This program has got to be one of the most melodramatic pieces of "journalistic" trash I have seen in 3 decades of being force-fed anti-US, anti-gun propaganda by the media nannies at the CBC.
Congratulations to the producers for working so hard to omit the obvious racial element to the story. Everyone knows the shootings in Toronto are overwhelmingly associated with the Black community, as they are in the United States. Any search of crime stats by race quickly reveals the truth about these matters. Toronto has a problem with a racial group clearly predisposed to crime. The gun issue is simply a cover so the lib left moonbats at the CBC can advance their pro-criminal agenda. Black kills Black, and the CBC wants to blame a White guy. Utter nonsense.
I am a Canadian member of the NRA. Why, because the NRA besides being the defender of the 2nd Amendment for the Americans is the most honest organizations I have ever been part of.
They have uncovered lies in the media about guns. If guns kill people then pens misspell words. As a native of UK decent I saw England ban handguns only to see the rise of knife crimes increase exponentially and horrific crimes come into play.
Our world has become a complex place where it is known as a small global village with cultural, religious, etc. differences. Crime will not disappear, it exists at every level of our society and our police CANNOT protect all victims.
There is never any news on how Americans save victims by using a gun. Why does the media not look at this. Is it good news, not bad enough?
The media is HOOKED on tabloid trash, that which sells. Good journalism is DEAD on mainstream media. I have switched to PBS for news and programing.
EVERYONE SANE PERSON SHOULD OWN AND CARRY A GUN BY LAW, BECAUSE OUR POLICE CANNOT PROTECT US ANYMORE!
— Posted on September 4, 2009 11:02 PM
This story misses numerous key points in it's vain attempt at bias manipulation, and onerously so.
No mention was made or research done on the nature and behavioral patterns of the BATFE in routinely violating Federal Law and especially trampling on the guaranteed natural rights inherent in the Constitution.
No mention of how the BATFE can avoid Congress altogether and in turn make up regulations as they go to suit them best in furthering their agenda.
No mention of the fact that the National Rifle Association's funding is 100% generated by the grass roots and completely by it's members.
No mention of the fact that The Brady Campaign(formerly Handgun Control Inc) routinely accepts corporate donations from large scale multinational organizations both inside and outside the USA.
No mention of the fact that there are a minimum of 2.5 million defensive uses of a firearm by law abiding US citizens each year whereby a citizen protects their life or property by presenting an immediate and lethal deterrence thereby creating a boundary to which a criminal does not wish to cross.
No mention of the fact that US states that routinely issue Concealed Carry Weapons permits see drops in all violent crime at an annual average of 8%.
No mention of the fact that the states with the highest violent crime and gun crime also have the strictest gun control.
No mention of the fact that the US has over 20,000 gun laws on the books; contrary to this reporter's claim that there is virtually no gun control in the United States.
No mention of the fact that while the UK's violent crime rate has risen by 500% during the 10 years after their gun bans; the US's violent crime and gun crimes have dropped by 45% in the same period despite gun ownership rising by over 38%.
UK Violent crime 1995: 440/100,000 pop.
UK Violent crime 2005: 2013/100,000 pop
US Violent crime 1995: 1200/100,000 pop.
US Violent crime 2005: 740/100,000 pop.
No mention of the fact that 67% of assailants in gun crimes in the US and Canada, already have a violent criminal history; as well as 85% of all assailants having a criminal history of some sort.
No mention of the fact that over 68% of all gun crime victims in both the US and Canada all have violent criminal records(83-85% also have a criminal record of some sort)
No mention of the fact that the Canadian Coalition for Gun Control has received over $900,000 in Government grants through Liberal Party Organizer Kim Doran to lobby the Federal Government on legislation they were planning to pass regardless.
No mention of the fact that Canada's recent gun legislation violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms no less than 17 times.
Investigative Reporting? Hardly
Sources: UK Home Office, FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, US Department of Justice, Canadian Ministry of Justice, Statistics Canada.
I would like you to please cite your references that homicide and violent crime with guns has reduced since the introduction of firearm regulations in Canada. According to the Canadian Firearms Centre, and their own program material, required reading to apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence, crime has not changed at a rate that exceeds the standard deviation of the survey. The only notable reduction has been in suicides.
In addition, the other most important and notable fact that is consistently overlooked in Canadian reporting (Such as a Vancouver Sun article published a couple weeks back), and specifically in your recent program. The examples cited as reasons for further firearm restrictions (including a ban on handguns) are examples using illegal firearms involving criminals.
What possible good would further restrictions to law abiding citizens, when they nor their legally registered firearms have nothing to do with this sort of crime and the criminals who contribute to it.
I would have expected a more impartial and enlightened piece of journalism from the CBC.
— Posted on June 11, 2008 09:59 PM
I thought I could add some input to this story, but most of it has already been said by about 95% of the comments. Irresponsible Journalism...yes. Still trying to justify the Liberal's Gun Control Folly...yes. Penalty's not harsh enough for Criminals using illegal firearms?...right again.
Sadly, this is becoming a more violent world everyday, and it isn't going to get any better....but....for the Law-abiding Citizen, it could be safer. The Carry and Conceal Law adopted by some States has proved as a definite deterent to Muggings, Rape, Assault, Home Invasions, and on and on. "All" crime went down in these states because now....the Law-abiding Citizen was on equal terms with the Perpetrator. Let's put it in perspective.
My dwelling, my family, my vehicle, or whatever, are mine, and mine alone. No one shall have the right to tamper with any of them. Thanks to the Liberals, and a few others, this is how the Law reads now.
Try this scenario:
My truck was stolen once, and broke into twice, (No one caught) A fourth time occurs, but I see him in the vehicle. I am required to call the RCMP, and go to the thief, and "Detain" him, until the Police arrive. (A minimum of 15 minutes or longer) I'm 64 and the thief is 24....so you can imagine what the outcome would be. So, we'll say this time, I approach the thief with my registered 44 Blackhawk, and tell him to remain where he is, the Police are on their way.
