There’s trouble on the southern border friends, and it involves, guns, violence, smuggling and various other criminal activities. Lives are at risk and action is called for. But before you jump to any conclusions here, the trouble isn’t being noted in Washington, but in Canada. And the southern border is the one they share with us. Yes, that’s right… Canada is worried about criminals flushing guns into the Great White North over their porous border with the United States. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a plan to stop it. (Washington Post)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised new regulations and a string of measures to counter gun smuggling, which is regarded here as a dangerous problem underscoring the United States’ much looser firearm laws.
The move comes as police have discovered an increased number of high-powered handguns and semiautomatic and automatic weapons in Canadian cities.
Since 2005, Toronto has had the worst of it. As gun battles broke out across the city between rival street gangs that year, innocent people got caught in the crossfire.
This is some uncharted territory for many Americans, primarily because we’re so used to immediately thinking about Mexico when the word “border” crops up in conversation. So how legitimate is Canada’s complaint? Well, in one regard, any border violation or incident of smuggling is too many, but it helps to keep things in perspective. I was looking at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reports on smuggling and gun violence, as well as their Commissioner of Firearms reports and we don’t seem to be talking about an epidemic here. The trafficking report is only published sparsely and the last one they have is from 2007, but they had a total of 190 victims killed by a firearm, with 108 of them involving handguns. That’s for the entire year across the nation. They saw a spike in 2013 but it’s gone back down since then.
It’s true that most of their illegal guns were trafficked in across the border from the United States, but that’s just a reminder that we all deal with the same problems. There are illegal guns coming into the United States also, though generally from the south. The rest of the world has to deal with the same issue. Guns exist. The genie is out of the bottle. And if a country wants to ban guns entirely then they have a serious job on their hands. The Canadians don’t have Second Amendment rights, obviously, so they have to keep an eye on their borders.
But the new Prime Minister also needs to recall that border enforcement is his responsibility first and foremost. (Though we’re happy to help.) If he wants to make that a priority for his new administration, perhaps he should consider building a wall. I seem to recall hearing that we have an expert or two in that field and they might even be able to talk Mexico into paying for it.