Archive for the ‘Studies’ Category

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The final installment on this section of “Recommendations”.

As always, you can read along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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– 44 –

Recommendation 12:

That the CFP further analyzes domestic violence issues involving firearms. That, simultaneously, the RCMP as an organization develops further police protocols for domestic violence calls during instances involving firearms, and that they consider encouraging other police services, which have not yet done so, to adopt this approach.

Well, if firearms really are involved with that particular instance of domestic violence, then yes, they should be impounded.  I don’t think any reputable gun owner would disagree.  But all too often such claims are made by a vindictive soon to be ex-spouse, who just wants to make trouble for her partner.

It seems to me like they are trying to “trump up” more fallacious reasons in order to remove guns “from circulation”.  As pointed out above, 45% of spousal homicides are committed with something other than a gun, and that alcohol and a history of violence far outweigh the presence of guns in the home:

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/1104216

Combined with alcohol, the risk factor increases. Seventy-five per cent of the perpetrators had a serious drug or alcohol problem. That compares to 42 per cent in Ontario.

An overwhelming factor was a history of violence, which Doherty defined as not just physical, but emotional or sexual as well. Ninety per cent of the cases appeared to have a history of violence – though it wasn’t clear in court documents, she said.

 

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the recommendation.

  • Current Status

The CFP is conducting research and analysis with respect to domestic violence and firearms. CCAPS is responsible for developing national policy with respect to domestic violence.

  • Responsible

SIPMS

  • Planned Action

As outlined in the “Planned Action” for recommendation #10 of this MAP; ” the CFP will continue to work with CCAPS on policy development” by providing subject matter resources.

  • Diary Date: December 31, 2010

There should be a corollory to the “Follow the money” aphorism: “Follow the bullshit”.  7 “Recommendations” from one “Finding”.  It seems to me that all this is nothing more than an exercise in justifying further incursions upon our rights, by “manufacturing” a problem that just does not exist.

A sample size of 283 abused women, of which only 71 admitted to having guns in the home – a meager number, to be sure.

A study which refers to other studies done by the same author, who is on the payroll of an anti-gun and anti-male group, paid for by the anti-gun establishment at the CFC, which shows a need for more restrictions on gun owners – why am I not surprised?

Out of the total male population, how many are actually abusers?  How many of them are gun owners?  What are the real numbers here?   I bet they will never say, since those kinds of numbers don’t work in their favour…

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The true cost of the Firearms Act must be measured against its infringement of our rights.

I just realized that I hand’t posted Dr. Ted Morton’s study on how the Firearms Act infringes upon over a dozen of our Charter Protected and other Rights; it can be found here:

https://akimoya.wordpress.com/how-the-firearms-act-bill-c-68-violates-the-charter-of-right-and-freedoms/

How much freedom are you willing to lose?

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Recommendation 5 of 7 for this section of the “evaluation”.  Read along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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Recommendation 10:

That the RCMP operational policies about reporting mental health incidents to the CFO be updated and further reference Firearms Interest Police (FIP) reporting.

They are really harping on this “mental health” thing, aren’t they?  I guess they figure if they through enough bafflegab around, somebody somewhere will fall for it…

CFP personnel are currently performing online web searches for firearms abuse, particularly with firearm licensees and applicants, and they have had success in identifying applicants of concern.(1) Much of their investigative reporting is done using the Firearms Program CFIS. As a national program application for recording following up investigations, it has an opportunity to be utilized by the CFP in promoting public safety.

(1) Say what?  Our tax dollars are being spent on petty tyrants to surf the web to spy on gun owners and others?  Just how much “success” have they had?  Just what constitutes “concern”?  Where are the hard and fast results of these endeavours?  All we’ve got is some nebulous assertions on their part…

Tracking and retention of historical information needs to be available to Firearm Officer Investigators in a timely manner, to enable them to properly conduct investigations. Privacy and information security concerns could be addressed by limiting access to sensitive information, such as that related to mental health which could be shared on a, ‘as required’ basis.

Just what kind of “historical information” do they have in mind?  Is this like the “permanent record” you hear jokes about?

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If CFIS were recognized in the Firearms Act as a national electronic system, the RCMP would be in a better position to implement quality standards for usage, storage, retention and continuous evaluation/audit. This would allow the RCMP to promote expectations of operational usage consistently, and to mitigate risks including: information availability to police agencies, cross border sharing of investigative material; and balancing information management with the privacy and safety of Canadians.

