Team CSSA E-News - July 12, 2016

Canada Accedes to UN Arms Trade Treaty, Part 2

Last week we touched on some of the problems with Canada’s accession to the UN Arms Trade Treaty, the primary issue being Canada already meets or exceeds the treaty’s requirements.

Why would we bother acceding to a treaty when we’re already doing what it asks?

The answer is simple: accountability – or perhaps more specifically, the LACK of accountability.  To understand that statement, you must understand two things: how the United Nations operates and how the Arms Trade Treaty works.

First, the United Nations operates by consensus. The dictionary definition of consensus is “ agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole.” In other words, if the entire UN body cannot agree on an issue then they keep working to find common ground everyone can agree on.

Second, the United Nations operates by consensus except on the Arms Trade Treaty. In this singular case, the Arms Trade Treaty requires only 75% of members present at a meeting to change the terms of that treaty.

That’s right. On a 75% majority vote, the United Nations can dictate law to all countries party to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Now perhaps you see how lack of accountability plays into the hands of the government.

“It’s not our fault! What could we do? The UN is making us do this!”

The institutionalized danger this presents is codified in Article 20 of the Arms Trade Treaty and comes in two parts.

First, the terms under which this treaty may be rewritten and amended:

Article 20.  1. Six years after the entry into force of this Treaty, any State Party may propose an amendment to this Treaty. Thereafter, proposed amendments may only be considered by the Conference of States Parties every three years.

That sounds benign enough, right? Any member state can propose an amendment of any kind after the sixth year after the treaty comes into force and then every three years after that.

Totally harmless provision, you say? Until you realize that the membership of the United Nations – 192 of 195 nations in the world – is comprised of 130 dictatorships. Dictatorships typically aren’t interested in protecting the rights of citizens.

That deplorable number and the fact that consensus is not required is made even worse by Article 20, Section 3:

Article 20.  3. The States Parties shall make every effort to achieve consensus on each amendment. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted, and no agreement reached, the amendment shall, as a last resort, be adopted by a three-quarters majority vote of the States Parties present and voting at the meeting of the Conference of States Parties. For the purposes of this Article, States Parties present and voting means States Parties present and casting an affirmative or negative vote. The Depositary shall communicate any adopted amendment to all States Parties.

Three issues scream out of this section:
  1. Consensus is NOT required.
  2. A 75% majority vote carries the amendment - ANY amendment!
  3. It is not 75% of all signatories to the Arms Trade Treaty but 75% of those “present and voting”.
When two thirds of the nations of the world are dictatorships and only 75% of those that signed the Arms Trade Treaty and are “present and voting” are required to pass an amendment to the Treaty … well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to comprehend the disaster that potentially awaits us.

Casting Canada's sovereignty to the wind is undoubtedly a poor idea. Placing Canada's precious democracy in the hands of a 75% majority of some of the world's worst brigands and bandits is positively treasonous. For these reasons and more, the previous government shunned the Arms Trade Treaty.

The CSSA calls upon Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion and the Trudeau government to re-examine, re-evaluate and re-think its decision to sign this oppressive treaty.
By Shawn Jeffords | Political Bureau Chief | Toronto Sun | July 6, 2016

Less than 20% of Canadians say they own a gun, according to a new poll.

A Forum Research poll of 1,429 Canadians provided exclusively to the Toronto Sun found Ontario sits near the bottom of the pack of provinces when it comes to firearms ownership.

Overall, just 17% of those surveyed said they owned a gun of any kind. Less than one in 10 say they own a handgun.

In Ontario, just 15% said they owned a firearm of any kind and only British Columbia had a lower level of gun ownership at 14%.

“We are a far cry from the US, where there are as many guns as people,” Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said. “In our country, gun ownership seems localized where it makes the most sense, in primarily rural regions and in the west where there are varmints to kill.”

But surprisingly, the poll also shows a “statistically significant” spike in handgun ownership amongst Quebecers, he added.

In Quebec, 13% of respondents said they owned a handgun. The next highest rate of handgun ownership — 4% — was in Alberta. Of the 309 Francophones surveyed, 14% said they owned at least one handgun.

“It is surprising, however, to see the statistically significant spike in gun ownership among Francophones and Quebecois,” Bozinoff said.

In total, gun ownership is most common among the youngest men (23%), the very wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 23%), in the prairies (27%), in Alberta (23%) and among Conservatives (28%).

The poll, conducted on Tuesday, was an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,429 Canadian voters.

Forum considers the results accurate plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.

See the story:

Editor's note: Please note the article wrongly states percentage of gun ownership in CANADA, not the number of guns owned by eligible voters, yet voters were the only ones surveyed.  35.16 million people in Canada vs 25.6 million eligible voters.  Big difference! 

