be traced in Canada. [from the project/operation reports] A good reference for US vs. Canada is Brandon S. Centerwall, "Homicide and the prevalence of handguns: Canada and the United States, 1976 to 1980," _American Journal of Epidemiology_, 134 (11), pp 1245-60, Dec 1, 1991. Abstract: As compared with Americans, Canadians in the 1970s possessed one tenth as many handguns per capita. To assess whether this affected the total criminal homicide rate, the mean annual criminal homicide rates of Canadian provinces were compared with those of adjoining US states for the period of 1976 to 1980. NO CONSISTENT DIFFERENCES WERE OBSERVED; CRIMINAL HOMICIDE RATES WERE SOMETIMES HIGHER IN THE CANADIAN PROVINCE, and sometimes higher in the adjoining US state. MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN THE PREVALENCE OF HANDGUNS HAVE NOT RESULTED IN DIFFERING TOTAL CRIMINAL HOMICIDE RATES IN CANADIAN PROVINCES AND ADJOINING US STATES. The similar rates of criminal homicide are primarily attributable to underlying similar rates of aggravated assault. (emphasis added) 5. What about "military-style assault weapons"? What is an assault weapon? Assault _rifles_ are selective-fire (semi- or full-auto) weapons that are often smaller calibre. Assault rifles have been prohibited since 1978 (except for about 4500 Canadians who owned at least one before 1978). No registered automatic (i.e. machine gun) has ever been used in Canada in any violent crime or suicide. Banning the semi-automatic rifles too-often called "assault weapons" makes little sense, since the semi-auto rifles that remain legal for hunting and other purposes are usually more powerful. (It takes more to knock down a moose than a human.) As for "military-style" or "paramilitary" firearms versus "domestic" or "hunting" rifles: the distinction is useless. There are rifles used for hunting and sport that were/are of military origin and there are firearms that are/were used by the military that began as "hunting" rifles. The designs are similar and basic. The goal of each is the same: force a piece of lead out at high speeds. Both "military" and "hunting" rifles are available in semi-automatic. (e.g. The "civilian" Colt AR-15 is actually the predecessor of the military version: the M-16. In spite of this, it is usually classed by the media as a "military- style" weapon.) Semi-automatics patterned after state-of-the-art firearms technology used by the military and popular with millions of responsible gun owners offer increased reliability and durability. It makes little sense to ban rifles because of their appearance while ignoring performance and function. There is more about this in the [61]coroner's report on the murder of 14 persons at L'Ecole Polytechnique. Semiautomatics which externally resemble automatics are difficult to convert to automatic and such a conversion is illegal and subject to a ten-year jail term. There is no evidence that semiautomatic firearms are disproportionately used in crime. Through 1988-1991, 20% of all firearms homicides involved prohibited weapons, 60% involved ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns, and 20% involved handguns[30]. Semiautomatics targeted by anti-gun legislation could affect more than 30% of the guns legally owned by Canadians. The cost of replacing these firearms could cost Canadian taxpayers in excess of $2,000,000,000. [30] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 11 No. 12 op. cit., p. 13 6. Don't we have to do something about violence against women? Bare hands and feet are most often used to murder Canadian women. More women (44.0%) are strangled or beaten to death than are murdered by any other single method. Knives and other sharp instruments are the next favourite weapon as stabbings accounted for 27.7% of female homicides. Firearms are third: 25.6% of Canadian women were murdered by someone using a gun. [StatCan, 1984 to 1993] In 1994, 45.7% of female homicide victims were strangled or beaten to death, 22.6% were stabbed, and 19.6% were shot. [StatCan] We also have to do something about violence against people. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered (with or without a firearm), nearly 10 times more likely to complete suicide with a firearm and over 15 times more likely to die in an accident involving a firearm. (But I digress.) "Crimes of passion" are almost always preceded by a long history of domestic turmoil (in 1991, 44% of all domestic murders in Canada had a previous record of violent conflict), committed between the hours of 10:00pm and 2:00 a.m. with any object close at hand and by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 1991, 60% of all domestic homicides in Canada involved weapons other than firearms, with alcohol and drug abuse a relevant factor in 64%[23]. Between 1974 and 1987, the use of firearms in domestic homicide fluctuated with Bill C-51 having had no apparent effect[24]. Studies on firearms acquisition 'waiting periods' have found them to be totally useless in curbing either violent crime or domestic violence[25]. What follows is an excerpt from a speech made by Senator Anne Cools on 29 Nov 1995. (The complete version of the following can be found from the Canadian Firearms Home Page and from: [62]http://fox.nstn.ca/~dvc14/awsc.html) During the Senate committee hearings on Bill C-68, the Manitoba Attorney General, the Honourable Rosemary Vodrey, testified. I asked her: I should just like to know how many wives were killed by husbands in your province last year by firearms, and how many children in your province alone? She replied: I can just tell you women on homicides by firearms. I gather the figure is zero. Ms Vodrey gave more detail. She said: The statistics I have are for 1994, and they relate to deaths due to domestic violence: Three by stabbing; three by strangulation; two by beating; one by asphyxiation; none by firearms. Honourable senators, it is no simple task to identify the actual and precise number of women killed by spouses using firearms. I have studied this question using Statistics Canada's published data on homicides. In 1994, the actual number of women killed with firearms by conjugal intimates was 23. I repeat: The precise number of women killed by spouses using firearms was 23. Statistics Canada defines "conjugal intimates" as including spouses - legal, common-law, separated, divorced - boyfriends, extramarital lovers or estranged lovers. Neither feminist groups nor the Minister of Justice have placed the number of 23 on the table in this debate. I am unsympathetic to the act of toying with or exaggerating the true numbers. Please be clear that Minister Vodrey's answer that no woman in her province had been killed by the use of a firearm in a conjugal-intimate relationship in 1994 surprised the committee. In 1994, the actual number of children under the age of 12 years killed with firearms by a parent was two. The favoured weapon of murder in Canada is bare hands and feet - the human body. For example, in 1994, 27 babies under 12 months of age were killed, most with bare hands. In 1994, the total number of homicides was 596, of which 196 were by the use of firearms. Of these 196 with firearms, 157 of the victims were men and 39 were women. Consistently, more men are killed with firearms than women; in fact, four times as many. The tragedy of domestic homicide is too horrific to be trivialized by numerical manipulation. Here's a breakdown of causes of death for men and women [1994]: 14757287 14494078 29251285 Population women men total Cause of Death 38688 39885 78573 Circulatory system diseases 26815 31496 58311 All Cancer 8255 10087 18342 Respiratory system diseases 3767 3912 7679 Digestive system diseases 4995 Breast Cancer 2710 1963 4673 Mental disorders 780 2969 3749 Suicide, all methods 985 2478 3463 Drug/Alcohol Abuse [note 1] 949 2238 3188 Motor vehicle collisions 721 2053 2774 Suicide, non-firearm 1292 1055 2347 Falls 139 1489 1628 HIV 59 916 975 Suicide, with firearm 235 629 868 Accidental poisoning 222 507 729 Drowning/suffocation/choking 199 396 596 Homicide, all methods 160 239 400 Homicide, non-firearm 115 130 246 Homicide, no gun; no knife 102 110 212 Surgical/medical misadventures 39 157 196 Homicide, with firearm 45 109 154 Homicide, with cutting/piercing instrument 3 35 38 Fatal Gun Accidents 101 1108 1209 Total deaths involving firearms [Causes of Death 1994 (Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division, June 1996); and, Homicide Survey, Table 13; Distribution of Homicide Victims by Gender and Method Used to Commit Homicide (Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Aug. 1994)] [note 1 - This figure excludes deaths from cancer, circulatory/ respiratory diseases, motor vehicle collisions, falls, fires, drowning, suicide and homicide that are indirectly due to drug/alcohol abuse. In 1994, an esimated 17,228 deaths, one every 32 min., were alcohol- related (Single, Eric. Canadian Profile: Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs 1994. Ottawa ON; Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, 1994, p.79)] [23] Juristat Service Bulletin, Vol.12 No. 18, op. cit. pp 13-14; and, Peter H. Rossi and James D. Wright, op. cit. [24] Juristat Service Bulletin, Vol. 9 No. 1, (Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 1989); and Robert J. Mundt, op. cit. [25] James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, op. cit., and Joseph P. Magadino and Marshal H. Medoff, op. cit. 7. Does gun control work? The answer depends upon what you mean by "gun control" and "work". You can "control" access for many people to some degree, but you can't stop it altogether for everyone. If, by "gun control", you mean attempting to keep firearms out of criminal hands (through background checks) and educating users (so accident rates can be reduced and kept low), then it would be hard to find someone to disagree with you. If, however, you think that prohibitions, confiscations and other such limits on law-abiding Canadians are necessary, then I suggest that is rather like taking equipment away from Jill and Jack -- and even banning hockey altogether -- because Paul hit Jane with a stick. The result is that those not hurting anybody are the ones punished. We've had increasing "gun control" in Canada since the late 1800s -- most of it from 1978 to the present -- and only since 1974 have the murder rates been this high. Before 1968, when nearly any law-abiding person could legally purchase almost anything, our murder rates were roughly _half_ what they have been since 1974: a 20+ year period of the toughest "gun control" we've ever had. Comparing two twenty-year periods, one where one could legally own almost anything, and one with "strict laws": from 1974 to 1993 the Canadian homicide rate was roughly 2.4 murders per 100,000 persons and from 1946 to 1965 it was about 1.1 per 100,000. [Dominion Bureau of Statistics and Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics] In the 22 years from 1973 to 1994, the rate was never below 2, and in the 42 years before 1973, the Canadian homicide rate was never above 2 (murders per 100,000 persons). [Dominion Bureau of Statistics and Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics] A sharp increase occurred from 1966 and 1974. The homicide rate nearly tripled in this 9 year period. Some like to say that the 1978 anti-gun laws (Bill C-51) caused the drop, but their reasoning is faulty since the decrease started three or four years earlier. Also, a similar decrease and "levelling-off" of homicides rates occurred in the US around the same time. Several researchers, including Alan Gilmour (1993 report of the Auditor General) have noted that there is no statistical evidence to support the claim that homicide rates in Canada decreased "as a result of stricter gun control laws". Even the federal government's own evaluations (ED-1996-1e) were mostly inconclusive. Late in 1996, the Canadian Department of Justice released an "evaluation document" [ED-1996-1e] claiming that 55 lives are saved every year in Canada by "gun control". The document is based on a roughly 2,000 page report by Prairie Research Associates (PRA), of which only 9 pages were released under the Access to Information (AtI) Act. After many protests, about 1000 pages have been received over many months by Reform MP Garry Breitkreuz, but much of the text is blacked out. Amongst the "clear text" were some gems (below). The crime statistics PRA needed to do the work were acquired from Statistics Canada, via the Canada Centre for Justice Statistics, the office that handles Justice statistics. There are two sets of information, databases called UCRI and UCRII. In his 08 Aug 95 Memorandum to Nick Falcon, Clinton Skibitzky has this to say about those primary -- and apparently the only -- databases that PRA had to use as the raw data input base for its report: "Although the UCRI database contains a full range of information on the number of offences reported to police, all the data is submitted 'as aggregate totals [submitted] on a monthly basis by each respondent.' This aggregation precludes the linkage of related data, and therefore severely limits the scope of feasible analysis. Although [we] may know that 500 robberies occurred in a given month and that 184 juvenile males were charged in the same month, there is no way to verify if those charges correspond to the month's robberies. Further, policy analysis has revealed that there are many critical statistics on crime not compiled in UCRI: information such as the type of weapon used, age of the victim, and details on the victim/accused relationship is absent from the original UCRI database." (01971) "The UCRI data is not available on an incident [-by-incident] level, as it is reported at the Canada Centre for Justice Statistics at the aggregate." (01970) [i.e. it comes in from the police as blocks of crimes, charges, etc., each covering a month, with no data on individual incidents, or on how the blocks relate to one another.] "In response to these problems, a revised uniform Crime Reporting Survey, UCRII, was