The Privacy Commissioner’s concerns over the existing use and management of law-abiding citizen’s private information by the CFP have been largely ignored.  Now the RCMP want what appears to be “carte blanche” to do whatever the hell they please…

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the recommendation.

  • Current Status

In consultation with CCAPS, FIESD is developing operational policy in regards to firearms. At the same time FIESD are reviewing (again in conjunction with CCAPs) existing RCMP policy on firearms to see what needs to be updated. FIESD is also developing administrative and standard operating procedures for its directorate.

Linking to this is a national Policy Committee made up of analysts and employees from CFO offices working on developing policies for business licences, shooting clubs and shooting ranges.

  • Responsible
    • LRTSD (Licensing, Registration and Technical Services Directorate)
    • FIESD (Firearms Investigative and Enforcement Services Directorate)
  • Planned Action
    • Prepare a work plan to advance and update CFP operational and administrative policy at the national level (including the reporting of mental health incidents to CFOs and further reference Firearms Interest Police (FIP) reporting).

Diary Date: March 31, 2010

    • Continue to work with RCMP CCAPS in policy development.

Diary Date: On-going

    • Review existing standard operational policies across Canada to highlight best practices.

Diary Date: December 2010

Is there no limit to how much snooping The State wants to do on honest citizens who, by and large, will never commit any heinous crimes with their guns – or without them, for that matter?

I’ll bet that the vast majority of gun owners have no idea just how much scrutiny they are put under on a daily basis.


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Recommendation 4 of 7 for this section of the “evaluation”.  Read along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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Recommendation 9:

That police officers be made aware of the importance, within their provincial jurisdiction, of reporting subjects with mental health concerns. Reporting correct FIP codes, as they relate to mental health, is important to ensure action is taken by the CFO. Reporting procedures as well can vary by police service, so it is important the CFP provides direction on this issue to ensure national consistency.

As pointed out in an earlier post, after 15 years of this crap, the police still aren’t properly trained!  The old saying applies:  Garbage In, Garbage Out…

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the recommendation.

  • Current Status

In 2008 the CFP drafted new requirements and improved functionality for Firearms Interest Police (FIP) reporting addressed to all police agencies. New requirements included a revised Uniform Crime Reporting II (UCR II) code list that generates FIPs containing a total of 564 codes agreed upon by the Chief Firearms Officers (CFOs) in December 2006; for an increase of 252 codes from the previous list.(1) In addition to the UCR II codes a suggested list of codes for Criminal Code sections not presently being flagged from police agencies Records Management Systems was also provided including s. 117, s. 111 and s. 810

(1) They want to double the number of codes that trigger an FIP entry!  They already have (at least) 4 million FIP entries on individuals – how many more entries will this generate?

  • Responsible
  • LRTSD (Licensing, Registration and Technical Services Directorate)
  • SIPMS (Strategic Integration and Program Management Services Directorate)
  • DG of the CFP (Director General)
  • Planned Action
    • In partnership with RCMP CCAPS review revised FIP list to ensure it includes FIP codes related to mental health and consult with CFOs if revision is necessary. Along with the CFP, CCAPS and National Police Services (NPS) are the two other directorates responsible for FIP program delivery; CCAPS for FIP data control, NPS for system support.
    • (CCAPS – Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services)

Diary Date: March 31, 2010

  • Include a reporting structure on the National Firearms Strategy currently being developed by the CACP Firearms Sub-committee which is co-chaired by the DG of the CFP.(2)

Diary Date: August 31, 2010

(2) The Canadian Associations of Chiefs of Police are one of the 4 most anti-gun and anti-rights organizations in Canada – and they are the ones who get to decide our fates for us.  How convenient for them that the Director General of the Canadian Firearms Program sits on the CACP Firearms Sub-committee – how does that work, exactly?


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Recommendation 3 of 7 for this section of the “evaluation”.  Read along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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– 42 –

Recommendation 8:

That the CFP examine the feasibility of incorporating other agency databanks and applicant mental health risk factors into the decision making process. Accordingly, the privacy issues surrounding mental health needs to be addressed further. As an innovative practice, the province of Québec has ‘health providers’ reporting clients with mental health concerns. Their progress should be reviewed to determine applicability and public safety impacts in other provinces.

Great – yet even more State intrusion on our privacy. Does anyone remember the HRDC’s “Longitudinal Files” scandal that was touted by Lieberal Cabinet Minister Jane Stewart? This is 10 times worse – but since it only affects those evil gun owners, it’s OK. It’s for “public safety” after all!

