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As is the case after every mass murder, the recent multiple killings allegedly committed by the son of a Hollywood director has renewed the debate on the availability of firearms in the United States. Relatives of the victims, one of whom was Canadian, are questioning once again why the perpetrator, who was obviously emotionally and mentally disturbed, was able to acquire the murder weapon legally. Opponents of gun control favour harsh criminal laws to deter firearm crimes rather than restricting the availability of guns. In Canada the mandatory minimum sentences for certain firearms offences are currently under review in the Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see whether the court upholds the utility of harsh sentences as a way of deterring gun crime.

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