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Archive for August, 2018

Political Posturing and the Lies of Media Organisations

Posted by Keen Observer on August 24, 2018

I sure seem to take long breaks between posts, hey?  Married life, work, and now a new baby…it all takes time.  I don’t see how people can take care of all these things properly and still have time for frequent (or even irregular) blogging.

I wish I could post this in the the places that really need to read it, but I know some people will freak out.  So we’re at my relatively-anonymous blog again.  And I should give you a bit of a language warning….

The conversation over “gun control” in Canada is full of lies and bullshit, and I’m getting sick of it.  Emotions are being fanned over the bodies of people not yet cold in the ground.  Every fucking time.  It’s worse here in Canada than in the US, because the incidents are so much fewer and further between.

Any gun owner in Canada needs a firearms license that can take several months to process, even after authorities complete background checks. Those who want to use restricted weapons, such as many semi-automatic rifles or handguns, must get licenses to own the firearms, as well as another to even take them out of their homes to places like gun clubs. [Italics mine]

This is all key information (quoted from the Wall Street Journal, of all places, following the most-recent Canadian shootings).  The cowardly Canadian press outlets rarely (or never) include this tidbit.  They prefer to have the ignorant masses believing that guns are as easy to acquire as a latte at Tim Hortons.  Course-work from certified trainers.  Examinations.  Certification renewals.  Background checks.  A lifetime of surrendering your privacy to officious bureaucrats that can enter your home at any time for any (or no) reason, without a warrant, simply to “check if your firearms are properly stored, and stored separately from properly-stored ammunition”.  Nope, you cannot actually display your functional weapons on a wall at all, let alone in a ready-to-fire state.  Under Canada’s laws, a firearm is practically useless for home self-defence, because it’s locked away, separate from its ammunition, which is also locked away.  Canada’s firearms regulations can be found by browsing around here.

People keep calling for handgun and assault weapon bans. which is one of those bullshit things.  “Assault weapons”–which is a nebulous categorisation, but I’ll go along with the general understanding of “full-automatic or select-fire rifle with a magazine containing 20 or more rounds and used primarily for military purposes”–ARE FUCKING ILLEGAL FOR PRIVATE CITIZENS IN CANADA TO OWN.  They are prohibited weapons, not restricted.  We, the People, are forbidden from owning them.  Only the military may have them, and to a far-lesser extent, police forces.  A ban on them is pointless political theatre that will have no result except to continue to demonise honest, law-abiding, firearms owners.

Do you know how you can tell a movie or TV show with guns was filmed in Canada?  The “assault weapons” only fire single shots.  They’re prop guns, but they still can’t make them shoot full-auto on screen (except in post-production).  There are NO legal “assault weapons” in Canada that are not in the hands of the military or the police.  Proviso: certain “antique” weapons would have been grandfathered in at some point in the past, but they would have had to be rendered unable to shoot.

Did you know that it’s illegal to own any operational weapon with a capacity of greater than ten rounds?  ILLEGAL.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a rifle or a pistol, it’s illegal.  Shotguns are limited to FIVE rounds, and a “standard” 8-round tube would have to be physically crimped to be considered legal in Canada.  Having a restricted licence doesn’t make larger capacities any more legal.  So, it’s not legal to own a pistol that can hold 17 rounds, like a Beretta or a Glock with a full-capacity magazine, and the “banana clip” magazines that are used in “assault weapons” are therefore also illegal to possess.  Extended and drum magazines are way out.

The average Canadian doesn’t even know that there are two kinds of firearms licences for regular schmoes: the PAL (Possession and Acquisition Licence) and the RPAL (Restricted PAL).  You can’t even LEGALLY buy ammunition (or gunpowder/supplies to make your own, I believe) for a firearm without one.  You must fulfil the requirements for a PAL before you can get an RPAL, which is what you need to get Restricted weapons, like handguns and certain types of long guns (mostly semi-automatics).  And handguns have been restricted since the 1930s.  All restricted-class weapons HAVE TO BE registered, or you are contravening the law.  Plus, there’s that separate permit to transport your legally-acquired weapons to and from a shooting range.  And a permit to carry your weapon?  Effectively impossible to get as a private citizen:  either you work for an armoured-car company defending other people’s money, or you have to be under real, verifiable threat of death by persons unknown.  Stuff like that.

One of the worst mass shootings in history took place in Norway, which has gun laws about as restrictive as ours.  It didn’t stop that fucker (whom I will not name) from murdering kids by the boatload after he set off a fucking BOMB to distract the police and give him more time for murdering.  And he passed his background checks.

