The police program with the Orwellian-sounding name, Project Safe City, was announced on Wednesday by David Miller’s sycophantic police chief Bill Blair (“Smithers, unleash the hounds”). Who does it target? Law abiding citizens. Who did you think it would target, armed gangsters? Come on, get serious.
No, the target is people whose firearm Possession and Acquisition License (PAL’s) or Possession Only License (POL’s) have expired but who still have guns registered to them. What kind of people fall into this category? Well, seniors for one. People with a few guns that they had from years ago and who dutifully registered them when it was required of them and who have now become old and forgetful. Or other people who want a gun or two but aren’t so enthusiastic about the shooting sports that they keep up with all the paperwork that the firearms bureaucracy heaps on them. The irony is that if these people had ignored the government and never registered their guns when the Liberal government first demanded they do so, they could breath easy today for there would be no way for the police to know that they are gun owners. That will teach you to obey the law!
A third category is people who are on top of their legal duty, who did realize that their PAL will expire shortly and who therefore did send in their PAL renewal before the expiry date, but who unfortunately haven’t received their new PAL in the mail yet because it sometimes takes 9 months or more for the government to process it. And while there is no legal onus on the CFC to do basic paperwork in a reasonable time, there is a legal onus on gun owners to maintain a valid PAL at all times. In other words, the Toronto police is targeting people simply because the federal government isn’t doing its job. If this situation does not offend you as a Canadian citizen, then you have given me all the information I need to assess your moral state.
This brings to mind an anecdote from Miller’s last campaign against people who obey the law – closing down gun clubs that resided on City of Toronto property. One such club was located at the Mid-Scarborough Community Center. Across the hall from the range was a basketball court that was often used by local ‘youth’s’. Over the years there had been a number of incidents involving ‘gunplay’ in the parking lot. The work of gun club members? No, participants of the basketball league or their hangers on. Yet nobody raised a peep about the obvious gang presence at these games. As far as I know, they’re still there, occasional gunplay and all. And the gun club that generated no criminal activity whatsoever? Vilified for the crimes they never committed and shut down. And you wonder why Miller can’t get a grip on the city’s crime.
Does David Miller have any idea that his programs are targeting people who don’t fit a criminal profile, even remotely? While I think Miller’s understanding of public policy is low, I don’t believe even he is this dumb. A cynic might assume he is deliberately criminalizing his political opponents. And while I think it is safe to say that gun owners feel no love for his blondeness, I nevertheless think it is more basic than that. I think it is the result of a gut-level distaste experienced by elite gentry liberals like him when they encounter people who don’t share their political and aesthetic tastes: people who drive SUV’s rather than vintage bicycles; people who prefer a suburban house over a downtown ‘loft’; and people who’d rather have a box of Timbits than a glass of Perrier at a Yorkville bistro. While urban elites like to view themselves as tolerant and open-minded, their tolerance for diversity ends when they find somebody who doesn’t think like them or like the things they like. For Miller, Project Safe City is not about crime. He knows it can’t do anything about that.
Project Safe City – as well as Miller’s war on the automobile and urban sprawl - is about the people he is prejudiced against.