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Now that they've registered handguns, will they go after knives?

The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics recently released a report that shows that the number of deaths due to firearms in Canada was small and the rate of violent crime has fallen 8 per cent since 1992.

The report, based on 1995 statistics, says only two per cent of violent crime victims encountered firearms, and the use of handguns is most common in large cities.

"The use of a knife or blunt object during a non-lethal violent incident was more likely to result in injury to the victim than when the perpetrator was armed with a gun," says the report.

During 1995 almost 33 per cent of assault victims who encountered an assailant armed with a knife suffered major injuries, compared with 16 per cent who encountered one armed with a firearm, the report says.

There were approximately 1 100 deaths caused by firearms, of which 13 per cent were homicides, in 1995.

Suicides accounted for 81 per cent of all firearm deaths, while accidents and undetermined firearms deaths comprised the remaining six per cent.

Since 1991, the use of handguns has increased, accounting for one-half of all firearm homicides, the report says.

The use of handguns in homicides is more common in large urban areas.

Will the federal government tell us again why it is requiring firearms to be registered? Will it force a national knives registry? A notice for all those anti-firearms activists reading this: The numbers are facts.

U.S. Supreme Courts Actually Vote in Favour of Freedom

It's not often that I can say something positive about the United States Supreme Court (or any court for that matter), but I will congratulate them on ruling the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional. While I completely agree that children should be protected from material they are not ready for, the government must not be allowed to govern speech.

The Internet should be policed, but by parents or guardians. If you don't have the time to police your child, don't get Internet access.

U.S. Supreme Courts Unsurprisingly Vote Against Freedom

While they did well with the CDA, the Supreme Court also decided on the issue of physician assisted suicide. Its justices unanimously ruled that people have no right to constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide.

But the court left open the question of whether terminally ill, competent people in untreatable pain have a right to medical help to hasten death. The rulings also left room for doctors to continue giving dying patients large amounts of painkillers, even if the drugs might bring on death.

Opponents to physician assisted suicide say that doctors will become merchants of death, forced to kill patients to save money. The word I have for that is unprintable in Enter Stage Right.

The Supreme Court should have allowed doctors to decide individually whether they would assist a suicide, not force doctors to covertly aid a patient who asks for death. Americans have the right die and doctors have the right to help them, if they so choose.

Animal Rights Activists Murder Again!

You might remember Enter Stage Right telling you of an incident a few months ago that involved members of an animal rights movement releasing mink from a farm in southern Ontario. That incident resulted in hundreds of the mink dying because of fighting amongst themselves, exposure, and a lack of food.

Well it happened again. An estimated 8 000 to 9 000 minks were released from an Oregon farm by unknown people. Ranch owner Rick Arritola and others were able to retrieve about 1 300 of the female minks after the raid but he said many of them and their babies, most less than two weeks old, died or died soon after. Many of the hot-tempered animals died from fighting with each other, others died of exposure and some were stepped on, officials said.

Like the militia movement, which it shares a lot with, the animal rights movement seems to be training their people to be very effective criminals. It seems the activists merely swept right through Arritola's security measures.

Once again ESR asks, since those activists are directly responsible for the death of hundreds of minks, will they be charged with murder upon their arrest?

IRS Punished for Punitive Raid

The IRS has been ordered to pay $250 000 in punitive damages after raiding a woman's business.

In 1993 IRS agent Paula Dzierzanowski was auditing Tristan Ward. Ward's mother, Carole, showed up to one meeting which ended rather poorly. Carole Ward told Dzierzanowski, "Honey, from what I can see of your accounting skills, the country would be better served if you were dishing up chicken-fried steak on some interstate in West Texas, with all the clunky jewelry and big hair."

While Carole may have lived out many people's dreams by insulting a government agent for poor work, Carole also paid a price.

About one month later Carole Ward's three "Kids Avenue" clothing stores in Colorado Springs were raided by IRS agents. Those agents padlocked her stores and posted notices that intimated that Ward was a drug smuggler.

The judge in the case also awarded Carole Ward $75 000 in actual damages plus legal fees and stated that the IRS had violated her privacy rights.

