News Up North

by Jonah Goldberg

I don’t want to encroach on Steyn’s beat, but apparently this story about a man attacking raccoons invading his garden made the front page of the Toronto Star the other day, suggesting that maybe things really are better up North if this is what counts as front page news. The man, who was trying to protect his garden, took a shovel to some raccoons, specifically a baby forest bandit. The critter was injured, but don’t worry it’s getting the finest health care Canada can afford. Of course, I’m a sucker for animals so I wouldn’t do this. But I also wouldn’t press criminal charges against a raccoon-killer either. I understand the animal cruelty charge against Dong Nguyen, even if I think it’s silly. But the Canadian authorities are also charging him with “possessing a dangerous weapon.” A shovel. A garden shovel. Apparently that counts as a dangerous weapon.

Here’s something to think about. If Mr. Nguyen had a gun, he could kill raccoons far less cruelly than employing multiple swats with a shovel. But no. Instead, he uses a shovel and that is now a dangerous weapon. If we criminalize shovels, only criminals will have them.

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