Canada has some of the world’s toughest gun control laws. To legally obtain a firearms law-abiding Canadians have to jump through more hoops than a circus lion. All guns must be registered with the government. And the government does NOT like its citizens to own handguns. Police have unlimited power of search and seizure, should they get the idea that a Canadian has an illegal firearm in their home, car or place of business (i.e. anywhere). Thanks to these laws, the chances of a violent criminal legally obtaining any kind of gun are about as likely as that performing feline returning to the wild. Note: legally. Canada’s underground gun culture will provide any kind of firepower a lowlife on a no-limit expense account could desire. Wave enough cash in front of the right people, and an AK-47 is yours. Of course, a Canadian criminal on a tight budget would have a different plan: a knife.
Knives have few restrictions in Canada. But not none. For one thing, ALL concealed weapons are illegal. While there’s no legal maximum blade length, the following knives are banned:
Automatic knives such as “Switchblades”
Constant Companion (belt-buckle knife)
Finger rings with blades or other sharp objects projecting from the surface
So a fold-out knife of a reasonable length in a front pocket will do. In fact, Canadian criminals are three times more likely use a knife in a violent crime than a firearms. And the percentage is growing. Since 1974, knife homicides have doubled, while gun homicides have fallen 14 percent.
Knife assaults have a higher survival rate than gun attacks. Generally. Specifically, there have been some gruesome attacks. In 2008, Vince Weiguang beheaded a fellow passenger on a cross-country bus. And the rest. And again.
Meanwhile, “low-level” knife attacks are a daily occurrence. According to a report from Statistics Canada, the number of homicides committed with knives now equals the number committed with guns for the first time since 1974. CBC reports:
In 2008, 34 per cent of 611 homicides reported by police were committed with knives, a seven per cent increase from 1999 and more than double the approximately 15 per cent level of 1974, the first year for which homicide data is available.
The proportion of homicides involving guns, meanwhile, dropped significantly — from approximately 48 per cent in 1974 to 34 per cent in 2008.
These stats serve as an illustration that undercapitalized Canadian criminals will use something, anything in a pinch. So would there be less bloodshed if there were more guns and less knives? I doubt it. And I don’t care. I support Canada’s gun laws because in 1987-96, the average firearm homicide rate was 5.7 per 100,000 in the U.S., compared to 0.7 per 100,000 for Canada.
There are other variables that help account for this difference, but I want illegal firearms to continue to stay well out of the average lowlife’s price range here in Canada. Our gun laws may be a double-edged sword, but the harder it is to obtain a gun, the harder it is for someone to shoot me or the ones I love. But just so yo know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.