Gun Violence, Hate Crimes

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

Gun control measure misfires

A recent spike in gun violence in several major centres has revived debate about the federal government’s gun-control agenda. Bill-21, which introduced in the House of Commons February and would have included a buy-back program, saw only minimal debate before Parliament was prorogued for the Sept. 20 general election. The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights says the group opposes any measure leading to “confiscation of legal guns.” [node:read-more:link]

Mexico takes on firearms industry

U.S. firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Barrett Firearms are on a list of companies being sued in a Masschusetts court by the Mexican government, which says they knew they were contributing to illegal arms trafficking and increased violence in Mexico. Filed Aug. 3, the suit seeks as much as $10 billion in compensation. [node:read-more:link]

Pepper spray still illegal

A request by Alberta that people be permitted to carry pepper spray for self-defence has been rebuffed by the federal government. The province’s justice minister had argued that victim of hate-motivated violence would have been able to protect themselves. In rebuffing Alberta’s request for changes to the Criminal Code, Ottawa says “the solution cannot simply be to increase accessibility to prohibited weapons” which could provoke further violence. [node:read-more:link]

Pensacola shooting prompts review

The shootings at a U.S. Naval Air Station in Florida has prompted the Department of Defense to order a review of how international students enter U.S. training programs. A Saudi Arabian national killed three Americans before committing suicide. Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist also has suspended operational training for all Saudi students in U.S. military programs. [node:read-more:link]

New gun control initiative launched

The U.S. Justice Department is trying to crack down on trafficking in firearms, including setting up five strike teams which will work with local law enforcement to disrupt criminal sales. The teams will be concentrated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, all of which the department calls “significant gun trafficking corridors.” [node:read-more:link]

Mosque attack an “act of hate”

A national Muslim organization is calling the July 14 vandalization of a mosque in Cambridge, Ont., an “act of hate.” The fact that the Baitul Kareem Mosque was attacked in broad daylight is particularly troubling for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada. “Our mosques have always served as symbols of peace in the community,” says the organization’s president, Lal Khan Malik. “It is hurtful for us to see our mosque attacked and vandalized in this fashion.” [node:read-more:link]

Nerf gun prank backfires

An Ontario teenager is worried that a prank involving a $6.49 Nerf gun could hinder his chances of a Canadian Armed Forces career. He and a friend were arrested and charged with assault with a weapon and criminal harassment after they had driven around a nearby community, firing rubber darts at residents. [node:read-more:link]

New definition of “toy” gun

A Utah company has received a “cease and desist” letter for modifying a Glock pistol to look like it was built from Lego. The Danish manufacturer of the globally-popular building blocks was alerted by the heard of a firearms safety group. Culper Precision says its modification was supposed to “highlight the pure enjoyment of the shooting sports.” It’s illegal in the U.S. to produce realistic toy guns but there’s no explicit ban on doing the opposite. [node:read-more:link]

New York tackles gun violence

New York has become the first U.S. state to declare a disaster emergency in a bid to address increased gun violence. The decision by Gov Andrew Cuomo, which budgets $138.7 million for prevention and intervention measures, follows 51 shootings over the July 4 holiday weekend. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian company sues Trump supporter

Sidney Hall, a Washington lawyer and conspiracy theorist, is being sued for defamation by a Dominion Voting Systems company for her “wild accusations” that the company rigged last November’s presidential election. Headquartered in Toronto and Colorado, the company is seeking at least $1.3 billion in damages over Powell’s claims that voting machines used in several states were part of a scheme to prevent President Donald Trump’s re-election. [node:read-more:link]

Government plan to reduce firearms violence

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced, effective 7 July 2021, that the Government is expanding mandatory firearms licence background checks to cover the lifetime of an applicant. The plan also reinstates the requirement to seek Authorization to Transport for restricted and prohibited firearms to most locations. [node:read-more:link]

Terror charges laid in Ontario vehicle attack

Terror charges have been laid against the man accused of intentionally driving into a Muslim family walking on a London, Ontario sidewalk. Grandmother, parents, and teen were killed, and a younger child sent to hospital with serious injuries. Police have alleged that the attack on the evening of June 6, was a planned and premeditated act against Muslims. [node:read-more:link]

Four killed in Canadian attack

Four members of a Muslim family in London., Ont., were killed in a June 6 hit-and-run attack which resulted in the 20-year-old driver of the vehicle being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder, the latter involving a fifth member of the family. Police said the attack was a “premeditated act motivated by hate” and were consulting the RCMP on the possibility of laying terrorism-related charges as well. [node:read-more:link]

Muslim family members die in targeted attack

"We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith,” said London Police Chief after 4 pedestrians were run down and killed while walking on the sidewalk on Sunday evening. The victims, all related, ranged in age from 15 to 74. A 9-year old boy is in hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended wearing a body armour vest. [node:read-more:link]


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