Gun Violence, Hate Crimes

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

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]

Widening push to ban hate symbols

London’s city council is being petitioned to ban hate symbols such as the Confederate flag. Members of the city’s black community have been dismayed by the display of the symbol of U.S. slavery and the petition leader, Melissa Ng, said Feb. 18 that she was inspired by a ban imposed last year by Collingwood council last year. “No hate symbol should be on public display,” she said. “Why would you fly a flag that harms others in the community?” [node:read-more:link]

Militant protestor remains in custody

An Alberta judge has refused to release a controversial preacher accused of inciting violence during the recent border blockade at the province’s border with Montana. Art Pawlowski of Calgary, charged with public mischief and interrupting essential operations, had encouraged protesters to withdraw, saying that “for freedom to be preserved, people must be willing to sacrifice their lives.” [node:read-more:link]

NDP pushes bill against hate symbols

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is pressing the government to prohibit Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and Confederate symbols. “It’s very clear what they stand for and it’s very clear they should not have any place in Canada,” he said Feb. 7 “Hate is very much like a fire; once it’s allowed to take hold, it spreads and it starts consuming everything.” [node:read-more:link]

Government reviving hate legislation

Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Ahmed Hussen says the federal government will introduce new draft legislation he says will address racial and religious hatred, adding that “seeing symbols of hate right across the doorstep of our Parliament” during the protests against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations was “unbelievable and should be condemned.” A previous bill, C-36, was generally seen as problematic on several fronts. [node:read-more:link]

Mandatory liability insurance for gun owners?

The California of San Jose is considering legislation which would require gun owners to have liability insurance against firearms injuries or accidents. If approved, it would be unprecedented in the U.S. and some critics argue that it would violate their constitutional right to bear arms. [node:read-more:link]

Firearms industry firing back

New York Attorney General Letitia James is being sued by a dozen gun industry stakeholders which are challenging the constitutionality of a law which permits manufacturers and distributors to be taken to court if their weapons are used to commit crimes. The unprecedented legislation was passed by the state legislature last July. [node:read-more:link]

Montrealers charged with firearms offences

Two Montreal-area men have been charged after the seizure in Ontario of 59 restricted weapons and 110 large-capacity magazines. The RCMP, which worked with Ontario and Quebec provincial police and Akwesasne Mohawk Police, have confirmed that a boat, which was seen Nov. 26 with large sacks, had offloaded its cargo to a vehicle in Cornwall and was intercepted by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

Shootout in Yukon town

The town of Faro went into lockdown this afternoon when RCMP confirmed that an active shooter had caused an "emergency situation," advising residents, by Twitter and Facebook, to "shelter in place."A possible suspect has since been apprehended. Multiple injuries were reported, but no firm numbers as yet. [node:read-more:link]


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