Join Date: Jun 2003
Even to trained weapons experts, the military assault rifle in Const. John Price's hands looks like the genuine article. (not very well trained... the colour sceme is way off)
More than a metre long, with automatic or semi-automatic firing action, metal stock, (huh?) a flared metal barrel and the drop-down ammunition clip,(ummm thats a magazine) it's a menacing weapon that wouldn't look out of place on the battlefields of Iraq. (I thought they were using CA Aeg's in Iraq)
But the M-7 (the what now?) didn't come from any military base. It's a replica BB gun (it's a replica M16 that happens to be a bb gun not a replica bb gun) that Saanich police seized two weeks ago from an abandoned jeep on the grounds of Lambrick Park secondary school.
It's also an extreme example of the growing problem of replica weapons faced by police across Canada. (wouldn't an "extreme" example be a TOP m60 or a Vulcan?)
It defies logic why anybody would want this sort of thing," (except for those of us who enjoy military simulation, or recreational target shooting or collecting life like display pieces) Price said. Imitation weapons so life-like and so real don't make any sense in today's world." (see above)
Price said the seized assault rifle was stamped M-16, but had been modified to emulate the C-7, a Canadian version of the M-16 used by peacekeepers in Afghanistan and other war-torn locales.
Manufacturers are going on this whole marketing kick of ERT-type police weapons for the whole sex appeal of the weapons," (I know I rub one off every time I see Collin Farrel yeild an m4) Price said. They sell more of them that way."
In the last year, Capital Region police departments have seized dozens of replica weapons, clear plastic BB guns, air rifles, uzi-style assault rifles (and m60 "submachine" guns I suppose) and, perhaps the most dangerous from a policing perspective, deadly accurate (must be adjustable hopup) reproductions of brand name hand guns.
But police aren't worried about being hurt by replica weapons. (they're invincible) They're worried they'll hurt someone who's carrying them. More specifically, they're adamant that it's only a matter of time before someone who waves a phony firearm at a police officer is fatally shot. (been there done that)
The dangers were clearly illustrated in a May 15 incident in which Saanich police officers followed up on a report of two males in possession of a firearm in Strawberry Knoll Park.
One of the two suspects emerged from a wooded area holding what appeared to be a handgun, when he turned and faced the two police officers.
He initially ignored police commands to drop the weapon, placing himself in an extremely dangerous confrontation with police," Saanich police said at the time.
The suspect eventually dropped the gun and both men were arrested.
Police recovered two replica weapons - pellet gun that looked exactly like a Walther P99 semi-automatic pistol and a Beretta Model 92 semi-automatic pistol concealed in the pants of the second suspect. (bought only moments ago from Crappy Tire)
Such confrontations force police officers to make life-or-death decisions in a split second. If they make the right decision, both parties live to tell the tale. If they make the wrong decision, either the officer or the suspect stands a good chance of being shot dead.(unless it's an airsoft gun in which only the suspect is at risk of dying)
Though most replica weapon calls end with no more than minor criminal charges, frayed nerves and a sigh of relief, the number of fatal shootings of suspects armed with replica weapons in Canada continues to climb.
The following are some examples:
In February, 2003, police gunned down Jorge Giraldo, a taxi driver in Gatineau, Quebec, after he and a fellow stole a grabage bag full of cigarettes from a depanneur. (no Quebec Erotique?) Police caught up with the two less than 100 metres from the store. His accomplice surrendered but Giraldo faced police brandishing what police had to assume was a real firearm. After a 20-minute standoff, he pointed the gun directly at a police officer and was killed with a single blast from a 12-guage shotgun.
In 2002, suspected car thief Thomas Evon Stevenson was fatally shot by Vancouver police after he ignored a police command to put his hands in the air and reached into grabbed the handle of what turned out to be a replica hand gun.
In 1999, a distraught father of four was fatally shot by police during a tense New Year's Eve standoff in the emergency ward at a Toronto hospital. Upset that he couldn't get immediate treatment for his infant son's head cold, the man used a partially concealed pellet gun to take an ER doctor hostage and was gunned down by police sharpshooter minutes later.
Fatal shootings, especially of suspects who turn out to be armed with fake weapons, are among the most traumatic incidents police officers can experience, Price said.
There's huge pressure on the member and the member's family when an incident like that happens."
According to Canadian consumer laws, replicas are not dangerous enough to warrant special safety measures, (umm yes they are... see Canadian Firearms Act under "Air Guns - Section 3) but try telling that to the family of a five-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a pellet during a drive-by shooting outside the 2003 Molson Indy race in Toronto.