OK, so let's go with the voter numbers to give them the benefit of the doubt.  17% of voters = 4,352,000 million gun owners in Canada. - 2.1 million firearms licenses.  Still think we overstate the number of firearms owners in Canada?  

That's one heck of a voting block (are you listening politicians?) and just to add some icing on the cake, if you received this phone call, how many of you would answer truthfully?

No-Pasaran Blogspot | July 10, 2016
The BBC brings us the statistics related to gun violence. Check them out, and as you will see below, I and Erick Erickson will put these into perspective:

Guns in the US: 
The statistics behind the violence

The statistics

Mass shootings: There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker, which catalogues such incidents. A mass shooting is defined as a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant.

Source: Mass Shooting Tracker

School shootings: There were 64 school shootings in 2015, according to a dedicated campaign group set up in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut in 2012. Those figures include occasions when a gun was fired but no-one was hurt.

Source: Everytown for Gun SafetyResearch

All shootings: Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted.

Source: Gun Violence Archive

How the US compares: The number of gun murders per capita in the US in 2012 - the most recent year for comparable statistics - was nearly 30 times that in the UK, at 2.9 per 100,000 compared with just 0.1.

Of all the murders in the US in 2012, 60% were by firearm compared with 31% in Canada, 18.2% in Australia, and just 10% in the UK.

Source: UNODC.

The home front: So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

Source: Politifact.

Total number of guns: No official figure exists but there are thought to be about 300 million in the US, held by about a third of the population. That is nearly enough guns for every man, woman and child in the country.

The NRA: The right to own guns is regarded by many as enshrined in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and fiercely defended by lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association, which boasted that its membership surged to around five million in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Gun violence and terrorism: The US spends more than a trillion dollars per year defending itself against terrorism, which kills a tiny fraction of the number of people killed by ordinary gun crime.

According to figures from the US Department of Justice and the Council on Foreign Affairs, 11,385 people died on average annually in firearm incidents in the US between 2001 and 2011.

In the same period, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents. Removing 2001, when 9/11 occurred, from the calculation produces an annual average of just 31.

As I have written, in The Misleading Statistics of Gun Control, most of these mass shootings occur between criminal gangs. To learn that a gangster has been, or a group of gangsters have been, shot dead will simply not touch the average citizen — American or foreign — as much as the innocent dead of Orlando or Utøya. And rightly so, since violence is part of their calling, of their chosen profession, if you will. (Which is why — even left-leaning — journalists don't mention those killings in the first place; except, of course, as part of the respective city edition's metro section.)

Thus, "bare" figures of 11,000 killed by guns compared to 17 (or to 31 or to 517) killed by terrorism is misleading because the statisticians, deliberately or otherwise, fail to take into account everyday average beta people who are gunned down with hardly any warning as contrasted with thugs who are in an "occupation" in which shooting by firearm is, shall we say, an accepted risk.

A similar remark concerns "the death toll between 1968 and 2011 [eclipsing] all wars ever fought by the country"; the statisticians would have you believe the dead, like the citizen soldiers on the battlefield, all amount to be the same average all-American red-blooded Joe.

Finally, while the people using weapons in Canada, Australia, and the UK are almost certainly (of necessity, due to their respective gun control laws) outlaws killing people, whether a fellow outlaw or a law-abiding citizen, the shootings in the U.S. might very well be a law-abiding citizen (successfully) defending him- or herself against an criminal, whose "career" he or she helped bring to a close.

From the numbers above, moreover, it is not immediately apparent that, in fact (as Erick Erickson puts it), mass shootings in the United States have fallen so much in the past century that the political left has insisted we redefine what a mass shooting is.

Indeed, when we think of a mass shooting, don't we think of a dozen people dead, minimum, or certainly at the very least half a dozen. Check out the BBC's numbers: 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870.

You hardly need a calculator to figure out that 371/475 is less than 1.5 (!) people killed on average per mass shooting (along with four wounded or more). In other words, the average number of dead bodies per "mass" shooting — as redefined downwards — turns out to be between… one and two! And closer to one, at that! (And with the assailant being included nowadays, wouldn't that mean that a "mass" shooting might include one in which the only dead person turns out to be the criminal himself?!)

It takes an Erick Erickson to take an even deeper perspective on these "factual" statistics.

There are more than 300 million guns in private hands in the United States and more than 2 trillion rounds of ammunition in private hands. What we are seeing is not an out of control gun problem. In fact, mass shootings in the United States have fallen so much in the past century that the political left has insisted we redefine what a mass shooting is. It is all in the name of gun control.