The Police arrive...at this point, I could possible be shot by them, or Tasered, or a minimum of roughed up and cuffed. When the dust settles...I'm charged with Improper use of a Handgun, Possesion of a Firearm in a place other than my restrictions allow, Threatening using a firearm, and using un-necessary force to confine an individual, etc, etc.
The Thief...he's not charged with theft, because nothing was stolen. He didn't break into the truck...it was unlocked...what was he doing there?...He wanted to sleep for a couple of hours....he has no money, no job, and no home...and off he goes. My toubles??....you bet...they are just beginning.
So, Law Makers, go to the Law abiding citizens for their input.....and Courts...start upholding the Laws and their penalties. Make their jail sentences, and their stay there, so "memorable"....they won't ever want to return there again. And....if not born in Canada....immediate Deportation....(NO Appeals)
Thats my take on it...
N Sharp B.C.
— Posted on December 8, 2007 03:32 PM
This report squarely targets the NRA and the gun manufacturer as the 'source' of our gun problem or 'year of the gun'.
I would argue that the NRA exists because of the gun abolisher, and that the abolisher shares a burden of what we see in this program.
Paul Martin, on the campaign trail in Toronto announces 'I can see no reason for anyone to own a hand gun', and promises a handgun ban/confiscation. This is something the Liberal Party of Canada promised the registry would not be used for.
Take a look at all of these postings. Pro gun activism was born here Canada when the anti gun activists revealed their true intentions ' bans and confiscation.
I agree with Scott MacDonald's posting that as a gun owner I would be an excellent partner in gun control - if I thought I was dealing with gun control advocates that aren't in fact abolishers. As a fire arms owner, I agree with gun control, which is a different agenda.
If Paul Martin would have said he can see no reason for two men to have sex, he would have been rightly labelled as a bigot. For people to say that they can see no reason for me to lawfully and responsibly enjoy my shooting sport is in my opinion, bigotry.
The NRA thrives because gun bigots have hijacked the agenda and responsible citizens are openly and publicly attacked and judged. Keep this up, and we'll soon be seeing the CNRA. The Canadian National Rifle Association.
— Posted on December 8, 2007 12:26 PM
There should be an automatic sentence of 10 years in prison for anyone caught with an illegal gun. Gun trafficers should get a mandatory life sentence. I believe that would slow down the senseless killings of the gang wars in Canada.
— Posted on December 7, 2007 01:00 PM
I recently saw your report on the illegal gun issue and thought it was very informative, and well presented. I would like to add my own views. First of all the issue is one of our own making, when the laws reflect the fear people have in the USA, it is fear that will motivate. Secondly, when a parent does something and a child emulates or follows the same behavior, do you blame the child? The American goverments support for the arms market make it one of the largest and most prolific arms dealers in the world, do you balme the people for following a long standing example from their own goverment? Third and final point is for Canadians, if you disarm the good guys, only bad guys will have guns. A criminal can get a gun in a few hours, a honest citizen cannot. Make it absolutely legal to have guns (locked/secured) in your home, prosecute the street toting idiots to the fullest extent of the law, and then some. On a further note, pay close attention to country's that have mandatory weapon laws, interestingly enough, crime is very low when every person has a gun and is trained in its use.
— Posted on December 7, 2007 12:36 PM
What a sanctimonious smear job
There are MAJOR holes in the story.
1) The story tries to imply that there are pawnshops intentionally and knowingly selling guns to criminals. Were this true, then such shops would be a criminal enterprise, and those involved would be criminals. Shops that sell guns legally are licensed by the BATFE. They hold an FFL, a Federal Firearm License And if they wish to retain their license, and not end up in CLub Fed, they have no interest in selling to criminals
2) The theme that FFLs sell to criminals is NOT supported by the story.
When Christonia Woods, the first buyer of the gun, made the purchase, he was NOT a convicted felon. therefore the sale was technically legal at the time of the purchase in April 97
When Woods was later convicted of a felony, then his possession of the gun became a crime in and of itself.
And by the summer of 99, Woods WAS a convicted felon
But AT THE TIME of the purchase, he was still able to legally purchase a gun. So therefore the pawnshop did NOT sell a gun illegally to Woods in 97
3) After Woods' death, the gun disappears. Most probably sold for easy money by the mom. Here the issue is how do you regulate a private sale ? You really can't.
And this is just as true in Canada where criminals like the Hell's Angels had no trouble getting guns on the black market, NOTWITHSTANDING the laws in Canada against such transactions.
(Notice how the criminals ignore the law ?)
4) In the section titled "The Iron Pipeline" where contraband guns go north "From Florida, the I-95 cuts through states with some of the weakest gun laws in the U.S., including Georgia.
Guns from the southern states then find their way to states with some of the toughest gun laws, such as New York and Massachusetts."
Notice that the states with "some of the toughest gun laws, such as New York and Massachusetts." are TOTALLY WITHOUT ANY EFFECT on the movement of such guns.
There's an important clue about gun-control It does NOTHING AT ALL to stop the flow of guns through those states...
5) Then there is how the gun went INTO Canada.
So the EVEN MORE draconian canadian gun-control laws had NO EFFECT on stopping the gun from entering Canada
(That's another clear statement about the effectiveness of gun-control)
The Criminals IGNORE such laws..
And ONLY the law-abiding get disarmed..
6) And finally the tragedy where 2 children who have been kept away from guns and NOT provided basic safety training about guns, and therefore are VERY HIGHLY CURIOUS and IGNORANT about guns, occurs
Ironically we teach little kids about strangers and taking candy and so on..
We teach them about playing with matches or crossing streets without looking..
But if you raise the issue of safety training for little kids about guns..
Everybody shrieks in horror and runs away.
