TORONTO SHOOTINGS SOAR

It has been a busy week for Toronto Police this past week. As of the writing of this column last night, there had been at least 9 shootings for the week. It seems as though the national gun registry is not attracting as many criminals as the Liberals had hoped.

Earlier in the week, Toronto’s chief of police lamented the light sentences that gunmen receive from our judicial branch. Police Chief Bill Blair is simply echoing the sentiments that most Canadians have been voicing for years.

Our federal government has spent over $1 billion dollars to register legally owned firearms, all the while, any police officer in the country could have testified to the fact that criminals don’t use registe guns. That is the whole point of the objections so many politicians have with the registry. It simply doesn’t work, period.

On top of that, you have criminals committing serious crimes and they are, for the most part, receiving a pass for it. I used to think that someone who murdered another would face severe penalties. With all of the reductions that are available, as well as concurrent sentences, there is no deterrent in Canada. We need to make people who commit crimes with weapons disappear into our criminal system and never return.

Taking a life should mean the forfeiture of your own, if not literally, then by having to spend the rest of your life behind bars. No time off for good behaviour, no reductions. We need to change our court system and we can start by appointing judges with backbones. We need to change our sentencing habits. A man who commits multiple crimes presently serves all his sentences at the same time. Make them consecutive sentences, not concurrent.

We also need to elect people who desire to punish offenders by increasing mandatory prison terms. It seems that mandatory terms are required to help our judges do an acceptable job.

While some with bleeding hearts will say that this is much too harsh, I have two words. Be quiet. Every sentence for murder handed down in this country is done so because one individual made a conscious decision. If they still wish to make that choice knowing the consequences, that is their prerogative.

Some like to blame the gun manufacturers south of the border. While we as Canadians cannot fathom the right to bear arms, it is a constitutional right in the United States. That is not going to go away. Since our border is a sieve, we have two options to try and stem the flow of illegal firearms. We need to do a better job at the border and at all entry points, and we need to lock up those found guilty of illegally importing firearms for a very, very long time.

We need to improve our immigration policies. We are an open book, a welcome mat to all. It is time that we told those who are less than acceptable to try somewhere else. Maybe if we learned how to stop importing criminals things would also improve.

There are too many variables working against us, and most of them are our own doing. If we want to reduce these shootings, we have to muster some will.