Via email from the CSSA
When Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced his Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit late last year, it was part of his $328 million funding announcement aimed at combating the illegal drug trade and the gangs who shoot up our city streets to protect that trade.
We said then, if Goodale targets drug dealers and violent criminals, fantastic. If his plan is to disarm violent criminals in those gangs, even better. The problem we face is this –– Ottawa and police forces across the nation continue to peddle the lie “the majority” of guns used in crime are “domestically sourced.”
RCMP and other government agencies are stonewalling Dennis Young’s efforts to uncover the source of this “domestically sourced” rumour. However, responses to a string of Access to Information (ATI) requests filed by Mr. Young prove the opposite. Depending on which ATI responses you choose, the number of domestic firearms (guns legally imported and owned) used in crime varies from 8.5% to 33% –– not a majority by any standard.
Our skepticism comes from the fact governments and police are far too willing to attack the soft targets –– licensed, law-abiding Canadian firearm owners –– but seemingly unwilling –– or unable –– to tackle the sources of crime.
Minister Goodale is an honourable man. We want to believe he has Canada’s best interests at heart. We want to believe Minister Goodale respects Canada’s 2.1 million licensed gun owners and their contributions to Canadian society.
When his Guns and Gangs Summit is over, we hope Minister Goodale directs his efforts at the source of the guns and gangs problem –– violent criminal gangs who deal drugs and kill innocent people caught in the crossfire of their ongoing turf wars –– and that he leaves Canada’s most law-abiding citizens alone.
“Too many young people have been killed and too many communities have been marred by gun crime and gun violence. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
We agree with Minister Goodale when he says violent criminals must be stopped. We all want an end to criminal violence, not just in our major cities, but in every town, village and hamlet of our nation.
We hope Minister Goodale’s March 7, 2018, Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit in Ottawa will provide a detailed, coherent and integrated plan to tackle violent criminal gangs and drug dealers. We hope the Minister drops the full weight of our national police forces upon those responsible for the ongoing gang violence and drug turf wars terrorizing our cities.
We take Minister Goodale at his word that he will take concrete action against violent criminals. If the Minister’s course of action focuses on the drug war and those who perpetuate the violence it breeds, we wholeheartedly and unreservedly support him.
We remain cautious, however, as history has shown that governments often attack the low-hanging fruit, lawful gun owners, in their rush to appear to be doing something about criminal violence –– rather than do the hard work required to end it.