Do you feel pistolized? Canadian sociology professor James Sheptycki created the term “Pistolization” to describe the phenomenon of a society that integrates hand guns into commonplace daily life. It’s a more elegant and pointy-headed way of describing a society that is devolving into the Wild West. Oh, did I say America? No, but Sheptycki did. “America” is a Canadian term that is a more elegant and pointy-headed way of describing that cesspool of violence south of the forty-ninth parallel from whence many banned firearms are smuggled. America is pistolized because we have more hand guns than table salt shakers. Or so I’ve heard. Bloggerette Dominique Millette of Womenmakenews.com is calling for an international arms treaty between the neighboring countries that would ban pistolization in America so that fewer arms can be smuggled into the Great White North. She sounds like Mayors Daley and Bloomberg. Only they don’t use Sheptycki’s fancy word. Before we explore Ms. Millette’s essay any further, let’s stipulate a couple of facts . . .

First, Canada is not America.  After the gaggle of malcontents who Americans call their Founding Fathers brazenly declared independence from England, many colonists who remained loyal to the crown fled north to commune in relative safety with likeminded royal subjects. Thirty-six years later they were still loyal to the King. You remember, “Oh say, can you see . . . ?”  The war when President Madison enacted the Bush Doctrine and preemptively invaded peace-loving Canada without provocation (other than insults)? The War of 1812?

 

Anyway, some Americans (shall we call them “Neo-Cons”?) in the Madison administration believed that liberty-starved Canucks would revolt against their British overseers if America did them the kindness of invading. The military mission of mercy was an unmitigated failure. But America learned something: the people of the north actually liked the British. Canadians ARE different.

Fact two: there is no excuse for American authorities to be lax on controlling the northern border. America should prevent American firearms from being smuggled into Canada. Americans expect los Estados Unidos Mexicanos to do their part to curb the illegal flow of drugs, weapons and people from their country. We should be prepared to do no less for our northern neighbor.

However, drug trafficking from Mexico into the U.S.A. presents some interesting similarities to Canada’s War on Guns. By outlawing handguns, the Canadians have created a black market appetite. Guns aren’t being pushed into Canada, they are being sucked in by their own citizens who must get their firearms fix. It’s a disease. ‘Just Say No’ is a joke.

In her call for an international arms treaty, Ms. Millette quotes extensively from anti-gun activist Wendy Cukier. Cukier says, “The difference between Canadian and U.S. homicide rates (200 versus 10,000) is explained entirely by the difference in firearms.”

What? I don’t know where Cukier gets her numbers and the accompanying web link provides no details. The homicide rates (per 100,000) in Canada and the U.S. are 5.4 and 1.83, respectively. America has roughly 17,000 homicides a year while Canada has fewer than 700.

Saying that the difference is “explained entirely by the difference in firearms” doesn’t make it so. To empirically establish that firearms are the difference, the author would need to show that just as many Canadians (per 100,000) attempted murder but failed because they couldn’t get their hands on a handgun.

Millette further states the “Murders of women with guns are down 60% in the last 15 years alone, which correlates with stricter control.” That’s funny because overall, the murder rate in Canada has only dropped 17% over the last 15 years. So if the women aren’t being killed by handguns, they are being killed by alternate tools such as knives, hockey sticks, or curling stones.

Meanwhile, during the same period in the U.S. the homicide rate fell 43 percent, coincident with the liberalization of concealed-carry laws in many states.

What other nonsense did Ms. Millette manage to serve up?  Try this:

Allowing civilians to bear arms can increase casualties immeasurably. The Virginia Tech shooting resulted in 32 deaths, while the one at Dawson College produced one death, with several wounded. Why the difference? Standing orders. In the U.S., police must worry about crossfire from self-defending civilians, so it takes longer to secure a perimeter. In Montreal, police were able to respond to gunfire immediately, notes Sheptycki.