“Innovative practice” my ass! They’ve used the coercive power of the State to force various public servants to spy on us, and snitch on our behaviour if they consider it “suspicious”…

One problem identified in this area is with respect to an inconsistent use of Uniform Crime Reporting codes (UCR2) when police respond to calls that involve an individual with mental health issues. Often police respond to these incidents, which are more commonly coded as “Assistance to the General Public”, a UCR2 code that will not trigger the necessary Firearms Interest Police or FIP flag, needed to raise the attention of the provincial CFO. In the case of a properly coded “Mental Health” instances, if the subject is a firearms license holder, their license will be temporarily suspended so the Firearm Officer can do the appropriate follow-up with the licensee(1). If there are risk concerns, the licensee can be requested to provide documentation from the licensees’ physician to confirm the subject is not of risk to himself or others, with due respect to privacy rights(2). One possible solution is to amend the RCMP policy with respect to reporting mental health incidents to the CFO, to encourage officers to make FIP entries using the proper UCR code.[32]

[32] RCMP Operations Manual 19.7. Mentally Ill Persons/Prisoners “1. If a person, including a prisoner in RCMP custody, exhibits symptoms of a mental disorder and is endangering him/herself or others, consider immediately escorting them to a medically trained professional… 2. A mentally disturbed person will be incarcerated separately from other prisoners.” There is no further reference to pursuing firearms related checks or making a FIP entry. There is also no apparent referencing to FIP in the Operations Manual.

(1) To the best of my knowledge, there is no mechanism under the law, either the Firearms Act or the Criminal Code, to “suspend” a license. There is either “revoke/refuse” or “allow”. I don’t know how they would go about doing this – other than by making stuff up as they go along…

(2) This is known as “reverse onus” – otherwise called “guilty until you prove yourself innocent”…

I don’t think that anybody is against keeping dangerous people from having guns, but is this really the way to go?

From page 23:

Continuous eligibility checks identified over 97,000 potential public safety issues (Firearms Interest to Police);

FIP hits led to 466 Licence Refusals and 1701 Licence Revocations;

From my analysis in a previous post:

466/97,000 = 0.5% of licensees who come under FIP scrutiny have their licenses revoked

1701/97,000 = 1.8% of license applications that come under FIP scrutiny are refused

97,000/1.8M = 5% of legitimate gun owners come under FIP scrutiny

466/1.8M = 0.03% of legitimate gun owners who come under FIP scrutiny have their licenses revoked

1701/1.8M = 0.09% of legitimate gun owners who come under FIP scrutiny have their license applications refused

When you calculate this against some 4 million FIP entries, you get to see just how minuscule the numbers are for refusals and revocations, overall…

When you realize that “mental health” (which would include “potential risk to self or others”) is at most 11% of revocations/refusals, it becomes apparent that all this concern over lawful gun owners going squirrelly with their guns, while somewhat on the noble side, it is misplaced.

• Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the recommendation.

• Current Status

There is currently no formal process in place to examine the feasibility of incorporating other agency databanks and applicant mental health risk factors into the decision making process.

As addressed in the “Planned Action” of recommendation #17 of this MAP: The DG of the CFP “will maintain existing relationships and explore partnerships with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Canadian Police Association and the Canadian Association of Police Boards.”(3)

(3) Three of the most anti-gun organizations in Canada, making decisions on our behalf, behind closed doors.

• Responsible

LRTSD (Licensing, Registration and Technical Services Directorate)

• Planned Action

o In consultation with legal, examine the feasibility of incorporating other agency databanks and applicant mental health risk factors into the decision making process.

Diary Date: March 31, 2010

o Review Québec legislation and processes to determine applicability and public safety impacts in other provinces.

Diary Date: March 31, 2010

o In addition to this, the CFP will seek an expert opinion from the Canadian Medical Association and research any other national / provincial organizations that could be of value.

Diary Date: March 31, 2010

All of these reviews seem to have been completed by March 31st. I wonder what they concluded…


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Recommendation 2 of 7 for this section of the “evaluation”.  Read along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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Recommendation 7:

That the CFP work in collaboration with public safety partners to consider the merits of a five (5) year Firearm License renewal process

Notably, the province of Québec has experienced significant success in having ‘health service providers’ report clients with mental health concerns. Their progress should be reviewed to determine the need to further the program in other provinces.

Yeah – under penalty of the law!

