Pixels For Propaganda

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CSSA/CILAby CSSA/CILA

The Ottawa police chief is fairly giddy with the success of the recent Pixels for Pistols campaign that collected over 1,000 guns.

Sleep well, Ottawa – now you are safe. But from what and from whom? How much did it cost to assign police officers to make hundreds of house calls – and what could they have been doing instead? By their own admission, the police are championing a program specifically designed to avoid collecting guns used in crimes. The mandate of a police service is to fight crime, yet this program brazenly warns criminals that all gun serial numbers will be checked against crime gun records. In lieu of catching bad guys, the police much prefer a tryst with local media to tout yet another Pixels for Propaganda program.

It is to shudder when one reads an Ottawa Citizen quote on the gun haul and attributed to Ottawa’s top cop:

“Some of them are quite old, some of them are quite new, but as you can tell they’re all very intimidating,” Chief Charles Bordeleau said before an arsenal (sic) of weapons at the Ottawa police’s evidence control room on Swansea Crescent. “We can safely say that these guns won’t be used in a crime, they won’t be used to help a person commit suicide, and will be destroyed safely.”

The residents of Ottawa have reason for concern if their police chief is intimidated by a collection of inanimate objects, many of which are antiques and WWII keepsakes. This manufactured hysteria plays perfectly to the media lapdogs who comprise the other half of the propaganda partnership.

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Thankfully, there are a few reporters who refuse to compromise investigative journalism with anti-gun public relations. They need to ask Canada’s police chiefs how stealing guns from private citizens enhances safety. It is theft and probably fraud when the public is seduced into swapping a $175 camera voucher for firearms that may be worth thousands of dollars to a sport shooter or collector.

If there’s any doubt that the fix is in for responsible gun owners, consider the tender tale cited by a police-groupie Ottawa Citizen reporter. Some guy was so broke and fearful for his children’s safety that he traded his gun for a camera that he could give his wife for her birthday. As the tears flow, we have more hard-hitting “evidence” that destroying guns is the fast track to families feeling warm and fuzzy.

The Pixels for Pistols program was getting such positive media attention that the Ottawa police extended it. News stories carried by the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, CTV News, CBC News, and others have been dancing to Chief Bordeleau’s tune throughout the program. No news reports we saw dared mention that endless photo-ops of gun-laden tables serves only to stoke public fear. But, to what end? Read on.

Could it be that desperate police chiefs would fear-monger to convince municipal councils to pass their burgeoning police budgets in an era when crime is going down? If it occurs to firearms owners to ask that question, why does it escape the reporters and editors who cover the cop beat? It’s too simple – fear and unrest are selling points for both police budgets and newspapers.

While the Ottawa police engaged in chest-beating and self-satisfied photo-ops with all those nasty guns, the Ottawa Citizen ran this sidebar under the sub-head, “By the numbers”:

$159,775: total value of all vouchers for cameras issued
2,500 F°: temperature at which guns will be destroyed
1,035: total guns collected
735: total long guns, or shotguns and rifles
490: number of guns turned during last Ottawa police gun amnesty run in 2008
178: total handguns
104: total air guns
90: days the guns will be held before being destroyed
21: most guns turned in by one person
18: replicas, starter pistols, other types of non-firearms turned in
1: gun exchanged for wife’s birthday present
0: guns believed to have been used in the commission of a crime

Note the spin – the “gun” haul total only reached the psychologically-impressive four figures (1,035) by including 104 air guns and 18 non-guns. But most telling of all, the last statistic is surely a confession that the entire exercise was a waste of time as a public safety measure.

If Chief Bordeleau was the lucky recipient of one of those cheap cameras, he should take a photo “selfie” over the cutline, “I am an anti-gun shill who pretends to keep his city safe by stealing potentially valuable firearms from people who don’t know any better.”

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