By way of contrast, the US state of Delaware, which has effectively no gun laws, has a murder rate of about 0.005%–for the report year, that was 56 murders for a population of about 952,000, but it wasn’t mentioned how many of those murders were by firearm or how many of those by police.  The fucker in the previous paragraph killed 62 by himself.  With a semi-automatic, non-assault weapon.  Mass shootings are not about the weapon, but the shooter, but people always seem to gloss over this part.  Plus, mass shooters, being the cowards that they are, always go to soft targets like schools, malls, transport stations…things like that.  Even easier are places (in the US at least) that are designated as “gun-free” zones.  Easy pickings.  Like shooting fish in a barrel.  “Nobody can stop me.”

The Danforth Shooter (whose name I will also not repeat) has been reported to have been using a pistol with a full-capacity magazine.  One report quoted a police source as saying, “He had seven magazines with him and each magazine carries between 12 and 15 bullets….”  The weapon itself was not legally acquired:  one report (a likely lie) stated it was stolen from a house in Saskatoon, and another (more likely) says it was acquired from gang sources after being smuggled in from the US–both statements cannot be true simultaneously.  Regardless the case, a handgun of this type (sporting the full-cap mag) is ILLEGAL in Canada, and it was illegally in the shooter’s possession.  So, how, exactly, does increased gun control help?  And that doesn’t even get into his connection to organised crime through his now-comatose brother.

Even in countries where private gun ownership is completely illegal, people still find ways to kill other people, and some people kill multiples.  In fact, while I was still working on this essay, two people in a suburb of Paris were murdered with a knife and another injured in what looks like a religion-based domestic dispute.  The killer was subsequently shot and killed by police, after which ISIL claimed responsibility for the murders.  But this cowardly twat doesn’t even register as a bladed mass murderer:  in Japan in 2016, one man stabbed 19 people to death and injured 26, but in China in 2014, four people murdered 29 and wounded 130 at a train station in Kunming.  And in both countries, gun control laws are extremely strict.  Ironically, the single-man murder spree was more effective on a tactical level.

The problem in Canada IS NOT and HAS NEVER BEEN guns.  Guns are inert.  Ammunition is inert.  Ammunition in a magazine is inert.  A loaded weapon is inert.  None of these is intrinsically dangerous.  What’s dangerous–and this is regardless of the weapons platform–is people and their intent.  And yet, Canada’s various governments and press agencies continue their decades-long attack on honest, law-abiding gun owners, instead of dealing with the problems that the governments have largely created.

Toronto’s mayor, an opportunistic dirtbag who shall also remain nameless, decided to go after such owners with lies, which the press allowed to pass both unchallenged and unremarked.  “Why does anyone who lives in a city need a gun?” he asks, rhetorically.  Such a question can only be asked by someone totally unfamiliar with them or their uses.  What does living in a city have to do with that?  He demands legal gun owners justify their ownership of legal, legally-acquired property, but makes no attempt to defend a position that would see millions of people made criminals with the stroke of a pen, to say nothing of the unjustified seizure of personal property that would necessarily follow.    But the problem, he said, is that 50% of all gun crimes are committed with stolen (i.e., once legally owned) guns.  The problem, he said, is that the Harper government shit-canned the pointless, and boondoggley-expensive long-gun registry.  Like, billions of dollars wasted for no purpose.  The problem, he said, is easily fixed by BANNING GUNS!  Especially pistols and “assault weapons” (see above).

The first “problem” is that both he and the press are passing along a lie, in the form of an incomplete truth.  Of pistols used in crimes solely in western Canada, only 28% could be traced.  Of those 29%, half could be traced to a previous, legal owner from whom they were stolen.  14% of western Canada, not 50% in the whole country.  Only a 72% difference, and a heap of lies in the middle.  How winding down a registry that exists solely for rifles and shotguns could lead to an increase in crimes committed by supposed-to-be-registered pistols is a connection so tenuous, only someone tripping on acid could see it.  Plus, handgun murder rates decreased between 1999 and 2015, despite a reported 14x increase in handgun imports over the same period.  A correlation between legal gun ownership and crime/murder rates does not exist.  And the press continually lie about “assault weapons” or “assault-style weapons” as well, given that true “assault weapons” are already banned in Canada, and “assault-style” is an even-more-meaningless designation–you want to ban something just because it LOOKS scary?  Are you a fucking child?  And how do you ban all the illegal ones that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT, because, well, they’re ILLEGAL.  And guess what?  Criminals break the law regularly!  Shocker!  Film at eleven!

Any politician or journalist taking or repeating an anti-gun stance is going to be lying to you at some point.  Any of them.  Or all of them, it makes no difference functionally.  They lie about what’s going on; they lie about why they’re doing it; they lie about almost everything related to it.  If they tell you it’s about protecting the kids, they’re lying:  if they wanted to do that, they’d first outlaw cars, which kill far more kids (and adults) than guns do, and they already both require a licence and registration…and insurance!  But tell people that, and you’ll be uniformly derided, because that doesn’t fit the narrative.

