Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Guns & Violent Crime in Canada

Today I attended a very interesting and informative talk by SFU professor, Gary Mauser, at the Fraser Institute. The title of his presentation was "Guns and Gangs: What should we do?"

Mauser presented many compelling points:

  • Crime statistics are often misused to move forth the speaker\writer's agenda.
  • Since the Long Gun Registry came in to being in 1998, violent crime has gone up.
  • Statistics on "violent crime" in the US & Canada are measured differently and thus not directly comparable.
  • Gang related homicide is definitely going up though.
  • Current research of crime reduction programs in Canada is "program research", not "scientific research". This research always tends to justify the programs.
  • No empirical data exists that draws any correlation between the Long Gun Registry and any crime trends. Put another way, there's absolutely no evidence that this registry has accomplished anything. Though it has consumed $2,000,000,000, which is approximately 20% of all police expenditures.
  • Handgun bans in all English speaking countries has had no effect in reducing violent crime.
  • Violent crime convictions and incarcerations in the US are decreasing violent crimes.
  • There are now strong suspicions that the home addresses of gun owners has been stolen by organized crime.
  • The USSR had a complete gun ban but had 5x the homicide rate of the U.S.
In summary, Mauser suggested 3 steps as a solution:
  • Community policing,
  • More convictions
  • Longer sentences

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