And yet, if you look at the effectiveness of programs like the NRA's Eddie Eagle, the accident rate of children who have received such safety training is so close to zero, that it's not worth mentioning
And overall, the accident rate for the US has been steadily dropping over the last 30 years because of safety education for children
An finally, the whole issue of "gun violence" is a lie too
When hundreds of thousands of people were killed in Rwanda with machetes, was it called "machete violence"
When thousands of people are maimed and killed in car accidents, do we call it "car violence" ?
When some victim is stabbed with a knife, do we call it 'knife violence" ?
When someone is beaten with a baseball bat, do we call it "baseball bat violence"
Or if a woman is raped, do we call it "penis violence" ?
And yet when someone is shot, it's called "gun violence"
Can you see the rampand bias in that term ?
This story was both tragic and shameful. The senseless loss of young Michael James' life from the accident is a real tragedy. The Fifth Element's failure to identify and discuss the real problem, however, was shameful.
The issue is criminal human behaviour - and enforcing the existing laws to prevent it. Further, if we really cared more about avoiding gun-related accidents, we would make gun safety education an international priority, rather than a silenced hope that no child will encounter this situation.
How about looking at the older brother as the cause.
— Posted on December 6, 2007 02:30 PM
To bad how the Fifth Estate portrays the gun as such an evil thing. Again, as always, It"s the kind of people that we"re letting into this country that"s creating most of the gun crimes. Some of which, come from a country that the fifth estate itself had claimed to be the third highest in the world for murder crimes.
Maybe the fifth estate should do a story on some of the irresponsabilities of some of our past legislators. Do you remember the time, a few years ago, the then Justice Minister, Anne McLellan, made the comment ? " their"s no evidence of guns being smuggled into Canada. "
Another one with the then Immigration Minister, Elinor Caplan, when asked about people entering the country on false passports replied, " that"s not serious. " No wonder then, this country has had it"s problems with gun crimes.
Oh my god good story but... missing the point. We do have effective laws in this country that are not followed.
Criminals don't follow the laws of the land!
Where was the trigger lock and the locked container for safe storage that the rest of legal Canadian gun owners must use? It would appear that the current Canadian gun safe storage laws are useless. Why did we spend 2 billion for this? Perhaps we can enact a criminal use only tax to recoup losses to the federal gun regestry.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 11:53 PM
My email to the CBC:
I want you to know that I have always been very passionate about this issue. I believe that guns should be inside hunting clubs, and outside of the homes of private citizens. I remember working for the 2000 Election in Arapahoe County in Denver. Columbine was a hot issue. The pro-gun candidate for Senate won that election even after the Columbine tragedy. I was disappointed. I also have to say that I come from a very Republican NRA membership toting conservative family, but believe I am more liberal and open minded enough to look at the big picture.
Tonight's show really got my blood boiling. I watched the entire show waiting for the end thinking that this child must have died in the crossfire of a gang fight in the mist of a drug deal gone bad. I came to Canada from the Bronx where I saw that almost everyday in my neighborhood. I was really disappointed at the end of your story.
I had a job once to be a "spin doctor" for a major lobby, and I know a little about that. You should know that your story fuels what the NRA uses to rally their core base to gain new members and finance its lobby. If you really want change, think about what you send over the airwaves.
At the end of your story, I almost forgot the main focus was on illegal firearms. What came to my mind was "Oh my god, this kid had really stupid parents." That story wasn't about the danger of illegal firearms. The same tragic ending would have been the outcome if it were a legal gun.
The point of your story isn't that American guns are killing Canadian children. The point of your story is that a Canadian doing an illegal activity, bought an illegal firearm which happened to be from the States.
This story is pure ammunition for the gun lobby, and quite frankly you should be ashamed of the quality of your journalism tonight.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 11:17 PM
The story as presented had a bias for the anti-gun campaign.
If you have a genuine concern for the safety of Canadians, let's deal with real issues.
Of the 110 deaths related to firearms last year, half were self inflicted, i.e. suicides. Of the remaining 50 or so, there was your assortment of accidents and police shootings, leaving about 30 deaths genuinely attributed to gun violence.
The number of homocides not involving guns is much greater. Of the number of guns used in crimes, less than 1% are sourced from legitimate owners, ie stolen from them. Yes there is a market for illegal guns and yes they create a problem, and no Canadian don't care since they know who's involved in these crimes. Well at least in front of cameras or as public record they espouse their concern, behind closed doors it's a different matter.
Last year 3200 Canadians were killed by automobiles and 100's of thousands more were injured or maimed by them. Surprisingly, there's no call for car control in the same manner as gun control. We should have big 4 inch letters on every fender of every new car stating where the car came from and when it was imported into Canada.
The journalism was shabby,flimsy and superficial in trying to portray what various businesses are legally entitled to do in their country and state as something it is not.
If you want to save lives, start with our highways and streets and don't try to pull at heart strings purely for the purposes of promoting a corrupt party and further their agenda. Please have some Journalistic Integrity.
We may find some respect for your work as real, genuine and worthy instead of just docutainment. But what is truly sad, is we get a sense that you truly believe Canadians will buy the story. Please have some respect for the viewers and they might have some for you.
Another wonderful example of our Liberal Party CBC. Biased load of Bologne. Police are being ordered to use the gun registry as a means of inflating numbers to make those tree hugging, pansy liberals THINK that the registry is doing something to make us safer.
Hasher penalties for criminals using guns and leave me the hell alone. My rights may not be protected by the charter of rights but my grandfathers were and I'll still fight like hell for what is right, that is my right to be a responsible gun owner.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 11:05 PM
Nice hatchet job! How about an program dedicated to finding out why we wasted nearly two billion dollars on a gun registry that was doomed from the start. Every one of the flaws that we tried to warn them about has even bottomed out beyond all expectations.
Wonder how much of those dollars went into Liberal sleaze pockets. When you have people who have no clue at all design laws like this, then just keep tossing money down the hole after it I guess this is what you get! (If it saves just one life )
Just imagine for a minute if we took that money and actually used it to catch and then lock up criminals instead of throwing them back on the streets. But no w'ell keep harassing legal gun owners,and the crooks can skate free.