developed and implemented in January, 1988. Because of the quantity of data collected on each incident, a high level of automated information capacity is required by the respondents. As a result of this technological prerequisite, the decision was made to allow jurisdictions to be 'phased' into the Survey as they acquired the required equipment. The volume and quality of the data collected by this Survey changes annually, as a patchwork of contributors develops across Canada. "The UCRII database is a significant improvement on its predecessor. However, its current metamorphosis toward complete coverage at the national level limits the validity of the data in a rigorous empirical study. This fact is clearly evidenced if a detailed examination of the data is undertaken. "If the [UCRII] data on violent crimes is plotted annually, the primary consequence of its unique implementation strategy emerges. As the number of reporting jurisdictions increases, so do the number of violent incidents. In 1988, only 2 police forces [Niagara Regional, after Jan 88; Fredericton, after Sep 88] contributed to the UCRII data collection. By 1993 (the most recently available year), that number had grown to 81. "Even the data in 1993 does not accurately represent the national data, as half the provinces (Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Alberta) and both territories still do not contribute anything [to UCRII]." (01971) "The purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which the 1978 and 1993 legislative changes regarding firearms affected the rate of violent crimes. A study of the displacement between firearms and other weapons of choice is a key component of this analysis... However, the UCRII database as an entirety is inappropriate for this analysis. Not only was no data collected before 1988, but the addition of new respondents alters the data source and thus invalidates any conclusions made with this data. "Theoretically, we could study the change in violent crimes for each reporting police force, as this would eliminate the problem of a constantly-changing data source. However, since the earliest data dates back only to 1988, (Niagara Regional commenced reporting in January 1988, and Fredericton in September of the same year), our best case scenario leaves only 5 data points prior to the 1993 changes, and none that lie entirely after all the provisions were implemented; certainly not enough to make statistically valid conclusions. "We therefore conclude that the UCRII database is not an appropriate data source for our analysis. Although it provides much data that is missing from the UCRI data, it does not accurately reflect the national statistics and fails to provide a sufficiently long time series of data for any sort of statistical study on the subject of firearms legislation." (01971-01972) Here is an additional comment on UCRI, taken from page 15, the "Data" Chapter (3.0) of a draft of the Report itself: "Clearly, the UCRII database does not provide any practical data for the statistical models required for this project, as it is too short and not representative of Canada as a whole." (01851) At this point, two lines were whited out as exempt from disclosure under section 21(1)(b) of the AtI act. Bearing in mind the damaging effect of the data above and below, one wonders just what was in "deleted". This then follows: "UCRI will serve to provide information on only two variables needed for this study: discharge of firearms with intent, and robbery with firearms. Unfortunately, these data series were not compiled prior to 1974 [although UCRI was started in 1961 -- DAT]. Before 1974, robbery with firearms was lumped together with other robberies, and discharge with intent was not separated from other assault categories. This premature termination of the data series limits the applicability of the UCRI database to this study, as no information relevant to our research exists for the period from 1962 to 1974." (01851) The government is currently distributing a new book, and still handing out at least three older ones, which are all analyses of how many excellent effects their firearms control laws have had. The researchers who wrote those books must have used UCRI and/or UCRII. There are no other sources for the information needed to do research in this area. But, PRA says both sources are useless. They cannot be used for analysis, except for very limited purposes. Not only has most of the evaluation not been made public, but what has come out condemns all evaluations by stating the raw data are useless. ED-1996-1e also makes some strange claims. The figure of 55 lives saved is based upon three of the ten analyses -- the only three that showed a correlation -- and one of them indicates that Canada's 1978 anti-gun laws also resulted in a reduction of non-firearm homicides! Of the seven remaining analyses, 5 were inconsistent and 2 showed no effect. [ED-1996-1e, p. 102] Finally, one should note that firearms are actually used in a slightly greater proportion of today's homicides than those from 1926 to 1961 despite tougher anti-gun laws. (This is really irrelevant anyway, since "dead is dead", but it further shows that our anti-gun laws aren't reducing the use of firearms in homicide.) When it comes to the attention-grabbing, emotionally-charged mass murders, anti-gun laws are not going to stop someone willing to murder so many. This is especially true for those who kill themselves afterward. Anyone not stopped by the toughest law we have -- the law against murder -- will not be stopped by anti-gun laws. 8. Doesn't the US have many more guns and higher murder rates than Canada? The higher murder rate in the USA is not caused by citizens owning firearms. If a prohibition could somehow eliminate all firearms, and, therefore, all firearm-related homicides, without _any_ weapon substitution, the US murder rate would still be roughly _double_ the Canadian murder rate. If a USA without firearms would have many more murders per person than a Canada with firearms, there must be many other factors at work. (If the firearms in the USA cause its higher murder rate, then the above example must show that firearms make Canada safer. Obviously the answer cannot really be so simple.) One must also consider that the number of firearms per person in Canada and the USA is similar, and that the laws in the USA vary greatly from state to state, with the states having fewer restrictions on law-abiding citizens also most often having lower murder rates. The number of firearms is a symptom, not a cause. If firearms caused murder, then Switzerland, Israel and Norway would have murder rates similar to the US, and places like Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas and Sri Lanka would have low rates. One needs only to look at WHY the firearms are owned. Canada is more rural and therefore each firearm owning household (roughly 26%) has a variety of firearms (at least 3) for different uses. In the US, firearm owning households (about 50%) are more likely to have only one or two because they own them for self-defence and not hunting, predator control, etc. This further indicates that while fewer Canadian households have a firearm, those that do, have more. This confirms most government estimates of 15 to 20 million firearms in Canada, while in the US, there are about 200 million (giving both countries similar per capita rates of firearm ownership). If the rates of firearm ownership are similar in countries with drastically different murder rates, then it's probably not the firearms that are the problem. Even within the US, there is no correlation between firearm ownership and murder rates. After the LA riots, there was a huge increase in sales. The following year, sales slumped because the market was saturated, yet the murder rates continued to _fall_. The US murder rate peaked in 1992 and has been decreasing. It dropped 8% from 1994 to 1995. Even as ownership increases in the US, the murder (and accident) rates decrease. Allowing citizens to possess and acquire firearms doesn't seem to be the problem. If one ignores Washington DC and the US cities that are larger than Canadian cities, the murder rates in the US are not much higher than Canadian homicide rates. Also, roughly 14 states have murder rates similar to or below the Canadian average homicide rate. Additionaly, if one compares the states next to Canada to their neighbouring provinces, the states more often have lower murder rates. [StatCan, the USDoJ and the FBI Uniform Crime Reports] comparison of Canada and the US: Province / State Homicide rate/100,000 ---------------- --------- B.C / Washington 3.7 / 5.0 Alberta / Montana 3.6 / 2.9 Saskatchewan / North Dakota 3.2 / 1.9 Manitoba / Minnesota 2.6 / 1.9 Ontario / Michigan w/o detroit / w/detroit 2.4 / 4.1 / 9.9 Quebec / NY w/o NYC / NY w/ NYC 2.4 / 3.7 / 13.2 Quebec / New Hampshire 2.4 / 1.6 New Brunswick / Maine 1.5 / 1.7 Territories / Alaska 17.8 / 7.5 [taken from: Brandon S. Centerwall, "Homicide and the prevalence of handguns: Canada and the United States, 1976 to 1980," _American Journal of Epidemiology_, 134 (11), pp 1245-60, Dec 1, 1991.] 9. But if anyone could get a gun, like in the US, wouldn't we have higher murder rates, just like the US? We have an entirely different system in Canada, and murder rates and perception of murder rates have been more closely related to economic conditions than laws and imprisonment/execution policies, let alone "gun control". As long as you had no criminal record, you used to be able to legally acquire nearly any kind of firearm in Canada, and there was no permit needed to buy most shotguns and rifles, yet the murder rate was half what it is now. (People could legally acquire and own fully automatic firearms -- machine guns -- until 1978, and some 4500 Canadians still have that right recognised by the federal government, yet no registered FA has ever been used in a violent crime in Canada. Yet, they banned them from the majority of Canadians.) Each state in the USA has it's own laws. Generally, states with strict firearm laws also have higher crime and homicide rates (and vice versa). That doesn't mean that "gun control" leads to murder and crime, but it doesn't seem to have ever lowered rates, either. Many states, with similar population densities, have less "gun control" than Canada, while having similar homicide rates. The US has higher firearm- and non-firearm-related homicide rates. If "gun control" made the difference between Canadian and US murder rates, then our non-firearm homicide rates should be similar, and they aren't. The difference may be whatever cause increases the risk of being murdered by a stranger. In the US (as a whole), one is slightly more likely to be killed by a stranger than some acquaintance. In Canada, the figure is less than 20%. It's also interesting to note that from 1985 to 1995, roughly 20 states instituted non-discretionary Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) laws, and not one has experienced the "blood bath" predicted by many "gun control" proponents. More on this in ``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'', available from: [63]http://www.rkba.org/research/rkba.faq [64]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/talk.politics.guns/ There are now some 31 states that have non-discretionary CCW laws and those states have enjoyed lower crime and murder rates. See the study by Lott and Mustard for more detail. [65]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Lott/guns.html [66]http://law.lib.uchicago.edu/faculty/lott/guns.html [67]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Lott/guns.html 10. What about violent crime rates? In 1962, the US per capita violent crime rate was about 185 (violent crimes per 100,000 persons) and Canada's was around 250. The US rate has been lower than Canada's ever since, and as can been seen below, the gap is widening. Note that even though the violent crime rate indicies include homicides, the US rates are still lower. Year US Canada 1962 ~185 ~250 1967 ~250 ~390 1972 401 507 1973 417 534 1974 461 564 1975 488 597 1976 468 596 1977 476 583 1978 498 591 1979 549 621 1980 597 648 1981 594 666 1982 571 686 1983 538 686 1984 539 715 1985 557 751 1986 618 808 1987 610 856 1988 637 898 1989 663 947 1990 732 1013 1991 758 1099 1994 716 1037 1995 685 995 More info can be found at: http://www.statcan.ca/Documents/English/Pgdb/State/justic.htm http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ The violent crime rate is calculated by adding up the number of homicides, attempted murders, assaults, sexual assaults, other sexual offences, abductions, and robberies, and dividing by the mean population (times 100,000). The definitions for the US offences are a bit different (e.g. they have "rape" whereas Canada has "aggravated sexual assault") which is one reason some people note that violent crime rates in different countries should not be directly compared. (Other differences include criminal law, legal systems, and the way data are collected and calculated.) However, it's easy to see that Canada's violent crime rate has been increasing rapidly -- in spite of increasingly strict gun laws -- and it has increased faster than the US rate. While the Canadian rate has been decreasing since 1991, the same is true of the US rate. (Besides, a 4% decrease hardly compensates for a 400+% increase!) Example: - Canada's "tough gun laws" came info effect on Jan 1, 1978. - Increase in Canada's violent crime rate 1977 to 1991: 89% - Increase in USA's violent crime rate 1977 to 1991: 58% Also, note that Canada's violent crime rate was dropping 1975 to 1977, and started climbing sharply after Bill C-51 was passed in 1978. "Gun control" doesn't seem to have decreased violent crime. In addition, Canadian break and enter rates were greater than US rates in 1983 and the difference has only increased since. US and Canadian residential burglary rates were very similar until 1991 when Canadian rates surpassed the US rates. In 1992, the Canadian residential burglary rate was 896 (per 100,000 persons) and the US rate was 774. "...our 1992 residential/commercial burglary and property crime rates were 33% and 25% higher, respectively, than our southern neighbours, and have remained consistently higher than the US for over ten years." ([68]Observations on a One Way Street, 1994, p. 71) Since 1982, the residential and commercial burglary rate in the US has been lower than Canada's. It's also interesting to note that since 1982, Canada's rates have been lower than in England/Wales. [StatCan, the FBI UCRs, the US DoJ crime surveys, and the UK Home Office] The rate of violent crime in Canada increased 60% between 1982 and 1991, twice as high as all other Criminal Code offenses combined[2]. Canadian women are as likely as as men to be victims of crime; however, weapons were used against 31% of men compared to 19% of women [3]. The majority of women are victimized in their own home by individuals they know (particularly husbands or ex-husbands), while men are victimized by strangers[4]. The common weapons are "other" weapons (such as motor vehicles, fire, poison, hot water), followed by sharp instruments[5]. Gun control legislation (Bill C-51) was introduced in 1978 in a attempt to reduce violent crime. Current research indicates that C-51 had virtually no perceptible impact on violent crime, suicide, or accidental deaths[6]. The American states bordering Canada have homicide rates similar to ours despite easier legal access to firearms and liberal handgun laws[7]. