January 01, 2006


Oh, Canada

Perhaps they’re still upset over Wayne Gretzky being sent to Los Angeles in the 1980s or the fact that Rush became a popular band here before they did in their native land, but either way Canada has found a new scapegoat for their social ills: The United States.
Canadian officials theorize that the United States is exporting its culture of violence and they’re the first ones to feel the brunt of it. The city of Toronto, for instance, has had 78 murders in 2005, and 52 of those are gun-related. Toronto’s mayor, David Miller, figures that it must be the fault of us silly Americans.
Miller was quoted as saying:
“It’s a sign that the lack of gun laws in the U.S. is allowing guns to flood across the border that are literally being used to kill people in the streets of Toronto. The U.S. is exporting its problem of violence to the streets of Toronto.”
So, according to Mr. Miller, Canada has gun laws that protect its people, but the gun laws in the United States have created a problem in Canada? If the strictness of Canada’s gun laws are so successful, why aren’t they preventing the gun crimes from happening no matter where the guns originated?
Let’s put it another way: If strict gun laws are failing in the land of maple syrup and Molson, what makes Mr. Miller think that they’ll be so much more successful if they’re implemented here?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that stricter gun laws don’t have an impact on gun violence, according to statistics that were compiled by the Centers for Disease Control’s Task Force on Community Preventive Services in a report from October 2003. The report was called “a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury.”
Much to the chagrin of gun control proponents, the CDC’s task force “found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.” To be sure, the term “insufficient evidence” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s evidence of ineffectiveness. If strict gun laws were as successful as gun control supporters would have us think, however, why on earth would the CDC even come close to “insufficient evidence”? It should be overwhelming evidence, should it not?
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with the intelligent design debate a few months ago, scientific data mean little—if anything—to certain segments of our society. With intelligent design, science was the enemy of the right-wingers. With gun control, science is the enemy of the left-wingers. Either way, the end result is absurdity.
Yes, the culture of my fellow Americans is one of violence. Why is that? I’m not certain, but we see it and read about it on a daily basis. Cities across the country are setting records for murder, and many of the incidents of violence are borne of things pettier than robbery or revenge.
Blaming another country for your own problems might make you feel better—especially during an election period—but it does nothing other than creates more problems. It also shows that the only “exporting” that the United States is guilty of is the exportation of the “blame someone else” philosophy.


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