The health board for the city of Toronto wants to make a request of the provincial government. You see, they think guns are bad. In particular, they think the handguns (among others) that many Canadians trust their lives to each and every day are bad. They’re so bad, they want to ban them outright within the city.
To do that, they need the provincial government to sign off.
Toronto’s board of health is set to vote next week on whether or not to formally ask the provincial government for a ban on handguns.
The ban would prohibit the availability, sale, possession, and use of handguns, assault rifles, and semi-automatic firearms in the City of Toronto. The board is also seeking a ban on the sale of handgun ammunition.
The requests are also part of a broader initiative to take a public health approach to dealing with gun violence — a major issue in the city.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has been calling for a gun ban for over a year, but municipalities don’t have the power to legislate one on their own. So far, however, the provincial government has suggested it won’t block people from legally obtaining the weapons.
In a statement to CBC News last month, a spokesperson for Attorney General Doug Downey said while protecting citizens has been an “urgent priority” for the province, “it has not been demonstrated that banning legal firearms and targeting law-abiding citizens would meaningfully address the problem of gun violence.”
Now, let’s take a look at the firearms being covered here. They cover pretty much everything except some hunting rifles, a handful of shotguns, and revolvers. In other words, almost nothing considered good for self-defense. About all that would be left to folks in Toronto would be pump-action shotguns, which I tend to think are a tad overrated when it comes to home defense.
What’s more, this isn’t really going to stop violence in Toronto by any stretch of the imagination.
For one thing, criminals are notorious for not following the law. They’ll still get all these firearms regardless of what the city of Toronto wants.
Also, let’s not forget that this is the same city where a guy militantly distraught that girls didn’t want to sleep with him intentionally killed 10 and injured 15 others with a van in an attack.
There’s a lesson in that which the folks in Toronto have apparently not picked up. Those who wish to harm others will continue to find ways to harm others. Restricting the access to firearms isn’t likely to change a damn thing for those people except, maybe, may it a little more difficult for the good people of the city to have the means to defend themselves.
They’ve already forgotten that mass attacks can be perpetrated with all kinds of tools. Individual murders can as well. If they’re serious about wanting to stem the tide of violence, then you have to start looking at the roots of that violence. Until they’re willing to do that, no good will come of whatever they try.