Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Conservative Agenda

I can't believe this new government! The budget just came down, and if I ever saw a budget designed to buy votes with our own money, this is it! Here is a list of some of the things I would like to see them get into, instead of the stupid, trough wallowing list of half baked initiatives. Let me know if there are any problems with it, and if there is anything I left off! I know there are several things I didn't even cover, but this is a start!

This post was originally a comment on the self styled "Conservative Blog of Canada". Its not worth the read, normally, but it had a list of things the guy would like to see. Like "a job for everybody" and "Jean Cretien should be in jail". Yeah, pretty lame. I think I can do better.

Give farmers an even playing field.

Increase the number and training of food testing inspectors, and create a Canadian FDA.

Demand that contractors have a federal license and that they post a bond to ensure responsibility.

Create a regulatory board which works with the unions to ensure that homeowners don't have to call in Mike Holms to fix their deck. (They do that now with electrical and gas...)

Change the building code to require better insulation, site orientation, ventilation and fire resistance. (U of Man standards, the R2000)

Build a better and more complete Codis, Afis, and firearms registry with serious safeguards against unauthorized hacking.

If you can't use the firearms registry to prevent crimes, than scrap it. (Personally I would like to see the banning and destruction of all short arms including police. Then arm the police with seriously good shotguns, not cheap modified hunting guns. Then anybody with a pistol is automatically charged with carrying a prohibited weapon. But thats just me being reasonable.)

Bring in federal initiatives to get cookie cutter environmentally sound small scale ethanol plants spaced all around the country. Owned and operated by municipalities who will get the profits that they can use for local initiatives. Use the same model as water purification plants.
I think it is too draconian to pass laws demanding oil companies MUST install 70% ethanol pumps, the way Brazil did, however if they drop the federal tax on such fuel, market demand will do the rest.

Re-vitalize the railroads. Increase ridership. Use a fraction of the money we spend on building roads to create more light rail. Better advertising, better marketing.

Reduce the tax burden on small business, and make grants and subsidies available for small business to start up, and more importantly, suceed against the drag of paperwork, taxes, and municipal bureaucracy.

Demand to all provinces that they issue driver's licences that have a box to be checked if the owner does NOT want his organs to be used in a transplant in the event of a death. In this day and age of the internet, I would love to see a web site where a doctor could key in your driver's license number, and read the living will you left there as a condition of getting your licence.

Increased border patroling, particularly on the East Coast to stop drug smuggling. There is so much of it going on, and so much getting through, that it is a national disgrace. The North has the "Canadian Rangers". A good initiative, but hardly professionals. There are barely enough of them to be listening posts. As global warming takes its course, the North will become a more viable route for people, drugs, and foreign nationals looking to stake claims in the arctic. Right now, we have a dispute with Denmark over territory they claim which belongs to us. France is claiming the bulk of the offshore oil fields on the strength of two little islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The US is claiming that they can hammer through our sea ice with great "Manhattan" ice breakers carrying oil. Its time we started caring about our territory, or we will simply lose it.

Speaking of national there some way to get rid of that seal hunt? It takes in, what, the same as a medium sized MacDonalds'restaurant every year? Can we not find some gainful employment for seal hunters besides risking their lives on the ice for f-all?

A national federally funded mental health facility to a) take the pressure off the provinces, and b) to come up with ways to treat mental illnesses effectively. A centralized data base where medical records can be kept (again, with serious controls against unauthorized access or tampering) Associated with that would be doubling the number of mental health case workers on the "front lines". Don't think we need it? Drop into your local court house Monday morning around 7AM, and tell me again we don't need more case workers.

Federal laws against phishing and identity theft. You know, there are none right now! And it is getting to be a problem.

Federal monitoring and licencing of pharmaceudical products and drug marketing agencies to ensure that inferiour product is not shipped to other countries.

Increase the number of inspectors at container ports to watch for contraband. If Canada customs has to go through my socks when I come back from Columbia, then they should go through a container I have delivered to my house!

Require all auto manufacturers to add armour plates to the inside of doors of cars to prevent theft. Also, required anti theft devices to be built into all vehicles. There are too many to list here, but they exist. Too many vehicles are stolen, broken up, or shipped off shore to ignore, yet as long as the insurance agencies are allowed to increase their premiums to cover their losses, then why should they care.

Insurance reform....see above....but apply it to everything from auto body repair to roofers. And ask yourself why insurance costs so much.

There. This is a start. Conservatives are in power right now. Lets get started!


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Jolinar of Malkshor said...