Here is one more situation where the gun registry was useless.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 09:57 PM
"I only hope our government will criticize the US gun trade as vigorously as they do our immigration policies and border security."
Well, you COULD try to control the flow of weed from Canada to the U.S., but of course that won't happen as it would require Canada to actually do something.
The problems with guns in Canada are not caused by the US, they are caused by Canadian criminals. Anybody who claims differently is a nanny-state socialist who is far too used to eschewing their personal responsibilities to others.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 08:44 PM
The article starts out with"The Firestar .45 that killed six-year-old Michael James". I guess they must mean the firestar .45 that was used, by a person, to kill six year old....Quite a different statement but I guess the writer is trying to demonize the tool, not the person.
I really would like to see a similar article that features how cars kill (well cars used by people kill) thousands of Canadians each year. Between 1.3 million and two million people per year are killed in avoidable car crashes on a yearly basis worldwide. Millions more are injured and disfigured. We have drunk drivers, enraged drivers,suicidal drivers, homocidal drivers,distracted drivers, mentally challenged drivers(really!) and so forth.
Cars are registered and controlled, yet they are used to commit suicide, vehicular manslaughter, murder, sexual assault and on and on. Many people say yes, but we need cars! Do we really? What about public transit? What about bicycles? What about walking?
It seems those who "hate" guns somehow feel they are morally superior to those "gun nuts" that are the cause of all this gun violence. They feel this way as they climb into their death machine cars, and tear out of their driveways. So lets have fear mongering story about a car, built in lets say America.
Lets talk about who made it, who sold it, how it got across the border and how many people it killed. How it was used to commit crimes and create victims. I find it diffucult to understand how so many people are so blind and so unwilling to admit that they are a part of a carnage far more reaching and far more tragic than that which goes on with guns.
— Posted on December 5, 2007 05:25 PM
The outrageous, rampant black market in American handguns must be stopped, as must the smuggling of guns across the border into America's neighbours, such as Canada, Mexico and Caribbean nations.
However, there is a Canadian piece to this as well. Canada's sole handgun maker, para-Ordnance (visit their sexy website) is located, of all places, in Scarborough, GTA, the very area that has been reeling from handgun violence. This handgun plant regularly exports guns to American civilians, thus adding to the problem of an epidemic of gun violence in that country.
I think that the provincial government should buy out para-Ordnance and mandate that any weapons purchased for the newly armed Canadian border guards be made in that plant. Furthermore, the plant should no longer be allowed to make sales to any man or woman who is not in uniform or to members of shooting clubs who can document their membership in such clubs. Eventually, shooting clubs will have to be the only site on which handguns are permitted within city limits.
Densely crowded cities and concealable rapid-fire weapons are simply a recipe for disaster. Even gun owners and gun collectors know this, and know that they are turning their homes into magnets for burglars, firearms being the most desirable commodity of all to the criminal element.
I am fed up with all the hokum about "Don't blame the inanimate object". Lethal weapons kill -- too quickly, too easily, and cause horrific crossfire injuries that extend beyond the purview of assailants and victims.
This November, a young man named Keyon was shot to death while warming up his mother's car outside the family home. At the same time a deranged woman in Milton went on a rampage, using a Samurai sword with which she injured two men, her boyfriend and a man at a gas station. Young Keyon, a promising student is dead, while the Milton woman's victims were treated and released from hospital.
Don't tell me that a rapid-fire weapon isn't an evil thing in itself, and stop comparing guns to automobiles and other more inherently valuable human creations.
Ron Charach, Toronto
Ron Charach Toronto
— Posted on December 5, 2007 09:57 AM
I don't know who made KISS (Keep it simple stupid.) famous. Bill Clinton made ITES( It's the economy stupid.) famous. It is time the CBC made ITDS (It's the demand stupid.) famous. What a colossal waste of time, money and effort creating another us against them, good guy bad guy story; and you didn't even come close to identifying the bad guys.
Some of the more thoughtful posters came closer by identifying the bad guys as the bad guys. Others tried to come closer by identifying the sources of the problem, reasons why people shoot people, like poverty, hopelessness, alienation etc., etc., etc. However, as the old adage goes, reasons don't shoot people, people shoot people. To entirely eliminate guns from the face of the earth which should be our goal, we need to identify the people behind the reasons. Now there is a program idea for you that would not be a waste in any respect.
You could begin by directing your crack investigative team to find the people who worship and perpetuate the first past the post economic system that results in a continuum of wealth ranging from deadly abject poverty to the obscene wealth of Bill Gates. You could then root out the people responsible for defending the various religions/philosophies that divide and conquer humanity. If you still needed more culprits behind the reasons people shoot people you could search for the idiots who support maintaining a war machine while condemning individuals for carrying guns. However, a really sharp team of investigators will not have to go this far before creating and making famous a more perceptive acronym than ITDS. That would be IIUS(it is us stupid) or perhaps it should be IISU(it is stupid us).
Doug Barr, Whistler B.C.
— Posted on October 9, 2007 03:17 PM
I find this story biased and just wrong. The problem is not the gun nor the gun shop or the law abiding gun's owner but the criminal who was trafficing drugs, the person who was keeping an illegal gun in Canada.
Background checks are done on each gun purchase but seller can't read minds. Give money to police, allow law abiding citizen to carry and remove stupid laws.
You'll see a safer world.
Stephane F Qc
— Posted on October 8, 2007 05:48 PM
I am amazed at the number of postings criticizing your chronicle of the firestar 45's devastating path. Given the shooter and victim were both babes - true innocents - how can one not look to the weapon as cause. Obviously drugs, gangs and street crime are involved at the core. Your program amply explores this in true documentary fashion. Each chapter reflects the inevitable end result of the drug/gun/gang culture. What could be more pithy than the destruction of two innocent babes by the firestar?
