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"Reverse-Onus" Gun Crime Legislation

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posted on Nov, 23 2006 @ 04:20 PM
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Harper is a busy, busy man. I'm all ears to find a critic on this one.



Prime Minister Stephen Harper has outlined tough new gun crime legislation that will require some criminals to prove why they should receive bail.

Harper made the announcement in Toronto flanked by Ontario's Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty and newly re-elected Toronto Mayor David Miller.

The three set aside their partisan differences to unite in support of the introduced amendments to the Criminal Code.

The changes would require those already convicted of a gun crime, who have been arrested for a second time, to prove to a judge that they are not a danger to society.

"Our legislation will reverse the onus so people charged with serious gun crimes will have to demonstrate why they shouldn't stay in custody until they are tried," Harper said.

He used the example of a 23-year-old Toronto man who was accused of shooting four people in London, but promptly vanished after he was granted bail and ordered to stay at home with his mother until his court date.

CTV Link


So individuals who are convicted on a second gun crime burden the onus to receive bail before they face trial. This is a positive for everyone involved. Gun crimes are a serious offense, and were not exactly running on a three strikes your out philosophy with these crimes. People who are going down for the second time are a serious flight risk and should carry the onus in these situations.



In Toronto police report that almost 1,000 crimes involving firearms or restricted weapons have been committed so far this year, and nearly 40 per cent of them were committed by someone who was already on bail, parole, temporary absence or probation."


These are scary statistics. Makes you wonder why this legislation has not been introduced already. It is a shame that it was the responsibility of the Crown to prove why the accused should be remanded. Hopefully with this being introduced, more people will face the charges brought against them.




posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 01:23 AM
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This doesn't sound like a bad idea. While I'm a big fan of innocent until proven guilty, if it's a second offense for a crime with a gun then I don't have a huge issue with it.

However, I reserve the right to change my opinion as I'm not entirely comfortable with it.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by Duzey
However, I reserve the right to change my opinion as I'm not entirely comfortable with it.


When you get a chance, I'm interested in hearing what makes you uncomfortable with this piece of legislation.

As you've said, it is for anyone who is going down on their second offense with a gun. And, to my knowledge, the only change it constitutes is that now the accused has to indicate why he should be eligible for bail before trial. Rather than leaving this to the Crown to indicate why he should be in jail, the accused needs to show why he should not be in jail.

Its a positive in my opinion. Anyone charged with their second offense on a gun crime is a risk to society.

I support it. (But as anything, I reserve the right to change my opinion too!)



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 08:12 AM
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How to explain.....

I have a very strong belief in the right to be innocent until proven guilty and hate the idea of someone innocent having to spend time in jail with nasty people. On the other hand, if someone is up on charges for crimes with firearms for a second time, I'm not inclined to give them a chance to do it again before they get to trial.

It's not so much the legislation that makes me uncomfortable, it's the need to compromise on my beliefs that gives me the willies. It's never pleasant to have to go against something you believe strongly in. Remember when I said I was a realist? Sometimes it means doing things you're not entirely comfortable with, because reality doesn't always coincide with your ideals.

This is one of those times.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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Your very good with words. Often I need to read your posts two or three times to grasp exactly what your saying. Very intelligent, Thank you for your post.


Originally posted by Duzey
I have a very strong belief in the right to be innocent until proven guilty and hate the idea of someone innocent having to spend time in jail with nasty people. On the other hand, if someone is up on charges for crimes with firearms for a second time, I'm not inclined to give them a chance to do it again before they get to trial.


And this is what everyone will come back to. The critics will preach innocent until proven guilty. However, the emphasis on second offense is where I direct my attention. Our system is flawed, as anything else, but I do believe that anyone convicted of a previous gun related crime and facing a second charge, is no innocent victim. We are not sentencing them to years in prison, just to be remanded until their trial. And there is no guarantee that they will be remanded. It merely states that the onus is now on them to indicate they are worthy of freedom. The wording itself on this legislation has me supporting it. Nothing set it stone, just the responsibility has flip flopped with certain cases.


Originally posted by Duzey
it's the need to compromise on my beliefs that gives me the willies. It's never pleasant to have to go against something you believe strongly in.


Understand completely. We all have strong beliefs on different aspects, to go against these is not something we take lightly. I am against capital punishment 99.9% of the time, but there is always that one case that does not leave us resting easy. And I need to go against my beliefs, not always a good feeling.


Originally posted by Duzey
Sometimes it means doing things you're not entirely comfortable with, because reality doesn't always coincide with your ideals.


We need to discuss some copyright issues. I may write a book consisting of some of your quotes.




posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 10:06 AM
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Thank you.
Maybe someday I will be good enough with words that you can get my meaning after just one read through.


If it were first time offences, I would feel differently. For a second offence, I'm willing to be a little more flexible. I do think that if we are going to have this kind of legislation, it should be expanded to crimes committed with any kind of weapon.

Personal story time...

I've had up close and personal experience with violent crime. I was held up at gunpoint a very long time ago, when I was 19 and worked nights in a gas station. Too bad for the 15 year-old that I recognize a bb gun when I see one. The big, nasty serated hunting knife he had as back-up was very real. Being me, I still opened my yap and chastised the little puke. :shk: Looking back, I was very lucky and very stupid.

I hate guns, but I hate knives more.



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Duzey
I do think that if we are going to have this kind of legislation, it should be expanded to crimes committed with any kind of weapon.


Agreed. I support this gun crime legislation, but it should be worded to include any weapon in my opinion. Committing a murder with a gun is a horrendous act, however, committing murder with a knife is off the charts. Assailants who prefer to carry a knife as their weapon of choice should not be given any special treatment.


Originally posted by Duzey
Personal story time...






Originally posted by Duzey
I hate guns, but I hate knives more.


I'm glad that things turned out alright for you. Did they ever catch him? The fact you know his age leads me to believe they did, but hopefully he was punished accordingly.

You bring up a point that our government needs to look at. Opens the door completely for discussion. Harper has been adjusting legislation left and right since coming into power, so hopefully this is something in the horizon. As I've stated above, it takes a sick individual to beable to commit a crime with a knife. You can shoot a person from a distant without physical contact. With a knife, it is a completely different experience. Up close and personal, feeling the victim in your arms, I think I'll stop there but you get the point.

If we are going to crack down on individuals who carry guns, we definitely need to take a look at those who carry knives.

[edit on 24-11-2006 by chissler]



posted on Nov, 24 2006 @ 11:02 AM
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I totally understand what you are saying about knives vs guns. A gun is a rather impersonal way to kill someone and can even happen by accident in some cases. A knife is rather personal and, in my opinion, shows a sicker mind. Stabbing/cutting someone is pretty hard to do by accident. To actually want someone's blood running through your fingers.... *shiver*

Maybe they should change the legislation to read second crime committed with a weapon. That way someone who stabs someone doesn't slip through a loophole because he uses a gun or baseball bat the second time around.

The kid who robbed me was caught and in the best possible way. After the crime was all over the news and I had endured a few days of media stalking me and every person in town coming to my workplace to ask about it (relatively small city where stuff like that wasn't common), his mother was cleaning his room and found a balaclava, knife, bb gun and a backpack full of money under his bed. She immediately called the police. Kudos go to this woman, she felt that it was her only alternative and that he had to be punished for what he did. Now that's a good mother!

He ended up with probation and community service
due to it being a first offence, his age and the fact that he was 'a little slow'. My sister knows who it was, she was in the same grade as him. To this day, she still won't tell me his name.



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