According to Stats Canada, impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. Every year in this country more than 600 people are killed in drunk-driving incidents. By comparison, the number murdered most years is just over 500. The latter number includes murders with all types of weapons — knives, clubs, guns, fists and others. Of the 600 people killed in impaired driving crashes, more than 400 are typically the drunk drivers themselves. They are not victims the same way people who are murdered are.

Most years there are 150 to 180 Canadians murdered with guns, but 190 to 220 people killed by intoxicated idiots behind the wheel. Some estimate, the victims of impaired drivers could be closer to 600 annually, not including the dead drunks themselves. And while most gun murderers know their victim, most drunk drivers do not. That means innocent Canadians minding their own business are far more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than by someone wielding a gun.

So, perhaps surprisingly, while there are plenty of mandatory minimum jail sentences for misuse of a firearm (even misuse that doesn’t end in a death), there is no law in Canada imposing mandatory minimum jail time on drunks who destroy innocent lives while driving — fines, yes, but not jail time. Merely possessing ammunition that you know is ‘unauthorized” will get you a minimum sentence of one year on a first offence and two years on a second. You don’t even have to have a gun to load the ammo into — just the ammo. You still get sent away for a year. The former Liberal government thought firearms in civilian hands were so dangerous that even the simple act of owning ammunition is severely restricted and the current Tory government has done nothing to change that.

Ian Parkinson

Source: Medicine Hat News


Last updated on: 2014-03-14 | Link to this post