Sophie D Toronto
— Posted on October 8, 2007 04:22 AM
I am the type of person that always sees the glass half full... even through horrendous family circumstances... personal failures. So basically i like to consider myself a realist... My first point please 100 plus years ago the 2nd ammendment was made... when your closest neighbour was 20 miles away... It ment all families in America had the right to bare arms for family and personal property protection... Plus for the use of hunting for livelyhoods... And please if i'm wrong here let me know... I'm a single mom, 44 years old and personally have never killed an animal in my life... nor will i need to... I buy my meat from the grocery store... as do most others... This is my personal opinion so no i can not be wrong here... hunters should be allowed rifles... pretty common sense i think... As far as hand guns no i'm sorry but there only purpose it to kill people... Police officers should be allowed hand guns for the sole purpose of protecting the public... The old saying that guns don't kill people... people kill people... i agree... but if the only people carring hand guns are drug dealers... ECT!!! That can not tell the difference between right or wrong... or the ones that have no reasoning skills what so ever... is it in our best interests to allow them to have guns> Seriously... your out for the night with your family enjoying a nice dinner with hopes of a movie after but... sadly the resturant you picked unfortunately was a deals for that night gets shot up and your wife and daughter gets killed just for being there... please explain to me and others... how exactly is this ok???
I was confused by the comment that we are less likely to be shot since the new gun laws followed by the comment that gang shootings are up? This seems to imply that the problem with guns is not with legitimate owners but with people that have no intention to follow any of our laws least of all gun laws.
Are the overall numbers of deaths up since the implementation of the gun laws or not? The wording of the statement seems to attempt to hide the truth. It seems obvious that legal gun owners such as me (target shooters are legitimate sports people) are not the problem when it comes to gun crimes.
Why is it when crimes are committed with guns that the gun charges are the first thing dropped when it comes to court? Punish criminals, enforce the laws and remove criminals from society and perhaps less death will occur on our streets. Banning all legal gun ownership will never stop criminals from getting illegal guns. If the number of deaths in Canada from legal property owners should mean a ban then I suggest we immediately ban the sale and use of automobiles.
William C Winnipeg
— Posted on October 8, 2007 01:32 AM
When is the CBC going to stop being an infomercial for the liberal agenda in Canada.
After watching only the first minute of your program it was clearly evident what message this "news program" was going to be pushing. That an inanimate object is evil and soley responsible for the death of a young boy.
This point was brow beaten into the viewer by the repeated use of the phrase "the gun", which try as I might I was unable to keep count of how many times it was used. Scant mentioned was made to all the people this tool came in contact with, and each of which broke several laws that resulted in this firearm getting into that childs hands. Why waste airtime on these facts when close up images of a gun barrel pointed at you and animation of flying bullets are much more effective in getting your messsage across. So much for unbiased reporting.
But it is true violence sells, and the issue of handguns is a hot topic. I guess it would not have made a very exciting show had this episode focused on a death caused by a car. Even though vehicular death rates are astronomical in comparision to firearms deaths. An "undercover" interview in a car dealership confronting the salesman of the year with how many people have been hurt and killed with the vehicles he has sold, would just seem kind of silly wouldn't it.
There is not a handgun or firearm available that can move, aim and fire by itself. It is a simply tool that requires a person to do all of this for it. Maybe the emhpasis should be on the individuals breaking the law, not on the object they are using.
I was very disappointed in the level of journalism of this segment, and if this first episode is a foreshadow of the coming season I for one will not be tuning in.
— Posted on October 8, 2007 01:12 AM
A nice piece of story regarding 'Hand Guns' that find themselves in the streets in Canada. The problem I have is that the 'Gun Laws' here in Canada are targeting the law abiding citizen. By baning them to almost everyone it leaves the non-abiding citizens to be the only ones to access them. The stricter the laws for the righteous the better it is for the bad intentional. The gun registry has cost a bundle and will need a bundle of money to keep it going, only to restrict the good people and push the 'Gun Trade' underground. Way to go Canada.
— Posted on October 7, 2007 11:35 PM
Tonight I watched your show about the guns making it across the US border into Canada. This surprised me as I go on a bus tour every year with a group of Sports fans to an event in the US. When we arrive back at the Canadian Border on our way home, we are held up hours while customs officers take each and every piece of luggage and X-rayed it. I figure if the Border inspection officers have enough staff to harass us looking for a slipped in bottle of booze, surely they are able to check vehicles for guns. Where are their priorities??? The last I heard booze doesn't generally kill kids, unless it is by a drunk driver, which have nothing to do with Customs..(and adding a ps, there was not one ounce in all our cases the cost difference just isn't worth the hassle!).
— Posted on October 7, 2007 11:14 PM
there has to be education about guns and violence in general. Banning the guns wont prevent violence. There still will be knifes, ropes and other things to hurt each other.
— Posted on October 7, 2007 08:09 PM
Excellent journalistic investigation, good show.
My own feeling is disgust for the greed shown by the manufacturers of handguns who thrive on the people who
feel they MUST own a handgun.
These suppliers contribute vast amounts of their profits
to support the likes of the NRA, supplying them with funds for lawyers defending their actions when things go wrong, ie,'accidental deaths' etc.
Politicians in high positions are being paid off to allow the continual supply of handguns to enter the market in the USA, nothing will stop this until the public has had enough and cleans house.
Laws have to be changed to stop producing handguns, nobody NEEDS a handgun except the police.
Phil P. Kelowna
— Posted on October 7, 2007 06:01 PM
Typical CBC/liberal/lefty GOT'CHA reporting.
Blame the inamimate object, the tool, not the criminal. All over the nation, handguns are jumping off of tables and out of bedside drawers to shoot inocent citizens-NOT!
The most accurate thing I've read here is by former RCMP member Jim Simpson. The Canadian Firearms database is trashed! It is so bad that it can not be used as evidence in a court of law.
