Canada backs off ''Blame America'' campaign over increasing gun crimes

Canada's Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Canadian officials are distancing themselves from earlier attempts by the Mayor of Toronto to blame America for a recent gang-related gun crime wave in that city.

From the story:

    Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan says there's no evidence of an increase
    in gun smuggling into Canada, and that it is too simplistic to blame Toronto's
    recent spate of gun deaths on the illegal trade.

    McLellan said governments and communities must take a more "holistic approach
    " to dealing with gun violence, working together to tackle the root causes of
    the activity.

    "First of all, we have no evidence there are more guns being smuggled into
    the country now than ever before," she told reporters yesterday.

    "Sometimes, people easily blame the United States for a smuggling of guns.
    That, too, is a simplistic response."

The newspaper reports that Prime Minister Paul Martin said he is worried about the rash of fatal shootings in Toronto (16 since July 1 and 31 for the year so far), and another official said that "tougher gun controls are not the answer".

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

    "I'm, indeed, very concerned about the whole question of gun violence, as I
    am about the question of gun smuggling," he told reporters. "The government is
    doing everything within its power to both halt smuggling and deal with the

    Sarnia, Ont., MP Roger Galloway said he didn't want to risk reigniting voter
    anger over the $2-billion gun registry. He also said tougher sentences and
    tougher gun controls are not the answer.

    McLellan suggested the U.S. gets a bad wrap on the gun issue.

    "Regardless of what their domestic gun laws are state by state," she said,
    "they have taken for years a very, very tough line, one of the toughest in the
    world in relation to guns being smuggled into their country or out of their

McLellan told the newspaper that Canada and the U.S. are working together to combat gun
violence, and that Canada would be adding 270 Canada Border Services Agency
agents to the frontlines over the next five years.

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