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that the types and availability are directly related to increasing rates of either violent crime or the criminal misuse of firearms. In the absence of firearms, criminals switch to other weapons or other sources of weapons. No gun law in any city, state, or nation, has ever reduced violent crime or slowed its rate or growth compared to similar jurisdictions without such laws[8]. [2] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 12 No 21, "Gender Differences Among Violent Crime Victims", (Statistics Canada, Circulation Centre for Justice Statistics, Nov. 1992) p.4 [3] Ibid, p.5, p.9 [4] Ibid, pp.8-9 [5] Ibid. [6] Robert J. Mundt, "Gun Control and Rates of Firearms Violence in Canada and the United States", Canadian Journal of Criminology, Vol. 32 No. 1 (Jan 1990), pp 137-154; and Paul Blackman, "The Canadian Gun Law, Bill C-51: Its Effectiveness and Lessons for Research on the Gun Control Issue", American Society of Criminology, (Nov. 1984) [7] Gary Kleck and Brett Patterson, "The Impact of Gun Control and Gun Ownership on City Violence", (1989) [8] David B. Kopel, op. cit., examined the effectiveness of the firearms control policies of Japan, Canada, Britain, Switzerland, Jamaica, Austraila, New Zealand, and the United States, from a historical and sociological perspective. Additional source references are: Gary Kleck and Brett Patterson, op. cit; Joseph P. Magadin and Marshal Medoff, "An Empirical Analysis of Federal and State Firearms Control Laws", (1984); Douglas R. Murray, "Handguns, Gun Control Laws and Firearms Violence", Social Problems, Vol. 23 (1975), Matthew R. Dezee, "Gun Control Legislation: Impact and Ideology", Law and Policy Quarterly Vol. 5 (1983), p.367; J. Killias, "Gun Ownership and Violent Crime", Security Journal, Vol.1 No.3 (1990), p.171; Peter H. Rossi and James D. Wright, "Weapons, Crimes, and Violence in America: Executive Summary", (US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1981); Solicitor General of Canada, "Firearms Control in Canada: An Evaluation", (Ministry of Supply and Services Canada, 1983); Don B. Kates Jr., "Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out", (North River Press, 1979); and B. Bruce-Briggs, "The Great American Gun War", The Public Interest, No. 45 (Fall 1976), pp. 37-62 11. What about the Vancouver/Seattle study? "Handgun Regulations, Crime, Assaults, and Homicide: A Tale of Two Cities" (Sloan et al) compared Vancouver and Seattle after the 1979 Canadian gun laws, but Vancouver also had lower murder rates _before_ the new gun laws. Many other factors were also ignored. Much has been written to rebut this "study". There is a lot of information on this in the t.p.g Usenet group's ``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'', available from: [69]http://www.rkba.org/research/rkba.faq [70]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/talk.politics.guns/ and in "Guns in the Medical Literature -- a Failure of Peer Review" ("Why are the Black and Hispanic homicide rates so high in Seattle?"), which is available from [71]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Suter/med-lit/seattle.html [72]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Suter/med-lit/seattle.html 12. What about children and firearms? All of those child-killed-another-child "accidental" deaths could have been prevented with firearms safety instructions and by putting a $4 padlock between the trigger and the trigger guard. I have not been able to find a single example of a child getting a hold of a locked firearm, unlocking it, loading it, firing it and hurting or killing anyone, including himself. Most of the time, when a child "finds" a gun and has an "accident", the firearm has been hidden from the kid. She has never been taught firearm safety and the gun is an item about which the youngster is curious. If your child wants to "try your gun", please take her to a range and make sure she gets proper instruction. Deal with the curiosity and you could save a life. If we are going to ban guns to protect kids, then we should first ban bicycles and balloons** since each kills many times more kids each year. **for those under 1 year, balloons are the main choking hazard For safety issues you could try the misc.kids "Firearm Safety & Children" FAQ list at: [73]http://www.familyweb.com/faqs/FirearmsSafety.shtml 13. What about firearm accidents in Canada? Despite the increase in population and firearms, the Canadian per capita firearm accident rate has fallen steadily since 1933 -- when stats were first recorded -- from more than 1.5 to about 0.25 fatal accidents per 100,000 persons. The largest drops have occurred since volunteers such as myself started teaching firearm/hunter safety courses to others. (The drop is not explained by "safe storage" laws, since those rules only came into effect after 1991, and many people are not even aware of the new rules.) Note also that US per capita firearm accident rate has dropped at roughly the same rate and times as the Canadian rate. The US National Safefy Council reported 1,400 fatal firearms accidents in 1995. That's an all time low of 0.5 per 100,000 population. Since 1930, the US per capita firearm accident rate has fallen to less than a quarter of what it was. 14. Why do some say we have a right to have and use firearms when we have no "2nd amendment" in Canada? While such a guarantee was not put into our constitution (as was done in the US), our countries share a common history. We both have legal systems based on English Common Law. We share rights dating back to the Magna Carta. The 1689 English Bill of Rights specifically states that subjects of the Crown (citizens), in their capacity as individuals, as a right "may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions". The Bill also states that disarming citizens is contrary to the law. This law still applies and re-inforces the common-law right. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the rights not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." This section re-inforces the right of self-defence and strengthen the argument that access to firearms by law-abiding citizens is a right that continues to exist for Canadians. The Charter also states: "26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada." This section states that even if a right is not mentioned in the Charter, that doesn't mean it does not exist. Many of our rights exist in common-law and were established centuries ago by such documents as the Magna Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights. Rights of having arms for self-defence are tied direct to the centuries-old common law right of self-defence. If one has the right to defend one's self and others, one must have the right to the tools necessary to uphold such a right. As always, there is much debate about "where to draw the line". There is more detail in the [74]section on self-defence. For more info on the US 2nd amendment, etc., try ``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'', available from: [75]http://www.rkba.org/research/rkba.faq [76]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/talk.politics.guns/ 15. Isn't the US-style self-defence illegal in Canada? Not only can you defend your life with deadly force, but you may defend your home. Sections 32 and 40 of the Criminal Code (CC) allow use of deadly force 1) where you fear death or grievous bodily harm, and 2) to keep persons from illegally entering your home. Colet v Regina (CCC vol. 57, 2d, pages 105 to 113, Jan 27, 1981) is the most recent example of the latter that I have found. Briefly, the local police tried to enter Mr Colet's home in Prince Rupert, BC, without a warrant to do so. (They had only a warrant to seize whatever weapon he might have had.) He violently denied entry, even throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. Mr Justice Ritchie wrote in the _unanimous_ Supreme Court of Canada decision: "The common law principle has been firmly engrafted in our law since Semayne's case (1604) as reported in 5 Co. rep. 91a 77E.R. 194 where it was said [at p. 91b]: ``that the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose...''. This famous dictum was cited by my Brother Dickson in the case of Eccles v Bourque et al (1974), 19 CCC (2d) 129, 50 D.L.R. (3d) 753, [1975] 2 S.C.R. 739, in which he made an extensive review of many of the relevant authorities." However, it is likely far better to use the protection offered by sections 494, 25 and 29 of the Criminal Code (CC) of Canada. They "marry" to offer major protection to any person who is trying to _arrest_ a criminal, or a person he or she believes on reasonable grounds to be a criminal _and_ a threat of death or grievous bodily harm. They also protect him or her if force is used because the person being arrested is resisting arrest. When dealing with any home invasion (or other criminals) the _first_ words out of your mouth should _always_ be, "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!" If the intruder then assaults _you_, he has _no_ justification. He is resisting arrest, and that is a crime under CC s. 270. One should also read CC s. 265, 267, 268, and 270(1)(b) to clarify the above sections. CC s. 27, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45 should be read by every person interested in what one can and cannot do in the areas of self-protection and control of doubtful situations. 16. What is Bill C-68? Bill C-68 (now "Chapter 39 of the 1995 Statutes of Canada" or "S.C. 1995, c. 39") was the latest legislative installment in Canada's "gun control" saga. Among many other things, it means: - Bill C-68 was drafted before evaluating of the effectiveness of the current program (as per the Auditor General's 1993 report). - requiring licences for possession of property means the government owns the firearms and citizens are really just renting them for a fee - the justice minister can ban any thing he/she thinks is unreasonable for hunting or sporting purposes without judicial or parliamentary review. - such prohibitions will continue to steal lawfully-owned (registered) property from law-abiding Canadians and/or their estates. - the justice minister can regulate where, when and how all firearms may be used. - these sweeping Order in Council provisions, affecting everything from the operation of gun shows to licence fees and effective dates, undermine our democratic system of government which normally requires the separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers. - prohibition orders may be granted against persons "associated" with someone who is the subject of a prohibition order. - various sections read "the onus is on the accused [to prove no crime was committed]", which is contrary to basic rights in law. - "inspectors" can search any place they suspect has a legal "gun collection" or a record of a "gun collection". (Normally, homes cannot be searched without suspicion of a crime.) - "inspection" provisions allow seisure of property and computer data even where there is no suspicion of any crime. - people who forget to renew possession licences can be imprisoned for up to five years. - all pistols that are .25 or .32 calibre and/or have a barrel that are 105 mm or shorter will be destroyed if they were not registered to a person on February 14, 1995 (the day the bill was first tabled in Parliament). That means that pistols belonging to businesses and museums will be destroyed without compensation. - any pistols made after 1945 that are .25 or .32 calibre or have barrels that are 105 mm or shorter will be destroyed when the current owner dies. - portions of this bill and current legislation violate Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. - licensing and registration schemes require accused citizens to prove their innocence (violates Charter, Sec. 11(d)) or face up to 10 years in prison, loss of all firearms, and a criminal record. - if you make a "statement", orally or in writing, that turns out to be false or misleading, you can go to prison. - the failure of the current registration system for restricted firearms (mostly pistols) was obviously ignored. - licensing and registration schemes are needlessly complex, wasteful of money and resources, and will simply lead to an increase in smuggling without reducing crime and homicide. - simple possession of property is a crime, when only a deliberate act causing harm or danger should be criminal. - various sections allow wide-ranging discretion in the granting of permits required for shooting competitions and other activities. - various sections break the connection between the standards police must maintain and standards required of citizens. We can think of no practical benefit for exempting police officers from, for example, reporting the loss of a firearm. - dual registration has been ended, so spouses can no longer share and jointly own their firearms. - relatives and friends will not be able to purchase ammunition for a person; this will be especially onerous on rural persons who must travel great distances for supplies. - antiques like muzzle-loaders are now considered to be firearms and will be similarly regulated. - it's worse to possess objects that resemble firearms than actual firearms Opposing C-68 (not "all ``gun control''") are: - Ontario Provincial Police Association - Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers - the police chiefs of Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association - Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and, of course, many hunting, sporting, and other groups representing Canada's firearm owners and users. You can find a complete copy of C-68 at: [77]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Gov/c68.html [78]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Gov/c68.html [79]http://www.nfa.ca/billc68.html [80]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Gov/c68 Bill C-68 was tabled in the Commons on 14 Feb 1995, received third reading and was passed by the Commons on 13 Jun 1995, was passed by the Senate on 22 Nov 1995, and received Royal Assent on 6 Dec 1995. Much of Bill C-68 (now "Chapter 39 of the Annual Statutes of Canada, 1995" or "S.C. 1995, c. 39") came into force on 01 December 1998, after being postponed five times. 