What are you thinking? Ban all short barrelled firearms including police weapons. Are you on crack? This would work because we all know that when we ban items people follow through with the ban. Ha

Ok lets take away police handguns and have them carry around large bulky shotguns that they would have to carry on their back. Not to mention lets increase the risk of hitting bystanders since the target area of a shot gun is approx: 5 inches instead of a few millimeters.

Give your head a shake man.

STAG said...

Thanks for visiting.

A shotgun blast can be stopped, or at least heavily disipated by most interior walls, so the baby in the next room won't be killed. I proved this to my satisfaction one day on the range. Compare to a 9mm round which goes through 4 inches of solid wood without hardly slowing down. Try going into a room, and I'll take a random shot through the wall with both weapons. Which would you pick?

Danger to bystanders is much less with a shot gun.

Many cops are killed in the US with their own guns. I teach in a police college, and one of the things we teach is to be able to fight with one hand on your gun because somebody is always trying to grab the darned thing. If the cop can't get his gun out in time, he will have to finish the fight one handed. Compare to simply cracking the barrel upside the perp's head.

Losing the weapon in a fight....less likely with a shotgun.

Also, an handgun is not only ridiculously inaccurate, and in the heat of the moment is more likely than not to miss the intended target with the first shot. The Shotgun is more easily aimed, easier to hang on to, and has more scope for different loads depending on the situation. You might well miss the first shot, but it won't matter quite so much.

A shotgun is a "stopper". Teddy Roosevelt got tired of finding his patrolmen dead, surrounded by the bodies of Phillipinos hopped up so high on drugs that shooting them didn't really stop them. So he had the military pistol changed to 45 caliber. Most people agree that the 45 is a stopper if you can control it. You still need two hands to control it though. I recommend the modified weaver grip...easier on the thumb on the right hand.

I would not have made a statement without researching it first. I won't bother to cite the statistics here, because as we all know, stats can lie like rugs. A few moments thought will convince you that for the above reasons, handguns should be removed from the hands of patrol officers and substituted with seriously useful heavy medium barreled shotguns.
There is precedent. South Africa has been doing this for years. A handgun is good for concealing....and is useful as a backup when all else fails. There are better weapons.

Jolinar of Malkshor said...

Your arguement is very narrow and limited to very specific situations. In some situations a shotgun would be better, but not for everyday patroling. Try manouvering a shotgun in close quarters. very difficult. You limit the encounter of a criminal to a house or appartment. What about we the criminal has a hostage and is threatening to slit thier neck or shot them. Having a shot gun and using it would take out both the criminal and the hostage. I have seem several instances where an officer was able to neurtalize a subject with his side arm by shoting the subject in the head. Also the reactionarry gap increases considerably with a shot gun instead of a side arm. Realistically you cannot substitute a shotgun for an officers side arm. Not only that 9 out of ten police or more would never agree to switching to a shotgun rather than thier sidearm.
It is just unrealistic.

You also do not talk about the fact that banning handguns will do nothing to keep them off the street. The only people that follow these registration and firearm laws are law abiding citizens. So why take firearms away from these people only to have the criminals gain the advantage.

Prohibition does not work and is nothing more than Government meddling in affairs that they should not be in. There are strict laws on the books now and with the new laws being introduced it will do more at keeping Criminals off the street than prohibition would ever do. Infact, prohibition would just criminalize the law abiding citizens, in a sense making more crime.

The laws we have are severe. Judges however do not punish the criminal.

Some examples

Use of a firearm in the commission of an offence: Up to 14 years in prison.

Possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose: Up to ten years in prison.

Carrying concealed weapon: 5 years in prison.

Unauthorized possession of a firearm: 5 years in prison

Pointing a firearm (at a person): 5 years in prison.

As you can see the laws are there, they are not being used by the judges.

STAG said...

The danger to bystanders is less with a shotgun.

Banning short barreled weapons does not give any advantage to anybody because the second part of the concept is to provide more extensive use of better weapons in the hands of police. Pistols are shit weapons.

No kidding, you witnessed an event where a handgun was used to take down a hostage taker? Any idea on what the resultant review board findings were? I quote you here..
"I have seem several instances where an officer was able to neurtalize a subject with his side arm by shoting the subject in the head." Really? What police force did this and when?

However, enough of this arguement. Might be a good discussion over a beer, however, because it is my blog, I get the last question. If long arms are so difficult to use, then why are they the weapons of choice on patrol in war zones? Both outdoors and when "clearing house"?

STAG said...

Oh, I get to ask some other questions. As you know, I hate using statistics because they can be so easily manipulated. However, perhaps some questions.

Does the possiblility of increased time deter crime? Like, will the crackhead up the road stop carrying if he was facing 40 years instead of 15 years?

