COMMENTARY: Despite a correction, Canada’s gun control debate is still tainted by bad information

EXCERPT #1: Policing and reporting are both supposed to be about the truth. The police and the CP had combined to put out inaccurate information, and that inaccurate information was driving public debate. At minimum, a correction, or some comparable acknowledgement, was absolutely required. Canadians have spent four months having a debate, including public consultations, based in part on bad information. Information that was known to be bad months ago, but that went uncorrected until two days after Christmas, when news readership is typically way, way below usual levels.

EXCERPT #2: But there is simply no evidence that there is a worsening problem among lawful Canadian handgun owners, the people targeted by the proposed ban — in effect, held up as partially responsible for tragic deaths and senseless crimes. The Toronto police numbers don’t show it. Nationally, the Public Safety Ministry has conceded that it has no data to support claims by Minister Ralph Goodale that domestic owners now provide the majority of crime guns. That entire narrative, embraced wholeheartedly by the mayor and somewhat more cautiously by federal Liberals, is based on bad information that should not have been reported. To call all this disappointing would be an understatement. In an era when news organizations all over the world are being accused of peddling fake news, and when every police force recognizes the challenge of retaining public trust, this is absolutely appalling.

By Matt Gurney, Radio Host 640 Toronto, Global News January 5, 2019



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