Despite recent headlines, Canadian rates of suicide and attempted suicide have remained largely unchanged over the last several decades. What has changed is that we've seen increasing rates of suicide in the Canadian military recently, after stable rates for decades. The problem of suicide is not limited to the military in Canada; indigenous populations, especially in northern remote communities, have high rates of suicide. We need a unified approach across provincial and federal sectors to reduce suicides in the military, among veterans and civilians.
The argument about guns in America is a pointless one because, frankly, the pro-gun lobby won the debate many years ago. Like that Japanese soldier living on an island for decades, unaware that WWII was long over, the anti-gun crowd continues to fight a battle that it already lost. Americans long ago made up their minds in regards to guns. They want to keep guns and it is likely that no tragedy is great enough to change that fact. Not even a little bit. In fact, Americans not only want to keep their guns, they want to change very little in regards to how they keep them, how they get them, or what they do with them.
It's clear that despite all the convincing research demonstrating how guns make us less safe, not more safe, Americans are still very much enamoured with their guns. They rationalize, justify and explain away each tragedy, whether an accidental death by a handgun or a mass shooting of innocent people by rifles or automatic weapons. It's not a logical argument; it's an emotional one, and until we can address the complex psychology at the root of the desire to own guns, we aren't going to convince people to give them up.
Bruce found himself convicted of roughly two dozen counts of possessing unlicensed firearms. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and a lifetime prohibition order from possessing firearms; therefore, he can no longer be a gunsmith. Moreover, his entire inventory of firearms and ammunition (worth roughly $116,000) was forfeited to the Crown.
Twitter exploded with comments by people wondering how Michael Zehaf-Bibeau could get a gun in Canada. The myth is that private citizens can't own guns. While the country doesn't have something along the lines of a Second Amendment to the Constitution, citizens can own guns. That's because the Canadian system is more about licensing and registration than restriction. And even that's been watered down in the last few years.
A growing sense of entitlement is leading to gun violence in the U.S. Many people think they are entitled to guns, and are entitled to control the lives of other people. But this isn't the case. Let's be clear -- in life, we are entitled to but one thing: our own lives. Apart from the air he breathed to help sustain his life, we are not entitled to anything else -- no person, no shooter, is entitled to kill anyone.
Despite the many upstanding, ethical police officers out there, the force has given the public numerous reasons to question its conduct. There have been a number of high profile cases of alleged police brutality in Canada and Quebec, including the 2010 G-20 Toronto summit protests, the 2012 Quebec student protests, and the Robert Dziekanski taser incident.
Around 10:45 a.m., I decided it was time to turn off Lego Stars Wars and turn our attention to real war, and all those who have fought, or continue to fight, for our freedom. First, I had to get Max Skywalker on board. He really had no idea what Remembrance Day was all about. My super-simplified explanation went something like this...
Barely a day goes by in Toronto, or any large city, without some reminder of the pain and damage caused by gun violence. While most agree it's a serious issue, the best way to address it remains a topic of considerable debate. Do we need more police? Better grass-roots community programs? Stricter gun control laws? In this latest installment of our popular series "Change My Mind," Huffpost asked two panelists from today's Direct Engagement Show "Putting the gunz down" town hall to debate the statement: Government can solve Toronto's gun violence problem.