17. What is Bill C-17? Bill C-17 was introduced and passed in 1991 by the Kim Campbell Conservatives. It created expanded powers for the minister of justice to restrict any firearm and prohibit those not "commonly used in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes". Other sections included new powers for police to search the homes of certain types of "gun collectors", and placed limits on magazine sizes (10 rounds for semi-auto pistols and 5 for centre-fire semi-auto rifles and shotguns, but there are a few exceptions). Some of C-17 is illegal, much is unnecessary, and some of the OICs (Orders in Council) have been thrown out. Bill C-17 was preceded by Bill C-80 which died on the Order Paper. 18. What about Bill C-51? C-51 came after C-83 which was withdrawn by the Liberals and then justice minister Ron Basford. Among other things, Bill C-51 created the FAC (Firearms Acquisition Certificate) and prohibited fully automatic firearms (unless registered before January 1, 1978). 19. What did the Auditor General write about "gun control" in Canada? The Auditor General of Canada's report to the House of Commons in 1993 (re: "Gun Control Program", Assistant Auditor General: Richard B. Fadden; Responsible Auditor: Alan Gilmore) contains the following: 27.20 Canada's gun control program is controversial and complex. Evaluation of the program is therefore essential to give the Canadian public and members of Parliament the assurance that its objectives are being met. A more up-to date evaluation of the program is essential. 27.25 ... However, we found several weaknesses in the methodology, which significantly reduce the extent to which government, members of Parliament and the Canadian public can rely on the evaluation to be assured that the gun control program is effective. 27.27 We calculated tests of significance on much of the of the data found in the evaluation. These data included such things as the percentage of firearms-related homicides before the introduction of the legislation in 1978 and the percentage after. We found that many of the observed differences in the data before 1978 and after could have occurred by chance. More and different testing would be necessary before these differences could be attributed to the 1978 legislation. 27.29 Our review of the new regulations indicated that important data, needed to assess the potential benefits and future effectiveness of the regulations, were not available at the time the regulations were drafted. The government proceeded with new regulations for reasons of public policy. 27.30 Because the data were not available when the regulations were drafted, we believe it is important that the measures chosen by the government be evaluated at the earliest opportunity. ... 20. What is unlawful about our gun control laws? Highlights: Supreme Court decisions indicate the current permit system is illegal. If it is illegal to do something unless one possesses a certificate (or permit) the court ruled in the recent abortion law decision the permit is thus a "specifically tailored defence to a particular charge" and "...when Parliament creates a defence to a criminal charge, the defence should not be illusory or so difficult to obtain as to be practically illusory." It is illegal to carry a firearm without a permit, but citizens are routinely refused that permit, and so the defence is illusory or so difficult to obtain as to be practically illusory. In Director of Investigation and Research of the Combines Investigation Branch et al. v. Southam Inc. [1984], the Supreme Court of Canada ruled "The location of the constitutional balance between a justifiable expectation of privacy and the legitimate needs of the state cannot depend upon the subjective appreciation of individual adjudicators. Some objective standard must be established." Local firearms registrars and provincial firearms officers are individual adjudicators who decide whether one will get the specifically tailored defence (a permit) to a particular charge (carrying without a permit). In R. V. Sault Ste. Marie (3CR [3d] 30) the Supreme Court said, "The distinction between the true criminal offence and the public welfare offence is one of prime importance" "... the offences in question have usually turned on... an unlawful status... e.g. permitting an unlicensed person to drive or lacking a valid licence oneself". Since registrations permits are licences to possess, and carry permits are licenses to carry, it follows that lack of such a licence places one in an unlawful status, and that such offences are public welfare offences, not criminal offences. As such, the offences do not belong in the criminal code. 21. Did a judge really say our laws are badly written? Yes. Justice Gibb, Supreme Court Of B.C.; Hurley V. Dawson and Newson, 1985: Not the least of the difficulties is due to the tortuous language of the gun control provisions of the criminal code. In Regina V. Neil, (Provincial Court Judge) Gordon was moved with some justification, to refer to those provisions as one of the most horrifying examples of bad draftsmanship I have had the misfortune to consider, as "so convoluted that even those responsible for enforcing the provisions are apparently unable to understand them." 22. Was there a coroner's report that focussed on firearm storage? Coroner Anne Marie David wrote the following in her report published the 13th of January, 1995 [translated from French]: According to the majority of the interested parties, the Regulation "is written in a hermetic legal language, far from being always understandable by everyone". "... the different discussions show that it can sometimes be difficult to put in practice and lends itself to interpretation" (C-52, page 7). It contains gray areas and "navy blue" (sic) areas (testimony of Mr. Banks). This is why, the interested parties suggest that the wording of the Regulation be modified. No argument was made against this suggestion. Far from it, the Federal Department of Justice admitted to having been informed, by various sources, of the difficulty in understanding the wording. 4) COMMUNITY STORAGE OF FIREARMS (pp.46 and 47) Suggestion and arguments in favor The Coalition for gun control (C-64), the Association quebecoise de suicidologie (C-27), Mr. Bolea and Mrs. Derasp suggest that locations be setup for community storage of firearms. This form of storage would avoid that the weapons be in the residences all year long while in fact, several are utilized only for a very short period of time, such as the hunting season. Opposing argument According to the Federation quebecoise de tir and the Regroupement pour une gestion efficace de la possession d'armes a feu "... the idea of community storage ... is ... dangerous". For instance we can discuss the case of several armorers and sports retail stores which were the target of thefts and this on more than one occasion. We believe that amassing a great number of firearms in the same location would only serve to tempt forcible action by our criminal elite, increasing de facto the number of illegal weapons in circulation on the black market. This would be opposite of the desired goal. Moreover, a community storage would have the side-effect of increasing traffic in the immediate vicinity of said weapons depot. The weapons owners would therefore become easy prey for thieves who would only have to chose which bird to fleece from the lot. Incidentally, a significant increase of police officers would be also required in order to ensure the safety of the surroundings. Analysis Remembering the weapons thefts which occurred in the warehouses of a weapons import company in 1992 and 1993; keeping in mind the testimony of Mr. Ct, owner of sports retail store, to the effect that, notwithstanding the installation of a secure vault, his store still is the subject of occasional attempts to steal weapons: I reject this suggestion because it seems to me that it has a disadvantage (possibility of theft of several weapons) which would annihilate the advantage of the desired goal, said advantage being achievable by safe storage at home. INSPECTION OF THE PREMISES - Analysis I have not exposed the arguments supporting this suggestion nor those opposing it, this for a major reason, this suggestion clearly goes against the Canadian and Provincial Charters of Rights. It would be, if applied, a search without motive and without warrant. Moreover, I cannot see how this suggestion could be justified, while it is presently possible: - to obtain a search warrant to seize the weapons of a person, if there "are reasonable motives to believe that it is not in the interest of this person or of other to let that person keep these weapons" (Criminal Code, article 103(1)). - for the same reasons, to seize these weapons without a warrant "when the urgency of the situation, due to the risks for the safety of that person or of another, makes the securing of a warrant impractical ..." (Criminal Code, article 103(2)). MANDATORY REGISTRATION OF UNRESTRICTED WEAPONS - Analysis After examining the supporting arguments, I note the following: - There is a main suggestion (the registration) and accessory suggestions (modification of the rules of evidence, searches without motives and warrants). - The direct consequence of the main suggestion is to establish the count of weapons and their owners, not safe storage and transportation of weapons. - The supporting "arguments" of the main suggestion are not arguments, they are only a statement to the effect that the will be owners will become responsible, if there is registration. But: - the interested parties brought no study or analysis allowing to demonstrate that the desired goal (safe storage and transportation) will be achieved by applying the main suggestion; - failing to produce such a study, they have not produced any study or analysis demonstrating that a similar or an identical method, already applied to reach a similar or identical goal, has yielded the anticipated results. - It has been admitted that, registration would not achieve the desired goal since it would be necessary to use, not the main suggestion, but the accessory suggestion to achieve the desired goal, the safe storage and transportation. This is why, taking the following into account: - the total absence of arguments which would demonstrate that the desired goal will be achieved though the main suggestion; - a suggestion (the registration) having for direct consequence the count of firearms and of their owners, which is not the subject of the inquiry; I reject said suggestion. Having rendered this decision; I do not proceed with the analysis of the opposing arguments and I reject the accessory suggestions, one of which had been rejected earlier, the accessory having to follow the main. The complete report is available in MicroSoft WORD format from: [81]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Misc/coroner.doc [82]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Misc/coroner.doc [83]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Misc/coroner.doc 23. What did the coroner write about the murders at L'Ecole Polytechnique? [translated from French] 2.6 Conclusions For all the involved parties (<<intervenants>>), this event, as sad as it is, is not exceptional. In fact, armed aggression by a single person is in itself an event which the Montreal Urban Community Police Department faces on a regular basis. However, let us keep in mind the sixty (60) cartridges that Marc Lepine leaves on the scene when he decides to put an end to this terrible episode when he was not at risk, no assault by the police was in progress nor was being obviously in preparation. Thank God, he decides by himself that it is enough. It is deliberately that the gun control issue is not discussed. Indeed, the ammunition and the time at Marc Lepine's disposal, without any constraint, would have probably allowed him to achieve similar results even with an easily accessible conventional hunting weapon. On the other hand, the importance of the issues pertaining to pre-hospitalization care and to the emergency police intervention deserve our undivided attention. The deficiencies noted regarding the interventions require in all conscience that they be seriously considered, not to find responsibilities*** but to bring corrections intended to ensure a better protection of human life. Some