On Sept 1, 2008 Québec’s gun control legislation, Bill 9, came into force. The legislation is dubbed Anastasia’s Law in memory of 18 year old Anastasia DeSousa, who was killed during the Sept 2006 Dawson College shooting. The law bans the possession of firearms in schools and daycare centres, and on public and school transportation. Under the new rules, teachers, gun club owners, and public transit and health-care workers are also required to report suspicious behaviour relating to firearms, even if it contradicts doctor-patient or any other confidentiality.[30]

[30] The Canadian Press, Monday, September 1, 2008, new Quebec gun legislation, Anastasia’s Law, now in effect

Here we see the start of the creation of the “snitch society”: gun owners are to be “reported on” by a bevy of public servants and others – in fact, required by law to do so! Failure to do so can result in a fine from $500 to $5,000.  One also wonders about civil liability for not reporting some nutbar who then goes on to shoot someone…

Anastasia’s Law” (English version)

Gun owners are not only being treated like criminals, they are being treated like potential psychopaths as well.  Who gets to define what “suspicious” means?  What happens when (not if) some law-abiding gun owner gets snitched on?  Are SWAT teams and high-risk takedowns to be the norm?

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Health services are provincially regulated and would need to be approached one province at a time. This has been problematic in light of the privacy issues surrounding mental health, which also needs to be further addressed. An example of the types of existing unresolved mental health issues is represented by the Ontario Medical Association(OMA). [31]

[31] 2003 Ontario Medical Association, summary of health legislation, concerning Firearms Office Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form: http://www.oma.org/phealth/hpolrep/03hpr.htm

Those pesky rights, eh?

Prior to 2003, the OMA Forms Committee initiated discussions with the Chief Firearms Office to review and revise the process of information collection from physicians whose patients were identified as potentially “high risk” for possession of a firearm. While the content of the form was successfully revised, the process for obtaining the firearms licence remains an issue. The process for obtaining a Firearms licence involves:

Completion of an application form by the applicant, which is then reviewed by officials in Miramichi, New Brunswick

Most of the patients referred to physicians for an opinion will be high-risk patients whose problems are clearly identified either through the applicant screening process or reference interviews.

The physician’s report is very often used as a stop mechanism, thus preventing high-risk individuals from obtaining a firearms licence. Not only does government place physicians in a difficult position by requesting confidential and potentially damaging information on their patients, but government also refuses to pay for the form, leaving physicians to collect fees for their services from patients – and possibly placing physician safety in jeopardy.

The OMA is seeking timely resolution to this matter, and is prepared to resume negotiations. Physicians are requested not to complete the “Firearms Office Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form” until further notice.

Did you know that such a Form existed?  What are the physician’s responsibilities in letting a patient know that they are submitting such a form to the CFP?  I guess when they get sent the bill for this gross intrusion on their privacy.

Considering almost three-quarters (3/4) of the firearm deaths across Canada are attributable to suicide(1), there is little progress being made in developing better links with the mental health community as far as reporting obligations(2). The exception being with the province of Québec, as mentioned above, where more workable arrangements have been made with the mental health services to report on persons of risk. British Columbia has also made some progress, albeit it is regionally-specific only. Although health care is under provincial jurisdiction, the RCMP is the provincial police service in all but two provinces, so this could be approached in a comprehensive nationally-coordinated manner. As further support, a national mechanism has recently been created- the National Mental Health Commission- through which the issue of mental health and firearms can be further pursued. Nevertheless, the concern about privacy rights of the individual has hindered any progress made toward accommodating both the issues of privacy and public safety(3). Some CFOs have limited cooperation with ‘mental health facilities’, however this is sporadic and uncoordinated.

There seems to be a lack of outreach on behalf of health and police throughout most of Canada. The CFP as a whole are not actively pursuing mental health–specific initiatives.

(1) But, as I have pointed out before, only 20% of all suicides are by the use of firearms.  What about the other 80%?  Do their lives mean so little?  And while firearms suicides may be dropping, the overall number of suicides has remained the same, and may actually be trending upwards.  This indicates that those intent on taking their own lives are simply substituting other means when firearms are not available to them.

And again, what about those who don’t have guns?  Why are gun owners being singled out for “special treatment”?  Is there some kind of proof that owning a gun means a greater “public safety” risk than, say, owning a car?

(2) But what about real help for those with mental health issues?  It could be argued that hunting and shooting can be therapeutic for those under stress, as it takes their mind off their problems and focuses on the here-and-now.  How much more stress would it place on an individual to be the subject of a police investigation, and have their personal privacy invaded, and their personal property confiscated?  What might have been done to help all these people with the $2 BILLION that has been squandered on this boondoggle.

