Monday, August 01, 2005

Gun metastasis

Imagine my shock and delight when I read the headline on my RSS reader, "Senate passes tougher gun related measures." I could hardly believe it because every sign pointed to this same body of corrupt gun lobby whores set to completely immunize dealers, weapons makers and gun runners from liability, in order to "save the industry from junk lawsuits." So I clicked on the article, and yes, it was true. Only it was the Jamaica Senate, who passed an amendment to the island nation's 1967 Firearms Act to streamline the issuing of licenses, certificates and permits (although you can't get much more streamlined than the US Senate version which doesn't require anything).

Meanwhile, up north in Canada, guns are also on the agenda. But not guns sold in Jamaica or even guns sold in Canada. Guns sold in the US and brought to Canada to kill people. From Toronto (Canadian Press):
A barrage of gunfire in recent days in and around Canada's most populous city has police and crime experts worried about the proliferation of illegal handguns north of the border, many of them coming from the United States.

Toronto residents have been left shaken by seven shootings in three days, including Tuesday's brazen daylight killing of Mauricio Castro, 31, in a crowded parking lot outside a shopping centre in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto.

Gunplay might have become a relatively commonplace occurrence in Toronto, but that doesn't mean residents have grown indifferent to the dangers, said Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Gary Keys of the city's guns and gangs task force.

"I don't think we've got to the point where we're like some American cities that have become complacent to it," Keys said Wednesday.

"Especially the way it happened the last few days, people are still alarmed by it or concerned by it, which they should be."

A cache of weapons seized in a raid on a north Toronto high-rise apartment Sunday included a Mac-10 automatic pistol, which can fire up to 30 rounds in five seconds, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition and three sets of body armour.
Guns are not only more plentiful and easy to purchase in the US, they are also much cheaper. Hence smuggling guns to Canada can be extremely profitable. An ordinary $200 handgun can sell for $500 in Canada, and more powerful high tech weapons can bring thousands. It is also very difficult to stop the smuggling on such a porous border. So the stupidity and cupidity of US Senators is not just an "American" problem but a cancer metastasizing north and south as well as globally.

Another gift to the world.