LILLEY: Blair touts gun ban that makes no sense

LILLEY: Blair touts gun ban that makes no sense

A handgun ban is still on the table, according to federal cabinet minister Bill Blair.

Blair made the comments while announcing $11.3 million in funding over two years for the Ontario government’s guns-and-gangs strategy.

“We are prepared to look at any measure that would be effective at keeping our communities safe,” Blair said when asked about a possible ban on handguns and assault weapons.

The Trudeau Liberals came to power claiming that they would make their decisions based on facts and evidence. So, has Blair heard or seen evidence that banning law-abiding gun owners from possessing handguns or the ill-defined “assault weapons” would improve public safety?

Blair didn’t answer that question directly when I put it to him but did speak of making it tougher for the wrong people getting their hands on firearms.

Bill Blair, federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction, and Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney on March 12, 2019. (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun)

“When measures are taken that make it more difficult for people who abuse firearms to commit violent criminal acts, when we make it more difficult for them to acquire those guns, we can have a positive impact,” Blair said.

No one would argue against keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals. But for the most part, from this handgun ban study Blair is conducting to Bill C-71 — currently before Parliament — the Liberals have looked to clamp down on law-abiding gun owners rather than armed gangsters.

Why?

It is the easier route.

While law-abiding gun owners follow the rules, gangsters don’t care what you ban. They will use guns to kill, intimidate and rule over their territory.

More regulations on the law abiding just means more rules for the gangsters to break.

While I am skeptical of Blair and his intentions, let me say this: He sounded measured and reasonable on Tuesday; like a man looking for common ground, even if he kept raising the spectre of a handgun ban.

“I think what Canadians expect of us is to examine the issue thoroughly, to listen to Canadians from across the country, to take into account all of the perspectives and to ultimately come up with measures that will be truly effective,” Blair said. “Including an outright ban of handguns and certain other assault-style rifles.”

If Blair is looking for measures that will be effective, then he won’t bother with a handgun ban.

There are literally millions of handguns and so-called “assault-style rifles.”

Why do I keep putting that term in quotes?

Because there is no definition of an “assault rifle.”

I could assault you with anything: A pen, a beer bottle, a chair.

They become weapons when I attack you.

Any rifle could be an “assault rifle” if I attack you with it.

But the reality is that most definitions of an “assault rifle” have to do with how the rifle looks rather than how they operate.

Let’s be honest, we have a problem with gun violence across Canada. But that violence isn’t caused by firearms, but by the people using them.

And by and large, the people using firearms in crimes are not law abiding, licenced gun owners. They are people that buy their guns illegally and use them illegally.

Banning me from owning a pistol or an AR-15 won’t make you safer; I’ll just take those weapons to the range.

What will make you safer is targeting the smugglers who supply gangs with illegal guns from the U.S. and hunting down those who use them in crimes.

Blair made a good announcement on Tuesday in giving money to Ontario to fight gangs and guns. Let’s hope he doesn’t ruin it by attacking duck hunters and sports shooters because they are easier targets than gangsters.

Source URL
https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-blair-touts-gun-ban-that-makes-no-sense
Author Name
Los Lobo