Just after the switch over to the new system, there was an RCMP officer who almost lost his job over owning an "unregistered" handgun. He bought it, registered it and kept it for a couple of years and then decided to sell it - suddenly there was no record of the gun being registered to him. He was charged and went to court. Only at the last moment did one of the lawyers walk across the to the police station and looked at the log book to find that the officer had indeed come in and registered the firearm were the charges dropped. Only in Canada!
Two BILLION dollars was spent on this placebo bill of goods. And still no cure for Cancer...
— Posted on October 7, 2007 04:05 AM
Unfortunately I must use a firearms metaphor to describe the thrust of your story. With respect to indentification of the central problem in this particular story Fifth Estate couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a howitzer at 5 paces. This is not a "Gun" issue, this is a people/crime/punishment issue.
Many years ago when the now laughable "Gun Registry" loomed on the distant horizon it was touted as the saviour of Mankind...the great peace-maker. Well The Liberals were wrong then and this shooting is simply further evidence of the gross errors in judgement that are commonplace in the Liberal attempts to control "Gun Crime".
The problem is "People" and "Prisons". For the illegal use of firearms were the offender to spend the remainder of his or her natural life at hard labour that would send a message to those who choose to use firearms in the commission of a criminal act that if caught, your life is over. But in the end I offer this fact based piece of advice..."CRIMINALS DON'T REGISTER GUNS"
— Posted on October 6, 2007 10:50 PM
I found this story to be badly made.It should of been about criminals and there actions more so than an illegal gun.
There are over 2 million people in Canada licensed who own over 7 million guns.Out of the average 500 people killed by guns each year very very few are killed by licensed and "legal" gun owners. The problem is criminals.
Until some governments especially Ontario decide to deal with criminals instead of attacking law abiding gun owners nothing will ever change.You can ban all guns like England did and gun crime will still be as bad as before the ban,why because it is criminal's committing gun crimes and criminals do not follow the law.
Stop blaming an inaminate object for what happens and blame the people who use the object.vStop blaming an inanimate object for what happens and blame the people who use the object.The year of the gun should be called the years Canada was to soft on criminals.vLock up someone caught with an illegal gun,it is very easy.vBut no that is to harsh,vhouse arrest will do just fine.
— Posted on October 6, 2007 11:30 AM
Your story names a lot of people, locations, gun peddlers and organisations, but does not even name the moron who left the loaded gun in a drawer accessible to a six year old. Yet, that clearly is the ENTIRE STORY.
(or did I miss that part?)
In Israel, every woman and every man eligible to serve in the army and/or the reserves have a duty to carry a piece. They do, and they don't kill little children, each other nor innocent bystanders.
Switzerland has some similar rules. Check it out.
Tougher, but less enforceable laws are cure for nothing.
Personally, I am in favour of strict gun control laws, applied to the criminal elements of the society. I just can't see how any of the presently proposed solutions would affect the criminals' possesion of guns.
Obviously, the legitimate gun ownership by law abiding citizens does not increase the crime levels, while it is the failure of the government agencies to reduce, or control the crime levels in so many areas of our lives that contributes to gun ownership desirability overall.
Demand rules, or so it seems.
Check-out the end results of the (president Reagan's) Zero Tolerance Policy for drugs, or the much earlier U.S. prohibition against alcohol, etc. etc.
Bob Nedoma Vancouver
— Posted on October 6, 2007 03:28 AM
Interestingly I think you would find almost all of the firearms / Pistol Sport community in Canada heavily in favor of stopping the flow of illegal and prohibited firearms into our communities. Ultimately banning or further restricting the legal ownership and use of non-prohibited firearms would only be punitive to a group of people for whom safety, education and responsibility are paramount.
The hoops that the legitimate firearm owner must go through and the high level of personal investigation that that owner must submit themselves too in order to possess and acquire firearms today is current and strong evidence of their desire to be legitimate and accountable owners. The responsible ownership and use of firearms that are not prohibited is part of our culture and heritage.
Any kind of violence is a reflection of the health of a culture or the lack of it. There are already more firearms per capita in Canada then most nations in the world and this has not led to a society of bloodshed. This is, I think, due to the balance and health of Canadian society on the whole. There will always be criminals among us. Effective levels of criminal justice and enforcement for the possession or misuse of an illegally acquired firearm would go much further in controlling and resolving that issue.
At the end of the day, those who advocate greater control of ILLEGAL firearms have no greater friends then those who choose to make legal Pistol and Rifle Sport part of their life. Not only do they share the same risks inherent in the existence of these firearms that all other Canadians do but they must also bare the brunt of the disdain for all firearms spawned by there existence.
Looking to the legal and legitimate firearm owners as partners in controlling and reducing the existence of illegal weapons is by far the best path for the justice system and concerned stakeholders to take as we all share conscientious concern for our success in a safer Canada.
Scott MacDonald (yes I own a handgun responsibly)
It is apparent that the producers didn't avail themselves of a firearms expert. It would have added some credibility. I noticed a lot of closeups of the firearm in question, including when the slide was racked (cocked). While this is done, the finger should be kept off the trigger; it's a basic and essential safety procedure.
In any case, I'm at a loss to understand what the show's point was, at least, how it relates to Canada. The show's principal audience is Canadian; assuming Canadians are moved to the point of demanding change, how can Canada have any influence on the laws of the US, and their enforcement?
Also, I got an impression that, because of the almost exclusive focus on the gun itself, it could be infrared that criminals wouldn't be criminals if they didn't have a gun. However, I'll credit the show with not blaming licensed law-abiding Canadian gun owners for gun crime in Canada.
— Posted on October 5, 2007 09:52 PM
I recently watched the first episode of the Fifth Estate this season that I personally found it very sensationalistic, biased and very poorly researched.
