I opined recently about the growth of extreme right-wing radical para-military groups in the United-States. So-called "Patriots", some of whom advocate the overthrown of their Federal Government. (See: "Uncle Sam's Shameful Little Problem" - March 7/10).
As is far too frequently captured in our own national headlines: Sadly, Canadians are not immune from the ravages of a growing gun culture. The source of these weapons is most often traced right back to the United-States.
From St. Stephen, New Brunswick to Surrey, British-Columbia the dozens of land-based border crossings that dot our countryside have become an increasingly frequent source for the transfer of illegal weapons across the international border. Hand-guns and other nefarious weapons purchased from legitimate and / or shady dealers and sellers in the U.S. and transferred illegally into Canada.
Thanks to a number of well armed suburban gangs, drug traffickers and others of questionable mental stability; Canada's rank as 44th on the world's list of (per-capita) murders is on the rise...and in some of the most unlikely communities. Although Canada's rate per 100,000 of population is still a somewhat respectable 1.8 murders...the suburban community of Mission / Abbotsford, British Columbia, smack on the American border, last year posted a rate of 4.7 murders (per 100,000) and grabbed the dubious title of Canada's murder capital. Lest I digress: A mantle held since 1990 by the City of Winnipeg, which surely the Manitoba Capital was not unhappy to pass along westward.
Quick comparisons: The national average of the United-States is 7.4 murders per 100,000 people of population. The City of New Orleans averages 25 murders per 100,000 - Twice Detroit's rate of 12.5. A disgraceful testament no doubt to the ready, easy and legal availability of hand-guns and other assault weapons and their ammunition on the streets of every American community.
Obviously...thankfully; though Abbotsford B.C. still has a way to go. This is somehow not the kind of race decent communities aspire to lead nor to win. In the Abbotsford case, they would surely just sooner be recognized for their other title: Raspberry Capital of Canada.