(3) Once more, the rights of gun owners must take a back seat to some nebulous ideological concept of “public safety”.

From the RCMP’s Program Management Action Plan:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/respon-eng.htm

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the recommendation.

  • Current Status

The Review of Firearms Licensing Renewal Report prepared by Kelly Sears Consulting Group (March 31, 2009) is an RCMP CFP sponsored report that recommends continuation of the current 5 year licensing regime. It also demonstrates that the CFP is on side with its international counterparts in the United Kingdom and Australia.(4)

The CFP is currently monitoring compliance rates and analysing trends through the ‘In-Sites II’ business intelligence system.(5)

  • Responsible

SIPMS (Strategic Integration and Program Management Services Directorate)

  • Planned Action

Continue to monitor compliance rates.

  • Diary Date: On-going

(4) Again, this RCMP sponsored and funded “study” of mostly RCMP employees is “supported” by RCMP management…I’m shocked!

(5) I wonder how much setting up this “system” cost us.  They don’t seem to provide any of this “analysis” for us plebes to look at.

 


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Back to the grindstone…

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My critique of the RCMP’s “Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation, Final Approved Report, February 2010”

Follow along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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Recommendation 6:

That the enhanced screening process continues as it is a useful tool for Firearm Investigators in developing their investigations to determine whether the restricted and prohibited firearm license applicants should be allowed to possess firearms. This process could be further utilized for the non-restricted license applicants on a random basis to ensure that these standards are maintained to a high standard.

But to screen ALL long-gun applicants would be too costly, wouldn’t it?  This puts the lie to the anti-gun extremist’s cries of “if it saves only one life!” and the whole “public safety” nonsense, now doesn’t it?

And what about all of those people who don’t own guns?  Do they just get a free pass, to wander around loose – even though they may actually present a danger to themselves or others?

In the screening process to obtain a firearms license, a couple of simple ‘Yes or No’ questions are asked to inquire after the mental and emotional health of the applicant. The purpose of these questions is to deny a license to applicants who may be at a high risk of misusing a firearm to the detriment of public safety, as well as the personal safety of the applicant. These screening questions are deemed necessary as across Canada, almost three-quarters of firearm deaths are attributable to suicide. However, this raises the issue of continuous eligibility and license screening, as an individual’s mental health can deteriorate from the time that they were initially granted a firearms license, thereby becoming a potential risk, over time, to personal and / or public safety.

But I thought that “continuous screening” was the be-all and the end-all when it comes to catching people who are a danger to others or themselves!  Actual licensing should almost be perfunctory in nature.

Are there any studies that show that gun owners pose a greater risk than the general public to cause harm to themselves or others?  What about the 80% of other people who kill themselves through means other than guns?  Don’t their lives matter?  What about the 66% of people who use something other than guns to kill others?

Indeed, why not “continuously screen” ALL Canadians – after all, if it saves only one life…

This is another reason for considering continuation of the license renewal process. There are differing opinions on the need for a license renewal process, be it every five (5) years or a lifetime[29]. Some would argue that with the ‘continuous eligibility’ process in place, concerns of criminal activity are adequately covered. However it has been noted by CFP personnel that by not renewing licences you lose an opportunity to review (potentially) significant changes in a persons life, which could put them at greater risk to themselves or others (i.e. job loss, depression, mental health, changes in marital status and domestic issues etc.)

Is there some kind of proof that these “significant changes” actually relate to murders or suicides?  How many people go through such changes without killing someone or themselves (or both?)  And how many of those who do use some other means than guns to effect their intentions?  We know that knives and blunt objects account for 66% of most murders –  and people employ means other than guns 80% of the time to commit suicide.

Again, it seems to be a case of trying to fix something that isn’t broken…and blaming guns and gun owners for it.

Of course, they could simply just pass a law to require gun owners to report such life changes to the State, when and as they happen – public safety is a priority, after all!

[29] Kelly Sears. “Review of Firearms Licensing Renewal”, 2009. Report submitted to the CFP(1). The vast majority of interviewees from the CFP supported the five year renewal process, a few supported a ten year renewal, and none supported the lifetime license option.(2)

As well, it was shown through a comparative analysis that the five year license renewal is similar to the UK and Australia; New Zealand formerly permitted lifetime licensing but that has since changed to 10 year license renewal.(3)

(1) From the RCMP website:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/respon-eng.htm

The Review of Firearms Licensing Renewal Report prepared by Kelly Sears Consulting Group (March 31, 2009) is an RCMP CFP sponsored report that recommends continuation of the current 5 year licensing regime. It also demonstrates that the CFP is on side with its international counterparts in the United Kingdom and Australia.

