, 07.26.2018 08:22 AM

Thoughts on the aftermath

From next week’s Hill Times column:

Everyone plays their assigned role, like we are trapped in some grim kabuki play that always, always ends the same way.  The gun nuts take to social media, bombarding everyone with all-caps variants on “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  The bigots bleat that “lieberals” and “libtards” are to blame, because they let in Muslims and people whose skin isn’t white – you know, white as a Klansman’s sheet.

And, naturally, Ezra Levant and the winged monkeys at Rebel Media fundraise with it all.

The chiefs of police recite statistics, noting (correctly) that crime is down, insisting (incorrectly) that the police could do more if they simply had bigger budgets.  The conservative politicians tweet “thoughts and prayers,” which has become 21st Century code for “I plan to do nothing.”  And the liberal politicians wring their hands and pass laws that will also achieve nothing – because there are already nearly eight million firearms in the country.  Now.

And, by the by: more than a million of those guns – like the one the killer used the Sunday before last – are already restricted or prohibited. His was stolen in a break-in in Saskatoon a few years back, before it commenced slouching towards Toronto’s Danforth Avenue.

And we in the media?  We always play our assigned roles, too.  Those on the conservative side of the spectrum shrug, and regurgitate the talking points of the NRA and its foul ilk.  They call handgun bans “virtue signalling” symbolism – forgetting, or not knowing, that all of politics is about symbols, and the ceaseless pursuit of virtue. 


  1. Matt says:

    “……His was stolen in a break-in in Saskatoon a few years back, before it commenced slouching towards Toronto’s Danforth Avenue.”

    Media are mixing (maybe intentionally) two different stories.

    The shooters gun was smuggled from the US.

    The shooters brother was being investigated for his involvement with the Saskatoon gun store theft, some of which were among 30 guns seized in a raid in Pickering Ontario in 2017.

    Look at it logically: They are saying the police are working with American authorities to find out how the shooters gun made it into Canada.

    If the gun used was one stolen from the store in Saskatoon, there would be NO NEED to involve the Americans. The gun would have gotten to Canada via the store ordering it from the distributor. If the cops had traced it t the store robbery as CTV claims, it obviously still has it’s serial number intact. The store, Canadian distributor, Canadian supplier and Canadian importer would all have kept records of it. No need to be consulting the Americans.

    • Matt says:

      Should also be noted he had seven magazines on him that night.

      All capable of holding 15 rounds. That would make all 7 prohibited in Canada.

      Legal round count for handguns in Canada is 10.

  2. Matt says:

    “…..Those on the conservative side of the spectrum shrug, and regurgitate the talking points of the NRA and its foul ilk.  They call handgun bans “virtue signalling” symbolism – forgetting, or not knowing, that all of politics is about symbols, and the ceaseless pursuit of virtue.”

    And I think you would agree those on the left go for easy do nothing policeis like, oh I don’t know, banning the sale of hand guns in Toronto.

    There is exactly one store in Toronto that sells hand guns – Al Flahery’s. Been in operation fo 50 years. Miller’s anti gun bylaw banning new gun shops and all shooting ranges has been on the books for 10 years. Don’t think it worked at stopping the shootings.

    Everyone in law enforcement know where the guns are coming in from the US. Politicians, both Conservative and Liberal governments know/have known where they are getting in.

    Nobody has had the guts to do anything about it because it may be viewed as “politically incorrect”, and the usual suspects wiill scream “RACIST!”

    • Bill H says:

      The MSN is conflating gun violence with legal guns and mental health to score political points. To obtain a legal gun, there’s a strict course and test that must be taken, and of course passed. After which the results are given to the appropriate authorities for approval of a licence. Now to be clear, a Hand Gun is next to impossible to obtain a licence for in Canada. After background checks are completed, family members are sent forms to be completed as to whether this applicant should get a gun licence. Family members are obliged by law to testify in writing if the applicant is of sound mind or a record of violence etc. All guns must be stored in locked safes. You need a conveyance permit to take a hand gun out of the house. You never hear this in the media. Canada has a Porous Border, that the liberals are trying to deny – illegal guns flood across our border – and other things too! Why did the family of the shooter in this case not alert the authorities of all the weapons and ammunition in the apartment? They are as guilty in this crime as the shooter. The gun the shooter used was illegal, but that does not make it any easier to the families involved.

      • Matt says:

        It’s not next to impossible. It’s harder than a non-restricted long gun, sure. To legally acquire you need an RPAL (Restricted Passession and Acquisition Licence) .

        To get that you fist need your regular PAL (10 hour course, pass a written exam and a practical exam) then do an 8 hour RPAL course with two more exams. In Ontario your test results are sent to the Chief Firearms Officer for verification, stamped then sent back to you. You then send your application (on which you must provide the names and contact info of your current spouse or partner, ex spouse or partner, and two references) the CFO stamped test results, a picture and $80 fee. Two months or so later you’ll get your licence.

