The Liberals promise more gun bans. They reduce the penalties for smuggling and criminal violence, but frighten the public with red herrings in order to pass more restrictions on respectable firearms owners. Liberals are not stupid, this is strategic. The Trudeau Liberals do not support Canadian culture or patriotism.
Their strategy is outlined in a recently released master plan for guns and gangs. See Chapter five. Typically, the Liberals focus on headline-catching gun bans while ignoring more important initiatives — such as locking up violent criminals, protecting our borders, or investing in ways to help divert vulnerable young people from gang life. Liberals seem to prefer lies.
Watch what they do, ignore what they promise.
The Liberals play down recent testimony before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that raises serious questions about Canadian firearms bans. This blog post is an excerpt from my submission to the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission.
Here are excerpts from the testimony that the Liberals ignored, given on Tuesday, February 8 2022, at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
First, the testimony of Dr. Caillin Langmann, MD PhD ABEM FRCPC, Assistant Professor of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton.
“The foregoing research papers are peer reviewed and conclude that Canadian legislation to regulate and control firearm possession and acquisition does not have a corresponding effect on homicide and suicide rates. Two of these papers include data and consider mass homicide events, but the conclusion is drawn more widely with greater statistical evidence regarding all incidents of homicide.
To summarize the results, no statistically significant beneficial associations were found between firearms legislation and homicide by firearm, as well as spousal homicide by firearms, and the criminal charge of ‘Discharge of a Firearm with Intent’.
Bans of military-appearing firearms, semiautomatic rifles and handguns, short barrel handguns and Saturday night specials in the 1990s has resulted in no associated reduction in homicide rates.
My conclusions are based on sound statistical analysis and information specifically related to Canada. I am not aware of any other Canadian research which uses reliable statistical models to dispute or disagree with my conclusions.
Other studies have demonstrated agreement with my studies that laws targeting restricted firearms such as handguns and certain semi-automatic and full automatic firearms in Canada also had no associated effect with homicide rates. Canadian studies by Leenaars and Lester 2001, Mauser and Holmes 1992, and McPhedran and Mauser 2013, are all in general agreement with my study.
Mass Homicide Victims by method of homicide, 1974 – 2010. A difference in difference model was constructed to compare mass homicide with firearm against the control group of mass homicide without firearm. The model shows a sudden drop in the 1990s in both rates of mass homicide (with and without firearm) but the drop and the decline is similar in both groups suggesting a possible cause other than gun control.
I found no associated effects between firearm legislation and mass homicide events in Canada from 1974 or 2010. Specifically, legislative changes which reduced magazine capacity for rifles to five rounds and prohibited certain semi-automatic firearms have made no discernible reduction in mass homicide rates in Canada.”
In Dr Langmann’s brief that he submitted to SECU he analyzed multiple-victim homicides in Canada over the past few decades. As can be seen in the graph posted above, the model shows a sudden drop in the 1990s in both rates of mass homicide (with and without firearm) but the drop and the decline is similar in both groups suggesting a possible cause other than gun control.
Dr Langmann’s testimony was followed by officials who buttressed his scientific findings based on their practical experiences in the real world of policing. The police and border guards testified that the problem of smuggling was the most important to solve in order to combat firearms violence. They specifically stated that banning specific types of firearms is ineffective.
Mark Weber, (National President, Customs and Immigration Union) testified that understaffing is behind serious gaps in Canada’s border controls. In 2019 only one one-millionth of all rail cargo was effectively being examined. The reality is that our current operational abilities in the rail field are virtually non-existent. In other words, there is almost a 0% chance that any illegal weapons entering the country via rail will ever be found. All these operational gaps find themselves compounded by the aforementioned staffing shortage.
Mr. Brian Sauvé (President, National Police Federation) testified that, for example, three of the firearms used during the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people were illegally acquired from the United States.
Other officials supported Dr. Langmann’s testimony that gun bans are ineffective:
Scott Harris, Vice-President, Intelligence and Enforcement Branch.
Michael Duheme, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Policing;
Stephen White, Deputy Commissioner, Specialized Policing Services;
Michel Arcand, Assistant Commissioner, Federal Policing Criminal Operations;
Do gun bans work in other countries?
In his brief presented to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Dr Caillin Langmann presented summaries of the research on gun bans in other countries.
Research has found that the so-called assault weapon ban of 1994 had no significant effect on murder rates at the state level in the United States. No evidence was found to show reductions in multiple-victim gun homicides or multiple gunshot wound victimizations in the United States following the Federal assault weapons ban in that country. See here and here and here. And here.
A recent multi-victim homicide occurred in California, a state with one of the strictest firearms laws in the United States. See here for a comparison. As with the Nova Scotia shootings, the firearms involved in this multiple murder were illegally possessed. The recent Californian murders primarily involved handguns while a mix of rifles and handguns was involved in Nova Scotia.
There have been a number of studies of the 1996 legislation, and the overall conclusion is that it had little or no effect on violent crime. With respect to mass murders not much can be inferred because of the extremely low rate of occurrence. This conclusion remains intact even if mass murders are included that did not involve firearms. See here and here and here and here.
Problems in administration of firearms restrictions
It is appealing to believe that there are simple answers to complex problems. Given the dismal success of firearm restrictions to prevent multiple-victim murders, it may be prudent to consider alternative causes and solutions. Government officials may shy away from admitting it but administering complex firearms restrictions is a challenging task. In fact, administrative errors may have been involved in some of the horrendous multiple victim homicides in Commonwealth countries. For instance:
The police knew about the mental problems of the murderer in Tasmania before he went on his violent rampage, but he was still allowed to have firearms through bureaucratic errors.
The Christchurch multiple-murderer was able to buy firearms through bureaucratic errors made by the police.
Thomas Hamilton, the perpetrator of the Dunblane multiple victim killings in 1994 was allowed to access firearms because of police errors.
Why do governments repeat the mistake of confusing gun bans with actually doing something that reduces criminal violence?
If you’re not happy that the Liberals promise more gun bans, then get busy and work for a better government.