GUNTER: ‘Experts’ ignore facts when it comes to gun control in Canada

According to Statistics Canada, back in 1991 about 1,100 Canadians killed themselves by hanging. Another 1,000 shot themselves dead.

By 2018, about 2,000 hanged themselves, while fewer than 600 committed suicide by firearm.

But despite the fact that hanging deaths have doubled and firearms suicides have fallen by almost half, you never hear anyone call for twine control or a long-rope registry. The “experts” and politicians who push for greater gun control (and who claim their only motive is public safety), seem to have very little interest in facts.

Most years, in the whole country, there are between 150 and 200 murders committed with guns and knives. Some years, guns slightly exceed knives as the murder weapon of choice. Most years stabbing murders are more numerous.

Yet you never hear a Liberal politician demand every home chef be forced to hand over his or her paring knives and potato peelers.

Still, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Bill Blair, the minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continue to hint at a ban on handguns and further restrictions on rifles and shotguns before this fall’s general election.

(I actually think the SNC-Lavalin scandal has made some new form of legislated gun control more likely. The allegations that the Trudeau government may have attempted to subvert Canada’s criminal justice system have begun to eat into core Liberal support. What better way to re-energize the Liberal base than to whip up the “progressive” passion for disarming law-abiding citizens.)

But to justify singling out law-abiding gun owners as the prime target of its anti-crime strategy, a government has to be able to blame legit owners somehow.

“Aha!,” the Liberal lights pop on. “We’ll claim law-abiding gun owners are now the No. 1 source for crime guns in Canada!”

And that is just what the governing party has been doing since the tragic shootings in Toronto’s trendy Danforth neighbourhood last summer – insisting that legit owners are really gun traffickers in disguise.

It’s true that in one year, three years ago, Toronto Police seized more than 500 firearms. The geographic origins of nearly two-thirds could not be determined. However, Toronto Police claimed that of the 200 or so they could pinpoint, the sources where divided roughly equally between the States and Canada.

But that was one year. In one city.

Ottawa police estimate nearly 80% of crime guns in the capital are foreign-sourced. And Hamilton police say smuggled firearms constitute three-quarters of their city’s crime guns.

Still, Liberal ministers persist in the myth that there are 1,200 break-ins every year in Canada to steal firearms, even though StatsCan’s database shows just five “robberies to steal firearms” in 2013, 16 in 2014, 12 in 2015 and 18 each in of 2016 and 2017.

Despite repeated claims by leading Liberals and anti-gun activists, the vast majority of crime guns in Canada are almost certainly not bought legally by a licensed owner here, then lost or sold on the black market.

Moreover, firearms researcher Dennis Young, himself an ex-Mountie, has filed numerous access-to-info requests with the federal government. Young has managed to pry out the fact that neither the RCMP nor StatsCan have ever compiled statistics on the sources of crime guns.

The RCMP admitted to Young they don’t even have a definition of what constitutes a “crime gun.”

Just as the Liberals pushed former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to rig the SNC case for partisan Liberal ends, they seem to be making stuff up about legit gun owners for partisan purposes, too.

It’s as simple and cynical as that.