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Canada could teach us a thing or two

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Since we seem to be living in an ever-increasing violent society in the United States, I decided to take a look to our Canadian friends to see what’s going on there as regards gun violence.

Based on 2006 crime figures, which tend to remain stable today, CBC News reports that the murder rate in “Toronto was 1.8 per 100,000 people, Edmonton’s was 3.7, and Regina’s was 4.5.” They further reported that in the States, “NYC is 7.3, Chicago is 16.3, Buffalo is 26.4, and Detroit is 467.3.”

CBC News further reports that economically and socially disadvantaged people who are isolated from the rest of Canadian society commit many gun crimes. They suggest several hypotheses, among them being that the gang culture promotes gun violence, that people “out to get even” are a major cause of the use of guns, and that people who live in disadvantaged communities often use a gun for self defense.

But having this information doesn’t really speak to gun crimes in the United States, does it? Perhaps, as a start, we could look at and compare rates and longevity of sentences in which a gun is used in a criminal act. Perhaps we could look at the ownership of guns per 100,000 people, Perhaps we could look at educational programs that may deter gun violence. Then, perhaps, we might have a better picture on how to proceed based on the Second Amendment. Just forming opinions based on strong talk on both sides of this issue is not enough.

It seems certainly clear that the Canadians are doing something right and just possibly we could learn a thing or two.

Fulton Gallagher

Bemidji

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