May 1, 2006


Faith gets $3M boost to fight guns (ROYSON JAMES, 5/01/06, Toronto Star)

The premier in the pulpit; the premier as preacher. That was the unusual combination found Saturday in Rexdale as Premier Dalton McGuinty showed his government is prepared to think and act outside the box when it comes to tackling the epidemic of gun violence.

Speaking against a backdrop of an 80-voice dynamo gospel youth choir called Yes to Life, and looking straight out the door where Amon Beckles was shot dead last November at a funeral at the Toronto West Seventh-day Adventist Church...[h]e announced a $3 million fund to help the faith community in drafting strategies aimed at ending the violence and alleviating the causes.

"What we are doing today is drawing upon a resource that government never before in history of our province has tapped into," McGuinty told reporters, even as he stood where Beckles blood once stained the entranceway of the church.

It's a departure from regular practice because the persistence of the violence is a departure from regular practice. Desperate times demand desperate measures. And in turning to the churches, the government is showing how desperate it is for a solution.

With every nation of the Anglosphere following the Third Way, it's sort of hard to see this as innovative anymore. Nice that the Canadians are catching up though.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 1, 2006 8:41 AM

Most odd, this "gun violence."

As I write, I can see a dozen or so of my guns in glass-doored cabinets. None of them is showing the slightest sign of violence. I daresay that none of them has ever done so, and I judge that without human agency they would persist etenally in pacific stasis.

We hear the same phrase repeated in our own city.
It seems to be code words for "Our community lacks the degree of social control to handle guns, and we want to solve our problem by taking away the freedom of others."

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 1, 2006 12:29 PM

It only seems odd because you don't live where there's a threat of gun violence. If yuou did you'd want them taken away. Everyone will choose physical security over freedom.

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2006 12:40 PM

It's not only nice that Canada is catching up, it's nice that liberal rags like the Star are starting to change their tune. This is long, but it pins gang trouble squarely on fathers and is suprisingly free of the traditional whine about racism, etc.

Posted by: Peter B at May 1, 2006 1:27 PM

I live in what is a fairly high crime city (Fayetteville, NC aka Fayette-Nam). Crime is down significantly in the last few years thanks to the widespread availability of guns and concealed carry by law abiding citizens.

Here's a local story of why guns are important in high crime areas, a 9 month pregnant woman defended herserlf and her two children from a home invader in a rough part of town:

It's a false choice to claim we need to opt for security or freedom. In the case of firearms, our freedom enhances our security.

Posted by: David Rothman at May 1, 2006 2:09 PM


Crime is down nationally because we have two million guys behind bars. It has nothing to do with concealed carry.

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2006 2:17 PM

oj: You obviously do not know where I live. Our murder running score for 2006 is nudging hard against our all-time records, and Hizzonor the Mayor ran off to NYC to join his fellows in blaming it all on guns.

The mayors would like to retake the power to deny carry papers to all but their political buddies, the way it used to be before the NRA orchestrated the national concealed carry revolution. This despite the fact that lawfully armed citizens have proven to be most sober and law-abiding, more so than off-duty police.

Building bigger brigs always helps lower crime, but concealed carry helps too. As bad as things are here, with yellow tape and chalk circles leading off the nightly news, well, nightly, stranger-on-stranger confrontational crime is still down.

The hoodlums and gangsters are doing one another at an exhilarating rate, and tragically innocents are caught in cross-fires, but carjackings are rare, and ATM strong-arms are the exception. We had a rash of robbery-abductions of college students a couple of weeks ago. Everybody knows college students don't carry guns because the schools don't let them keep guns in the dorms.

Thus guns are a plus to the law-abiding component of the community and a minus to the criminal underclass and incidentially to those so unfortunate to dwell among the criminal underclass. You may imagine that more guns do not result in less crime, but the data is to the contrary.

I don't go to church in this city without at least ". . .a .32 gun in my pocket for fun," as the song goes, and if they said I couldn't have it, I'm outta here.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 1, 2006 2:56 PM

The data comes from the period during which we've been incarcerating young men at record numbers. You can make it look like DVD sales have lowered crime.

Posted by: oj at May 1, 2006 3:01 PM

You are correct in that we cannot easily attribute the effect to one or another of multiple causes operating at the same time. Quite likely both factors are operational.

I try not to waste words and I revel in hidden meanings. My wisecrack about the line from "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" has such a significance. Let fools contest the causation of a certain level of crime. What matters is that many of us feel safer with the gun than without it, and that this subjective impression allows us to remain in the city, with all the benefits that entails, both for the individual and for the community.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 1, 2006 3:28 PM