You portrayed an event surrounding the death of a member of a family that emigrated from Jamaica to escape the 'Jamaica Gun Culture'. It is my understanding that handguns in Jamaica have been banned since the early '70's. Once firearms have been banned obviously the crime rate will fall, take the United Kingdom for example. This should have been picked up by your researchers. Also your researchers should have spent time looking into the minimal effort, by those currently serving politicians in Ontario that have allowed our society to deteriorate to this level. Recent events show that they are very interested in the death of a child by firearms, but completely ignore the death or deaths of children by knives or pick axes.
I felt that the basis of this report and the criminal acts that created the atmosphere for this crime to take place was glossed over. Instead you chose to look at select United States gun laws. Why bother if you're not going to cover all 20,000 plus gun laws that the US have on the books?
Yes we have a problem with illegal guns crossing our border; yes we have a problem with the social network in part of Ontario around Toronto. Yet politicians only consider confiscating legally obtained personal property. Maybe the fact, that it is easier for politicians to pick on citizens that act legally than to target criminals and spent the effort to arrest them is the story that still needs to be told.
There was so much more that could have been with this most recent episode on the Fifth Estate.
Through the sensationalism and the quick gloss overs, I find the greatest tragedy of this show is that it allows the listener to believe that our cities and its law abiding citizens are at the mercy of inanimate tools and not those who misuse them.
Toronto, my home town, has a gang violence problem. Illegal and immoral behaviour should be documented by the Fifth Estate as a couple of the reasons why there are senseless and tragic deaths in our cities.
You neglect to describe how legally owned guns are kept safely by the thousands in Canada and the US without incident by careful people who obey the layers of paperwork and legislation. You neglect to contrast fully the crime statistics of regions with oppressive gun control vs those that encourage responsible citizens to protect themselves. You neglect to blame the criminals.
Want to raise ratings? Do a truthful piece on how utterly ineffective the UK or Washington D.C. firearms controls are? Or how about a real shocker piece on Canada's Justice System? Better still, consider the Toronto politicians on an election trail bragging about their band-aid solutions instead of focusing on reliable solutions like education, employment, and fighting social decay.
Now that ought to scare your viewers and boost your numbers.
Derek B Kenora
— Posted on October 4, 2007 11:30 PM
The gun dealers on your show say that they are in a legal trade. Yet, as members of and sometimes leaders in the NRA, they are directly influencing how the laws are designed. This would be somewhat like organized crime controlling the drug laws.
Handguns do not compare to other objects that can be used to murder. They are designed for only one thing, to kill people efficiently. Their presence should be barely tolerated, but irrational zealots in the U.S. allow nearly anyone to purchase them by the dozen, no questions asked. Long live gun control!
— Posted on October 4, 2007 06:24 PM
Yes, it is interesting that the James family moved from Jamaica to Canada to escape the "Jamaican Gun Cuture", notice they didn't move to the U.S. particularily the southern states? And, while antequated, the second amendment does hold some water...but I think that NRA stands for the National Rifle Association...not the National Hand Gun Association...I have yet to hear about an animal that is hunted with a hand gun which is where the second amendment logically may stem.
Maybe rifles would be a little more difficult to bring on a school bus, or to a robbery, or to a drive by shooting? I think it's about time that the nice citizens that sell the fire arms are held accountable for the laws that are in place and I hope as Canadians we continue to keep the "American way of life" out of Canada.
A really interesting follow-up to this story would be a closer look at the "rogue" gun dealers, those who absently misplace sales, inventory and proper documentations including background checks, those protected by agencies who utltimately profit from their sales. It may not be the "answer" but surely an honest attempt to educate the entire population regardless of where we come from and who our neighbors are.
I was astounded by the ignorant bias and shallow reporting demonstrated in your Fifth Estate “documentary” Firestar 45.
As a former professional journalist, I was extremely disappointed by the manner at which your story twisted an inanimate object into a killer with little mention of the root causes for the violence behind it. In the first 2.5 minutes of the story, you state “This is the story of one gun, and the people it touched and killed,” and “The Firestar was the gun that would kill him.” Personifying an inanimate object that on its own has no more power to kill than a stick or stone is nothing more than cheap-shot anti-gun fear mongering. If you want to assign blame, you must look at the criminal actions and criminal negligence behind this tragedy.
At the same time, scapegoating America does nothing to address the reality of illegal unregistered handguns used by criminals in Canada. Deterring the use of illegal unregistered firearms in crimes in Canada is our problem and requires stiffer criminal sentencing, more stringent border security, and greater law enforcement. Thankfully we finally have a federal government in place that is committed to taking action in these areas.
I would expect such a pseudo-journalistic “mock”umentary as Firestar 45 from the likes of Michael Moore, but would have expected more objectivity from the Fifth Estate.
— Posted on October 4, 2007 12:04 PM
I am rather disappointed in the Fifth Estate's piece of documentary.
Why is it that the firearm itself is blamed for committing the felonies? Why are we not looking at the root of the problems - the criminals themselves? A tool alone is not able to construct a building, it requires a tradesperson to use it. Such is the case here. It requires a willing felon to use a gun to commit murder.
Is there going to be an episode dedicated to the use of vehicles, baseball bats, knives, or even pickaxes used in murders?
The influx of firearms is a double-fault in relation to our two nations. Yes, America's ability to be aware of their firearms is poor at best, but Canada is by no means innocent by it's failings to detect and cease smuggling operations.
Well I finally blocked out all cbc channels last night. Our family has no need to watch leiberal trash. To bad FOX doesnt have a Canadian news show. Good reason to join the NRA, donate to the Conservitive Party, Buy a new gun and cancel the new doors I ordered from Home Hardware. All things I will be doing over the next few days, as well as letting your advertisers know why we will no longer support any of them.
I find only one glaring flaw in the entire premise of the Firestar 45 story. It focuses on everything but the criminal element that is driving these senseless deaths. Notice the entire underlying trend that was never covered except is slight comments.
Firearm was originally bought legally, even if for illegal use.
Future events involving the firearm where all illegal in nature. INCLUDING the older brother's possession of the gun.