The child was hit in the eye by a lead pellet fired from a passing vehicle. The pellet lodged deep in his brain and doctors determined that surgery to remove the pellet was too risky.
In the wake of the drive-by shooting, Canada Safety Council president Emile Therien (read - Liberal asshat) issued a statement calling for stricter regulations around replica firearms.
It is hard to understand why no laws address fake guns, (except the Firearms Act) when even plush toys are regulated under the federal Hazardous Products Act," Therien wrote. Lawn darts are banned. Air guns have wreaked more havoc and injury than many products regulated under that federal act."
In an interview, Therien said any weapons that fire projectiles at a veolcity less than 500 feet per second are considered toys under Canadian legislation. Anything over that velocity is considered a firearm.
As a result, replica BB guns and pellet pistols are readily available from local retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Harreson's Military Store and Outdoor supply.
All three stores told the Weekend Edition they won't sell to anyone under the age of 19. Fancier and more expensive models are available on a plethora of Internet websites dedicated to replica firearms. (you don't say!)
Among the limited selection carried at Harreson's is a top-of-the-line replica Beretta that costs $485 and has a velocity just below the limit for toy guns.
The difference between 499 feet per second and 500 feet per second is a rather academic issue at that velocity," Therien said. ( 1 foot per second.)
Health Canada officials, responding to inquiries from the Canada Safety Council, stated that the Hazardous Products Act was never intended to ban products capable of inflicting harm on humans.
The act is merely intended to mitigate unexpected hazards that are caused by defects or poor design of a product," Health Canada said in a letter to Therien.
But the lack of regulation is a sore point with police, who point out that phony guns aren't subject to any of the strict rules that apply to real firearms. (except almost all of them)
With the real thing, there's legislation that cover the locking and storage of guns, with replicas that doesn't apply," (it does in our neck of the woods) Price said.
The owner of Harreson's Military Store, Harreson Garner, argued that the replica weapon issue is being blown out of proportion."
Most of the people we sell it to use it in the backyards for target practice," he said, conceding that there's a small minority who misuse pellet pistols.
You always get a few idiots. (and neo nazi's i.e Eskihomo - remember him?) It doesn't matter what you do."
Harreson said police have never spoken to him about limiting the sales of replica weapons from his store.
Ken Reynhoudt, owner of the Admirals Road Canadian Tire outlet, hasn't had any discussions with police either. But Reynhoudt said he'd consider pulling the guns from his shelves if that request was made.
If it gets any worse, we'd look at the point of not even carrying them," he said, adding that the overall sales form a small part of the store's business. I don't think we'd miss it." (because we're a multi billion dollar company)
Replica weapons are also an ongoing problem in the United States and England.
Last month the British House of Parliament introduced a violent crime reduction bill calling for a ban on the manufacture, import and sale of most kinds of replica guns. (poor bastards god bless their souls)
The bill proposes an increase in the age limit for buying knives from 16 to 18, and search powers for head teachers who suspect they are being carried.
In many U.S. states, replica weapons are required by law to have bright orange painted tips to help police tell the fakes from the real thing.
But criminals have started using that policy to their own advantage, painting orange tips on real firearms to fake out police. (what a bang up idea Mtv's PIMP MY GAT)
It's unclear whether the idea of regulating replica firearms is on the radar of provincial officials. Calls to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General inquiring about plans for new legislation were referred to Attorney General spokesman Stan Lowe, who dutifully recited the existing provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada.
When considering charges against people accused of using replica weapons in crimes, Crown prosecutors consider a variety of threat levels. A suspect who shoots a fake gun may be face a stiffer penalty than someone who brandishes a fake gun or merely infers that he is carrying a gun.
Charges of assault with a weapon can be laid when people are hit with BBs or pellets, but those cases tend to be treated with less severity than cases involving real weapons.
When you shoot a real gun, it attracts a ton more offences under the criminal code," Lowe said. (I'd fucking hope so.)
Price any movement toward tighter controls on replica guns will have to start at the grassroots level. I think it comes from the community," he said. It has to be a community push. It's not going to put a store out of business not to carry them," Price said. (except for the 16 Canadian retailers located top left)
Revised a bit.
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Curiously enough, if you take the sine of 666°, you get 0.80901699, which is one half of negative phi, or perhaps what one might call the "anti-phi" / It is opposite of balance and harmony ergo: chaos and disharmony.