COLUMN: Lilley – Bullet ban makes no sense

- June 15th, 2012

Bullet ban bid shot full of holes

by Brian Lilley

Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan says he wants politicians to rely on reason and not emotion when coming up with new policies.

I’m 100% with him.

Until, that is, Vaughan puts forward his latest policy idea which appears to be totally driven by emotion.

In the wake of the Eaton Centre shooting, Vaughan wants to ban the sale, storage and use of bullets in Toronto and he wants every city in Canada to join him.

The man police have charged in this shooting was supposed to be on house arrest.

He is alleged to have walked into a crowded shopping centre and fired off several bullets which killed two people.

Let me go out on a limb here and say the gun used in the crime was likely purchased illegally.

And in response to all of this, Vaughan wants to ban bullet sales.

That is an emotional response.

Christopher Husbands, the man who has been charged in the shooting, was employed as a city youth worker, he helped with an after-school program at the Stan Wadlow Clubhouse.

Maybe instead of banning bullet sales, we should ban youth workers, or maybe after-school programs. Maybe we should ban Toronto!

A bullet on its own is not harmful. You can sit and hold one and it won’t do anything to you. You actually have to put it into a gun and fire it at someone for it to do them harm.

Liberals snicker at the phrase guns don’t kill people, people kill people — but it is true.

A gun cannot magically jump up and start shooting at people.

A bullet cannot decide on its own to pierce your heart or put a hole in your head.

No, a person needs to actually do that.

People have told me that Vaughan should be ignored because this is probably just part of his plan to run against Rob Ford to become Toronto’s mayor a couple of years down the road.

But I think there is something more to it than that.

Vaughan was one of the councillors who recently voted to ban the use of plastic bags in Toronto.

Now he wants to ban bullets, at least those that would be used by legal gun owners.

You can bet there was no trip to Canadian Tire, Walmart or the local gun store to buy a case of rounds ahead of the Eaton Centre shooting.

Canada has been debating gun control for close to 25 years, since the Montreal massacre, and most of the calls for restrictions and bans have been driven by emotion and not reason.

According to data from the federal public safety department, firearms are used in 70% of gang homicides but less than 30% of non-gang homicides.

As we saw all during the gun registry era, gangs don’t follow the law. They didn’t register their guns and they won’t obey a bullet ban.

While debating a proposal from the Liberal government of the time to ban the carrying of handguns, Sir John A. Macdonald said the proposed ban would have the effect of “disarming the person who ought to be armed, and arming the rowdies.”

What Vaughan is proposing is to make it illegal for law-abiding gun owners to purchase bullets or keep them in their homes, which would have the effect of making sure that only the rowdies are armed.

Categories: Politics

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4 comments

  1. Barb says:

    Didn’t this ban the bullets idea originate with the UN?

  2. brian mouland says:

    Toronto should ban tools say goodbye to City Council

  3. Bill Elder says:

    These cynical politicians who think they can keep repressing, criminalizing and deriding honest people who own firearms should be put on notice. The days when gun owners were scapegoated and derided as a criminal threat are over. There is NO PROVABLE connection between lawful firearms ownership and the crimes ascribed to it.

    The next time we see some prehensile politico thinks he can make polling points by libelling the exemplary record of lawful firearms ownership in this nation, I hope they are sued good and hard.

    Vaughn is a reactionary idiot who makes no attempt to hide his narrow-minded prejudices or puerile gun-hater rhetoric. Aside from his ammo ban being ultra vires of Municipal authority, such a move would be such an incomprehensible failure at reducing criminal violence, only someone completely detached from urban realities could suggest it. In either case, Vaughn has proven himself to be too incompetent and blundering to be allowed anywhere near the responsibility of public office.

  4. mike says:

    Didn’t homicide pre-date gunpowder?

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