'Is Gun Control the answer?'
In response to the shootings of the four Mounties killed in Alberta there have been heated debates for and against the federal gun registry programs. These tragic deaths by a single gunman have sparked great controversy. Finger pointing has been aimed at public policy and hypothetical what-ifs. Everything from Canada's marijuana laws to the way our nation's children are being raised is in question. Former Edmonton crown prosecutor said in response, there are only two pertinent questions, "What went wrong and is it something police could have controlled for in the future (CP wire)?" Everyone is voicing their opinions on how and why four law-enforcement officers were so ruthlessly taken down. As Canadians grieve the terrible loss of the four officers killed, we need to remember that good public policy needs to be made after careful reflection and compelling evidence.
The man responsible for the killing of the officers as well as himself has been tagged as James Michael Roszko. Roszko had a history of incidences with the law, several involving firearms (Roik Richard). Roszko was indeed a criminal; therefore he would not have had his guns registered with the federal government, signifying that no amount of checking could have made police aware that he had the guns (Mills, Bruce). Roszko's father informed the police that his son was indeed a long-time marijuana user, and where the shootings occurred was believed to be a marijuana growing operation (Oleson, Tom). This led to an immediate reaction from Justice Minister Anne Mclellan, who argued that tougher penalties for growing and trafficking need to be enforced (Oleson, Tom). The facts suggesting that Roszko illegally owned a firearm and was handling a marijuana growing operation, prompted discussion towards the justice policy in Canada regarding gun control and drug laws (Riddel, Troy).
Responding to the shootings, Minister of Public Safety and Security, Anne McLellan, came to an agreement that she and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, would determine whether the proposed law goes far enough to increase penalties for marijuana growing operations (Riddel, Troy). What it comes down to is dealing with the marijuana problem more effectively. In this regard there are two options. One option is to give more investigative and enforcement powers to police and related companies, like Hydro, in an act to make harsher sentences for people involved in running a marijuana growing operation. The second option is to simply legalize marijuana so it can be treated similarly to alcohol (Riddel, Troy). The Commissioner of the RCMP argued that the idea of decriminalizing marijuana in even small amounts should be carefully thought out. His argument was that policies like the decriminalization of marijuana put police officers in these dangerous situations (Riddel, Troy). In contrast to this some argue that if it were legalized it would open up huge amounts of money...