Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said he will, if elected Premier on June 2nd, ban all handguns in Ontario within a calendar year.
“An Ontario Liberal government will ban handguns across the province in its first year in office,” Del Duca announced.[i]
There are so many ways to rip Del Duca to shreds on this statement that the only challenge is in deciding where to start!
Premise #1: Del Duca is Lying to Voters
First, if Steven Del Duca understands the Firearms Act, then he knows it is federal law. So saith the Supreme Court of Canada in their 2000 decision in Alberta’s Reference re Firearms Act.[ii]
Second, Del Duca must realize Justin Trudeau’s grand promise to allow provinces to ban handguns requires federal legislation to delegate this authority to provinces.
Trudeau hasn’t lifted a finger to craft this legislation, nor is he likely to start any time soon because, well, a Justin Trudeau promise isn’t worth the paper it’s not printed on.
If Mr. Del Duca knows these facts but still made a promise he can’t possibly deliver on, then he’s just another Liberal Liar.
Premise #2: Del Duca is an Ignorant Virtue Signaller
If Steven Del Duca doesn’t comprehend he’s utterly powerless to make good on his promise to “ban handguns” in his first year in office unless and until Justin Trudeau passes legislation to fulfil that promise first, then Del Duca is just another ignorant Liberal virtue signaler.
Premise #3: Del Duca is a Liar and Ignorant Virtue Signaler
Steven Del Duca – a Justin Trudeau wannabe – is likely both a Liberal liar and an ignorant virtue signaler.
He’s probably clueless to the fact the Firearms Act is designed to regulating firearm ownership and use among licenced gun owners. Nor would he care.
His public statements imply he knows he can’t fulfill his promise, but he made it anyway, which makes him the worst kind of politician – one who will smile at you while he lies to your face.
We understand “gun control” is the Liberal go to when it comes to vote pandering and virtue-signalling.
What we don’t understand is why Del Duca would trot it out as his “super-historic awesome sauce” recipe to win the upcoming Ontario provincial election.
A handgun ban doesn’t even make the top 20 list of most pressing issues for Ontarians,[iii] nor does “crime control” of any kind.
“Ontarians are talking about COVID-19, housing, and affordability,” wrote Matt Gurney. “So why are the Liberals talking about guns?”[iv]
Because the Liberals are counting on the fact most Canadian voters are utterly ignorant of Canada’s existing firearm laws and, unfortunately, that ignorance means they’re willing to believe any political spin or virtue signalling over the cold hard facts of reality.
“Canadian gun-control laws are very complicated,” Gurney explains.[v] “They’re hard to explain to a layperson, because you need to have a grasp of technical terminology that most of you will simply never have any reason to master. Gun control, as a matter of public policy, is an unfortunate blindspot across most of the Canadian media, because it’s too damned hard to learn and is so rarely in the news.”
Thank you for putting it so precisely, Mr. Gurney.
“The Ford Conservatives are 100% aligned with the gun lobby, aggressively opposing all efforts by municipal councils and the federal government to take guns off Ontario streets,” concluded Del Duca.[vi]
No, the Ford government is entirely focused on getting illegal firearms “off Ontario streets.”
To his credit, Premier Doug Ford’s focus is right where it should be: stopping gun smuggling and getting guns out of the hands of violent drug dealers and gang members who routinely put innocent civilians in harm’s way.
As for “the gun lobby”, Doug Ford understands licenced firearm owners are not the problem, that drug dealers, gangs and other criminals are.
“The statistics are clear, over 80 per cent of guns being used in crime are obtained using illegal means — including from across the border — and half of the gun-related deaths in Ontario are gang related,” said Hannah Jensen in an email to CBC Toronto.[vii]
“That’s exactly why our government has invested a record $185 million to combat gang violence fueled by these smuggled guns. This included reversing the Del Duca—Wynne Liberals’ cut of millions per year in anti-gang intervention programs.”
But, says Del Duca, that other 20 percent must be addressed, which is where his proposed province-wide handgun ban comes in.
Del Duca lays this mythical “20 percent” of “crime guns” at the feet of licenced firearm owners.
This conveniently ignores the 1,015 guns that were lost or stolen from police forces and the military over a 10-year period, a fact uncovered by firearm researcher Dennis R. Young in 2018.[viii]
This includes 115 firearms lost or stolen from the RCMP, 316 firearms lost or stolen from other police services, and 559 firearms lost by the Department of National Defence.
The facts are, as usual, inconvenient to a politician who believes vote-pandering and virtue signaling are how one makes good public policy.
Steven Del Duca is a typical politician. He will say anything and make any promise, no matter how impossible to keep, if he thinks it will earn him a vote. He learned this dubious skill at the hand of his mentor, Kathleen Wynne and her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty.
We’ll give the last word to the perceptive and sagacious Matt Gurney.
“It’s not enough to dislike Ford. You have to like someone else enough to think they would be better.”