Canadian Supreme Court Rules that gun ownership is a "heavily regulated privilege"

Citation: R. v. Wiles, 2005 SCC 84
Date: 2005-12-22
Docket: 30199
Philip Neil Wiles v. Her Majesty The Queen

. . . . Possession and use of firearms is a heavily regulated privilege, and the loss of that privilege does not support a finding of gross disproportionality because it falls short of a punishment “so excessive as to outrage standards of decency”. . . .

I assume that the citizens of New Orleans after the Hurricane or in Los Angeles during the riots there or in cities such as Washington DC with its high murder rates have a different perspective on whether disarmament represents such a relatively minor penalty.


I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Canadian Liberal Gun Ban Proposal Sends Gun Sales Soaring


Canadian Liberal's Handgun Ban Having No Effect on Election

Canadian Liberals haven't been able to demonize Conservatives. Let's hope that this continues.

. . . . Since neither Harper nor his candidates seem to be digging their own graves, the Liberals have repeatedly tried to hand them shovels. But whereas the Tories would have fallen right into Liberal traps in the past, they've stepped neatly around them.

The Liberals' proposed handgun ban was a prime example. Clearly, they were hoping that Harper would align himself with gun owners, ranting about property rights and alienating centrist voters. Instead, he took issue only with the meaninglessness of the Liberal pledge, not with the notion of restricting handguns -- depriving the Liberals of the wedge issue they were seeking. . . .

Their more subtle attempts at derailing Harper having gone nowhere, the Liberals have wasted little time getting more brazen. Last week, they started digging up Harper speeches from eight years ago, while John Duffy used his space on this page to revive the old claims about a secret agenda on everything from Iraq to abortion. Now, apparent drafts of Liberal attack ads leaked yesterday suggest they intend to further ramp up the rhetoric in the campaign's second half -- particularly by claiming Harper is in bed with separatists.

Barring the Conservative campaign getting a lot clumsier, it's hard to imagine the strategy paying off. With Harper much harder to paint as "scary" than he once was, the Liberals look like they're crying wolf one too many times. . . .

One unrelated aside should be made. I am not sure what meaning the national polls have this time since the Bloc is going to take Quebec. Who is the largest party depends solely on who gets the most votes in the rest of Canada.

Low Birth Rate shows impact: Japan's Population Begins to Decline

What is on Dick Cheney's Ipod

I have always thought that Dick Cheney was the one politician with whom I have agreed politically probably with more than any one else, but now it seems that our musical tastes partly coincide: he "apparently is fond of Johnny Cash."


Zero Tolerance:: penalties for toy guns the same as for real guns, misstatements about what toy guns look like

According to Suffolk police, the seven year old was riding bus 194 down Shoulders Hill Road, on his way to Florence Bowser Elementary, when the other students noticed he had a gun.

The bus driver pulled the bus over and took the first graders backpack which had the gun inside. Police identified it as a toy gun, but the penalties for having a toy weapon, can be as severe as having the real thing.

Like most schools, Suffolk has a zero tolerance policy. Kristine Stewart's daughter attends Florence Bowser and she agrees with the policy."I don't think they should tolerate that. It's well put out that the kids shouldn't bring guns to school any kind of gun. Last year a note did come home saying that they're not going to tolerate not toy guns not water guns, nothing, cause there are too many toy guns that look real." she added. . . .

Well, it is very difficult to find a toy gun that looks real. For example, they have orange caps on the end of the barrel.


New op-ed in today's NY Post

Environmentalists get it backwards

In today's Opinion Journal Political Diary, Brendan Miniter writes:

Exhibit A is Boulder, where officials voted recently to make their county "climate neutral" by 2025. The idea is for the county -- a hot bed of environmental activism -- to produce no net waste by becoming more energy efficient and by offsetting any greenhouse gases it creates by planting trees and funding other "green" programs. How to do this? One idea already on the table is to require contractors to use both sides of the paper they use to submit bids. "We've got a long way to go," Commissioner Ben Pearlman said in late November after voting to move the county toward climate neutrality, "but it is very exciting." . . .

Of course, decreasing the demand for paper causes a drop in the price of paper and a drop in the number of trees planted. Younger trees grow faster and absorb more CO2 than older trees.


Follow up on last week's article in SF Chronicle

Last week I pointed to this article in the SF Chronicle about a woman's fear of having to defend herself after the passage of the SF gun ban. Below is a very interesting follow up article on the reaction that the reporter received. I really recommend reading the entire piece:

"Shame on the Chronicle." -- Jack Rivers

"I found this article refreshing and helpful." -- Mark Wilson

"The effect of a gun on human behavior is a (brain) drug induced power trip." --David R.

"It was great!" -- Debra Blatnik

"Thank you for a well written inspirational article. Wonderfully done. I shared it with my friends and co-workers. Thank you." -- Doug Fennema

In a two-hour span, I received 70 e-mails like this. Then in the next few days, another big round came through from across the country. It was difficult to believe people were writing about the same story.

But they were: "Home On the Range -- She's got guns, she's got game" (archived at sfgate.com) -- and the sidebar, "Do not come in! I have a gun! Leave!" These stories appeared last Monday, the story of Il Ling New -- Bay Area resident, Yale grad with an MBA, former international business executive and now expert instructor in self-defense, gun handling and hunting -- and the people she teaches.

Here is a sample of some of the more provocative letters, and a few responses:

-- "I am not a gun freak but like New, I feel that I am responsible for my own safety and try to follow her rules." -- Tito Stevens

A key sentence: "After the recent vote to ban handguns in San Francisco, New said she believes it's a mistake to think that anybody but you is responsible for your safety." . . .