The media is misleading Canadians about Prime Minister Paul Martin’s new gun policy.
The headline in the Toronto Star for instance says “PM vows `total’ handgun ban”.
But that’s not true.
Here’s what the text of the Star story says:
“Liberal sources say that the proposed ban, to be announced by Martin in Toronto, will be sweeping – only police and select security officers would be allowed to carry handguns.” (italics added)
It seems to me that a “total” ban on handguns would also include the police, security officers and heck even the army.
So when you come down to it, Martin is only offering a partial ban on handguns.
But why not a total ban? Why exempt the police? Why should they enjoy a special exemption denied to the rest of the citizenry? Aren’t all Canadians supposed to be equal before the law?
Of course, Martin’s supporters might say cops need to be armed in case they run into some pistol packing crook.
But doesn’t that argument undermine the whole premise of the handgun ban? I mean if a ban on handguns doesn’t make the police feel safe enough to patrol our streets unarmed, why are the rest of us supposed to feel safer?
By exempting the police Martin is essentially acknowledging that his gun ban won’t disarm criminals. It’s a policy that just won’t work.
And by that I mean it won’t work when it comes to stopping crime, but it might work when it comes to winning votes – which is all that matters to the Liberals.