I’ve never heard that the Virginia Tech police hesitated to intervene because they were wringing their hand in worry of taking crossfire. The “gun free zone” campus has stricter gun prohibitions than most of Canada.

A more accurate comparison to the Virginia Tech massacre was the 2002 shooting at Appalachian School of Law. A disgruntled former student killed three students – two executed at point blank range – and wounded three others. The shooting was cut short by the actions of three law students who happened to be off-duty police officers, two of whom retrieved their personal handguns from their vehicles once the shooting started.

Dominique Millette, James Sheptycki, and Wendy Cukier naively believe that they can eradicate violent crime through international arms treaties, gun control laws, and government-imposed social engineering schemes. It’s a nice dream, but their numbers and conclusions simply do not hold up under scrutiny.

As cliché as it sounds, the world is a dangerous place. There are plenty of evil people and governments who will victimize and exploit the weak. No matter how noble the intentions, every time governments strip people of their ability to defend themselves, they are weakening law-abiding citizens and setting innocents up for victimization.

4 Responses to Editorial: Pistolization? Pistolize this!

  1. RE WENDY CUKIER

    Go to the Ryerson University website and check her qualifications. She has no degree in criminology and no history of firearms ownership. She is like the Pope pronouncing on family planning – all theology and no experience. Her Coalition depends on exaggeration, personal prejudice against firearms, and ignorance of firearms and related social issues. In short, the science does not support her claims. It should be remembered too that previous Liberal governments funded the Coalition for Gun Control to lobby the Liberal government of the day in favour of the elimination of private firearms ownership in Canada.

    Lobbies like her's and governments that replace reality with dogma do not act in the best interests of Canadians. I am better qualified as I am at least trained in History and historical research methods. Also, I have over 50 years experience with many types of firearms!

  2. As a Canadian I think Cukier is a moron and is dangerous to your health and safety. She claims to have been a victim or known victims of gun crime in St. Catharines Ontario (where I live) yet none of her claims pan out with a simple news archive search and police report search. If her claims are true, it is more dangerous to be a friend or associate of Cukier than any other demographic.

    In short, I call her bluff, none of her ‘experience’ happened outside of her wild imagination! Which ironically is where she gets her statistics.

    The fact is I jumped through tremendous numbers of flaming hoops and swam through several shark infested motes to get legal permits for my two rifles, one shotgun & 2 revolvers. If I had any inclination to do harm to anyone with these I wouldn’t have gone through the stacks and stacks of paperwork and mandatory classes of information & training that I was already well above in skill level and common sense. I would have gone down to Hamilton and sought out a black market gun, it would have been immensely easier and cheaper than getting guns legally.

    My Great Grandpa carried a handgun all over Canada, never killed a soul in his life. A gun is an inanimate object, it wont hurt you unless you or someone else is mishandling it, or you are a criminal breaking into a home!

    There are a zillion kids with a crappy background, so in the words of the trews song ‘gun control’:

    ‘Without the dark the stars can’t shine
    I pray to hope through the hard times
    What things could change to save more lives?
    I think you know

    Why oh why do they second guess
    Gun Control
    My my my what an ugly mess
    Bless their souls

    I don’t wanna hear about his troubled past
    There’s a million little freaks with a past like that
    People sayin’ there was something wrong with his head
    If he couldn’t get a gun there’d be nobody dead

    Why oh why do they second guess
    Gun Control
    My my my what an ugly mess
    Bless their souls

    Without the dark the stars cant shine
    I pray for hope through the hard times
    What things could change to save more lives?
    I think he knows where its at

    Freedom to take other peoples freedom away
    Is this what has become of the U.S.A”

    Extend that to Canada!

  3. Baring arms are legal in the better parts of USA
    Some cities have banned some handguns for some people. It’s even in Bill of Rights, part of The Constitution.

    Don’t like it? Feel free to stay on your side of the border.

    Have yourself a lovely evening

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