(2) So, an RCMP/CFP sponsored survey of CFP employees shows what they want it to show – more regulation and intrusion, rather than less…

Of course, this report doesn’t seem to be available online.

(3)Yeah, so?  What’s your point?  I never could understand the mentality behind this particular argument – I stopped using it when I was 10.   This is the “everybody else is doing it” argument.  Well, if everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you do that, too?

I just found some additional information on these “Recommendations” at the RCMP’s website, “Program Management Action Plan” http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/respon-eng.htm

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the first part of the recommendation and will consider expansion of enhanced screening process upon further research.

  • Current Status

The CFP’s Central Processing Site (CPS) current process includes interviews with applicants and references of clients requesting Restricted and Prohibited license privileges (Possession Acquisition Licenses and New Possession Only Licenses) for all provinces except Quebec, as they have taken ownership of this activity for their province.

Applicants requesting non-restricted licence privileges are not part of the Enhanced Screening mandate at this time.

  • Responsible

Central Processing Site (CPS)

  • Planned Action
    • The CFP will explore the benefits and required resources of implementing a similar process for the applicants for non-restricted firearm privileges and seek the subsequent approval through RCMP channels.

Diary Date: April 30, 2010

Since the “Diary Date” on this is April 30, one wonders just what, exactly, the Nabobs at the RCMP actually decided about this…

And don’t forget – this whole “survey” was conducted by the RCMP’s National Program Evaluation Service (NPES), and those “surveyed” were mostly Government/RCMP bureaucrats.  So, a bunch of anti-gun evaluators survey a bunch of anti-gun bureaucrats, and the anti-gun RCMP management falls all over itself to agree with the findings – qu’elle surprise!


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I’m getting a little bogged down with the “Recommendations”, so I thought I’d take a little break and bring you this little tid-bit from the news, instead…

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Statistics Canada’s latest annual Homicide In Canada study has just been released, and the MSM is falling all over itself to proclaim that “firearms homicides are down 12%!”  This just in from the Mop and Pail:

GLOBE AND MAIL – OCTOBER 26, 2010

Shooting homicides dropped in 2009: StatsCan

Ottawa- The Canadian Press – Published Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010 9:18AM EDT

A new study says there were fewer firearm-related homicides last year.


Police reported 179 of Canada’s 610 homicides were committed with a firearm in 2009; that’s 21 fewer than in 2008.

Statistics Canada says that, while the general homicide rate remained stable, the firearm-related homicide rate dropped 12 per cent, reversing an upward trend recorded between 2002 and 2008. Prior to 2002, rates of firearm homicides had been declining since the mid-1970s. Of the 179 firearm homicides, 112 involved handguns, 29 involved a rifle or shotgun and 14 a sawed-off rifle or shotgun.

Declines were reported in all three categories in 2009. Handguns remained the most common type of firearm involved in homicides in Canada’s major cities. Between 2005 and 2009, police recovered 253 firearms used to commit homicide where the registration status with the Canadian Firearms Registry could be determined. Of these, 31 per cent were registered and 69 per cent were not registered. Of those that were registered, 67 per cent were rifles or shotguns, 22 per cent were handguns and 12 per cent were sawed-off rifles or shotguns.

Also during this five-year period, police were able to determine the ownership of the firearm in 212 homicide incidents. Of these, 49 per cent were owned by the accused, eight per cent by the victim and 43 per cent by someone else. The agency released its general crime statistics in July.

Wow, that Firearms Act and Registry must really be working – right?

Guess again.

Only one newspaper that I have found has reported on this crucial piece of information, which is only the second line in the study; from the Edmonton Journal:

Gun murders down 12 per cent

Plummet in Alberta gang killings responsible for bulk of national decline

By Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News October 27, 2010

[…]

While gang-related killings dropped 10 per cent, they still accounted for one in five homicides in 2009. Alberta, which saw 13 gang-related homicides last year, compared to 35 a year earlier, was responsible for the bulk of the drop.

So, this has nothing to do with honest, law-abiding gun owners and their registered firearms.  I suppose the only reason they mention this at all is because it’s “local news”.  Of course overall homicides are not down, and handguns – which have been “tightly regulated” since 1934 – still account for most of the guns used in killings…knives and blunt objects still outstrip guns as the “weapon of choice”.

