Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Robbery, armed robbery, and the gun registry

There's been some discussion over at BCL about the Firearms Registry and its effectiveness. Just to add some hard data to the debate, there's this statscan chart. (I've marked the date of the Firearms Act.)


For discussion, try at BCL.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heritage Front redux

The last few days has seen some discussion about the now-defunct Heritage Front, its associates, and its character.

It started with the latest instalment in a series about Marc Lemire by the ARC Collective (the earlier installments are: part 1, part 2, and part 3). The smoking-gun, as Dawg has called it, is a transcript of a relay chat that took place in Sept. 2001 between James Scott Richardson (who had the handle WPCANADA, presumably for "White Power Canada") and Lemire (who has chosen the handle "FdaJEWS" for "F*** the Jews").

Freedominion, too, has chipped in. Connie dismisses this all out of hand (here):
but recycling the same old lies doesn't get you any closer to proving Lemire somehow wrested control of the Heritage Front from CSIS when he was barely out of his teens.
This is a little confused. CSIS control of Heritage Front? Apparently the reference is to the CSIS infiltration of Heritage Front by Grant Bristow. Bristow, however, was exposed and went into hiding in 1994, seven years before the exchange in question. But by then Lemire could hardly be described, as Connie puts it, as "barely out of his teens". According to this Lemire was born in 1975, which will have placed him in his mid-twenties in Sept. 2001 when he called himself "FdaJEWS".

Nor was this the end of Lemire's association with Heritage Front. In June, 2002, Heritage Front's magazine, Upfront (archived here), profiled the activities of its Hamilton chapter, which had distributed 6000 copies of an anti-immigrant pamphlet. The profile included the following picture of Lemire holding the pamphlet in front of Hamilton's Henderson hospital. (Just in case you can't make out that logo see the blow-up on the right -- yes, this is Heritage Front literature.)



Here we have what Connie wants to deny: a fully-adult Lemire presenting himself as the face of a post-Bristow Heritage Front.

Nor is it hard to find other examples of this from these years. In May 2001, for example, Marc Lemire wrote an open-letter to the German-Canadian Congress in support of Helmut Oberlander. His letter was also published at the Heritage Front website (archived here) as a "Letter from the Heritage Front". Again, a fully-adult Lemire presents himself as speaking for Heritage Front.

Was he the leader of the HF? That's less clear, though some within the movement clearly thought so. But regardless of that it is clear that he belonged to the HF and was involved in its leadership.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My guess?

My guess?

Fingerprints on the baggy.

(It's as good as any, isn't it?)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Rahim Jaffer Conservative error

As Big City has pointed out, Rahim Jaffer's webpage has been up and down a lot. The problem now, apparently, is removing that pesky Conservative logo. Next step? Take the whole thing down. Or maybe not (screen-shot as of 5 minutes ago):


On charting priestly child abuse

Apologies to for my slow blogging, but I've been travelling. Now that I'm back home from out east, I want to expand on a point that made in the comments at John Pacheco's place.

The point at discussion was the interpretation of a graph found in study of the scope of priestly abuse commissioned by the United States Conference of Bishops in 2002. The study itself was undertaken by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Here is the graph:

Pacheco's point is that the scandal is "is long past" and he is sharply critical of those who "drudge up decades-old garbage which has largely been dealt with".

The idea that these details are decades old should probably not go unchallenged. Below is the graph from chapter 5.2 of the same study as to when these allegations were made by year:
As you can see, the vast majority of the allegations themselves were made just a year or two before the study. Presumably these are adults coming forward to share details of the abuse that happened decades ago, as is in any case implied by this chart of the year of the start of abuse for the single year 2002, when there appears to be something of a spike:

And this one, which reports time between the incident and the report:


This last one especially should give pause for those who think that this problem is completely behind us. To judge from this, 10% of allegations of abuse are reported right away and another 10% within a decade of the abuse. Most allegations, however, wait until the victim decides to come forward in what seems to be their 30s and 40s and 50s.

This may mean that huge bump in the middle of the graph is largely a function of the age of the abusees (on average 12, according to this study) and the delay in reporting. The 12 year-olds being abused in 1982 (which seems to be the peak) are now 40. As subsequent cohorts mature, the shape of this graph will resolve. But we really won't know whether the number of 12-years abused this year is less than those abused twenty years ago for another few decades.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Keeping those numbers in perspective

Lifesite News (and one of the usual suspects) want us to keep the numbers of allegations of priestly abuse in perspective:
In the last several weeks such a quantity of ink has been spilled in newspapers across the globe about the priestly sex abuse scandals, that a casual reader might be forgiven for thinking that Catholic priests are the worst and most common perpetrators of child sex abuse.

But according to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."
100 times more abuse by teachers than priests? Worth remembering.

But keeping things in perspective may not in fact help their argument much. There are 6.8 million teachers in the US (see here), which is about 164 times the number of priests ( 41,406 according to wikipedia).

An under-appreciated point on the abuse of Roman Catholic priests

Michael Wolff makes an important point about the recent controversy about the Catholic Church and its handling of the recent scandals involving sexual and physical abuse committed by priests.
The issue in the Church’s almost decade-long sexual abuse scandal is less about priests and boys, and more substantially about its long, defining battle with secular authority.

That’s the message that comes through the clearest: The Church didn’t want to notify the police about the criminal activity of its priests and didn’t believe it had to. And, having enormous sway in US police departments—policing being, peculiarly, an Irish and, hence, Roman Catholic profession—and within governments in Europe, the Church was pretty much free to make that decision on its own.
As many have pointed out, the Church is not the only institution that has had to face this problem. There have been abusive Boy Scout leaders and public school teachers. But in such cases, accusations have been turned over to the police, and failure to report allegations is itself a serious enough offence that (say) a school principal would be dismissed for ignoring them. The Church seems, uniquely, to regard itself outside the law in these matters.

h/t Andrew Sullivan.