As goes Toronto, so goes Canada’s firearms laws. With that in mind, it’s interesting to see CityTV tackle Hogtown’s gun crime problem with a special documentary. Spoiler alert: In the hour-long special (45 minutes without ads), journalist Christina Howoran discovers what we’ve been saying all along. Law-abiding firearms owners are not the problem.
You can watch the whole documentary below, in the embedded YouTube video. Again, it’s all familiar stuff. Law enforcement appears to have a cringe-worthy unfamiliarity with the firearms they’re seizing off the streets. But, they put the blame where it belongs, on criminals and not legal PAL holders. We’re told 70-80 percent of firearms involved in Canadian crime are traced to the US; one detective shows us how they do that. Howoran interviews a victims’ mother, former gang-bangers and even a former gun smuggler for their perspective. Their evidence points to the Canada/US border as the source of illegal firearms, with criminals using extortion, kidnapping and other thuggery to get firearms into the country. In Canada, they’re able to sell a pistol bought in the US for $200 to a local buyer for as much as $5,000.
Nobody interviewed here – criminals or cops – seems to think the Liberal government’s recent gun control legislation is the final answer to battle firearms crime. Instead, they all say the border needs to be tightened. Root causes of crime should be addressed at the community level.
CityTV paired the TV documentary with a series of articles on the outlet’s website (see here, here, here and here). They’re based on the same interviews, so you get the same message.
What does this mean for gun owners?
This television documentary isn’t going to eliminate the current government’s rhetoric against legal gun owners. However, it will educate viewers on the real problem. Informed voters are an important part of political change towards properly addressing Canadian gun crime. This is especially important in Toronto, which tends to dominate the country politically, and where firearms crime always grabs headlines. Finally, it’s good to see a journalist willing to tackle the issues with an open, unbiased mind, instead of unquestioning lip service to rhetoric.