Here’s the link to Statistics Canada’s site for the study.

Don’t break out the champagne just yet, Wendy…


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There are 3 rather lengthy “Recommendations” at the end of this section, so I think I’ll split this into 2 parts and deal with those seperately tomorrow…

Don’t forget to read along at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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– 38 –

Finding 5

License screening has been successful in denying licenses to ineligible persons, however improvements in screening applicants is hindered by limited access to information from other agencies and insufficient information about applicant mental health risk factors.

So how, exactly are they measuring this “success”?  I have already shown that these numbers are minuscule compared to the overall number of “FIP hits”, not to mention total license holders…

Was there any follow-up done?  If some of these people are “too dangerous” to be “allowed” to own a gun legally, doesn’t that make them too dangerous to be left loose roaming the streets of our cities?  How many of these people subsequently went out and acquired a gun illegally, and used it to hurt themselves or others?  How many did so with some other object?

“Success” is measured by stopping crimes from happening…

And now they want even more of our personal and private information so they can monitor us more effectively?  Get stuffed!

when this application is assessed by the CFP, special attention is given to those applying for a Prohibited and Restricted Firearm License.

Why?  Are the owners of Prohibited or Restricted firearms more prone to be a danger to themselves and others, than the owners of long-guns?  I sincerely doubt it.  This is just more anti-gun rhetoric, the irrational notion that some guns are “more bad” than others.  This is the divide and conquer tactic, with a little extra harassment thrown in to help “drive out” ownership of these kinds of guns.  All in accordance with the long-term goal of eliminating civilian gun ownership completely.

In order to foster greater successes in promoting public safety through denying or revoking the licenses to ineligible persons, the CFP established an ‘Enhanced Screening’ (ES) unit. This unit conducts a more rigorous screening of applicants, with a focus on those who are deemed to be of high risk in granting a license. The work of the unit consists of calling the firearms licence applicants as well as the two named references with a series of prescribed questions, in order to determine the suitability of the applicant to possess a firearm licence or firearm.

So they aren’t calling everybody’s references?  What about public safety!  This echoes what then-Solicitor General Wayne Easter said in 2003 in response to a question in the House:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/110_2003-06-03/han110_1030-E.htm#SOB-580157

Question No. 227–

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz:

With respect to reference and background checks done on each Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) applicant, what is the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, and how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.):

As of May 10, 2003, the total number of PAL applications that have been processed since December 1, 1998, is 659,083. Reference checks are performed during the course of an investigation, at the discretion of the investigator, based on the issue being assessed. There are no statistics available on how many of the two references per PAL application were actually called.

Why such a slipshod approach to “public safety”?  I mean, if it saves one life, isn’t it worth any cost?  Isn’t this what the anti-gun extremists keep screeching?

Sometimes, the details are in hidden in the footnotes:

These issues on their own do not necessarily disqualify an applicant, however the system in place requests the interviewer’s flag these instances and they are to be forwarded to the applicable CFO[28].

[28] This however is contingent upon the CFO’s first receiving nationally standardized training and policy with regards to their roles and responsibilities under the Firearms Act, as stated in a previous recommendation.

CFOs are still poorly or untrained, after 15 years of this nonsense…

And then we have this little tid-bit:

Because a refusal may have involved an enhanced screening flag, there are no processes in place to state that a refusal was solely based on the enhanced screening intervention.

In other words, they still have no idea how effective the whole CFP is!

– 40 –

An official from the Central Processing Site related (receiving) “countless comments from applicants and references alike have been received by the CPS, thanking them for doing the enhanced screening. Many have commented on how surprised they were that this was actually done. They frequently comment that this provides some much needed credibility in the process”.

Which official?  Why isn’t at least their job title provided?   And how many?  It can’t actually be “countless” – and they are required to keep track of all “contacts” with the public, aren’t they?   Phone calls, emails, letters, etc. – that’s how they evaluate “performance” in most cases, isn’t it?  You’d think they’d have a whole section devoted solely to all the positive feedback they’ve received over the years, wouldn’t you?

Sorry, anonymous sources with vague claims don’t cut it.

What would be even more credible is if they contacted all the reference persons…don’t you think?  This only goes to show that “cost” over-rides “public safety”.

