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John Robson

Senior writer and deputy editorial pages editor at the Ottawa Citizen. Dr. Robson holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Texas. He has his own web site at which contact information and some of his works can be found.


Click here for essays by John Robson
... a drastic gun control law in Britain in 1988 had the effect of reducing legal firearm ownership by 22.4 per cent in just five years. A crime-controllerís dream, right? Wrong. Violent crime went up 33.6 per cent in those years, robbery 80.6 per cent and, the punch line, robbery with a gun went up 117 per cent. By 1993, a resident of Britain was more likely to be a victim of violent crime than a resident of the United States, and the average Briton now has a 60-per-cent chance of being the victim of a burglary during their lifetime.

Dec. 8, 1999 - from "McLellan fires blanks in the gun-control debate", published in the Ottawa Citizen
... most of those who bring faith into politics take the politics very seriously but not the faith. The media are generally comfortable with that.

May 19, 2000 - from "We need to get God back into our politics", published in the Ottawa Citizen
With government, it's always fine at the time, and if you ask later, well, it was totally messed up then but the errors have been fixed and it's fine now.

Dec. 07, 1998 - from his column in the Ottawa Citizen
After Florida passed a law in 1987 allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns, its murder rate fell 20 per cent while the national rate rose 14 per cent (Florida went from 36 per cent above the average to four per cent below), and handgun-related homicides fell 29 per cent.

Dec. 8, 1999 - from "McLellan fires blanks in the gun-control debate", published in the Ottawa Citizen
Everyone knows politics is a dirty, venal, hypocritical business fixated on the short run. Yet Canadians have an extraordinary habit of insisting that anything important be subject to its imperatives, rather than to the allegedly short-sighted, cynical and callous dictates of the market.

Dec. 03, 1998 - from his column in the Ottawa Citizen
[Campaign finance restrictions] A ... serious myth is that whoever spends more wins. It's obviously not true: Proponents of the Charlottetown Accord outspent its adversaries by a factor of 10 to one, and lost anyway.

Apr. 4, 2000 - from "Do not interrupt the politicians", published in the Ottawa Citizen
We [don't] like having a health-care system driven by economic incentives, so we [have] replaced it with one driven by political incentives.

Dec. 03, 1998 - from his column in the Ottawa Citizen
... political direction of culture cannot be the solution when it is already the central problem.

Jun. 2000 - from "Why the African Renaissance is Failing", published in The Fraser Forum
[Campaign finance restrictions] ... as George Will notes, the $700 million spent on the 1994 Congressional elections is about half what Americans spent on yogurt in that year. Is that so much?

Apr. 4, 2000 - from "Do not interrupt the politicians", published in the Ottawa Citizen