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|Gun Control and the Debate|
|Wednesday, 13 April 2011 10:27|
During debate over the gun registry, Ignatieff accused Layton of not standing up for it on a vote last September, an accusation Layton promptly rejected by saying he did in fact support it.
And he did. Layton voted in favour of the gun registry then but he also allowed his MPs to vote freely during that September 2010 vote, which is likely what Ignatieff was referring to.
Year of the gun
Layton said that increasing the number of police officers will reduce crime but there is little evidence to suggest that this is true.
Case in point: The summer of 2005 was bad in Toronto. Killing after killing led to the characterization of that season being the "summer of the gun."
A year later the murder rate plummeted and media began to wonder why. Several stories focused on an anti-gang task force set up by Toronto police, and the shift of 450 uniformed officers to the street.
Two years later, however, homicides were worse than ever; 84 people were killed in Toronto in 2007, more than in the so-called summer of the gun.
Any criminologist worth his or her salt would tell you that there is little, if any, causality between the number of officers on the street and the level of crime, which is a volatile thing, depending on many factors outside the control of police forces and politicians.
Crime and punishment
Harper said that among the pieces of legislation being blocked by the opposition is the bill to "remove pardons for serious criminals."
This is the one that forms the basis of the opposition concern about prison costs but they also object because the definition of serious criminals in the bill includes anyone who is convicted of three indictable offences, which is not always what it appears on the face of it.
By CBC on April 12, 2011 5:59 PM