Second question. what good are judges? Those numbers (which I have not checked out, but have no quarrel with) are for maximum sentencing. If you just slapped a maximum sentence on being convicted of a crime, all you would need is a crown prosecutor and a guidebook. My answer is that the judge goes by the guidebook, and decides each case on its merits. She may decide that a perp was guilty of killing a man, but since that man was raping his daughter at the time, he should get "time served" and slap on the back. Why do YOU think we have judges?

3rd question. Is a Law Abiding citizen who refuses to turn in his gun when required to by law still Law Abiding?

4th question. Are states such as the United Kingdom and Australia safer now that they have taken all handguns away from the populace? And even in Canada, let alone Australia, what is the incidence of firearm hand gun discharges and who by?

Oh to heck with it, if I haven't proved my point by now, I never will.

Issue police with combat shotguns as well as handguns, and after a couple of years, ask which one they prefer to have when breaking up a rowdy crew at 4 AM in Gatineau, or when stopping a motorist at some ungodly hour on the 401 highway. Would not be a costly experiment, no cops would get hurt by carring the extra weaponry.

Jolinar of Malkshor said...

Actually about 9 years ago a take down by police in West Edmonton Mall in front of the Shoppers Drug Mart by Edmonton City police. Crazy man with knife to hostages next. Officer shot perp in the head. I wasnt physically present, however, I am in the law enforcement field and I am privleged to information that the public sometimes is not subject to. Review board deemed shooting was within the defined perameters of leathal force.

As for your question about why long arms are better for "war zones". First of all the use of long arms in wars zones is to increase magazine capacity aswell as deliver higher caliber ammunition without regard for secondary casualty. Accuracy actually declines with automatic or semi-automatic rifles as they are designed to spray bullets into a gerneral area. Not sure how you can compare arms designed for "war zones" with arms designed for every day policing, unless you consider our cities and towns "war zones".

Next question: Do increased jail terms deter crime. In most cases no. However, dishing out longer and more severe sentences will prevent that criminal from commiting another crime while he/she is in prison. That should be reason enough seeing since most serious offenders have had more than 1 encounter with the law.

Second question: Judges to play a very inportant role within our justice system. However, judges are bound by sentencing guidelines determined by case law. Many times judges do want to sentence criminals to longer terms but cannot because case law in most, not all, accounts dictates sentencing. That is why minimums need to be in place or sentencing guidelines need to be removed.

Third question: Laws come an go as society changes. And just because a law is in place does not mean it is right. Many laws in the past have been implemented only to be struck down later on. Most people did not aggree with firearm registration laws yet many people became "criminals" because a minority within the country tried to dictate to the majority what was right. What if homosexuality became illegal. Does it make homosexuals criminals? Yes and No. The point is you cannot look at laws solely on the basis if someone is following the law or not. You have to determine if the law is demonstrably justified by society.

Question four: As you have said lets not start quoting statistics, because I could find a lot to back up my claim here. I would have to argue that the citizens of countries where there are prohibitions in order with regards to firearms are no more safer or dangerous than any other civilisized society. Criminals in the UK have, over the last 7 years, become much more likely to be armed than in the past. Most crimines in any western society do not involve firearms rather knives or blunt weapons. Even police are now finding that they must arm themselves in certain areas of london just to protect themselves. Criminals donot abide by prohibition orders. The only time firearms become a factor in criminal events is when there is a massacre involving many victims, due to the ability to fire mulitple rounds. However, the fact still remains that firearms dont kill people, people kill people.

I enjoy this discussion, but one other thing. The reason you have not proven your point is because you cant, not because I wont listen.

Also many police agencies have short barreled chotguns mounted inside there vehicle. They do have access to them if need be.

STAG said...

I won't try to convince you. I'll let the streets do it for me. As crooks weapons get bigger and nastier, bigger weapons will be needed to "keep from being outgunned". Though I don't necessarily agree with the concept of "inevitability of escalation", events seem to be taking their nasty course whether I like it or not! Even (as you point out) in England, police are starting to arm themselves more and more. You bring a knife, I bring a gun. You bring a gun, I bring a bigger gun. You bring a bigger gun, I bring a friend. With a gun. I am just suggesting that we bypass the first stage, and arm the protectors of society with enough firepower to do their job. I happen to think that a nice South African style Remington auto with duckbills is just fine. Better to slap a perp upside the head with than that old mag light!

A good sign IMO is the patrol cars with the shotguns mounted on the dash. A good idea. Need more of the same.

