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Gang shootout on Toronto's main street on Boxing Day.

Dec 28, 2005 8:01AM PST

Predictably none of those armed thugs could hit one another but several innocent bystanders were hit and one killed. She is reported to have been an star athlete, a very high A student and sort of the emotional and fun center of her High School, very sweet, very funny, very popular girl with enormous numbers of friends and socially conscious after school activities. You know, a Canadian.

Toronto is having a very bad year with illegal weapons imported from U know where (buying a handgun here requires a police issued permit with background check etc.). The murder rate is at a near record 77 for the year as compared with the comparably sized Chicago which is currently at 444. Now I'm not saying I'm not grateful that the murder rate is as low as it is, I'm just pissed that the scum of the earth get access to these weapons and then use them in the middle of the day in the middle of Toronto's busiest street, and can't even hit what they're aiming at. Since it was 6 against 4 apparently, had they been capable of hitting one another, there only would have been 2 more to find and lock up. As it is they've caught 2 and I hope they and the rest will be in jail for the next 10+ years. Maybe they could all be charged with reckless endangerment causing death which is the definition of Murder 2 in the States if I'm not mistaken (I probably am). To tell the truth I have no idea what they'll be charged with here. Assault with a deadly weapon or something like that.

Rob feeling sad for the New Year.

Discussion is locked

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10+ years?
Dec 28, 2005 8:05AM PST

I suggest that Canada could nip this growing gang problem in the bud by putting them away for 20-to-life. Far better than gun control, laws that exact SEVERE punishment for use of a gun in the commission of a crime would be far superior.

I heard in the news today that Canada is blaming the US for exporting violence. Hmmmph. Sad

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Dec 28, 2005 8:16AM PST

Does anyone believe that all the AK-47's and M-16's that are made for export to other countries armies can't be bought by a person with enough money? It's not the laws, it's the enforcement that's the problem. And with the feel-gooders it was the victim's fault anyway so don't punish the perp or enforce the law.

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I agree ...
Dec 28, 2005 9:21AM PST

... it's not the guns, it's those that use them. Take them off the street and viola! There's a reason for the dropping crime rates in the US -- it's called incarcerating the bad guys. There's a somewhat limited number of bad apples in any population. When they show their rotten parts, they are best removed from the bushel.

Evie Happy

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The dropping crime rate in Canada, the US and Europe
Dec 28, 2005 12:17PM PST

is due to the aging population. Criminal behavior occurs between the ages of 16 and 40, after that it falls off except for child molestation. At least that's how I understand it.


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So let's outlaw 16- to 40-year-olds.
Dec 28, 2005 4:57PM PST

I mean, as long as we're punishing a whole group of people for the criminal acts of a few...


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Freakonomics believes that the drop
Dec 28, 2005 5:45PM PST

in the crime rate is due to the legalization of abortion. Those people that would tend to become criminals aren't being born.


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But we don't punish a whole group of people for the acts
Dec 29, 2005 6:33AM PST

of a few, nor am I personally blaming a whole group of people for the actions of a few. I am just pointing out a well known and well established statistical fact, which is that virtually 90% of all crime, especially violent crime, burglary, and mugging are committed by the relatively young. The decision to engage in a criminal act is a self selective process since A. it requires poor impulse control common to young men up to the age of 25, and a poor ability to think through consequences of actions, and B. the ability to be relatively athletic, climbing into awkward places or running to get away. Its just happens.


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(NT) (NT) What part of "handgun ban" do you not understand?
Dec 29, 2005 9:23AM PST
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Handguns aren't banned here, you just have to have a permit.
Dec 30, 2005 4:55AM PST

Nor have I been advocating a ban, I have been advocating the resolute application of the legal penalty for owning an unregistered and/or illegal firearm and/or the commission of a crime with that gun.

Up here in Canada if you're a member of a shooting club, or are a responsible law abiding adult with a clean psychiatric history, no problem. If you want to have a pistol, or a rifle or shot gun to go hunting, or all of the above, no problem, you register for a firearms permit, prove you own a gun safe so that they and their ammunition can be stored safely locked up at home and you're set. You can carry guns in your trunk so long as you have your permit in your wallet. It's no different from a drivers license.

I may not be able to conceive of a reason for a 15, 16, or 17 year old kid to own a handgun purchased illegally and to carry it concealed anywhere he wants in a city of 3.5 million people, but if there is a good reason, and he's over the age of majority ?18 and he has no criminal record or history of mental disturbance, he can carry it in the trunk of his car or leave it locked up at home.

I went hunting with my dad at the age of 8, I target shot from about the same age, and can still hit what I want to most of the time. I used to varmint shoot until I got kind of turned off killing things about 25 years ago, but give me a target and a little competition and I'm happy as a pig in ****. Since I didn't know what the gun laws were like in Britain (not nearly as harsh as I'd been led to believe) I didn't take anything with me, but I did buy Pellet guns and a rifle and do some competetive shooting. It was a gas and I'm still amazed bythe range I can get out of my relatively cheap BSA break-barrel scope sighted pellet gun. I lent it to a friend to get rid of his squirrel problem and he too was amazed. It's all I need to test my skill.


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Not yet, but PM is pushing for it.
Dec 31, 2005 6:35AM PST

And he's pushing for a handgun ban in response to the shooting that is the subject of your root post; hence my statement: "punishing a whole group of people for the criminal acts of a few..."

Get it? Got it? Good. - Mark

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Photo of Jane Glenn Creba from my least favorite newspaper
Dec 29, 2005 6:24AM PST
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Actually, Evie, our crime rates are rising again, for
Dec 29, 2005 3:12AM PST

more serious crimes, at least: FBI reports murder rate increases. One theory is because there are fewer cops on the streets, as resources Clinton used for more local cops helps to police Fellujah instead. And, of course, assault weapons are sadly legal again.

