Young Liberals get an “F” for gun control research
There’s an old political observation that suggests idealistic students vote NDP, empire-building young adults vote Liberal, and middle-age wisdom creates Conservatives.
The ludicrous motion hatched by Young Liberals of Canada to bring Australian-style gun bans to Canada reveals that idealism has trumped reality within their ranks. The tyrannical Australian firearms ban hasn’t reduced gun crime Down Under or anywhere else in the world. Young Liberals, many of whom are steeped in post-secondary academia, should know at least something about analyzing statistical outcomes. Sadly, the Little Lefties who drafted the anti-gun motion for next weekend’s Liberal Biennial Convention 2014 must have been out having a smoke when their class studied Research 101.
The Aussies endured an even worse mass shooting than Canada when 35 people were killed and 23 wounded in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996. Australian politicians reacted in a similar fashion to their Canadian counterparts. They introduced cynical legislation to placate a demanding public. The new laws made no actual difference to public safety because they attacked the guns instead of potential perpetrators. Both Canada and Australia made the mistake of holding lawful gun owners to account for the actions of a few lunatics. The U.S. is going through a similar process in the wake of Sandy Hook. The anti-gun lobby too often deals with raw national mourning with disgust, anger, and poor judgment.
John Lott, U.S. gun crime expert, economist and author of More Guns, Less Crime, has posted a noteworthy 2010 politically-neutral study of the “success” of the Australian legislation. The paper entitled, The Australian Firearms Buyback and its Effect on Gun Deaths, concludes what all other gun-banning jurisdictions have learned – bans and buybacks do not enhance public safety.
“This paper takes a closer look at the effects of the NFA (the 1996-97 Australian National Firearms Agreement) on gun deaths,” the authors explain. “Using a battery of structural break tests, there is little evidence to suggest that it had any significant effects on firearm homicides and suicides. In addition, there also does not appear to be any substitution effects—that reduced access to firearms may have led those bent on committing homicide or suicide to use alternative methods. Although gun buybacks appear to be a logical and sensible policy that helps to placate the public’s fears, the evidence so far suggests that in the Australian context, the high expenditure incurred to fund the 1996 gun buyback has not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearm deaths.”
See the entire paper at http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Australi…Buyback_EI.pdf
It’s hard to imagine that Young Liberals are willing to use a legislative sledgehammer against two million Canadian gun owners when research clearly shows gun bans achieve nothing beyond criminalizing sport shooters. The conclusions of a politically neutral paper like The Australian Firearms Buyback and its Effect on Gun Deaths should be treated as pure gold by debaters on both sides of the argument.
What is probably most disconcerting about the Liberal motion is the source. Young Liberals want to play a role in Canadian politics and many aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow. Unfortunately, they hope to reclaim Liberal dominance by cooking legislation for an ill-informed populace anxious to stash its emotional baggage. Responsible gun owners can only hope that supporters of this motion grow bored with politics and take up golf instead. Are these people really so adept at running their own lives that they believe they should run ours?
Go forth, Young Liberals, and please do not multiply.
Merriam: Long gun stand could define Trudeau’s future
By Jim Merriam
Friday, February 14, 2014 5:28:51 EST PM
As we start to tire of watching the Ontario Liberal government circle the drain, en route to its deserved destination, let’s turn our attention to the federal party.Under Justin Trudeau, the Grits have made tentative gains on ground where Liberals have not been welcome for years.
Even in the West and rural Canada, some folks are at least taking a second look at Trudeau and company.
Besides the charisma, name and all that, the interest results in part because young Trudeau has made some sense in a few policy areas.
His reasoned approach to the oilsands developments in Alberta — when many observers thought he’d be a knee-jerk objector to a Conservative pet project — has earned him points.
Coupled with his party’s belief in “the inter-connectedness of environmental and energy concerns and solutions,” Alberta oil begins to make sense to some folks.
Trudeau’s decision to cut his party’s senators loose from the Liberal caucus also has been viewed favourably in many corners of the land.
Besides all this, the biggest thing Trudeau has going for him is the fact he is not Stephen Harper. Canadians, including some members of his caucus, are growing weary of the “control freak” approach Harper brings to government.
They are unsettled by the Senate scandals and are doubtful the prime minister has told them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on that issue.
Harper and his government look tired. Always favouring incremental change, rather than significant moves, Harper’s critics see dawdling where action is sorely needed.
So Trudeau’s star is on the rise, if ever so gradually.
That fragile trajectory could be lopped off before it lifts above the horizon if the Liberals look favourably on a renewal of the long gun registry at next week’s policy confab in Montreal.
Conservative MP Blaine Calkins said this week that if the Liberals want to take his guns, Trudeau will have to pry them from his “cold, dead hands.” Many residents of rural Canada share the sentiment.
Calkins said Liberals will debate a resolution in Montreal, asking any future Grit governments to reduce the number of firearms in Canada.
To Calkins and thousands of others in rural areas, that translates into a Liberal philosophy that would confiscate rifles and shotguns from law-abiding Canadian firearms owners.
Therein lies the problem with the long gun registry as it stood before being scrapped by Harper’s Conservatives. The only Canadians who paid or were unfairly treated by the registry were law-abiding citizens.
Criminals didn’t register their guns — what a shocker — so the state couldn’t gain much traction in reducing gun use during crimes.
Furthermore, the ownership of handguns, which account for most weapons used in urban crime, has been regulated and severely restricted in Canada since the 1930s.
But the nub of it all was Canadians were told their government did not trust them to keep, use and store firearms safely and properly. Which, of course, was utter nonsense.
The long gun fiasco has begun to fade into history, to the point that some former Liberals have considered rejoining party ranks to support Trudeau on other initiatives. (Legalizing marijuana not being one of them, but you can’t have everything.)
If the federal Liberals want to stomp all over those tentative thoughts of reconciliation, they need only decide in favour of another long gun registry. Then be prepared to spend several more decades in the wilderness. Unarmed.