It was only a throwaway comment which you are beating to death. Clearly, different circmstances demand different responces. A plain clothes officer may well wish to have a concealed weapon, for instance. I feel that handguns create more trouble than they solve. I will certainly conceed the incident you mention, not just because I cannot find any information about it, but because it is such an isolated incident. A handgun is so innacurate that even I would never dream of using it to "take out" a perp using a hostage as a shield, except as a very last resort. (I cited an example of just such a case below) But still, there are the inevitable facts....every kid that brings a gun to school took it from his dad's gun cabinet. Sometimes his policeman father's gun cabinet. (Toronto 1996) Every burgular goes right to the gun cabinet. Most people shot with handguns are shot by police, hopefully in the course of their duties. Many police in the US are shot with their own guns. ( I quote from this article....""It is a scenario that, while not commonplace, happens with enough frequency to alarm law enforcement professionals nationwide. Last year, 10 police officers were shot and killed in the United States after a suspect managed to get control of an officer’s weapon. Nearly one in five officers killed as part of a crime last year were shot with their own (or a partner’s) weapon, according to the National Center for Law Enforcement Technology - the highest number of such deaths in 18 years. "

Fact is, handguns are shit weapons. Every squad room in Canada has a hole in the ceiling. Heck, I once placed a round in front of my toes when the slide came forward on my Ruger one fine morning....a defective weapon, but still un-nerving, so I don't exclude me from the list of screw ups. (I should have inspected that gun closer! T.G. for point discipline!)
In my 3 years as an RSO, I witnessed too many accidents, incidents, and outright foolishness with shortbarreled firearms. much more than with long barreled weapons. I might paraphrase your comment about people killing people....guns don't screw up, people screw up, and they seem to screw up a lot more with pistols than with slung weapons.

Stray bullets.....I believe that shotguns result in fewer stray bullets bouncing around. Here are some examples of what I mean.




Gangstas and coke dealers using handguns....severe penalties are all I can think of at the moment. I suspect a social solution might eventually prove to be the answer, but I am not a social engineer. The Boxing Day shootings in Toronto and the drive by's in the Jane Finch Corridor will need to be addressed as well. They are beyond the scope of this discussion.

So even a "throwaway comment" like mine is based on a lot of thought. Hardly rates a statement that I must be on crack!

So what did you think of the other 14 ideas I mentioned?

Jolinar of Malkshor said...

I definately aggree with you on the vitalization of our railway system. Alberta could use a speed train from Edmonton to Calgary. Trying to drive between those two cities in the middle of the week is like trying to get to Las Vegas from LA on new years day. Bumper to bumper traffic.

I think the reduction in personal taxes should be addressed sooner than the reduction of small business taxes. I work closely with my US counterparts and they pay almost two thirds less in income tax than we do and they make more than we do. Its sick.

I agree 100% in reverse organ donation optout. Unless someone specifically requests that they do not want thier organs transplanted then give them to people who need them.

As for border patrol I also agree. These people are completely understaffed and unequiped to protect our borders. We will give guns to BRINKS guards but we wont give them to people that are hired to protect us from foriegn threats. Sick. The new government has indicated that they are moving in the direction of arming these officers. Much better than the previous government who considered them like "bank tellers" (Elenor Caplan)

As for the seal hunt, well, I dont nessesarily agree with it, but they have been doing this for many decades and it has only become an issue because foreign celeberties have decided to stick thier nose where it doesn't belong. Just cause the have nice cute furry faces. We dont see them making a stand at the fish farms, chicken coups, or slaughter houses.

I agree with the increase in container inspections. Who knows whats coming into the country.

Many of your ideas involve the creation of new agencies and the increase in the public service. I for one would rather more government agencies removed and the resources alotted to more important issues. We have to much Bureaucracy as it is. No need to keep wasting our hard earned tax dollars.

One las t thing, Farmers. Its a tough issue. I grew up on a farm and have many family members that still to it. The problem with farming is that every other country provides subsidies. So its just a game of upmanship. One government increases thier subsidies so the other government does it aswell. If we find more alternative uses for our ag industry, like ethonal, we can make it profitable.

STAG said...

Re: more bureaucracy. You would think that less would be better wouldn't you. Regulations. Well, thats what government is for, well, one of the reasons anyway. Can't be helped. I can't see how decreasing the number of building inspectors would improve the housing industry, but it would certainly put a lot more money in the developer's pockets.
Aside from peace and good government, a good part of paying for more meat inspectors, container inspectors, building inspectors, park rangers, municipal police, military, and so forth is that their salaries at least stay in the community.

Which government agencies would you remove?

Jolinar of Malkshor said...

I have no problem with inspection agencies and enforcement agencies. I would get rid of all the feel good artsy fartsy wellfare agencies.