Tag Archives: elizabeth mandelman

What is it really about?


Over the last several months, three bills have been introduced addressing the gun registry (C-301, S-5, C-391).  Each of these has been met with opposition so vehement, that I’ve been left scratching my head.

Time and again, the same tired arguments are trotted out by the Gun Control Lobby.  Time and again, those arguments are proven to be inaccurate or just plain wrong.  Yet they continue to repeat them ad nauseum at every available opportunity.

This leaves me with more questions than answers. 

  • Where is this irrational fear and hatred of a simple object coming from?
  • Why does the anti-gun crowd cling so desperately to the same clichéd opinions when there is no evidence to support them?
  • Why do they think that because they are offended by something, that someone else should be forced to change?
  • Why don’t they see anything wrong with the government taking away people’s basic human rights in the name of “public safety”?
  • What gives them the right to project their fears and insecurities onto 7 million law-abiding citizens?

 And most importantly, and most disturbing for me 

  • Is all of this vitriol really about guns?

You see I can’t help but wonder: why all this noise?  Why this big global push for civilian disarmament?  No doubt, many of the “boots on the ground” naively tow the party line (this blogger immediately comes to mind) and truly believe that an unarmed populace would be safer.  But I find it impossible to fathom that the people running the show have such pure intentions.

Anyone with even the most limited knowledge of history is aware of the atrocities that humans have visited upon one other throughout time.  Before the gun, it was the sword, and the spear, and sticks, and stones, and bare hands.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the cause of violence isn’t the tool being used, but rather the person who is wielding it.

So what’s really going on?  Is all of this clamouring over guns really as superficial as the public has been led to believe?  Or is it merely a distraction, an entertainment, to keep us occupied while something else is being orchestrated in the wings?  Or scarier still, is this all part of a larger Orwellian scheme to disempower the people as governments and corporations insidiously worm their way further into our private lives?

I have no idea who coined this phrase, but it has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Whoever said it, I can’t say that I disagree.  Because when only the military and the police are armed, the people don’t stand a chance.

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A Ray of Truth About Domestic Violence


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:

 Natasha says:

“…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?

62% of statistics are made up on the spot


The title of this entry may be a bit facetious, but there is an element of truth to it.  The written word is often taken as absolute gospel.  That’s because most people, understandably, can’t be bothered to verify the facts themselves.  It’s for this reason that I cite my references and sources whenever I quote anything, be it a statistic or a comment.  And when it comes to statistics, I try to use neutral sources, like Statistics Canada, wherever possible.  This way I get the true numbers before the spin has been added.

I was just re-reading Elizabeth Mandelman’s “An Interview with Wendy Cukier” and I found myself dumbfounded by the first sentence:

“In Canada, 85% of female homicide victims are murdered by their partners and in Ontario, possession or access to firearms is the fifth leading risk factor for femicide.”

Something about that number, 85%, just didn’t ring true to me, so I did some digging.  Lo and behold, it’s a complete fabrication.  The numbers for 2007, according to this document, state:

Total Homicides                                                  594

Female Victims                                                    162

Females killed by spouse                                       51

(legal and common law, past and current)

Killed by boyfriend/girlfriend/intimate                     16

(past and current)

The last number isn’t broken down into male and female victims, so for my purposes, I’m going to assume a worst-case scenario and say that all of the victims were female.  That gives us a grand total of 67 women who were killed by their current or previous spouse or partner (51+16=67).  So with 162 women killed in total for the year 2007 that works out to 41% of female homicide victims being murdered by their partners.  Not 85% as was so sensationally claimed in Ms Mandelman’s blog.

Is that still a horrendous figure? Absolutely.  But at least it’s the real figure and not a fabricated number designed to illicit an emotional response from the reader. 

According to the RCMP, there are about 2 million licensed firearms owners in Canada.  Most estimates place the actual number of firearms owners at around 5 million people.  That accounts for roughly 15% of the population of Canada. 

Call me crazy here, but if you’re heading a campaign to bring in new laws that will have an immediate and direct impact on 15% of the population, is it not too much to ask that you tell the truth?

Setting the record straight


Following up on my last entry, I’m going to take this opportunity to post a couple of my entries that were axed from Ms Mandelman’s blog.  They were such wonderful pieces of literary genius, it would be a shame to let them rot on my hard drive 😀  Unfortunately I didn’t save them all.  Enjoy!

In response to this entry were these disappearing comments:

Jayde says,

 Elizabeth,

The reason that people who are pro-gun bring up the idea of disarming an entire populace is quite simple. Many pro-gun types are students of history. And history has shown us that firearm registration invariably leads to firearm confiscation – look at Hitler, Castro and Mao to name just three.

History has also shown us that bans never work. The war on drugs and prohibition immediately spring to mind.

Registering firearms to reduce domestic violence makes about as much sense as registering needles to reduce international drug trafficking.

It’s logic 101 Ms Mandelman. Just because all women are human, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all humans are women. Just because guns are sometimes used in cases of domestic violence, it doesn’t necessarily follow that domestic violence is dependent on the gun.

 2nd post by me

Jayde says,

And I’d also like to add that I did read the description of Ms Saywell’s documentary. I was particularly struck by the first line “Small arms are the real weapons of mass destruction, killing more than half a million people a year, spreading like a disease and destablizing entire regions.”