        Then to buy a restricted gun, before the CFO will approve the transfer to your possession you need to provide them with proof you are have a current valid shooting range membership.

        All in all it’ll cost over $1000 just to get what you need to legally acquire a restricted.

        • Bill H says:

          I have a PAL and have been licensed to own and acquire firearms for 30 + years – not a restricted or prohibited firearm. Agreed, a RPAL can be had, but it’s quite the process and a lot of trouble and expense unless you’re a shooting club range member. You cannot just buy a handgun because you like the thought of owning one or like the look of them, was my point. Sorry, I should have been more clear. Just transporting a hand gun to and from the range requires a permit, hand guns are taken very seriously in Canada by the government, police and all authorities. The media often make out that it is a matter of applying to get a licence or find one on a Cracker Jack box. I would challenge a journalist from the CBC or Toronto Star to go through the process – I wish them luck!

  3. Bill H says:

    All true, Warren. But until Canada grows up and recognize the problem is everyones problem, the problem will persist.

    We have untouchable, politically correct boundaries every politician from every party will not cross. We have communities where violence, drugs and guns have been normalized and have become for all intents and purpose, no-go zones. They are not part of the middle class, and those who want to join it – so they don’t count. Policing, as difficult as it is, has become next to impossible (not by lack of money) because their hands are often tied. And the courts and fancy lawyers play a game of catch and release. Who really would want to be a cop – honestly? But thank goodness we have them.

    I know it’s now an (extremely) dirty word, but we have failed to “integrate” people, rather, we have done more to segregate communities and cultures than connect them. Multiculturalism is a social science experiment gone wrong. We have the “we have more in common” platitudes from politicians than the real work of doing something to improve lives and connect people. When people say we should not see colour in anyone face, they are now accused of being racist. Children do not see the colour or know the religion of other children in the playground – just watch them play together – they learn that from their parents. I’m all for people keeping their cultures and religion at home, but when we’re at work, school or on the street we should be Canadians first, and whatever second. We are all from somewhere else. What will it take to unify people? We all bleed the same colour of blood.

    We presently have a government in Ottawa that is bent on dividing us into Tribes. If you disagree with them on a particular policy you are instantly accused, (attacked in fact) of being a nazi, a denier, a racist and a phobic of everything known to mankind – or is that peoplekind?

    Like children, we all want the same thing. We want to be loved, fed and watered, have a roof over our head, lead a comfortable life, be healthy and free of discrimination and hate. We started out life out wanting the same things, when did we learn to pull in all different directions? When someone wanted to be the leader of the Tribe!

    • Bill H says:

      BTW – “Diversity” is not our strength, no matter how often that someone repeats it. Everyone rowing in the same direction is our strength.

    • doconnor says:

      “have become for all intents and purpose, no-go zones.”

      That is a false far-right trope that isn’t even true in European cities where that claim started.

      The US has among the highest incarnation rates in the world and yet its crime rates are far higher then ours and its mass shooting rates are so high one where only two people are killed barely rates a mention in the national news.

      Our system is better then most countries. We shouldn’t abandon it just because bad things sometimes happen.

      Humans tend to assume random events happen at the relatively even pace, but in reality they often happen in groups of two or three cause people to think there is a pattern when there isn’t.

      • Bill H says:


        Are you accusing anyone who disagrees with your understanding of the way the world works as “Far-Right” and no not of what they speak? You picked out one small comment and totally missed the whole point. I stand by my comment that we have communities in our inner cities that for all intent and purpose are no-go-zones. You should try strolling around one of these projects one dark night. You offer no solutions and offer only platitudes – does this mean you are Far-Left? Polite discourse begins by not calling anyone names, that are totally untrue and unfounded. I doubt you are Far-Left, but you’ve certainly given me pause for thought?

        • Fred from BC says:


          Are you accusing anyone who disagrees with your understanding of the way the world works as “Far-Right” and know not of what they speak? ”

          He does that all the time.

          “You picked out one small comment and totally missed the whole point. ”

          He does *that* most of the time.

        • doconnor says:

          I happen to be far-left and I do support the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy after our democracy is significantly improved. But that is not today’s topic.

          The solution I was suggesting was a more compassionate justice system, not more incarceration as you suggested, using the US as a model of how that makes things worse.

          Also more multiculturalism, not less. Which means accepting differences (within reason) instead of insisting of unity, as you suggest.

          I doubt you are far-right, but you should be cautious about letting thier ideas into your thinking.

          • Bill H says:

            Well, the Far-Left has murdered millions people in history, you should be ashamed of yourself for supporting such an extreme view. Why is Far-Left any better than Far-Right? Have you considered moving to a communist country, I’m sure they’d love to have a new recruit for the gulag. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes
            For your information, the Far-Left does not tolerate multiculturalism or any form of democracy. Incarceration is the norm for any dissent to their mantra. Quite the opposite of your diatribe here. Now run along and find a site that you’ll feel comfortable in posting your idiotic ramblings to people who will appreciate them – unfortunately, there’s too many of them.

