DID LOWER SENTENCES FOR CRIMINALS CAUSE THE SPIKE

Did Lower Sentences for Criminals Cause the Spike in Toronto’s Gun Violence?

The Liberal mouthpieces are working overtime to try and blame Toronto’s rise in gun violence on Stephen Harper. So far they have blamed a rise in handgun crimes on the cancellation of the long gun registry.   Why the existence of long gun registry would affect sales of handguns is never explained. Even the Liberals, in announcing Bill C-71, the Firearms Owners Harassment Act, tried to suggest that handgun crime had spiked since the end of the long gun registry.

It is obvious to anybody with common sense that ending the long gun registry had no effect on the number of handguns criminals were using. If anything, making it marginally less cumbersome to purchase a long gun should have prompted a shift by criminals away from handguns to long guns. Since that did not happen, other factors must have prompted an increase in criminal handgun use. What factors would lead to an increase in gang violence?

Even criminal gangs can understand a cost benefit analysis, and the economics of crime are pretty straightforward. Before the former Conservative Government increased the mandatory minimum for criminal possession of a firearm from one year to three years, 91% of gun criminals spent less than two years in a provincial jail. After the increase to the mandatory minimum, 78% of gun criminals received three year sentences in a federal penitentiary. Sadly, in 2013 when the Ontario Superior Court declared the enhanced mandatory minimum unconstitutional, 63% of gun criminals started receiving softer sentences in provincial jails again.

When gun criminals were getting longer sentences, crimes committed with firearms declined. Once the punishments were reduced, the rate of gun crime began to increase again. It is the law of supply and demand. If the cost of committing a gun crime is reduced, you will get more gun crime.

The Trudeau Liberals want to bury their heads in the sand. They want to ignore the obvious evidence, and simply make laws based on what they think will get the most votes. They are reducing sentences for dozens of serious crimes, including terrorism offences, because Liberals think if you go soft on the criminals, the criminals will go soft on you.