Why is the gun the focus and not the criminal choices made by the family members and previous possessors of the firearm?
Mike D. Kitchener
— Posted on October 4, 2007 09:18 AM
It is unfortunate that this document did not focus on the true cause of the problem; the society and culture that promotes crime and other illegal activities. No amount of laws or bans will have any effect on a group that has already proven that they do not care. Only those that exist within the law, legal respectful firearms owners, respond to these actions. These same owners are not the cause of the problem, nor have any ties to the problem. Almost all of the crimes are commited by those who exist outside the system, illegally possess firearms, and do not care that they break one law or ten. How will one more law make any difference to a criminal that is willing to break the ultimate law and take another human beings life?
— Posted on October 4, 2007 02:36 AM
It is disappointing to see that the CBC would put forth such a program based on the flawed assumption that the firearm and legitimate dealers and owners are somehow evil, when the problem is clearly that the people who engage in illegal and dangerous activities are the ones to be held accountable. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? It would be interesting to do a similiar program to trach an imported automobile that was involved in a fatality and just as flawed.
I was very excited by the ads for this story. As a former member of the RCMP and having an intimate background in this area I hoped the truth, the whole truth would finally emerge.
I was disappointed yet again with the CBC's version of the 'truth'. While the US, where I am presently living has some incredibly inane firearms laws, or lack of, Canadians were lead astray by your story.
You never listed the laws that are in place, such as the background checks and depending waiting periods.
This system is really not much different then our own, and even better as all checks are done almost instantaneous. Is it the mode to follow?
The restrictions that have been imposed on it are heavy. One only has to look to the Virginia Tech shooting to see the flaws. But there are laws there, and you ignored them.
It just didn't fit into the image you want to portray.
No issues discussed regarding border security?
And you have none really regarding our laws?
The NRA is totally to blame?
It seems this story like all the other I have seen from the CBC follow the same old tired path, regardless if it is an accurate portrayal of the problem. Canadian deserve better.
You want a story?
Tell me why I had to convince the firearms centre I had a number of weapons they said I didn't have?
They said I didn't have them. I could have sold them or have not bothered to ensure they were linked to me. And for my reward at being an honest and law abiding citizen? They are threatening to remove them. My registration for the new licences a number of years ago never were listed in the new database.
And I am told it is my fault.
The interesting point? I am still friends with many of the members I served with in the RCMP, I have been told my situation is not new, the system was and is still flawed. Many people are in my situation as data was lost in the transition. So how many people are sitting there, their weapons not listed? How many are scared they may lose their property due to poor system administration? As my property has been threatened.
Something else I never see admitted is the fact there is no serving police member I know that believes the latest series of amendments to the firearms act does anything to stop crime.
While the 'political types' and those looking for promotion will clutch the law to their breast, mouthing the proper attributes, it is seen as a placebo to those serving on the streets.
One day I am hoping you will actually get past your own agenda and report the facts. I will not be holding my breath though.
I am so tired of the media blaming inanimate objects for the actions of criminals. Why should some clerk in Georgia
be considered responsible for the actions of someone he has never even met in another country? Are you going to blame a liquor store clerk for some else's drunk driving?
Laws are never going to have any effect on illegal firearms so long as there is a demand. That is the advantage of being a criminal, you don't need to obey the law. Since the UK enacted draconian gun laws the number of crimes commited with guns has doubled.
Until you deal with the causes of crime like poverty stopping all those stores on your list would simply be sticking your finger in the dyke. They would simply come from somewhere else. The only people you can disarm with gun control are people who obey the law anyway.
It is this prohibition mentality with drugs that has given gangs a foothold in a billion dollar business and now you are wanting to use the same tactics that not only did not work but made things much worse with drugs on firearms.
When are we going to realize that it is people who are doing this and hold them responsible.
From your story it would appear that if the original purchaser of the 45 had carried it against his friend's advice, he would still be alive and the gun would not have made it into Canada. You seem to gloss over the idea that street drugs are a major cause of death and misery for young people in Canada but focus more on a weapon. No gun, no problem. As you know, we lost a young man in south Calgary when a bad guy drove a pick-axe through his skull. It's time the CBC stopped blaming guns and focus instead on the people who do the killing.
— Posted on October 4, 2007 12:05 AM
Hey Fifth Estate.
Excellent way to kick off the season, incredibly fascinating episode.
I personally had no knowledge of these gun shops in the states which offer firearms without background checks, it's ridiculous.
It's an incredibly concerning issue, as here in Toronto I'm observing an increase in the use of firarms among gang violence.
I don't really see a clear way to stop this gun trade that doesn't involve the United States cracking down on the source, which to me seems to be the shops themselves. Otherwise, it looks as if the prevalance of firearms in our society will only continue to rise, mainly in criminal activity.
This rampant black market is giving more potential to criminal behaviour, and there's no doubt in my mind that were going to see more shootings.
Thank you for your dedicated look at a complex subject, I look forward to your next episode.
Thank you for putting together this documentary. You told a very powerful story just by tracing the history of a single gun. Just last week, the US Congress criticized Canada for the potential threat of a terrorist attack originating from north of the border. Your story illustrated that the real threat is actually flowing in the other direction.
I'm sure more Canadians die from guns smuggled in from the US than Americans have ever died from terrorists moving south into the US. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single American citizen has ever died from a terrorist attack that originated in Canada.
I only hope our government will criticize the US gun trade as vigorously as they do our immigration policies and border security.
It is interesting that the James family moved from Jamaca to Canada "to escape the Jamaican Gun Culture" as all handguns were banned in Jamaica in 1974.
Similar calls to ban Handguns in Canada fail just as spectacularly as it all ready has in both Jamaica and the United Kingdom.
Perhaps the focus should be on the root cause of violence as be it a gun, a knife or baseball bat that is used in a homicide the victim will still be dead.
— Posted on October 3, 2007 07:02 PM