The torrent of illogic flowing from ‘hot button’ issues makes my head hurt. I realise this is a story from June, but it’s no less timely.

A CBC story reported that Toronto mayor David Miller has been invited to join a group of U.S. mayors concerned about gun violence.

Miller has always been ready with sound bites about gun issues that sound great but mean next to nothing. True to form, the article quotes him thus:

Miller, who has long said illegal guns streaming across the border from the U.S have fuelled gun violence in Canada, applauded the coalition’s moves and said Ottawa must take heed of the mayor’s warnings. “The federal government has to start speaking up with the United States,” he told CBC News Sunday.

First of all, Miller has said illegal guns from the U.S. are a problem. He’s said legal guns here are a problem. He’s said guns stolen from legal owners are a problem. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear cabbages are a problem if he could gain political advantage in saying it.

Second, what’s the Federal government going to say to the United States? “Hey, we’re having a problem with guns coming across our border.” Of course the Unites States would say, “Then don’t allow the guns over your border.” And rightly so. If we’re having a problem, how is it the responsibility of the United States to fix it for us? The only way I could see Miller’s suggesting not being laughable is if the Unites States government were actively complicit in sending the guns over the border. If our border is so porous that we have no control over it, we can’t really complain to anyone else.

Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo, New York, said:

We think by partnering on these issues, we can crack down on this illegal transmission of guns

Again, this sounds good, but what exactly will this cracking down involve? Will they pass more laws and pat themselves on the back? The illegal guns you’re cracking down on are already illegal. How will making them extra-super-ultra-illegal change anything on the street? Until these mayors say something of substance, I’m forced to assume they’re just saying things people will agree with to curry favour.

The UK had all handguns banned by 1998 and at the time the Home Office Minister, Alan Michael, said, “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. We recognize that only the strictest control of firearms will protect the public.” Despite this, a Times of London article reported last month that “The government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998.

When will the majority of the population get it through their heads that simply making guns illegal will make sure the law-abiding citizens can’t have any, but criminals who want guns will only be somewhat inconvenienced in stocking up? If these genius politicians really do have a solution to go with their sound bites, I’d love to hear about it because so far the silence has been deafening.

A phrase that fits this circumstance perfectly is, “Gun control is what you do instead of something.”


A tip of the hat to Kevin at The Smallest Minority for the Times article and the Home Office Minister’s 1998 pronouncement.