Right in the centre - Let's save some and lives


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

I was talking to a couple of business people and we were chatting about ways we could save money, time and effort, especially in terms of policing and bureaucracy costs. The topic of the day was gun ownership. The federal government has been throwing money down the sewer pipe for decades now pretending that Canada needs gun control. We don’t need gun control, we need criminal control.

Our discussion concluded there should be no law against gun ownership. If somebody wants to own a hundred guns, it’s nobody’s business. It should not be illegal. Nor should possession of any kind of gun be illegal. What needs to be illegal and is illegal is using guns or anything else to cause harm to people. 

It is argued by some folks that if we limit the ownership of guns, we will keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Gun control has been an issue with various levels of stupid regulations for decades. Trouble is, it hasn’t worked.

Another area where we are wasting a lot of policing and law and order money and efforts is in chasing the sex trade. Make no mistake that I despise the sex trade and all that it stands for. However, centuries of laws and pressure hasn’t even made a dent in the activity. Perhaps sex for hire shouldn’t be illegal but rather enforce abuse laws, human trafficking and associated evils that tend to attach themselves to the sex trade.

And while looking at the issue of sexual abuse, it drives me crazy when I see an ad or notice in the papers saying that a man is being released from jail and will be residing  in such-and-such area with a public warning that women should be on alert that the creep is likely to re-offend. The guy’s last offence may have been rape, beating or even murder. We are absolutely insane to actually put up with this crap. If a person has committed these kinds of offences and is deemed likely to re-offend, then they should never, ever be let out of jail. The jail doesn’t have to be a nasty, dirty place. It can be clean and even bright with decent food and single jail cells for each person. But it should be a jail for these kinds of high-risk offenders. They should not have freedom, ever. We are very dumb if we continue this catch-and-release process.

Then I got to thinking about how much time and trouble our police have to spend chasing down drug dealers. Maybe a wide range of drugs should be legalized and available for sale at licensed drug centres. Maybe it’s time for safe injection sites. Keep selling and using drugs off the streets and out of public places. I don’t pretend to know the answers on the drug issue, but I do know what we’re doing isn’t working that well and it’s costing a lot of money in policing costs. The cost in lives and grief to individuals, families and communities is immeasurable.

A report that came out May 8 in the Winnipeg Free Press showed the devastation that comes from drug overdoses in Manitoba. “Of those who died, the office said 36 were male and 20 were female. By age, 10 people were in their 20s, 21 were in their 30s and 13 were in their 40s.

Eight people were in their 50s, and four were 60 or older. No deaths were registered in the 0-19 age range. According to preliminary data, there were 445 drug-related deaths in 2023, down from 467 in 2022, but up from 432 in 2021.”

The drug deaths apparently are not among the young people which is comforting I guess. But isn’t it sad that people with at least some adult life experience succumb to this plague? It seems so sad. Somewhere, somehow, there has to be an answer that will yield better results for Manitoba.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in thiscolumn are the writer’s personal views andare not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.