          • doconnor says:

            The Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist and other so called Communists have nothing to do with actual leftists.

            As far back as 1903, when Lenin first suggested “Democratic Centrism”, it was identified as a dangerous and undemocratic idea among the left.

            Here is an interesting question: How many millions of people have died in developing countries from diseases because they don’t have enough money for it to be worth while for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to treat them?

  4. Angel Martin says:

    If you step back a bit from the politicized minutiae of this shooting, and the van attack in April where 10 people were murdered… large cities require the vast, vast majority of people to not act criminally or disruptively, or the city will just become totally unsafe and unliveable.

    If one or two percent of the population is criminal or mentally ill, your city will descend into chaos.

    Greater Toronto has had two mass murder events in the last three months committed by 0.00004 percent of the population.

    If Toronto has 0.0004 percent of the population committing these acts, Toronto would have 20 mass murder events per quarter.

  5. Peter says:

    The reason why everyone plays their assigned role is that these debates generally occur in the immediate aftermath of mass-killings or school shootings and are highly charged emotionally. Another reason is that we in Canada tend to piggyback on the high-profile American debate. The U.S. has a very different history, culture and legal foundation for this issue, and I really do wish we here could forget about them and have a homegrown pragmatic debate. The NRA is not a terrorist organization, but it is an American organization and should be no part of a debate up here. I don’t believe for a moment that conservative opinion in Canada is generally “pro-gun” in the way Americans are, but the long gun registry fiasco shows what can happen when urban progressives get on their high horses about saving everyone.

    I have spent a fair amount of time studying American and international gun homicide statistics and they don’t offer a defence of either side’s simplicities, which is why the charge of virtue-signalling isn’t always unfair. Here are a few hard facts:

    A) The U.S. has an obscene number of legal guns–about forty percent of the world’s total. It’s gun homicide rate is about three to four times that of Canada and much of Western Europe. If there were the straight line correlation between gun ownership and gun homicides that many urban progressives assume, its rate should be much, much higher. In fact, many countries in Latin and Central America, Africa and Central Asia have much higher gun homicide rates and much lower gun ownership rates. Brazil has tight gun control and one thirtieth the number of legal guns as the States but a homicide rate two to three times higher. Even in Europe there are significant variations. Highly armed Sweden has fewer gun homicides than lightly armed Portugal (1/3 the gun ownership rate) . And for those who reflexively blame poverty, some poor countries like India have very low gun homicide rates. Culture counts.

    B) If you subtracted mass-shootings and deaths from semi-automatic rifles from the American statistics, you wouldn’t notice a difference. As frightening and gut wrenching as they are, they are a statistical blip on the overall numbers. In fact, more people are killed by knives than by rifles. The main culprit is the handgun, which accounts for seventy percent of all American firearm deaths,

    C) Whites and African-Americans commit roughly equal numbers of gun homicides although the latter are only 12% of the population. Almost all of the victims are the same race as the perp–interracial homicide is less that 10% of the total. If you subtracted black on black urban homicides, the total figures would plummet, which means the gun control issue is tied closely to American racial politics. On the one hand, blacks are understandably sensitive to charges of cultural dysfunctions, but on the other, they do notice that whites only seem to get exercised about this issue when photogenic white kids are killed.

    D) The highest rate of both gun ownership and gun homicides in Canada is in aboriginal communities. Is the liberal, urban-based gun control constituency proposing to take their guns away from them? I’d love to watch them try.

    My conclusion? Anyone who is serious about saving lives would focus on restricting handguns without descending into condemnations of rifles or dismissing the whole gun-owning population as “gun nuts”. And the debate should be grounded in reality, not a quest for abstract virtue. Handguns are a plague we should be fighting, but some people have valid reasons to have them. Guns can sometimes be a defensive weapon and the argument that banning legal guns would advantage illegal gun ownership, while often exaggerated by the right for political rhetorical purposes, isn’t always completely wrong.

    • Angel Martin says:

      I agree with almost all of that. But on the last point, I don’t think rifles are appropriate for self defence in a built up urban area – the effective range is too far. Shotguns and pistols are much better.

      Another thing most people don’t understand. Rifle shootings have a much higher fatality rate than handguns.

      Like this emergency room Dr says: We don’t see too many rifle gunshot injuries – they go straight to the morgue.


  6. Matt says:

    Six days into the investigation and I’m hearing police still can’t find a shred of evidence to support the “famliy” claim he was suffering from “severe mental illness and psychosis”

    No records at all. No doctor(s) who were treating him, no record of any prescriptions, can’t even find any record of a primary care physician.

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