Two days after saying growing gun violence is ‘unacceptable
‘Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:Feb 18, 2021
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to crack down on gun crime, then on Thursday his government introduced legislation to reduce sentences for serious gun crimes including weapons trafficking and importing.
It goes completely against what Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“In some of our cities, gun crimes are on the rise. This is unacceptable,” Trudeau said using sombre tones. “No one should be afraid of being a victim of a sniper or a stray bullet. As a parent, I know full well that our greatest fear is receiving a tragic call, telling us that the worst has happened.”
He said that as his government introduced a bill, C-21, that primarily changes which firearms a legally licensed gun owner can possess. You’ve likely heard of the government’s plan to ban 1,500 “military-style assault weapons.”
That’s what they want you to think of when you think of their gun control measures. They ban these rifles and shotguns, which are not used in crimes while invoking the kinds of shootings that have plagued our cities over the past several years.
If you want to know Trudeau’s real thoughts of dealing with gun crime, look at what his government is doing in Bill C-22.
Mandatory minimum sentences are being removed for a long list of offences including:
– Use of firearm in commission of offence
– Possession of restricted or prohibited weapon knowing possession is unauthorized
– Possession of loaded handgun
– Possession of weapon obtained through crime
– Weapons trafficking
– Unauthorized import/export of firearm
– Illegal discharge of a firearm with intent
– Robbery with firearm
– Extortion with firearm
The government put these changes into a bill they described as dealing with systemic racism in Canada’s justice system and making sure that people who make simple mistakes don’t pay for them for the rest of their lives.
“These are people with health problems. These are single mothers. These are young people who perhaps have made a couple of mistakes,” Justice Minister David Lametti said while introducing his bill.
It sounds nice and it pulls on the heartstrings, but it’s also a load of BS.
Take the removal of mandatory minimums for knowingly possessing an illegal firearm. Right now there is no mandatory minimum on someone’s first offence, a minimum of one year on a second offence and a minimum of three years on a third offence.
Being caught with illegal guns three times isn’t making a “couple of mistakes,” it is repeatedly engaging in dangerous criminal behavior, the kind the government claims it wants to stop.
The legislation also removes one-year mandatory minimum sentences for charges related to smuggling and trafficking in illegal guns. Isn’t that exactly what the government claims they want to stop?
Lametti made repeated claims on Thursday that mandatory minimums were a failed Conservative policy that Canadians have rejected. This is false.
Mandatory minimums have been part of Canada’s criminal code since at least the time of Pierre Trudeau, who introduced some, as have other Liberal governments.
The Harper government started using minimum sentences in response to outrage over light sentences for serious crimes. Voters loved them for a time and it’s likely the Harper government went too far.
That doesn’t mean they have no place in our system. The minimums being repealed by the Trudeau government for guns crimes are mostly light and not punitive.
With this bill, Justin Trudeau is showing he isn’t serious about dealing with actual gun crime and any claims otherwise are simply electoral smoke and mirrors.