Half a million people a year….I’m assuming that’s globally. Considering that approximately 60 million people die worldwide each year, that accounts for about 0.8% of all deaths each year.

Heart disease takes over 7 million people (12%). Stroke another 4 million (7%). Respiratory infections (including TB) claims about 8 million people globally each year (15%).

Road traffic accidents account for 1.5 million deaths a year. That’s fully 300% more deaths than caused by small arms each year. It would seems to me that cars – not guns – are the real weapons of mass destruction.

 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/facts…/en/index.html

 Elizabeth Mandelman says:
July 25, 2009 at 9:54 am
Jayde-
1,000 people die worldwide per day because of gun violence. If you’re unable to grasp the fact that this equates to a HUGE problem because you’d rather fight for what you think are your inherent rights (which FYI-gun ownership is NOT in Canada) then help end the illegal trade of guns through registering yours, which you own legally, then I don’t what else I can tell you. You clearly put your own self interests above anything else, like helping to keep society safe and preventing more refugee camps from having to be erected in places like Somalia.

 Jayde says:
July 25, 2009 at 10:30 am
Elizabeth
Of course I put my own self-interests above anything else. So do you. So does every person on this planet. If you don’t nobody else will do it for you.

You’re correct. In Canada we don’t have a right to own a gun. In fact, in Canada we have absolutely no property rights whatsoever. We don’t technically “own” anything. The government could take our home away from us with absolutely no compensation if they felt like it.

But we do have a right to self defense. And I will use whatever means are at my disposal to exercise that right. And statistics show that in a structured society, when citizens are armed the crime rates are lowered dramatically. Just look at Washington, DC if you’d like proof – they lifted their handgun ban last year and homicide rates in the city have plummeted.

I understand your drive to help others. I just think your efforts are misguided. Registering every gun is an impossible and pointless mission. I’ve been to war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. I’ve seen first hand how things work there. Removing the illegal guns will not stop these wars. If they can’t get guns, they’ll resort to machetes and spears. But the wars will still continue.

 And in response to this entry I wrote:

 Elizabeth
If you haven’t noticed it yet, I love statistics And I’ve got the perfect one for you today.

A member of the Edmonton Police Service has been conducting a survey of officers across the country, asking them whether or not they find the firearms registry to be a useful tool. Since April of this year, over 1600 officers have responded, and only 117 think we should keep the registry. That works out to about 1 in 14, or roughly 7%. I’ll say that again: only 7% of police officers polled across Canada think that the firearms registry is a useful tool. One respondent was quoted as saying,

“I think the gun registry gives people a false sense of security, including police officers. Most people don’t realize how confusing and poorly run this system is. I have yet to meet a crack dealer or a murderer who had a registered firearm or license. Two billion dollars would have fed a lot of people, or fixed a lot of roads, or bought a lot of medical supplies for Canadians. It is time the gun registry was scrapped.”

Aside from the cost, another issue of the registry is security. Are you aware that the registry database has been hacked dozens of times since its inception? That’s right, a database that has the address of every legal gun owner in the country, as well as an itemized inventory of which firearms each person owns has repeatedly been breached. In my world, that’s one hell of a public safety concern.

On top of that, the database is so flawed and inaccurate, that the information it contains is inadmissible in a court of law. If Detective Hawes finds it useful, well good for him, but he’s one of the very few police officers in this country who does. And I’ll just finish by saying this: in the video clip that you’ve included, everything that Detective Hawes said about gun control had to do with licensing not registration.

Censorship at it’s finest


Alright, I’m going to try really hard to keep this short, but that’ll probably be a lost cause 🙂

 I’ve been following Elizabeth Mandelman’s blog for a couple of weeks now, and I’m really disappointed.  For those who don’t know, Ms Mandelman is just the newest kid on the block in a long line of anti-gun advocates in Canada.  There are two things that particularly annoy me about Ms Mandelman’s blog:

 #1 – She’s American and has only been in Canada for a few weeks.  If she was planning on staying in this country permanently, I wouldn’t hold that against her.  But she’s just passing through for grad school.  Now I don’t know about you, but when a guest in my country starts meddling in affairs that they don’t fully understand, it tends to irk me a little bit.

 #2 – This one here is the kicker, and where my disappointment comes in.  As a grad student, I had hoped that Ms Mandelman would be a bit more open to debate.  But unfortunately, it seems she’s just like all the other antis that have come before her: she’s only open to debate so long as you don’t disagree with her too much.

 Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s her blog and she’s free to do whatever she wants with it.  It’s all fine and dandy to disallow a comment or two, but to actively go back and erase every single comment made by a poster on every single blog entry….well, now that’s just censorship, pure and simple. 

 I’ll admit that I have a rather dry and sardonic wit, that doesn’t always come through that well in text.  But seriously.  Come on!  If I was being disrespectful, that’s one thing, but the only crime that I committed was to post cold, hard facts that contradicted Ms Mandelman’s platform.

 It’s pretty typical though.  Pro-gun advocates rely on statistics and facts to back up their arguments, while anti-gun advocates rely on emotional pleas to compensate for their lack of hard evidence.  I don’t know why I expected anything different really…