of the questions raised in the preceding section do not require an answer because in itself raising them was answering them. It does not mean however that that they are not worth to be followed up without having to make formal recommendations. For several other questions, however, it would not be proper or equitable to attempt to answer them wihtout hearing all involved persons, taking into account the proper context, more so that the complexity of several elements require that various experts be heard, all this not being in the domain of the coroner's area. Theresa Z. Sourour, Coroner, m.d. FRCPC, May 10, 1990 *** very diplomatic langage meaning: finding who was responsible for several "inefficiencies" in the overall rescue operation. In some cases, almost like the keystone cops. 24. What is "banned" in Canada? PLEASE NOTE: THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. EVEN IF YOUR MODEL ISN'T LISTED, IT MAY STILL BE "PROHIBITED". "Variants" is a vague term that includes similar and modified versions of the specified models. "prohibited weapon" means (a) any device or contrivance designed or intended to muffle or stop the sound or report of a firearm, (b) any knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, (c) any firearm, not being a restricted weapon described in paragraph (c) or (c.1) of the definition of that expression in this subsection, that is capable of, or assembled or designed and manufactured with the capability of, firing projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger, whether or not it has been altered to fire only one projectile with one such pressure, (d) any firearm adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or other alteration or modification, that, as so adapted, has a barrel that is less than 457 mm in length or that is less than 660 mm in overall length, (e) a weapon of any kind, not being an antique firearm or a firearm of a kind commonly used in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes, or a part, component or accessory of such a weapon, or any ammunition, that is declared by order of the Governor in Council to be a prohibited weapon, or (f) a large-capacity cartridge magazine prescribed by regulation; "registration certificate" means a restricted weapon registration certificate issued under section 109; [Section 85, Part III, Criminal Code of Canada] Additionally, the following firearms have been prohibited by Order in Council (regulation): Shotguns - Franchi SPAS 12 and LAW 12 and variants - Franchi SPAS 15 and variants - Striker shotgun, Striker 12, Streetsweeper and variants - USAS-12 Auto Shotgun and variants - Benelli M1 Super 90 shotgun and the Benelli M3 Super 90 shotgun, and variants or modified versions thereof, with the exception of the M1 Super 90 Field, M1 Super 90 Sporting Special, Montefeltro Super 90, Montefeltro Super 90 Standard Hunter, Montefeltro Super 90 Left Hand, Montefeltro Super 90 Turkey, Montefeltro Super 90 Uplander, Montefeltro Super 90 Slug, Montefeltro Super 90 20 Gauge, Black Eagle, Black Eagle Limited Edition, Black Eagle Competition, Black Eagle Slug Gun, Super Black Eagle, and Super Black Eagle Custom Slug; and the firearms of the designs commonly known as the Bernadelli B4 shotgun and the Bernadelli B4/B shotgun, and any variants or modified versions thereof. Rifles and Carbines - American 180 Auto Carbine, Illinois Arms Company Model 180 Auto Carbine, and variants - Barrett "Light Fifty" model 82A1, Model 90 rifle and variants - Calico M-900, M-951, M-100 and M-105 and variants - Iver Johnson AMAC Long Range Rifle and variants - McMillan M87, M87R, M88 and variants - Pauza Specialties P50 Rifle and P50 Carbine and variants - FAMAS Rifle, MAS 223, FAMAS Export, FAMAS Civil and Mitchell MAS/22 and variants - Feather AT-9 Semi-Auto, Feather AT-22 Auto Carbines and variants - Federal XC-450 Auto Rifle, XC-900, XC-220 and variants - Gepard long-range sniper rifle and variants - Heckler and Koch (HK) Model G11 and variants - Research Armament Industries (RAI) Model 500 Rifle and variants - Spectre Auto Carbine and variants - US Arms PMAI "Assault" 22 Rfile and variants - Weaver Arms Nighthawk Carbine and variants - A.A. Arms AR9 Semi-Automatic Rifle and variants - Claridge HI-TEC C, LEC-9, ZLEC-9 carbines and variants - Kimel Industries AR-9 rifle or carbine and variants - Grendel R-31 Auto Carbine and variants - Maadi Griffin Rifle, Maadi Griffin Carbine and variants - AA Arms Model AR-9 carbine and variants - Sterling Mk 6 Carbine and variants - Steyr AUG rifle and variants - UZI carbine, UZI Model A carbine, Mini-UZI carbine and variants - AK-47 rifle, and any variant including AK-74, AK Hunter, AKM, AKM-63, AKS-56S, AKS-56S-1, AKS-56S-2, AKS-74, AKS-84S-1, AMD-65, AR Model .223, Dragunov, Galil, KKMPi69, M60, M62, M70B1, M70AB2, M76, M77B1, M78, M80, M80A, MAK90, MPiK, MPiKM, MPiKMS-72, MPiKS, PKM, PKM-DGN-60, PMKM, RPK, RPK-74, RPK-87S, Type 56, Type 56-1, Type 56-2, Type 56-3, Type 56-4, Type 68, Type 79, American Arms AKY39, American Arms AKF39, American Arms AKC47, American Arms AKF47, MAM70WS762, MAM70FS762, Mitchell AK-22, Mitchell AK-47, Mitchell Heavy Barrel AK-47, Norinco 84S, Norinco 84S AK, Norinco 56, Norinco 56-1, Norinco 56-2, Norinco 56-3, Norinco 56-4, Poly Technologies Inc. AK-47/S, Poly Technologies Inc. AKS-47/S, Poly Technologies Inc. AKS-762, Valmet Hunter, Valmet M76, Valmet M76 carbine, Valmet M78, Valmet M78/A2, Valmet M78 (NATO) LMG, Valmet M82, and Valmet M82 Bullpup - Armalite AR-180 Sporter carbine and variants - Beretta AR70 assault rifle, and any variant or modified version thereof; - BM 59 rifle, and variants, including the Beretta BM 59, BM 59R, BM 59GL, BM 59D, BM 59 Mk E, BM 59 Mk I, BM 59 Mk Ital, BM 59 Mk II, BM 59 Mk III, BM 59 Mk Ital TA, BM 59 Mk Ital Para, BM 59 Mk Ital TP and BM 60CB, and the Springfield Armory BM 59 Alpine, BM 59 Alpine Paratrooper and BM 59 Nigerian Mk IV - Bushmaster Auto Rifle and variants - Cetme Sport Auto Rifle and variants - Daewoo Kl rifle, and variants, including the Daewoo K1A1, K2, Max 1, Max 2, AR-100, AR 110C, MAXI-II and KC-20 - Demro TAC-1M carbine, and variants, including the Demro XF-7 Wasp Carbine - Eagle Apache Carbine and variants - FN-FNC rifle, and variants, including the FNC Auto Rifle, FNC Auto Paratrooper, FNC-11, FNC-22 and FNC-33; - FN-FAL (FN-LAR) rifle, and variants, including the FN 308 Model 44, FN-FAL (FN-LAR) Competition Auto, FN-FAL (FN-LAR) Heavy Barrel 308 Match, FN-FAL (FN-LAR) Paratrooper 308 Match 50-64 and FN 308 Model 50-63; - G3 rifle, and variants, including the Heckler and Koch HK 91, HK 91A2, HK 91A3, HK G3 A3, HK G3 A3 ZF, HK G3 A4, HK G3 SG/1, and HK PSG1; - Galil assault rifle, and variants, including the AP-84, Galil ARM, Galil AR, Galil SAR, Galil 332 and Mitchell Galil/22 Auto Rifle; - Goncz High-Tech Carbine and variants - Heckler and Koch HK 33 rifle, and variants, including the HK 33A2, HK 33A3, HK 33KA1, HK 93, HK 93A2, and HK 93A3; - J & R Eng M-68 carbine, and variants, including the PJK M-68 and the Wilkinson Terry carbine; - Leader Mark Series Auto Rifle and variants - MP5 submachine gun and MP5 carbine, and variants, including the Heckler and Koch HK MP5, HK MP5A2, HK MP5A3, HK MP5K, HK MP5SD, HK MP5SD1, HK MP5SD2, HK MP5SD3, HK 94, HK 94A2, and HK 94A3; - PE57 rifle and variants - SG-550 rifle and SG-551 carbine and variants - SIG AMT rifle and variants - Springfield Armory SAR-48 rifle, and variants, including the SAR-48 Bush, SAR-48 Heavy Barrel, SAR-48 Para and SAR-48 Model 22; and - Thompson submachine gun, and variants, including the Thompson Model 1921, Thompson Model 1927, Thompson Model 1928, Thompson Model M1, Auto-Ordnance M27A-1, Auto-Ordnance M27A-1 Deluxe, Auto-Ordnance M1927A-3, Auto-Ordnance M1927A-5, Auto-Ordnance Thompson M1, Commando Arms Mk I, Commando Arms Mk II, Commando Arms Mk III, Commando Arms Mk 9, and Commando Arms Mk 45 Pistols - Bushmaster Auto Pistol and variants - Calico M-110, M-950 and variants - Encom MK-IV, MP-9, MP-45 and variants - Federal XP-450, XP-900 Auto Pistols and variants - Claridge Hi-Tec Model S, L, T, ZL-9 and ZT-9 Pistols, Goncz High-Tech Long Pistol and variants - Heckler and Koch (HK) SP89 Auto Pistol and variants - Intratec Tec-9 Auto Pistol, Tec-9M, Tec-9MS, Tec-22T, Tec-9S, Tec-22TN, Tec-22TM, Tec-DC9, Tec-DC9M, Tec-9A, Tec-Scorpion and variants - Iver Johnson Enforcer Model 3000 Auto Pistol, Plainfield Super Enforcer Carbine and variants - Skorpion Auto Pistol and variants - Spectre Auto Pistol and variants - Sterling Mk 7, Mk 7C4, Mk7C8 Pistols and variants - Universal Enforcer Model 3000 Auto Carbine, Model 3010N, Model 3015G, Model 3020TRB, Model 3025TCO and variants - US Arms PMAIP "Assault" 22 Pistol and variants - Leader Mark 5 Auto Pistol and variants - OA-93 assault pistol and variants - A.A. Arms AP9 Auto Pistol and variants - Patriot pistol and variants - XM 231S pistol, A1, A2 and A3 Flattop pistols and variants - AA Arms Model AP-9 pistol, Target AP-9, Mini AP-9 pistol and variants - Kimel Industries AP-9 pistol and variants - Grendel P-30, P-30 M, P-30 L and P-31 pistols and variants - Claridge HI-TEC ZL-9, HI-TEC S, HI-TEC L, HI-TEC T, HI-TEC ZT-9 and HI-TEC ZL-9 pistols and variants - Steyr SPP Assault Pistol and variants - Maadi Griffin Pistol and variants - Interdynamics KG-99 Assault Pistol and variants - Ingram M10 and M11 pistols, and variants including the Cobray M10 and M11, the RPB M10, M11, SM10 and SM11 pistols and the SWD M10, M11, SM10 and SM11 pistols - the Partisan Avenger Auto Pistol and variants - UZI pistol and variants including the Micro-UZI pistol "Other" - SSS-1 Stinger (prohibition order extended to other calibres) - "Taser Public Defender", being a gun or a device similar to a gun capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating a person by the discharge therefrom of darts or any other object carrying an electric current or substance; - any device that is designed to be capable of injuring, immobilizing or incapacitating a person or an animal by discharging an electrical charge produced by means of the amplification or accumulation of the electrical current generated by a battery, where the device is designed or altered so that the electrical charge may be discharged when the device is of a length of less than 480 mm; Ammunition A list of cartridges were declared to be prohibited weapons. The list includes armour-piercing bullets, explosive and incendiary cartridges, and exotic shotgun cartridges known as "flechettes" (small pins or needles). Accessories and Components One accessory and one component are prohibited. The component is a "bull-pup" stock, used in modern assault rifles and shotguns to reduce length for storage and transport, or so the magazine-well is located behind the trigger of the firearm when the firearm is held in the normal firing position. The accessory is any trigger enhancement device that fires semi-automatic firearms at machine gun speeds by rapidly moving the trigger back and forth. Current owners of the "banned" firearms are urged to contact the National Firearms Association (N.F.A.) for further info. Edmonton Phone: (403) 439-1394 Edmonton FAX: (403) 439-4091 Calgary Phone: (403) 640-1110 Calgary FAX: (403) 640-1144 PLEASE NOTE: certain "banned" firearms may be legally owned by persons who had one or more of that type registered to them before a certain date. Please check with the N.F.A. for more information. Although not firearms, the following are also banned in Canada: - "nunchaku" and any similar instrument or device, being hard non-flexible sticks, clubs, pipes or rods linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain; - "shuriken", being a hard non-flexible plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometric shape; - "manrikigusari" or "kusari", and any similar instrument or device, being hexagonal or other geometrically shaped hard weights or hand grips linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain; and - any finger ring that has one or more blades or sharp objects that are capable of being projected from the surface of the ring. - "crossbow", with a stock of 400 mm or less - "Constant Companion", being a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt, with the buckle of the belt forming a handle for the blade - any knife commonly known as a "push-dagger" that is designed in such a fashion that the handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade; and any other similar device but not including the aboriginal "ulu" knife. - "Spiked Wristband", being a wristband to which a spike or blade is affixed; and any other similar device - "Yaqua Blowgun", being a tube or pipe designed for the purpose of shooting arrows or darts by the breath; and any other similar device - "Kiyoga Baton" or "Steel Cobra" and any similar device consisting of a manually-triggered telescoping spring-loaded steel whip terminated in a heavy calibre striking tip; - "Morning Star" and any similar device consisting of a ball of metal or other heavy material, studded with spikes and connected to a handle by a length of chain, rope or other flexible material. - "Brass Knuckles" and any similar device consisting of a band of metal with finger holes designed to fit over the root knuckles of the hand. - Any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge therefrom of (a) tear gas, Mace or other gas, or (b) any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person, 25. What is "restricted" in Canada? The following is a list of firearms restricted in Canada. Restricted firearms can normally not be used for "hunting or sporting purposes". PLEASE NOTE: This list is probably not complete. The current law (as modified in 1991 by C-17) states that the federal government can restrict firearms not "reasonable" for "hunting or sporting purposes" ("in the opinion of the Governor in Council"). Further, firearms not commonly used for "hunting or sporting purposes" may be prohibited. Even under C-17, the gov't simply needs to restrict firearms until they are "not commonly used", and _then_ prohibit them. Of course, under the new