Gun Violence, Hate Crimes

Gun-related and/or hate-related killings or concerns

Hate crimes surge in Canada

There has been a 72 per cent jump in hate crimes targeting religion, sexual orientation and race since the start of the pandemic, according to Statistic Canada. A comparison of 2019 and 2021 data shows that crimes targeting religion, sexual orientation and race rose respectively by 67, 64 and six per cent. [node:read-more:link]

Government pulls trigger on handgun ban

The federal government plans to fast-track a ban on handgun imports in two seeks, opting to do it by regulation rather than wait until sometime after the House of Commons resumes sitting September 19. Provisions for a ban are part of a package of criminal Code amendments introduced May 30 as Bill C-21 but the bill was still before committee when the House adjourned for the summer. [node:read-more:link]

Firearms buyback prices proposed

Canadian owners of “assault” rifles could be compensated by as much as $6,209 through the federal government’s buyback program. That’s the highest proposed payout, for a Swiss Arms SG550, while the more common Colt AR-15 variants on the Public Safety Canada list could be worth $1,337 but the actual amounts depend on feedback from owners, businesses and industry during consultations over the next four weeks. [node:read-more:link]

Air India suspect gunned down

Ripudaman Singh Malik, one two men acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombings – a mid-air explosion that killed 329 passengers and crew on a flight to Canada from Mumbai and a failed second attempt that killed two baggage handlers in Japan – was shot to death July 14 in Surrey, B.C. Opinions on his involvement remain deeply divided but police said they believe Malik had been targetted. [node:read-more:link]

Accused killer nearly fled Canada

A man accused of shooting two Ottawa brothers in broad daylight in May 2021 was only minutes away from boarding a flight to Somalia when he was arrested at Toronto International Airport. Abdullahi Osman actually was arrested Feb. 12 but details have only now come to light during the trial of an alleged accessory who pleaded guilty to passport fraud for having helped Osman. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. court strikes down gun law

A New York state gun law restricting concealed handguns outside the home, enacted more than a century ago, was ruled unconstitutional today by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 6-3 decision changes how lower courts will handle other firearms restrictions which could include legislative amendments currently before Congress. [node:read-more:link]

Swastika ban spreading in Australia?

Responding to the problem of youth radicalization, the parliament in Australia’s second-largest state, Victoria, has become the first in the country to ban public displays of Nazi swastikas. Dvir Abramovich, chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission, expects other states to follow suit, saying “the fact that we’ve got a resurgent white supremacist and neo-Nazi movement is a cause for concern in every state.” [node:read-more:link]

Disagreement within the RCMP

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has rebutted suggestions by an RCMP Superintendent in Nova Scotia that she had tried to manage information released by officers investigating a 2020 mass shooting in that province. “I would never take actions or decisions that could jeopardize an investigation” Lucki stated June 21. “I did not interfere in the ongoing investigations into the largest mass shooting in Canadian history.” [node:read-more:link]

Teenager killed during school shooting rampage

A teenage gunman opened fire at an elementary school in South Texas on Tuesday, killing 19 students, 1 teacher and another adult. The 18-year-old shooter was killed at the scene, possibly by responding officers. Salvador Ramos, who investigators was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, is suspected of shooting his grandmother at the start of the rampage. [node:read-more:link]

San Francisco court strikes down gun law

California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic firearms to Americans under 21 has been declared unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision by a state appeals court. The tribunal said the 2019 law, the state’s response to a Republica-dominated Congress failure to address gun violence, was “an almost total ban” on the weapons. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote in restoring the age limit to 18. [node:read-more:link]

Gun control prohibition circumvented?

A prominent Quebec-based firearms control lobby says federal regulations prohibiting ownership of a range of “assault-style” weapons are being circumvented by gun manufacturers. In a letter to MPs this week, it supported a proposed Criminal Code amendment which would broaden the definition of all weapons which fit that category. [node:read-more:link]

Conspiracy theories have Canadian followers

A parliamentary committee was told April 28 that more than 25 per cent of Canadians, some “with a sympathy toward violence”, evidently believe conspiracy theories. Université de Sherbrooke professor David Morin was explaining a report, based on the results of a national poll last summer, that he is preparing for the Quebec government. He also told the committee that there has been a 250 per cent increase in violent demonstrations in western countries over the past five years and that Canada saw a 25 per cent increase in hate crimes in 2020. [node:read-more:link]

Antisemitism surged last year

B’nai Brith says antisemitism in Canada was at record levels last year, notably in British Columbia and Quebec. Its latest annual audit found 2,799 anti-Jewish hate crimes, a seven percent increase from 2020. They included not only vandalism of synagogues and swastikas in schools but also a seven-fold jump in violence such as physical attacks. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protesters grab for police weapons

More than 100 members of the so-called “freedom convoy” were arrested Feb. 18 as police moved in on protesters in what acting police chief Steve Bell said was a “methodical” approach to ending the three-week downtown blockade. There was occasional aggressive pushback and police reported that some protesters tried to grab officers’ firearms. [node:read-more:link]


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