Via email from the CSSA
On January 13, 2018, a bullet fired from a drug dealer’s gun ended 15-year-old Alfred Wong’s life. He died in the back seat of his parents’ vehicle as it traveled down Broadway near Ontario Street, another tragic victim of Vancouver’s ongoing drug trade turf wars.
Our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to Alfred Wong’s family as they cope with the death of their son and the horror now permanently etched on their hearts.
The Province reports known drug dealer Kevin Whiteside, the intended target, has prior firearms convictions and a court-ordered lifetime firearms prohibition order registered against him. On the day he died, Whiteside violated that firearms prohibition order, shooting back at his own killer.
Kash Heed, former B.C. solicitor general, said: “These firearms are from outside of Canada or they are taken during burglaries here in Canada. There is a market for this kind of commodity and most of that market goes to the individuals that are involved in gang activity or drug activity.”
Kash Heed is correct – drug dealers and gangs are the primary market for illegal guns. Therefore, police and government focus should be stopping drug dealers and criminal gangs.
Unfortunately, Kim Bolan, writing for The Province, offered misinformation instead of fact when she ended her column with this statement: “As of 2016, most B.C. criminals were getting their guns in Canada. Some were stolen from individuals or businesses. Others were bought by ‘straw purchasers’ – people not on police radar who are paid to get a gun licence and make legal firearm purchases on behalf of a criminal.”
Bolan perpetuates the myth promoted by police that most criminals obtain their guns inside Canada.
According to Calibre Magazine’s analysis of the 2015 B.C. Illegal Firearms Task Force Report, fully two-third of B.C.’s illegal guns come from outside Canadian borders.
The combined total of all firearms identified by the study, through any method, as having been domestically sourced totals just 377 of the 1,140 crime guns analyzed. That’s 33 per cent … a far cry from qualifying as anywhere near the “bulk” of crime guns.
As the 2015 B.C. Illegal Firearms Task Force Report data shows, one-third is a long way from “most.”
Bolan also fails to mention the “straw purchasers” are individuals easily tracked and prosecuted by police.
Two recent examples, Justin Green and Matthew Ward-Jackson, obtained firearms with a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence. Both men sold their legally-purchased guns to violent criminals. Both are now serving lengthy prison terms for their crimes, as they should.
Justin Green bought 23 firearms legally. He then sold them to criminals. Only an idiot believes guns sold to criminals cannot be tracked back to the legal purchaser. That’s precisely what happened to Justin Green.
“He [Justin Green] was discovered through the efforts of Toronto’s firearms enforcement unit after they found his gun at a crime scene,” said Crown attorney Erin Pancer. “Green’s the worst type of offender. He’s a trusted citizen who betrayed that trust by trafficking firearms and jeopardizing the lives of Torontonians.”
And he paid the price for violating that trust and is now serving an 8-year prison sentence.
Matthew Ward-Jackson also legally purchased handguns and sold them to criminals, including the handgun he sold to convicted murderer Dellen Millard. He is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence, but with our 2-for-1 pretrial custody rules, only 5 years remain on his sentence.
Once more, violent criminals shooting each other in the street leaves an innocent young man dead.
Once more, politicians obfuscate the truth and newspaper writers happily dish out misinformation as if it were the indisputable truth.