Happy New Year (Almost!)
-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Dec 29, 2005 3:47AM PST

what asult rifles are you refering to?
and when they werent legal didnt stop the bad guy did it?

you still dont know diddly squat about guns.
you still think tazers are the better options.
very sad

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and as you shown know knowledge of
Jan 2, 2006 9:00AM PST

the guide lines as what i said didn't break them

"what assault rifles are you referring to?
and when they weren't legal didn't stop the bad guy did it?

you still don't know diddly squat about guns.
you still think tazers are the better options.
very sad"<<my words

so where is the tos? excuse me grampa you would do best reading whats tos and whats not.

so stick to your usual hit and run

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Theory Dave
Dec 29, 2005 4:35AM PST

Civilian police force levels are not tied to our military efforts. Sheesh Sad

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Of course they are
Jan 2, 2006 8:37AM PST

The federal government only has so much money. If it allocates money for policemen, there is that much less money to alloate for the military. And vice versa. All government expenditures are tied together, or should be. It's no different that what happens at home. If you spend money on guns, you have that much less money to spend on butter.

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It is VERY different than what happens at home. Any
Jan 2, 2006 2:00PM PST

competent economist can tell that, and explain why.

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now for the non political theory
Dec 29, 2005 4:42AM PST

Bill White's (a democrat) request to fund the police department's new Neighborhood Enforcement Team task force.

``We are facing issues that we have never, ever faced before in the history of the agency,'' he said.

The task force is the second program to increase police presence that the city has unveiled in recent weeks, amid concerns about manpower and a swelling homicide rate ? up nearly 25 percent over last year and 70 percent this month.

Many of the problem areas fall in southwest Houston, particularly in apartment complexes housing numerous Katrina evacuees, White and Hurtt said.

"Crime is unacceptable, especially the murder rate, in some of these hot spots," White said. "We had criminals here before the evacuation and we had some more criminals here after the evacuation."
White noted that much of the increase in crime is concentrated in a handful of areas.

"Two of the city's 19 (patrol) districts accounted for all of the increase in homicides," White said of two areas in southwest Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Some years ago a radio documentary
Dec 29, 2005 7:20AM PST

analyzed decreasing crime in inner cities; linked it to eliminating lead paint in slum buildings. Said it takes about 16 years for buildup to affect exposed kids. (Therefore 'leaded' delinquents are now 32 and in jail or dead; new 16-yr-olds now benign.)

Probably a good theory, but the supposed decrease hasn't held up. Sad

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What does Houston need?
Jan 2, 2006 8:42AM PST

More jails or more education? I vote for the latter. OUr jails, or rather our institutions for turning out more and better criminals, are burgeoning.

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thats why we need the DP
Jan 2, 2006 9:04AM PST

you enforce the dirt naps less repeaters

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Questions, Dave...
Dec 29, 2005 4:58AM PST

Dave, I looked up the FBI stats (they get them from the BJS). You slugged your link as rate incerase, which the government expressed in deats per 100,000, but the prelims are for total percentage increase.
O.K. the prelims for total population experssed in total percentage was down 5.79% in 2003-2004. The prelims for the 1st six months show a 2.1% increase from the previous year, but wouldn't that be an increase factored into the previous 5.79% drop?
Also, as you mentioned ''cops on the streets'' as a factor, what is the percentage of murders that took place in the home, rather than ''on the streets''? You dig that one up, I'm all wound up with playing real estate today (Monopoly with real dirt - grin, grin).
While you are at it, since you mentioned ''assault weapons'' as a possible factor the hard numbers about murder committed by ''assault weapon'' would be nice. Your contention, so I feel that you should supply the proof hard data.
You lost me with the attemped link between Fellujah and local cops in the U.S.

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Fallujah and local cops
Jan 2, 2006 8:45AM PST

The federal government has only so much money, even less after tax cuts for the wealthy. So if it spends money on policeman, it has less money to spend on Iraq. And vice versa. That's the link

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(NT) (NT) and you can prove this how?
Jan 2, 2006 9:05AM PST
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of course i read that allso
Dec 28, 2005 8:46AM PST

never dawn on them to take responceabillity for there lack of control.
it allways blame some one elseSad
oh well maybe some day they will relize its up to them to take charge of the criminal or like others blame the gunsSad

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Gang violence and a new prevalence of hand guns in the
Dec 28, 2005 12:22PM PST

hands of gang members is a new phenomenon in Canada. As noted before hand guns are tightly controlled and its Canadian gangs connecting with American gangs and smuggling weapons which has upped the murder rate among young people. So far most of the guilty parties have been caught, but they're not being caught as fast as guns are coming north. I grew up with guns, I know that its the guy behind the gun that commits the crime, but if he doesn't have a gun he's a lot easier to deal with.


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(NT) (NT) Maybe Canada needs better border control!
Dec 28, 2005 12:28PM PST
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Every little bit helps
Dec 28, 2005 12:47PM PST
Border seizure

Two American men en route to Toronto have spent the past week in jail in St. Catharines, Ont., after Canadian border inspectors found four loaded handguns hidden in a car.

The multiple gun seizure at the border crossing at Fort Erie, Ont., came days before the latest Toronto shooting, and sheds light on the increasingly prominent election issue of how to keep handguns out of the hands of criminals.
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(NT) (NT) Fine by me!
Dec 28, 2005 10:18PM PST
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I suspect you may be right, Evie. - Rob
Dec 29, 2005 6:07AM PST

It would help Canada and the US as well if there was strict control going both ways, so that potential threats (including "BC bud" our potent brand of marijuana) can't sneak, via Canada, into the US, or illegal weapons and illegal intoxicants the other way.

Good fences make good neighbours as Robert Frost (I think) said.