Etobicoke, ON -(AmmoLand.com)- Surrey RCMP Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy hates the moniker that Surrey has earned after years of turf wars in the street drug trade: Murder Capital of BC.
It’s a name that’s well earned. In early 2015, there were 18 shootings in just 45 days – all within a 40-block area of the city.
This year Surrey has seen over 30 shootings in the first 3 months of 2016.
Superintendent Fordy made it clear to the public in 2015 that all these shootings were gang related and states the Surrey RCMP continues to “target those responsible.” Sadly, they’re getting little traction in the community, primarily because of fear of gang retaliation. Perhaps in some cases, fear of their own children.
MP Dianne Watts believes if parents can be assured their drug-dealing children will not be sent to jail, they would be more willing to hand over their kids’ illegal guns.
“The majority are young South Asian men,” says Watts. “In that context, we really need to make sure that we are supporting the parents and giving them the tools, because I would expect they have no idea about how to deal with these issues.”
“Typically, they’re not going to call the police and turn their son in or put them in jeopardy where they might be charged,” Watts said.
A parent who knows their kid is dealing drugs and carrying a gun when he does, may be more concerned about the safety of their child than the safety of the public. They may also be rightfully concerned about their own safety should they take the gun and hand it over to police.
A gun amnesty isn’t going to change that.
The disingenuous part of the gun amnesty is that it’s not aimed at the criminals shooting up Surrey streets on a regular basis. It’s aimed directly at the people who are NOT part of the problem: law-abiding firearm owners.
Taking guns out of the hands of ordinary decent people can never solve Surrey’s shooting problem, but Surrey RCMP seem more concerned about optics than crime.
Their same-old, over-used, catch-phrase, buzz-word mantra? “Less guns on the street.” (How did you know?)
The turned-in guns were never “on the street” of course. No, they were in the hands of law-abiding Canadians with expired paperwork or they were old junk no one wanted.
In announcing the gun amnesty program, Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy trotted out the newest red herring to justify going after ordinary Canadians.
“Our aim is to reduce the number of illegally owned and unregistered firearms in Surrey, as well as enhance public and police officer safety. The majority of gun related crimes in Canada are committed with guns that are domestically sourced,” said Fordy.
Show us the proof Inspector Fordy, because that isn’t what decades of crime stats say. Where are the studies that show this?
That hyperbole is quite a statement from the man who didn’t even know a Firearms Possession and Acquisition License is required to purchase ammunition!
When interviewed on CKNW’s Jill Bennett Show about Surrey’s drug war shootings, he stated matter-of-factly that anyone could walk into a gun store and purchase all the ammunition they wanted.
Jill Bennett: “But if guns are stolen, how are the criminals then or the people that are stealing them buying ammunition for them? Don’t you also need a gun permit to do that?”
Bill Fordy: “No you don’t.”
Jill Bennett: “To buy ammunition for a handgun?”
Fordy: “No you don’t. You can walk in and buy ammunition, every bullet doesn’t have a serial number; it’s not tracked. You can buy large volumes of them. It doesn’t take a permit to go in and buy ammunition, no.”
Jill Bennett graciously tried giving Bill Fordy an opportunity to correct himself at the end of her show but he did not take advantage of her generosity.
Jill Bennett: “Just before I let you go I did want to clarify that you said you don’t need a license to buy ammunition. I’m quite sure that you do need a PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) to both register a firearm and to purchase ammunition.”
Bill Fordy: “You could walk into Canadian Tire this morning, I’m pretty confident or, not to name that store but you can walk into a store where they have shotguns or certain other firearms, and I stand to be corrected but I’m pretty sure they can purchase ammunition and walk out and there’s no ability to tract that particular ammunition. You are correct, you do need PAL (Possession and Acquisition Licence), to uh, if you’re going to purchase a 9mm gun somewhere, that’s a different conversation.”
After gun owners jumped all over social media to make it clear RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, Fordy made this correction the following day:
“I said that I thought you could walk into a store and you could purchase ammunition. So it turns out point of that fact that I was incorrect. I’ve talked to a National Weapons Enforcement Security Team just to verify that fact, and I misspoke so I just want to phone and set the record straight.”
Pssst … it’s “National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.” Just saying.
When the head of the city’s police force doesn’t even know the law he’s appointed to enforce, is it any wonder gun owners don’t trust police on this issue?
Surrey’s gun violence, of course, continues unabated while the RCMP take guns away from law-abiding firearm owners, and current Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner struggles to find answers.
Hepner calls all the violence “unacceptable.” Conventional wisdom – or what passes for it in Surrey these days – calls for new measures to battle the gangs shooting up Surrey streets over drug turf.
Mayor Hepner wants “more laws” – claiming they’re needed to scare bad people into doing good.
Said Hepner: “Devil be damned, there needs to be a consequence to firing a gun in a city. It is my intent to push hard for a stiffer sentence and I want to see them behind bars and to stay there.”
The Criminal Code already has stiff penalties for shooting a handgun anywhere but on an approved shooting range – just as there are already stiff penalties for murder, attempted murder and other violent crimes. The gang members currently shooting up the streets of Surrey are seemingly not deterred by the existing penalties under the Criminal Code of Canada.
What rational person believes these gangsters, who currently ignore all our laws against murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of guns and illicit drug dealing, will suddenly see one more law and be shocked into fearful compliance?
A rational person doesn’t.
Believing in magical solutions is at the heart of the go-to techniques when it comes to stopping violence with guns. Politically, it sells. Wave a wand and crime goes away.
And make no mistake, the very gun amnesty program proposed by Surrey’s Member of Parliament – already underway by the Surrey RCMP – is the icon of failed “gun control.”
It seems most people recognize the futility of such airy-fairy schemes. Taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens cannot and will not affect the drug trade’s ongoing battle for Surrey streets.
A News 1130 poll asked the question “Do you think a gun amnesty program would work?” Over 60 percent of respondents said no.
Despite the congratulatory political spin the local constabulary will attempt to define it with, Surrey’s gun amnesty will fail for the same reasons these amnesties always fail. Parents will not turn in their gun-toting children, and career criminals will not give up good guns for no reason.
Only law-abiding citizens appear to do that.
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