C-68, the government can ban any thing the "Governor in Council" thinks is not "reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes". "Restricted weapon" means (a) any firearm, not being a prohibited weapon, designed, altered or intended to be aimed and fired by the action of one hand, (b) any firearm that (i) is not a prohibited weapon, has a barrel that is less than 470 mm in length and is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner, or (ii) is designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise, or (c) any firearm that is designed, altered or intended to fire bullets in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger and that, on January 1 , 1978, was registered as a restricted weapon and formed part of a gun collection in Canada of a genuine gun collector, (c.1) any firearm that is assembled or designed and manufactured with the capability of firing projectiles in rapid succession with one pressure of the trigger, to the extent that (i) the firearm is altered to fire only one projectile with one such pressure, (ii) on October 1 , 1992, the firearm was registered as a restricted weapon, or an application for a registration certificate was made to a local registrar of firearms in respect of the firearm, and the firearm formed part of a gun collection in Canada of a genuine gun collector, and (iii) subsections 109(4.1) and (4.2) were complied with in respect of that firearm, or (d) a weapon of any kind, not being a prohibited weapon or a shotgun or rifle of a kind that, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, is reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes, that is declared by order of the Governor in Council to be a restricted weapon. [Section 85, Part III, Criminal Code of Canada] Additionally, the following firearms are classified as restricted by Order in Council: - High Standard Model 10, Series A shotgun and High Standard Model 10, Series B shotgun, and any variants or modified versions thereof, other than firearms described in the definition of "prohibited weapon" - M-16 rifle, and variants, including Colt AR-15, Colt AR-15 SPI, Colt AR-15 Sporter, Colt AR-15 Collapsible Stock Model, Colt AR-15 A2, Colt AR-15 A2 Carbine, Colt AR-15 A2 Government Model Rifle, Colt AR-15 A2 Government Model Target Rifle, Colt AR-15 A2 Government Model Carbine, Colt AR-15 A2 Sporter II, Colt AR-15 A2 H-BAR, Colt AR-15 A2 Delta H-BAR, Colt AR-15 A2 Delta H-BAR Match, Colt AR-15 9mm Carbine, Armalite AR-15, AAI M15, AP74, EAC J-15, PWA Commando, SGW XM15A, SGW CAR-AR, SWD AR-15, and any 22-calibre rimfire variant, including the Mitchell M-16A-1/22, Mitchell M-16/22, Mitchell CAR-15/22, and AP74 Auto Rifle. The following weapons shall be deemed not to be firearms: (a) an antique firearm unless (i) but for this subsection, it would be a restricted weapon, and (ii) the person in possession thereof intends to discharge it, (b) any device designed, and intended by the person in possession thereof, for use exclusively for (i) signalling, notifying of distress or firing stud cartridges, explosive-driven rivets or similar industrial ammunition, or (ii) firing blank cartridges; (c) any shooting device designed, and intended by the person in possession thereof, for use exclusively for (i) slaughtering of domestic animals, (ii) tranquilizing animals, or (iii) discharging projectiles with lines attached thereto; and (d) any other barrelled weapon where it is proved that that weapon is not designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second. [Section 85, Part III, Criminal Code of Canada] 26. How many people in Canada legally own firearms? According to the United Nations, Canada ranks third among the developed western coutries (behind the US and Norway) in civilian ownership of firearms.[40] A 1992 survey sponsored by the UN reported that 26% of Canadians, over 7,000,000 people, own firearms.[41] A 1991 Justice Department telephone survey indicated there were an average of 2.67 firearms in one of every four Canadian Households, with 71% having access to a rifle, 64% to a shotgun, and 12% to a handgun. They calculated that there are over six million legally owned firearms in Canada. Other authorities insist that this estimate is much too low and that there are at least 20,000,000 rifles and shotguns in Canada; as many, per capita, as in the United States. [1] Past government surveys of much larger populations showed there were at least 15,000,000 legal firearms back in the 1970s.[39] The government's own estimate in Dec. 1976, published as part of its gun control campaign, was 6,000,000 owners with 18,000,000 firearms. During hearings on the Campbell bill, officials from the office of the Minister of Justice testified that the long-term average net annual importation of firearms into Canada (imports minus exports) was 190,000 per year. Therefore, adding 190,000 per year to the 18,000,000 of 1976, we get a total of 21,610,000 by Dec 1993. Subtract 610,000 plus one firearm for every firearm manufactured in Canada during those 17 years as an allowance for firearms destroyed, dismantled or worn out--and you are back at 21,000,000 firearms with 7,000,000 owners. [38] There were 1,221,179 registered restricted firearms in the RCMP FRAS records in Dec 1993. The unrestricted firearm to "restricted" firearm ratio is at least 20:1. Conservatively, that means 24,423,580 unrestricted plus 1,221,179 restricted. Allowing for errors in the RCMP's registration system, we strike off 221,179 registered firearms as non-existent, which reduces the total to 21,000,000 firearms with 7,000,000 owners. [38] Restricted firearm ownership increased from 861,571 in Dec 1984 to 1,221,179 in Dec 93, an increase of (1,221,179 - 861,571) divided by 861,571 = 41.74 per cent in 9 years. Those figures are solid, because they are taken from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of the RCMP. The NFA estimates that the 1976 figure for total firearms owned, 18,000,000, increased to 21,000,000 by 1993. That represents a "total firearms" increase of only 16.67 per cent in 17 years, which is again quite conservative. [38] None of the above estimates include any figures for illegally imported firearms, which are known to have increased sharply each time restrictive, costly, and/or vague legislation has made legal ownership more complicated, more expensive, and/or more risky. [38] [39]For a more detailed analysis, try one of these URLs: [84]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Gimbarzevsky/number.gun [85]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Gimbarzevsky/number.gun [86]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Gimbarzevsky/number.gun [1] David B. Kopel, "The Samurai, The Mountie, and The Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of other Democracies", (Prometheus Books, 1992), p.136 [38] David A. Tomlinson, _How Many Firearms and Owners are There in Canada?_, leaflet, 1994 [40] Understanding Crime: Experiences of Crime and Crime Control, (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Pulications No. 49, Aug., 1993), p.292 [41] Ibid, p.481 27. Do tougher gun control laws reduce armed robberies? In 1990, 74% of all robberies involved weapons other than firearms[16]. The number of armed robberies for the period 1974 (prior to Bill C-51) and 1988 has remained almost the same and any decrease in robberies involving firearms has been counterbalanced by the increasing use of other weapons[17]. Victim injury is much more frequent, and substantially more serious, if armed robbery is carried out with some weapon other than a firearm[18]. Other weapons require close personal contact with the victim. [16] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 No.10, "Robbery in Canada", (Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, May 1992) p.1, p.5. [17] Ibid.,pp.1-4 and Robert J. Mundt, op. cit. [18] Don B. Kates Jr. op. cit., p.121; and Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.11 No.12, "Weapons and Violent Crime",(Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Aug. 1991), p.12. 28. Do mandatory jail sentences deter the armed criminal? Over 70% of all convicted criminals in Canada are released early under some form of community supervision[26]. In 1991, two-thirds of all accused murderers had criminal records, 71% for previous violent offenses[27]. A 1988 study revealed that between January 1, 1987 and June 30, 1988, 124 people were arrested in the greater Montreal area for armed robbery. Of that group, 65% were still under sentence for a previous crime and 36% were either on full parole, day parole, temporary absence, mandatory supervision, or probation. Of 133 persons arrested for armed robbery in Toronto between January 1, 1986 and March 1, 1988, 50% were still under sentence and 92% had previous criminal records[28]. It has been estimated that career convicted felons out of prison commit an average of 187 crimes per year, costing society over seventeen times their yearly cost of imprisonment. Surveys of incarcerated violent offenders has revealed: The majority of substance abusers with a long history of alcoholism and/or drug addiction. A criminal can obtain a firearm illegally within 24 hours of their release from jail. Theft from individual gun owners is exaggerated as a problem in the illegal commerce in firearms as most are stolen from stores, shippers, manufacturers, and even the police and the armed forces. Criminals would rather encounter the police than an armed homeowner. Criminals do not purchase their firearms from well-regulated sources such as licensed gun dealers. Criminals prefer handguns as their primary weapon and in their absence will "saw-off" shotguns or rifles to a concealable length. Fear of a mandatory jail sentence is identified as the principal deterrent to the criminal use of a firearm[29]. [26] Statistics Canada, "1992 Yearbook", (Statistics Canada,1991), p.255-257 [27] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 No.18, op.cit., p.15. [28] D. Owen Carrigan, "Crime and Punishment in Canada: A History", (McClelland and Steward, Inc., 1991) p.396 [29] James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, "The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons", (US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1985); and, James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, "Armed and Considered Dangerous, (NY: Aldin de Gruyler, 1986) 29. What about the claim that "People without guns injure, people with guns kill"?[32] Most homicides (c. 60-70%) in Canada are done with something other than a firearm. One is more likely to be injured by a knife wielding attacker than a gun wielding attacker. If injured, (non fatal) knife wounds are more likely to be more serious than firearm injuries, according to Statistics Canada. In Canada from 1961-1990, there were a total of 15,198 homicides.[33] 63.1% were with a non-firearm. 14.3% were with a non-restricted rifle. 13% were with a illegally owned restricted firearm. 6.5% were with a non-restricted shotgun. 2.4% were with a unidentified firearm. 0.7% were with a legally owned and registered restricted firearm. An attacker using a firearm is less likely to actually use his weapon than is an attacker using a knife or other weapon requiring close contact. (The risk of injury and death increases dramatically as the distance between attacker and defender decreases, and knives require much closer proximities, than firearms, to be as effective a threat.) Those being attacked with knives are more likely to be injured, and require medical care. [_Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America,_ Gary Kleck, pp. 162-172, and p. 209, table 5.6] A firearm is also the best defense (and often does not require any shots to be fired). [Kleck, pp. 111-145, and p. 149, table 4.4] "Consequently, a rational goal of gun control policy could be to tip the balance of power futher in the prospective victims' favour, by reducing aggressor gun possession while doing little or nothing to reduce nonaggressor gun possession. This would contrast sharply with across- the-board restrictions that apply uniformly aggressors and nonaggressors alike. In view of this chapter's evidence, this sort of "blunderbuss" approach would facilitate victimization because legal restrictions would almost certainly be evaded by more aggressors than nonaggressors, causing a shift in gun distribution that favored the former over the latter." [Kleck, p. 145] [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. [33]Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (Stats Canada) 30. Aren't dogs more regulated than firearms?[32] Handguns have been registered since 1934, but 58% of over 1,000,000 handguns already registered have just been declared prohibited. Why is the registration of rifles and shotguns sufficient while the registration of pistols is nsufficient? Handguns and rifles are both firearms; they are closely related with one another, not with dogs. It does not make any sense to compare the registration of rifles to to the registration dogs when we already have on hand the example of handgun registration. Legal provisions for the registration of rifles are totally out of proportion with those pertaining to dog registration. Failure to register a dog does not entail a 10-year jail sentence and criminal record. Dog owners are not subject to police searches of their homes without warrants for the sole purpose of trying to find evidence of an offense. Dog owners do not have to co-operate in warrantless searches and cannot be arrested for refusing to do so. Dog owners are NOT forbidden to obtain legal counsel during the search. No permit is needed to purchase or acquire a dog. No permit is required to transport a dog or take a dog for a walk. Dogs are not banned because of physical appearance. Small dogs are not more strictly regulated than larger dogs. Dogs are not registered everywhere, and where they are, registration is quick and easy, available to everyone, and used to control dogs that tend to run around on their own. Registration of dogs has not been used to confiscate expensive dogs that have not been used in criminal offenses. [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. 