In the final days before the vote on C-391 to kill the long-gun registry, here’s a little something for gun control advocates to ponder.
In the final days before the vote on C-391 to kill the long-gun registry, here’s a little something for gun control advocates to ponder.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the “Montreal Massacre”. On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine/Gamil Gharbi embarked on a shooting spree at École Polytechnique in Montreal. In twenty minutes, he shot 28 people, killing 14, before turning his gun on himself.
Tragedies of this sort are extremely rare in Canada. Since 1975, when the first recorded shooting took place, there have been only 8 school shootings in this country. The École Polytechnique shooting claimed more lives than all of the other shootings combined.
The real tragedy though, is the way that left-wing fringe groups continue to use the events of that day for their own purposes. While I don’t agree with them, I can understand why the founders of the Coalition for Gun Control reacted as they did in the immediate aftermath of the shooting – the CGC was co-founded by Wendy Cukier and Heidi Rathjen, who was present at École Polytechnique the day of the shooting.
What I can’t understand or condone is how they justify their actions now, twenty years after the fact. Every year, militant feminist groups and gun control advocates brazenly disinter the victims, parading their ghosts before the public in a thinly veiled attempt to manipulate and shame people into supporting their cause.
The shooting at École Polytechnique was unique because the gunman specifically targetted women for the purpose of “fighting feminism”. Much discussion has taken place over the last two decades as to what motivated Marc Lépine/Gamil Gharbi. Some point to his upbringing with a mysoginist father, others say he suffered brain damage due to abuse, but the most commonly trumpeted response is that he was representative of wider societal violence against women.
It is this thinking that has led extremist feminist groups to hijack the anniversary of that day to shamelessly use it for their own ends. Rather than seeking real solutions to violence in our society and the causes of domestic abuse, they instead sully the memory of those who died in order to promote their own brand of misandry.
Approximately 70 women are killed as a result of domestic violence each year. Since 1989, that’s roughly 1400 women who have lost their lives. If these organizations claiming to be for the advancement of women’s rights were truly interested in preventing violence against women, you’d think they would be focussing on the 1400, rather than the 14.
There’s a very simple reason why these groups focus on the 14 though: it’s easier. Concentrating on the 1400 would require them to look for real solutions to complicated and deeply rooted problems in our society. By making a lot of noise and focussing on the gun control legislation that sprang from this tragedy, they can go to bed at night content that they’ve “done something” to prevent violence against women. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t work.
This year, when the Gun Control Lobby and the extremist feminist groups dishonour the victims of École Polytechnique, which they’ve already started, take a moment to remember that the women who lost their lives that day were people, not symbols. See the organizations who debase the memory of these women for what they really are: a group of angry, scared and grieving people who would rather blame men and guns for all of their problems than tackle the real issues.
Rest in Peace
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968)
Hélène Colgan (born 1966)
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966)
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967)
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968)
Maud Haviernick (born 1960)
Maryse Laganière (born 1964)
Maryse Leclair (born 1966)
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967)
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961)
Michèle Richard (born 1968)
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966)
Annie Turcotte (born 1969)
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958)
When I created this blog, I had no desire to turn it into the Elizabeth Mandelman show. But since she continues to post half-truths and outright lies and I’ve been banned from commenting on her blog, I’m left with little choice.
In one of my early posts on Ms Mandelman’s blog (now deleted), I made a comment about how victims choose to stay with their abusive partners. Another reader took exception to that:
“…I find it very presumptuous to say that all Pat had to do was leave. How can you leave someone who is threatening your life with a gun? If she were to leave, how do you know her husband were not to follow her to wherever she was staying and harm not only her but also the people she loves? Also, it is important to note that her daughter must have been very young at the time. Thus, it was not solely her own well being for which she had to be concerned but additionally that of her child.”
I agree that once a relationship reaches that degree of violence and abuse, leaving is no easy task. And children most definitely complicate the issue. The point that people like Natasha and Ms Mandelman are missing is that abusive relationships don’t just “happen”. People don’t just wake up one morning and say to themselves “I think I’m going to kick my spouse in the head today.” These relationships evolve over time. The incidents usually start out small and easy to rationalize with thoughts like “they didn’t really mean it”, or “it was an accident”. But over time they gradually become worse and worse, because by staying, the victim is silently telling their partner that their behaviour is acceptable. There are thousands of points along the way where the victim makes the choice to stay and accept the abuse.
So I agree with Cindy Cowan when she says:
“Spending money on ‘patching women up’ is not the solution to ending domestic violence.”
Patching women up is quite literally, a Band-Aid solution. Education programs in high schools, public awareness campaigns, treatment programs for abusers, an end to our “revolving door” justice system, these would be fantastic starting points to address the issue of domestic violence. Increased restrictions on law-abiding citizens, on the other hand, would not.
The Firearms Act has done absolutely nothing to reduce the rates of domestic violence. According to Statistics Canada, a weapon is used in only 7% of spousal assault cases, and it’s female abusers who reach for a weapon twice as often as men. A firearm is used in spousal assault in a whopping 0.1% of cases, 0.08% of the time against women. That’s about 35 women per year. And there’s no indication as to how many of those women are threatened/harmed with a legally registered firearm. At a cost of $100 million per year to maintain the incomplete and inaccurate long gun registry for only 35 victims (specific to their cause), it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how deeply flawed the positions of Ms Mandelman and IANSA are.
Additionally, the use of a firearm in cases of spousal homicide has been declining since the 1970s. You’ll note from the graph below, that the rate of decline has actually slowed since the introduction of the Firearms Act in 1995. I’ve asked this question before, and I’ll continue to ask it until the “other side” can give me an answer: What could a piece of legislation introduced in 1995 possibly have to do with a trend that started in 1974?
