Senator Pratte stumbles

Senator Pratte belongs to the Independent Senators Group and was appointed by Justin Trudeau

Senator Pratte stumbles when he claims that:

“Over the last 10 years, 193 PAL holders were charged or suspected in homicides involving a firearm. … Contrary to the estimate produced by professor Mauser (not by Statistics Canada), licensed gun owners are more likely to be involved in firearm homicides than unlicensed firearm owners. Licensed owners represent 7% of Canada’s adult population, yet account for at least 12% of firearm homicides committed each year in Canada.”

I do not understand why Senator Pratte continues to misrepresent the results of his Special Request to Statistics Canada.

His statement contains a few elementary errors.

First, I don’t know where he got the number 193. Perhaps this includes 2017. The results from Stats Can that he shared with me shows there were 186 PAL holders who had been “Charged / suspect-chargeable,” not 193, from 2006 through 2016. Second, this time period is 11 years, not 10, as he claims. If we now include 2017, that extends the period to 12 years.

I privately corrected these mistakes when he graciously shared the data he was given by StatsCan with me a few months ago.

Senator Pratte is disingenuous when he equates “charged or suspected” with being “involved” or “account for” homicide. The police typically report 2-3 suspects per homicide victim, even when there is only one perpetrator. More importantly, not all accused are convicted. So, it cannot be true that that 186 PAL holders committed homicide over this 11 year time period.

This is a sweeping indictment of the Canadian Firearms Program.

If Senator Pratte really believed that unlicensed gun owners were less violent than PAL holders, he should oppose licensing.

Senator Pratte disparages my estimates

The Senator criticizes my estimate that licensed gun owners are less likely to be involved in firearm homicides than other Canadians. The estimate in my testimony to the Senate was based on a Special Request to Statistics Canada, just as his was. A key difference in our estimates was that StatsCan provided me with only those licensed owners who had been “accused,” not just suspected. Unsurprisingly, there are somewhat fewer “accused” than “suspects.” Senator Plett has pointed out that 42% of those who are charged with homicide are cleared, so the true count of murderers are PAL holders is much less than 186.

Senator Pratte commits another elementary error when he claims, “Licensed owners represent 7% of Canada’s adult population, yet account for at least 12% of firearm homicides committed each year in Canada.”

He is correct that 7% of the adult pop hold a PAL, but after correcting his counting errors, PAL holders are “suspected of” committing 9% of firearm homicides (using his StatsCan report), or “accused of” committing 7% of firearm homicides, using what StatsCan reported to me.

Note that 83% of PAL holders are adult males, so that the group that PAL holders are most comparable to are adult Canadian males. Just 7% of PAL holders are accused of committing homicide while adult males are accused of committing more than 80% of homicides.

Adult PopulationAdult Male PopulationPAL holders% PAL/Adults% PAL/Adult males

StatsCan doesn’t report how many PAL holders were convicted.

It is important to keep in mind that the numbers of PAL holders either “accused” or “suspected” of homicide are exceptionally small and are based upon notoriously unreliable police reports.

As Senator Plett has pointed out, at the bottom of the spreadsheet that Senator Pratte relies upon is the warning from Statistics Canada that “data related to firearm licensing of the charged / suspect-chargeable should be interpreted with caution.”

Some basic statistics:

From 2006 through 2015, an average of 126 PAL holders were reported by the police as being “accused” (my stats) or 168 “suspected” of committing homicide (Senator Pratte’s). Out of 2 million PAL holders. There were 1,736 homicide victims where the accused used a firearm.

For more insight into Senator Pratte’s claims, please see Senator Plett’s comments or Dr. Langmann’s:

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Dr. Langmann’s rebuttal:

8 Comments on "Senator Pratte stumbles"

  1. Isn’t this typical? Math is hard, and the Senate is a place where lies are commonly backed up with fantasy and statistics. The fact remains that the Liberal Party of Canada would be delighted to disarm Canadian citizens. If they can’t use the truth to support their reprehensible philosophies (which includes destroying our military as well) they will gladly use “alternative facts”.

  2. pierre st martin | February 27, 2019 at 6:37 am | Reply

    tell senator pratte s that 5 mounth ago there was 60 millions hunters in the USA AND CANADA and not ONE mass shooting accuerd from a hunter ty TELL mr PRATTE S to go after criminel sthat have illigal gun not the legal gun s owners!!!!

  3. If we end up disarming the civilian gun population, there is no longer a reason for the police to be armed themselves, and only a few tactical groups will be armed for serious cases.

    • It is much easier to disarm PAL holders than thugs or scofflaws. Even after ‘disarmament’ many civilians will continue to hold weapons illegally. Add in the terrorist want-a-bes, so the police will always need to be armed.

  4. There is a whole industry in Canada dealing with the sale of legal weapons, which is billions of dollars. This industry is keeping tens of thousands of Canadians alive, most of them would be bankrupt, and all this to please a small group of female lobbysts supported by police chiefs’ associations who would not ask. better to see only the police being armed in this country. This is how the dictatorship is established.

  5. jamie chamberlain | February 27, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Reply

    thank you very much for this interesting article. This should be published in everyday newspapers.


  6. James G.T. Brown | February 27, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Reply

    As a former serving police officer, now retired the last thug I caught and convicted carrying a loaded .38 special received a total of 60 days.
    During the coarse of the trial we nearly lost as the accused before the court was arrested by myself and my partner was not cautioned properly .
    I ran into him later and he told me that he now had a better piece.
    He was not carrying at the time.

  7. Let’s get back to Peel’s Principles of Policing, something some police service websites such as the New Westminster Police in BC promote. Essentially, we are all responsible for upholding the law. The only difference is that a few can earn a living at it. Let the thugs carry. Let law abiding gun owners carry. There are many more of us than there are of them. With the money we save on “policing” we could pay for carry guns and training for anyone who wants it. Problem solved.

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