And they have to push this narrative, because facing the actual truth is extremely uncomfortable to them.  A few different truths.  The first is that nearly all gun crime is perpetrated by, well, criminals, and mostly in gangs.  The problem, especially in Toronto, is that these troublesome gangs are racially organised.  So, as left-leaning types, the anti-gun types aren’t allowed to focus on race in any way (except to call their opponents “racists”), so they’ll never get to the root causes of their gang-violence problem:  disadvantaged youth of colour.  And there are myriad reasons why they are that and why the are not able to remove themselves from that state and improve their lives without going the gang route.  Those of a conspiracist bent might imply that they’re being kept down by the very people purporting to help them, but other blogs have covered that much more completely than I ever will.

The second is that there are sick, violent people in the world, and there’s not much that can be done about that.  Some of them are genuinely mentally ill, and some of them are Muslim.  For these people, crime is only a means to an end, even if there is some overlap with the criminal underworld.  Bringing to mind the Ethiopian or Sudanese gangs of Edmonton and other cities who also travel to fight with terrorist groups in their home countries.  These sorts of people can do all sorts of killing, but they don’t need guns to do it, either, as multiple vehicle attacks attest.  Guns just make it possible to kill more people in a shorter span of time–than a knife.  Bombs and vehicles work better than knives, too, and it’s only a matter of time before chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons get deployed.  And if you point out that anything negative might obtain to Muslim violence, you almost immediately get called out as a racist…despite the simple fact that “Muslim” is not a race:  it is an adjective describing any member of a particular archaic, barbaric, political belief system masquerading as a religion that is itself intolerant, sexist, misogynistic, misanthropic, self-hating, other-hating, violent, and extremely dangerous.  Their belief system is entirely inimical to integration with western civilisations, full stop.  But that’s a different rant.

The third is that guns are smuggled into Canada all the time.  Our borders with the US aren’t particularly proof against smuggling of any type, despite what law enforcement, the government(s), or the mass media might have you believe.  There are many places were illegal things (or legal things being imported “illegally”) can cross the border with almost no intervention by the authorities.  Before the EU opened things up within its member states, the US-Canada border was easily the world’s least-enforced, proudly “undefended” for many a decade.  Living next to the world’s gun-owner-est culture in the world makes that a recipe for wanton importation of things illegal (or quasi-legal) here.  Canada doesn’t have the resources necessary to “seal” the border, and the US isn’t likely to do it for us…yet…so, this is just another example of all talk and no action.  The incessant need to be seen doing something would be funny, if it weren’t so sad and dangerous.  It reminds me of needy kids seeking adult approval for some thing or another.  And what Canada needs in its leaders is most-definitely not children seeking approval.

The fourth is that the people “reporting” on gun-related issues are either ignorant, stupid, or disingenuous.  A case in point arose while I was writing this essay, just as I thought I had completed my three truths.  And then I realised I needed four.  The writer of this article, Claire Theobald, is apparently on the crime beat in the Edmonton area, that wretched hive of scum and villainy.  She incorrectly (in the article and the photo I’ve included in case of sanitisation after the fact) described the recovered weapon as a 30-30, lever-action, sawed-off shotgun, instead of correctly as a 30-30, lever-action, short-barrelled rifle (i.e., a carbine, though in this case, it might be sawed-off and not a legit carbine).  30-30 is not and never has been a shotgun calibre:  those are measured in gauges (e.g., ten, twelve, twenty). [Insert image here when WordPress stops giving me grief about uploading it.] Anyone with any exposure to long firearms will never mistake a rifle for a shotgun, especially one with as iconic a shape as this one–and such lever-action rifles are neither illegal nor restricted in Canada, provided the magazines are limited to ten rounds.  I will admit that the rifle might actually have been sawn down, but sawing down a rifle like this would create a bunch of problems for the shooter, not least being reducing the magazine space (that’s the tube that runs under the barrel, for those unfamiliar).  But two major points out of three are flat-out wrong.  I don’t have enough knowledge to say if it’s just ignorance, or if malice is involved.

One of the stupidest things about all this for me, is that I remember as a kid people driving around in trucks with gun racks containing rifles.  Somehow, these folk managed never to indulge in mass shootings of innocent people.  Or even guilty ones, more’s the pity.  I wonder if it had anything to do with being raised to be responsible people, instead of being raised to be delicate flowers who can’t handle anything, most especially responsibility.  If you treat people like kids, that’s what they’ll act like, especially if treating them like kids does exactly the opposite of instilling any discipline.

This has gotten a lot longer than I intended it to be.  It just seems to keep snowballing as new things pop into view or into mind, and I’m not really sure how to end it.  So I’ll just finish it by saying that nobody in a position to publicise or do anything meaningful about gun crime or putative gun control is capable of speaking the truth about it.  Nobody.  All you will get are untruths and bloviation.

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Posted in Canadian, Firearms, news & journalism, politics, stupidity | Comments Off on Political Posturing and the Lies of Media Organisations