In part of her interview with Cindy Cowan, Ms Mandelman made this video. In it, Ms Cowan states:
“…[it’s about societies] that say some people are worth less than, right, they have less value…”
I know exactly what she means. I am a firearms owner after all. According to the gun control lobby, my rights are less than the rights of abused women. According to the gun control lobby, it’s perfectly acceptable to limit the rights of 2 million licensed firearms owners for the sake of 35 women. I mean we’re only talking about the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, the right to be presumed innocent, and the right against unreasonable search and seizure, just to name a few. It’s not like those rights are important or anything. Those 2 million people are downright selfish for fighting to regain those rights when there are 35 women at risk who chose to stay in abusive relationships. How insensitive of those brutish, Neanderthal gun owners.
I’ll leave the dripping sarcasm behind to finish with one last part of Ms Mandelman’s blog.
“When they do take the step to begin a new life, they must often do so with someone else’s used sheets and outgrown clothes. How is this fair? How is it, I wonder, that there are individuals that consider their privilege of owning a firearm more worthy than the right to safety and protection, afforded to all Canadian citizens by their government?”
Second-hand clothes and sleeping in a dorm are not exactly one of life’s great hardships. Having done so for many years myself, I wouldn’t call it a hardship at all, but I realize that’s a highly subjective point. If it concerns Ms Mandelman that much, maybe she should consider just how many new sheets and clothes $100 million per year could buy these shelters.
As to her claim that firearm ownership is only a privilege in Canada, well I now have the happy job of informing her that she’s incorrect. I’ve recently been educated on that point myself. The details can be found here about halfway down the page under the section titled Right to Bear Arms.
As Ms Mandelman correctly stated, in Canada we do have the right to security of the person. This is the part where I get a little bit fuzzy about the gun control lobby’s stance. They claim to be fighting their campaign in the name of public safety, or in this case for the reduction of domestic violence. How then, do they justify taking away the very tool that a woman might use to protect herself?
Elizabeth Mandelman says:
Add the number of domestic abuse deaths prevented and the number of perpetrators prohibited from acquiring firearms to the number of prevented suicides (or the use of firearms by people mentally unstable to own one), prevented accidents, and prevented criminal activities in this and other countries together, and it’s pretty easy to justify the Firearms Act (and, as has been pointed out again and again, it did not cost $2billion dollars).
You are correct in stating that you haven’t been using an emotional plea, and neither have I. There are fellows in other countries such as Uganda, Argentina, Nepal and Serbia, working on the same issue that I am. However, in those countries, there are no harmonized laws. Take a look at the statistics on domestic abuse and the use of firearms in those places, and maybe you’ll understand better why sometimes regulation is a good thing. I’m here looking at the Firearms Act as good practice, determing what elements are useful and what changes could be made to make the legislation even better. So by me being here, I am working to help other places in the world that you say are in need of people like me, with convictions.
Please tell me I’m wrong. Please tell me that Ms Mandelman didn’t just try to compare domestic violence in Canada to domestic violence in 2nd & 3rd world countries.
The above comment was taken from Elizabeth Mandelman’s blog. She’s working with IANSA on their Disarm Domestic Violence campaign. The campaign was recently launched in several countries around the world: Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, DR Congo, El Salvador, Haiti, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
I’m not going to raise the question of what Canada could possibly have in common with the other 27 countries on that list. I am going to ask if Ms Mandelman actually believes the segment that I highlighted. Because it sounds to me like she is implying (if not outright saying) that the primary reason that our firearms use and domestic violence rates are lower in Canada, is because of our laws.
So the extreme poverty in most of those countries has nothing to do with it? The staggering lack of education is irrelevant? Not just the history, but the culture of violence that is so prevalent in many of those countries isn’t important to the issue of domestic violence? And the fact that the majority of the countries on that list are traditionally patriarchal societies in which women have few inherent rights – that doesn’t factor in at all?
You see, I’ve been to several of the countries on that list. I’ve seen first hand how their societies work. I can say with absolute 100% conviction that restricting access to firearms will do NOTHING to reduce domestic violence in any of them. Sure, it may reduce firearm use, but the crime rates and levels of violence will remain the same.
The rate of domestic violence has been declining in Canada for decades. Any claims that a law which was introduced in 1995 has had any measurable effect on the numbers are completely false and not supported by the available data. In fact a weapon is used only 7% of the time in cases of domestic violence – that’s all types of weapons, not just firearms.
Spousal Homicide Rate
“The rates of overall fi rearm-related violent crime have been stable since 2003. Most violent offences, including homicide, attempted murder, robbery, forcible confinement and assault follow a similar pattern. Longer-term data, available for homicide and robbery, show that the rates of these two offences gradually declined throughout the past three decades with recent levels well below those reported in the 1970s. While the incidence of firearm-related violent crime is relatively low, those that are committed with a firearm most often involve a handgun.“
The section I’ve highlighted in bold shows, once again, that firearm-related crime has been falling since the 1970’s. So how could anyone claim that a piece of legislation introduced in 1995 has had anything whatsoever to do with it?
Handguns have been registered in Canada since 1934. Yet, as the section I’ve underlined states, they’re still the most used type of firearm in violent crimes. So what exactly has registration accomplished again?
There are many, many factors involved in the issue of domestic violence, especially in the third world. Claiming that tighter gun laws reduce domestic violence is not only statistically false, it’s also a betrayal of the victims whom the makers of these laws are supposedly trying to protect.