31. Aren't motor vehicles more regulated and taxed than guns?[32] Applicable taxes on firearms and motor vehicles are the same, being the Goods and Services Tax and Provincial Sales Taxes. Motor vehicles are not banned for being paramilitary in appearance or colour (i.e Jeeps and 4WD vehicles), or having automatic transmissions or large capacity (> 5 litres) gas tanks. Cars versus firearms - Driver licences allow you to take your vehicle anywhere in Canada. - There is no national vehicle registry. - You don't have to register a car at time of purchase. - You don't have to register your car (unless you drive on public roads). - If you register your car, you don't need a permit to drive it somewhere. - It is not a _crime_ to not register your car. - You don't need a driver's licence to buy a car (or fuel). - You don't need references to buy a car or get a licence. - You don't need a permit to tow or ship a vehicle. - You don't have to take a safety course to own a car. - You don't have to pass a criminal background check to buy a car. - You don't have to be over 17 to buy a car (or fuel). - You don't have to prove you own a car to buy fuel. - You don't have to justify the purchase of a car to anyone. - You don't have to justify continuing to own your car. - You don't have to pay a fee for continuing to own your car. - You don't have to be a member of an accredited national club to own a car. - You don't have to store your locked car in a locked garage. - You don't have to remove the spark plugs and fuel when the car is not in use. - You won't lose your car because of "improper storage" or someone's "misuse". - You may own as many cars as you want (and can afford). - You may sell your car to anyone at any time. - No one fears government confiscation of her/his car. - There is no list of prohibited "assault cars" (based on appearance). - You can use a car as collateral on a loan. - You don't have to answer extremely personal questions about your financial, emotional and sexual histories to buy, own or use a car. [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. 32. Aren't guns more lethal on a per use basis than motor vehicles?[32] Number of motor vehicle related accidental deaths in Canada in 1991, 3882. Number of firearms related accidental deaths in Canada in 1990, 66. Canadians fire millions of rounds of ammunition every year while hunting, plinking, target practise, and competitive shooting. Target shooting is one of the safest of the outdoor sports. The cost of insurance shows that firearms are considerably less dangerous than motor vehicles. The National Firearms Association offers $2,000,000.00 insurance for just $4.75 per year. Motor vehicle insurance ranges from $400 to $2,000 per year. All insurance rates are based on actuarial studies of risks and actual accident histories. (Insurance companies are not in the business of LOSING money nor giving it away.) [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. 33. Doesn't easy access to firearms contribute to crime?[32] Canada has not had "easy access to firearms" since at least 1978, and the rises and drops in crime, violent crime, and homicide rates, do not correspond to changes in our anti-gun laws. Areas that have instituted tougher restrictions on the legal access or ownership of firearms have seen increases in the violent crime rates. Canada and Britain have both increased the restrictions on firearms owners in the last 15 years, and have seen dramatic increases in violent crime and the use of illegal firearms. Areas of the US (and several countries) that have liberal restrictions, or have eased their restrictions on legal gun owners have low crime rates, or have seen their crime rates drop. See the John Lott and David Mustard paper Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns at [87]http://law.lib.uchicago.edu/faculty/lott/guncont.html for more informat ion on the ensuing reduction of crime and violence after concealed carry laws were introduced. Prior to January 1978 when Bill C-51 came into effect, Canada had very liberal gun laws. From 1977 to 1991, Canada's violent crime rate has increased 89% (583 to 1099 violent crimes per 100,000 population) compared to a 59% for the US in the same period. (476 to 758 violent crimes per 100,000 population).[34] While the Canadian rate has been decreasing since 1991, the same is true of the US rate. (Besides, a 4% decrease hardly compensates for a 400+% increase!) Too often the firearm homicide rates, or worse, the raw numbers, of different countries are compared to each other without the overall rates or non-firearm rates being noted. (Rates should always used as they take into account population differences.) Obviously, a country with few firearms will have a very low firearm-homicide rate, but the overall homicide rate could easily be as high or higher than that of a country allowing legal access to firearms. Providing only homicide by firearm numbers, or rates, is dishonest and biases the reader by presenting the data in a very misleading way. As previously mentioned, if a prohibition somehow eliminated all firearms, and, therefore, all firearm-related homicides, _without_ those homicides becoming non-firearm homicides (i.e. no one simply uses another weapon or bare hands), the US murder rate would still be roughly _double_ the Canadian rate. If the USA without firearms would have more murders per person than Canada with firearms, there must be other factors at work. [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. [34] U.S. Source: "Uniform Crime Reports for the United States 1991", Federal Bureau of Investigation, p.58; Canadian Source: "Crime Trends in Canada 1962-1990", Cdn. Ctr. for Justice Statistics, p.15. 34. Don't the majority of Canadians support tougher gun control?[32] Recent Angus Reid polls that asked "Do you favour stricter gun control?" had between 58% and 80% of the respondents answering yes. However when asked "What should the Government do to fight crime?", less than 1% responded by saying "more gun control". "Do you agree that the courts are presently much too lenient in punishing criminals using guns?" 86% said yes. "Do you agree that law abiding sportsmen, recreational shooters and collectors should not lose their guns because the the actions of relatively few criminals?" 82% said yes. A September 1991 nationwide Gallup poll found that 88% of Canadians favour severe penalties for crimes involving firearms, while only 8% were in favour of increasing restrictions over existing firearms owners. Sixty-eight per cent felt that passing more severe laws over legitimate gun users will have very little influence on criminals.[35] The January 1996 and 1995 issues of Macleans revealed that only 5% of Canadians would pass stricter firearm laws to reduce crime rates [Maclean's, Jan 1996] and that only 5% (of the 85% of Canadians who believe crime has increased in the last 10 years and not stayed the same or decreased) believe that too few/too lax "gun control" laws have caused the perceived crime increase[Maclean's, Jan 1995]. Most polling questions are vague: "Do support strict gun control?" Few polls have asked about specific laws. Angus Reid and the CBC conducted a survey in May 1995 that showed opposition to Bill C-68 (now "Chapter 39") in Saskatchewan was 73%. "Strongly oppose" was chosen by 56% and "oppose" by 17%. "Support" was chosen by 12%, while 13% answered "strongly support". These results were quite consistant across all ages, income levels, rural and urban centres, and both sexes. [Angus-Reid, CBC: Sask issue poll 15-0011-21, 24 May 1995] When Prof. H. Taylor Buckner surveyed students at Concordia University, he found that while 86% said they favoured the new firearm law, 85% said the favoured the present law. Thus, students who signed the petition are just as favourable to the present law, which they do not know about, as they are to the proposed new law. The Concordia Administrators could have obtained the same 200,000 signatures if they had asked for Parliament to pass the present law. The students also had very little knowledge of Canada's current laws. Only five percent of the students who signed the petition knew that less than 20% (actually an average of 10% to a high in 1991 of 17%) of murders in Canada were committed with handguns; the most frequent guesses were that handguns accounted for 50% to 80% of the murders. Less than 1% of those who signed the petition knew the maximum penalty for having a handgun without a police permit is a five year prison term; the most frequent guess was that there is a maximum penalty of a $500 fine. (According to Statistics Canada data, an average of only 4 homicides a year are committed with one of the million plus legal handguns, the other hundred or so are with already illegal handguns. In 1991, both legal and illegal handguns accounted for 4 accidental deaths (5 people were killed by lightning), and 43 suicides, 41 of whom were men with an average age of 47.) In other findings, 89% of the students who signed the petition do not know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun, and 71% do not know that the magazine of a gun does not have a trigger. Sixty-three per cent of the students who signed the petition thought that gun control laws affect only the law-abiding, that criminals can always get guns. Thus a majority does not think the new law, proposed by the petition they signed, would be effective.[44] For the more information, please refer to the 92 page report [88]"Canadian Attitudes Toward Gun Control: The Real Story", by Gary Mauser and H. Taylor Buckner. This Mackenzine Institute paper reveals that strong support for firearm prohibitions and other strict controls exists mostly in densely populated urban ridings. Canadians' answers to the detailed questions reveal a few other surprises as well. The paper can be found at http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Mauser/gunstory.html [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. [35]National Firearms Association fact sheet. [44]H. Taylor Buckner, "Report On The Concordia `Gun Control Petition' Survey" 35. Don't the experts support tougher gun control?[32] Many of the individuals claiming to be experts are not experts on firearm law. Criminologists, legal researchers, and sociologists, such as Gary Kleck, Don B. Kates, Jr. and James D. Wright,[31] who have actually studied the effects of firearm laws, have found that they do not reduce violent crime rates. There are far more studies showing that firearm laws, which reduce law-abiding citizens' legal access to firearms, either have no measurable effect or increase violent crime. Laws allowing citizens to legally arm themselves have not increased violent crime, but have instead resulted in lower crime rates. For more information about the above authors and their research, select the ``Research related to "gun control"'' page at [89]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/homepage.html [31]These three authors are prime examples of experts who supported "gun control" until their own research showed them that most efforts are a waste of time and money, and some actual put citizens in danger. [32]Coalition For Gun Control fact sheet. 36. Isn't a gun in the home 43 times more likely to kill a friend or loved-one than be used against an intruder? It was actually an intruder versus a non-intruder. Nevertheless, it was a misrepresentation of a meaningless comparison from a limited and poorly done study. This study was performed over a 6 year period in one single county in the USA. As this study is was done in just one county, that makes its results useless for saying what happens anywhere else. Scientists and researchers call this "a sample size of one". The comparison is meaningless because it is an apples vs oranges comparison. 37 of the 43 are suicides, 4.6 are classified as criminal homicides, and 1.3 were classified as accidents.[36] Kellermann and Reay, the authors of the study have stated themselves that "cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm [and] cases in which would-be intruders may have purposely avoided a house known to be armed.."[36] should be included as a benefit. BUT, when they calculated their comparison they did NOT include those cases. They therefore undercounted protection uses by at least 500 times.[37] If the purpose is to compare defensive uses verses misuse, all defensive uses should be counted, not just the 0.2% of time when a defensive use results in the death of an attacker. You measure defensive uses by lives saved, not criminals killed, after all, the purpose of self defense is to prevent or stop a criminal attack, not kill the attacker. Homicides that were found to be self-defense in a court of law were counted as criminal homicides by this study, thus over stating the number of criminal homicides, and under stating the number of self-defense homicides. "Someone you know" is often described as friends or even "loved ones", but in reality this includes rival gang members, drug dealers, abusive spouses and acquaintances, and so on. Those who proclaim the 43 to 1 statistics will often imply that only dear friends, loved family members, and small innocent children are the ones being killed, an obviously misleading statement. The study failed to distinguish between households or environs populated by people with violent, criminal, or substance-abuse histories -- where the risk of death is very high -- versus households inhabited by more civil folk (for example, people who avoid high-risk activities like drug dealing, gang banging and wife beating) -- where the risk is very low indeed. In actuality, negligent adults allow fatal but avoidable accidents; and homicides are perpetrated mostly by people with histories of violence or abuse, people who are identifiably and certifiably at ~high risk~ for misadventure. The Hart Poll in 1981 found 644,000 defensive uses with handguns per year. The Mauser Poll in 1990 found 691,000 defensive uses per year. The Field Poll in California in 1978 found 1.2 million handgun defensive uses per year. The Time/CNN Poll in 1989 found over 908,000 defensive uses per year. Gary Kleck estimated the yearly defensive use of firearms by civilians to be at about 1,000,000 per year. A more recent study by Gary Kleck put the yearly total at approximately 2,400,000 defensive uses. Yet the total deaths by firearm in the USA only runs about 25,000 to 30,000 per year, and that includes accidents, murders, suicides and self defense homicides. That means a gun is 30-40 times more likely to defend against an assault or other crime than kill anybody. As accidental firearm's related deaths is about 1400 per year, including hunting accidents, the defensive use verses accidental death ratio is about 700-800 to 1. Gary Kleck completed another survey in 1995. This one had a sample size of 5000 and confirmed his former estimate of 2,400,000 defensive uses per year in the USA. [Kleck, Gary and Gertz, M, Armed resistance to crime: the prevalence and nature of self-defense with a gun. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 86:143-186. (1995)] It's interesting to note three things about the Kellermann "studies": 1.) Even though Kellermann did a second study which revised the "43 times" figure to "2.7 times", the former is the one that is most often repeated. 2.) The data for the latter "revised study" shows that alcohol, family violence, living alone, and renting one's home are bigger risk factors than having firearms. 3.) Kellermann is quoted in the March/April 1994 issue of _Health_ (pp. 59-61) as saying "If you've got to resist, your chances of being hurt are less the more lethal your weapon.... If that were my wife, would I want her to have a .38 special in her hand? Yeah." More on this subject in "When Doctor's call for Gun Seizures, It's Grand Malpractice" at [90]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Schulman/doctors.html [91]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Schulman/doctors.html and in "Guns in the Medical Literature -- a Failure of Peer Review" ("the 43 times fallacy" and "the 43 times fallacy becomes the 2.8 times fallacy") at [92]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Suter/med-lit/benefits.html [93]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Suter/med-lit/benefits.html and in ``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'', available from: [94]http://www.rkba.org/research/rkba.faq [95]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/talk.politics.guns/ [36]"Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home," Arthur L. Kellermann and Donald T. Reay, The New England Journal of Medicine 314, no. 24 (June 12, 1986): 1557-1560 [37]"Crime Control through the Private Use of Armed Force" by Professor Gary Kleck. 37. Didn't someone find that firearm ownership causes higher murder and suicide rates? No. Martin Killias surveyed 14 "countries". (England/Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which are not countries, are counted as three.) He found a correlation between firearm ownership rates and murder and suicide rates. However, correlation is not causation, and it is difficult to show causation, which seems to be what the author is attempting. The connexion between "firearm ownership" and higher murder rates isn't obvious, especially when the non-firearm rate is also higher, and a high percentage of murders involve illicit drugs and/or alcohol. Many are also committed by convicted felons, who are prohibited from legally owning firearms. Also, in the USA, a higher percentage of victims are strangers. When so many murders are outside the home, it's quite difficult to relate the murder rate directly to "guns in the home". It's much easier to conclude that people will arm themselves as a _reaction_ to high murder rates, espescially when they are allowed to do so lawfully. One must wonder why the UK was divided up into three "countries" but the same was not done for the USA, especially when the UK has one set of laws, whereas the laws in the US vary from state to county to city. For reference, here is a table from the paper: Rates of homicide, suicide and household gun ownership in 14 countries. ========================================================================= Rate per 100,000 _______________________________________ Homicide Suicide % of with a with a households Country Overall Gun Overall Gun with guns _______________________________________________________________________ Australia 1.95 .66 11.58 3.42 1.96 Belgium 1.85 .87 23.15 2.45 1.66 Canada 2.60 .84 13.94 4.44 2.91 England/ Wales .67 .08 8.61 .38 .47 Finland 2.96 .74 25.35 5.43 2.32 France 1.25 .55 22.30 4.93 2.26 Holland 1.18 .27 11.72 .28 .19 N. Ireland 4.66 3.55 8.27 1.18 .84 Norway 1.21 .36 14.27 3.87 3.20 Scotland 1.63 .11 10.51 .69 .47 Spain 1.37 .38 6.45 .45 1.31 Switzerland 1.17 .46 24.45 5.74 2.72 USA 7.59 4.46 12.40 7.28 4.80 West Germany 1.21 .20 20.37 1.38 .89 ________________________________________________________________________ Spearman Rank Correlations between % of households owning guns and r value p value ________________________ Proportions of homicides with a gun 0.608 ============ B. Questions firearm prohibitionists can't answer ============ Even though the "suicide with firearms" rate is higher in the US, why is Canada's overall suicide rate higher than the overall US rate ? Why is the homicide rate in Canada now DOUBLE what it was back (pre-1963) when persons with a clean criminal and psychiatric record could legally acquire nearly anything, including machine guns? Why is Canada's NON-firearm homicide rate also lower than the US rate? Shouldn't only the firearm rate be lower? If it really was "access to guns", shouldn't the Canadian non-firearm homicide rate be higher than the US rate? Why has Canada's homicide rate ALWAYS been lower than the US rate? Why is US homicide rate similar to the Canadian rate if you remove Washington DC and all cities larger than the largest Canadian cities? Why has the Canadian violent crime rate increased over 500% since 1962 (when anti-gun laws were much less strict)? Why has it been increasing more rapidly than the US rate? Why are states with laxer laws the ones with lower crime and homicide rates? Why are the ones that ban/restrict civilian ownership the worst? Why do the states bordering on Canada have lower murder rates than their Canadian neighbours (except where their laws are stricter)? Why does Washington, D.C., which has banned handguns and other firearms since 1976, have a murder rate 8 times the national average while the surrounding area, with liberal gun laws, has a murder rate _half_ the US average? Why did Florida (and many other new CCW states) not experience the predicted "blood baths" when citizens were allowed to carry concealed firearms? Why are Switzerland and Norway so peaceful when they have as many firearms per person as the US? ============================= C. Miscellaneous ============================= Recommended reading: "Gun Control is not crime control" by Gary Mauser of the Canadian Fraser Forum (1995). ph. (416) 363-6575. About $9. _Observations on a One-Way Street: The Canadian Firearm Control Debate,_ by the Shooting Organizations of Canada, [available for a $5 donation from the Ontario Handgun Association, 2055 Dundas St E, Unit 105, Mississauga ON L4X 2V9, from the NFA, Box 4384, Station C, Calgary AB T2T 5N2, and from [96]http://www.nfa.ca/research/observations/], (1994) _The Politics of Panic: Registration Will Mean Confiscation_, by the Shooting Organizations of Canada, Ontario Handgun Association, (1994) _Misfire: the Black Market and Gun Control_, by John C. Thompson (May 1995) [available from the Mackenzie Institute, P. O. Box 338 Adelaide Station, Toronto ON M5C 2J4] _Reasonable and Necessary,_ by David Young, Canadian Academy of Practical Shooting, (1994) _Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control_, Gary Kleck, Aldine DeGruyter (Hawthorne, NY) 1997. 450 pp. ISBN 0-202- 30569-4 _Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America,_by Gary Kleck, Aldine de Gruyter, ISBN 0-202-30419-1 (1991) _Guns: Who Should Have Them?,_David B. Kopel, ed., Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-958-5 (1995), a book which is an excellent introduction to the political issues surrounding gun ownership. _The Samurai, The Mountie, And The Cowboy,_by David Kopel, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-756-6, (1992) _In The Gravest Extreme,_by Massad Ayoob [available from Police Bookshelf, P.O. Box 122, Concord, NH 03301], ISBN 0-936297-00-1, (1980) _The Truth About Self Protection,_by Massad Ayoob, Police Bookshelf, ISBN 0553-23664-6, (1983) _Armed and Female: Twelve Million American Women Own Guns, Should You?,_ by Paxton Quigley, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-95150-7, (1993) _Not An Easy Target,_by Paxton Quigley, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0-671-89081-6, (1995) _Firing Back,_by Clayton E. Cramer, Krause Publications, ISBN 0-87341-344-X, (1994) _Stopping Power: Why Seventy Million Americans Own Guns,_by J. Neil Schulman, Synapse-Centurion Books, ISBN 1-882639-03-0, (1994) _Firearms and violence: issues of public policy,_by Don B. Kates (ed.) Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, San Francisco, California, 1984, ISBN 0884109283. Also, Ballinger, Cambridge, Massachusetts, ISBN 0884109224 or 0884109232 (paper). Also, ISBN 1884109291 (paper). _Gun control: you decide,_by Lee Nisbet (ed.) Prometheus Books, Buffalo, New York, 1990, ISBN 0879756187 (paper). _The gun culture and its enemies,_by William R. Tonso, (ed.) Second Amendment Foundation, distributed by Merrill Press, Bellvue, Washington, 1990, ISBN 0936783052. _Armed and considered dangerous: a survey of felons and their firearms,_by James D. Wright, and Peter Henry Rossi. Aldine de Gruyter, Hawthorne, New York, 1986, ISBN 0202303306 or ISBN 0202303314. _Under the gun: weapons, crime, and violence in America,_by James D. Wright, Peter Henry Rossi, and Kathleen Daly. Aldine de Gruyter, New York, 1983, ISBN 0202303055. _Gun Control: A reference handbook,_ by Earl R. Kruschke. ABC-CLIO, Inc. Santa Barbara, 408 pp., (1995), ISBN 0-87436-695-X Periodic reports: Statistics Canada/Centre for Justice Statistics: many, including Homicide Juristat U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States. Published annually. United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. [Published how often?] U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports. Published annually. Other FAQ lists: ``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'' is available from: [97]http://www.rkba.org/research/rkba.faq [98]ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/talk.politics.guns/ "How to Win Debates With Hoplophobes" is at: [99]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Faq/debates.hop [100]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Faq/debates.hop [101]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Faq/debates.hop The complete rec.guns FAQ is at: [102]http://www.recguns.com/ Firearm safety basics are here: [103]http://www.recguns.com/ID.html The CHILDREN & GUN SAFETY FAQ is here: [104]http://www.familyweb.com/faqs/FirearmsSafety.shtml another version for people familiar with firearms is at: [105]http://www.recguns.com/XIIIA1b.html and there is also: [106]http://www.recguns.com/XIIIA1a.html [107]http://www.recguns.com/XIIIA1c.html Where to go for more information: Karen Selick's famous "Off the Mark" article (complete with graphs) can be found at: [108]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Selick/off-mark.html [109]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Selick/off-mark.html The Canadian Firearms Home Page can be found at the following URLs: [110]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/homepage.html [111]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/homepage.html Credits: Persons to whom I am personally grateful for their help with this document include Greg Booth, Taylor Buckner, Eric Cartman, Wayne Chapeskie, Jean Hogue, Ian Jefferson, Gary Mauser, Karen Selick, Carmel Stalteri, Dave Tomlinson and far too many others to remember. I have attempted to give full credit, but I know I have missed a few hundred names... Personal note: I was never "anti-gun", but, before 1991, I actually supported many of the "gun control" strategies. I now know that I did so out of ignorance. Since then I have read everything I could -- and more than I could ever remember -- on the subject of "gun control". I now have a growing library of reference material, a mailing list dedicated to firearm legislation in Canada, World-Wide Web pages which I maintain in parallel with an FTP site, and I got involved with the NFA (National Firearms Association) because I saw many of our ideas and goals were similar. Like a lot of people in this debate, I "got sucked right in" and there is no end in sight. DISCLAIMER: This FAQ list should not be used in lieu of legal advice. While care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of everything here, errors are always possible. The author and contributors are not liable for damages (and so on) resulting from anyone using the information contained herein. Nothing presented in this text should be construed as legal advice. This FAQ list is copyright (C) 1995-1999 Skeeter Abell-Smith and may only be used as a reference, in whole or in part, only when no fee is charged in any way. No part of this FAQ list may be sold in any medium, including print and electronic, without the explicit written permission of Skeeter Abell-Smith. Copyright (C) 1995-1999 Skeeter Abell-Smith ============================================================================= -- = = = To send me e-mail you must replace "nospam" with "sfn". = = = The above opinions may differ from those of others. Take no offense. Check out the Canadian Firearms Home Page: http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/homepage.html