It's kind of sad that despite a multi-billion dollar gun registry and draconian gun laws, Canadian gun violence is skyrocketing. Naturally the United States is to blame.

While many Canadians take pride in Canadian cities being less violent than their American counterparts, Toronto has seen 78 murders this year, including a record 52 gun-related deaths -- almost twice as many as last year.

"What happened yesterday was appalling. You just don't expect it in a Canadian city," the mayor said.

"It's a sign that the lack of gun laws in the U.S. is allowing guns to flood across the border that are literally being used to kill people in the streets of Toronto," Miller said.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Blaming poverty doesn't seem much more accurate.

"There are neighborhoods in Toronto where young people face barriers of poverty, discrimination and don't have real hope and opportunity. The kind of programs that we once took for granted in Canada that would reach out to young people have systematically disappeared over the past decade and I think that gun violence is a symptom of a much bigger problem," Miller said.

The problem isn't povery, it's a lack of opportunity. Ironically, yet tragically, the more socialist programs a well-meaning government enacts the less liberty its people have, which just makes the problems worse.

Leave it to the outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin to make an even stupider suggestion:

The escalating violence prompted the prime minister to announce earlier this month that if re-elected on January 23, his government would ban handguns. With severe restrictions already in place against handgun ownership, many criticized the announcement as politics.

Hopefully Canadians won't be entirely castrated by their nannies.

John Thompson, a security analyst with the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, says the number of guns smuggled from the United States is a problem, but that Canada has a gang problem -- not a gun problem -- and that Canada should stop pointing the finger at the United States.

"It's a cop out. It's an easy way of looking at one symptom rather than addressing a whole disease," Thompson said.

But dealing with gangs is hard, and signing a piece of paper that says "all guns are banned!" is easy. It's much simpler to take rights away from everyone than to nurture a culture that respects property, loves liberty, and in which people take responsibility for themselves.



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