The left will not talk about mental illness. The left will not talk about radical jihadism. The left only wants to talk about gun control. There is a very easy to understand explanation for this phenomenon … Conservatives look on these acts, whether it be Baton Rouge or Ferguson or Orlando or Dallas and they see a world in moral collapse and struggles between good and evil. Black families have crumbled. Black fathers are in jail while the mothers struggle to keep the family together. Unemployment among black youth is high and people of faith understand that there is something soul nourishing about work. Even in the Garden of Eden there was work.

But we cannot even talk about the Garden of Eden because the left laughs it off. Morality, faith, prayer, and concepts of good and evil are all rejected by the left. So they grasp for something on which they can make a principled stand and it is gun control and the erosion of a right the left refuses to recognize in the second amendment.

Secular reporters lament that there are too many guns in America, but they will not admit there is too much moral decay. In fact, they not only revel in the moral decay and defining deviancy as normal and normal as deviant, but they expect the rest of us to do the same. If you uphold natural law or moral law, you are a bigot.

Because they cannot talk about a morality they no longer recognize or the need for a God they long ago rejected, they are forced to insist more laws will solve problems. It is the metaphysical equivalent of the religious believing more prayer will solve problems. When God is traded in for government, prayer gets traded in for law. The more laws there are, the better off we will be because government is our god now. 

See the story:
By Lauren Pack | Dayton Daily News | July 9, 2016

Gun owners must do more than simply lock up their guns, they say.

BUTLER COUNTY — In February, tragedy previously only seen in national media struck Butler County when a 14-year-old teen stole a gun from his grandparent’s home and opened fire the next morning in his school cafeteria, injuring four classmates.

Last summer, a 3-year-old Hamilton toddler reached into his mother’s purse on the kitchen table, pulled out her gun and squeezed the trigger. The one bullet shot into his chest killed him.

Later that same summer, teens playing with a gun that a boy found in a Cincinnati alley resulted the death of a 14-year-old boy. The 16-year-old shooter was convicted of reckless homicide.

As of June this year, the number of children nationwide, (ages 0 to 11) killed or injured by gun violence is 292. That number is 1,461 for children ages 12-17, according to Gun Violence Archive, a not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free date about gun-related violence.

In 2015, the total number of children, ages 0-17, killed or injured by gun violence was 3,396.

The officers who investigate these cases and deal with keeping guns safe from children in their own homes every day say education is key along with locking up weapons from little ones and teens.

“Lock your guns up, but teach your children about gun safety and what a gun can do,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

The sheriff is one of four brothers and a sister who grew up in Hamilton, where his father was a Hamilton police officer.

“To police officers a gun is like a saw to a carpenter,” Jones said, noting he and his siblings grew up knowing about guns and were taught how to use guns.

“My father kept his loaded gun on the coffee table,” Jones said. “He trusted us around his gun and he should not have.”

Jones, who is a father and grandfather, said he does secure his weapons at home now, which can prevent accidental shootings by curious youths. But, he added, if a teen wants to get a gun to commit a crime they will, whether they buy it or find it at a home where weapons are not secured.

Hamilton Police Officer Kristy Collins spends summer days teaching safety to 4- and 5-year-olds at Safety Town. The popular program run by Greater Hamilton Safety Council teaches youth how to cross the street, ride on the school bus, stay safe around strangers and ride bicycles safely. Gun safety was added a few years ago at the suggestion of a concerned parent.

The message is simple but drilled into the very young minds.

“If you see a gun in any room of your home, your grandparent’s home, or a friend’s home, what do you do?” Collins asks the group.

“Stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult,” is the group answer.

Middletown Maj. Mark Hoffman said he too grew up with guns in the house that were not locked up. But when he became a police officer with children of his own, locking weapons up was a must and so was education.

“If you have children and you have guns then you should familiarize your kids with guns because it takes the mystique way from them,” Hoffman said. “Teach them to respect guns, the consequences and the outcome of misusing them and then you keep them secure.”

A combination safe, provided children cannot get the combination, or lock “with the key in your pocket,” are two good ways to secure weapons from children, Hoffman said.

There are plenty of options to secure guns, from the basic gun lock that prevents loading the weapon to heavy duty safes with plenty of space for both guns and accessories, according to Mike Reed, owner of Right 2 Arm Firearms in Liberty Twp.

The gun safes, some concealed as a mantel with magnetic openers, and others that open with the swipe of a programmed fingerprint, are now available. They range in price for a basic gun safe at $50 all the way up to thousands of dollars.

“If you have kids, you have to lock (your guns) up,” Reed said.

But he added that teaching them about proper handling of a gun is also very important.

“Let them touch (guns), know what they can do. Talk about (guns) and how to safely handle them, then make sure (the guns) are secure,” he said.

See the story:

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