This puts all their claims for this steaming pile of doggie doo into disrepute.

~~~

Read along at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

– 36 –

Finding 4

Safety Training is believed to have resulted in safer handling, storage and use of firearms. The Program recognizes the need to continuously improve the delivery of the program through updating courses and the need to address specific concerns of the firearms community, including First Nations and Inuit populations.

“Believed” is not “proven” – if they had actual proof they would have said so.

– 37 –

A majority of interviewees perceived an improvement in the safe handling, use and storage of firearms attributable to the safety components of the CFP. From a statistical perspective, five of eight jurisdictions have reported that the rate of firearms-related unintentional deaths has declined; and five of thirteen jurisdictions reported a similar decline in firearms-related suicides.[23]

OK, the interviewees “perceived” an “improvement” – on what did they base this “perception”?

[23] With respect to findings for firearms-related unintentional deaths, owing to small sample sizes, five of the less populated jurisdictions were not able to provide statistically significant data; hence, only eight of thirteen jurisdictions were able to report.

And this goes to show what I said before – gun accidents (including accidental deaths) were so minuscule to begin with, they are hardly “statistically significant”; also, although “firearms related suicides” may be down, the total number of suicides has remained the same, and may actually be trending upwards.  Obviously, the focus here should not be on the “means”, but the “cause” of such mental states.

I think this would be a good time to “recap” the basics of this “survey”; from Appendix F, here is the list of the 5 “groups” that were interviewed:

A Senior Managers (i.e.: OIC, CFO, Senior Partners)

B Managers (i.e.: Processing Center): Processing Centre; CFO’s office

C Government Agencies (Police Justice): Police; Government Agencies; Advisory Committee; Safety Instructors; Firearms Officers; Conservation/ Game Officers; Crown; NWEST; Guns & Gangs

D Special Interest: Gun Clubs/ Ranges, Owners; Businesses; Aboriginal; Health; Victims Groups; Education

E Frontline Staff

So, out of all of these “stakeholders”, only those in Groups “C” and “D” have any actual gun owners in them – and even then it’s not clear if these are individual gun owners off the street, or if they are confined to the owners of clubs, ranges and businesses.

Here’s the question they asked, and the results:

(all) 3. Does CFP safety training, contribute to the safe handling, use and storage of firearms?

Using a ten point scale, with 1 representing poor and 10 representing excellent, how would you rate the CFPs safety training, for contributing to the safe handling, use and storage of firearms?

Score……………………..1 to 4   5 & 6   7 to 10

Govt agencies;police…. .3%       6%      90%

Special interest…………..5%      15%     80%

But this is difficult to explain – the only ones who have to take the safety training course are those who opted for the Possession and Acquisition License (800,000); those who opted for the Possession Only License (1 M) were not required to take the course.  So if there is an improvement in “safety”, how can it be attributable to said “training”, when over half of licensed gun owners never took the course?

What would be more indicative would be a study of how many gun accidents there were, and what kind of license the victims had.  This study provides no such information.

And again, if “safety” were the intended objective, why aren’t they requiring age-appropriate safe handling and shooting training in our schools?  Also note that none of these safety courses actually involve any kind of shooting proficiency.

And this only covers licensed individuals – it doesn’t even touch on the kind of ‘safety record” of illegal gun owners…

And said training does not need to be tied to licensing.

Again, they try to fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with…

Interviewees from all of the categories – from CFP officials, to Police Officers, to Firearms Instructors and Gun Club Owners – commented on the ongoing need for, and benefits of, the safety training aspects of the program.

Then why isn’t there any move towards implementing age-appropriate firearms safety and shooting training in our schools?

As a police officer in New Brunswick stated, “ …[just] like for a drivers license, you should have appropriate training before receipt of a license.” This comment reflects, broadly, the overall attitude among those who come into contact with firearms: that personal responsibility for the safe use and handling of firearms rests with individuals; and, public safety is promoted when individuals are trained to properly use and store their firearms.

But, as I said before, the firearms safety courses do NOT involve ANY actual firearms shooting safety training!  A driver’s license test requires that you actually drive a car.  Not to mention that the whole car/gun analogy fails on all counts…

– 38 –

Recommendation 5:

That a process of quality control or auditing be developed to ensure consistent, quality delivery of the safety training courses across the country.

Safety course instructors who were interviewed stated that there are a variety of modifications that could be made to the delivery and/or the content of the safety training courses. Offering recommendations to improve the delivery or content of these courses fell outside of the scope of this evaluation; however, an annex has been included with this study to provide this unsolicited – yet extremely valuable – advice generously supplied with the earnest intention of promoting a safety training program of the highest possible quality.

An anylysis of this information will have to wait for another day…