Dzierzanowski's reasoning for the use of force was that the government might not have been able to collect $324 000 in income taxes. That was later settled for $3 485.

How a Defeated Politician Continues to Cost You Money...about $27 850 308

You might hope that a defeated politician would never be heard from again, and indeed many never are. But they do continue to cost you, and plenty at that.

The National Citizens' Coalition says last month's election will cost taxpayers an estimated $13 363 657 in MP pension payouts.

"Of all the MPs who met defeat...eight had qualified for the lavish MP pension," says Somerville. "That means that although they lost the election they won the MP pension lottery."  

Somerville says his group estimates that the highest payout will go to MP David Dingwall who will take in about $3 594 064 if he lives to age 75. 

"Once again we are reminded how outrageous this pension plan really is," says Somerville. "It's a time to reform this plan and bring it into line with what's available in the private sector."   

Somerville adds however, that the taxpayers did get some good news. 

"29 MPs were defeated...who had not yet qualified for the pension," says Somerville. "We estimate that will save taxpayers about $18 247 242 dollars in eventual payouts."

Among those defeated were 9 MPs who the NCC had targeted for defeat as part of "Operation Pork Chop," the group's anti-MP pension media campaign.  Those were Anna Terrana, Harry Verran, Geoffrey Rega, Judy Bethel, Derek Wells, John Murphy, Dianne Brushett, Harold Culbert, and Pierrette Ringuette-Maltais

"We went into their ridings and urged the voters to defeat these MPs," says Somerville. "We wanted them to give Ottawa a strong message and they listened." 

Somerville adds that 16 MPs who retired before the election will receive an estimated $14 486 651.

Council of Canadians Attacks National Citizen's Coalition

The leftist Council of Canadians, noting it was the 30th anniversary of the founding of the National Citizen's Coalition, issued a press release stating that the group was undemocratic and basically a danger to Canada.

To prove their point, the CoC stated that NCC has interfered in elections (by exercising freedom of speech, something that the Supreme Court didn't have a problem with), is anti-union, the elimination of things like cultural subsidies, universal social programs, public education and health. It also calls for voucher-financed schools and the privatization of medical insurance, hospitals.  It advocates that corporations and charities take over the social functions now performed by government.

Evil indeed.

Wait there's more. NCC got its start after Ernest Manning, Preston Manning's father, suggested that the group become a non-profit entity. Who provided the money to start up the group? "wealthy Canadians." (my emphasis - ed.)

By god the CoC isn't done yet. Did you know that the NCC is run by eight English-speaking men?

Let's see. The National Citizen's Coalition is a conservative group that advocates less government, is anti-collectivist, and has taken money from corporations and the wealthy.

The New Democrats are a leftist group that advocates more government, is pro-collectivist and has taken money from unions and the poor.

Oh yeah, I see cause for condemnation.

Retired Civil Servant Launches $1 Suit Against Ottawa Citizen

Earlier this year the John Robson of the Ottawa Citizen wrote an editorial which excoriated Canadians for failing to oppose the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan back in 1965.

"I want proof that you have publicly opposed the CPP," wrote Mr. Robson, "And have said audibly that it should be abolished."

Well, it turns out that John Kroeker, a former civil servant, did speak out, and in the pages of the Citizen itself. On March 1, 1965 Kroeker was the subject of a story which laid out his criticisms of the CPP in detail.

"If there is no protest, what is to prevent big government (from) starting to print newspapers, build houses, make cars . . . at times and under conditions of its choice."

His public whack against CPP was, and still remains, a gutsy thing for a civil servant to do. The accepted rule is that civil servants are not to attack policy in public.

Kroeker informed Robson of his opposition, but had to wait two months, mid-May, before a retraction appeared. Kroeker was out of town at the time and didn't see it.

The retired actuary decided to launch a lawsuit against Robson, the Citizen, six senior Citizen managers, and the paper's parent company Southam Inc. for the grand total of $1 for suggesting that he was among Canadians who did not oppose the CPP.

Kroeker says that his personal and professional standing was damaged by Robson's inclusion of him in the large group of Canadians that meekly accepted the CPP.

The lawsuit may be a little bit of a joke, but I laud Kroeker for making sure that he was part of a minority that showed sense when most others wouldn't.

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