Guns, Guns, Guns
“I consider any gun that can chamber a round and send a projectile down its barrel at a high rate of speed into my body - causing me injury or death - to be an assault weapon.” - Henry Rollins
There are a lot of good reasons why we need gun control laws in Canada and none of them include “it’s an effective method in the fight against crime.”
There are also a lot of good reasons why some guns should not be banned in Canada and none of them include "for the protection of my country." These are just emotional knee-jerk reactions used on both sides in an attempt to justify one's position.
We need to be able to rely on our government officials to have the common sense to separate the wheat from the chaff and make realistic, unemotional decisions as to what lengths they should go to ensure the safety of Canadians while protecting the rights of responsible gun owners.
It appears that we can’t.
The first thing you should know about me up front is that I am not a gun owner. I have no desire to own a gun nor would I have any real use for a gun.
I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about guns. I don’t know what different kinds of guns are available, I don’t know the names of all the parts of the guns and I don’t even know how to properly use a gun. All I know about guns is they can kill just about any living, breathing thing, man or animal.
I also know that guns are an essential tool for hunters and farmers and I am confident that they (the hunters and farmers) are not, generally speaking, a great threat to the safety of the public.
What we need are basic, reasonable gun laws in place (which we already have) to prevent guns from being misused as a threat to the public.
As intelligent, unemotional human beings, let’s first take a look at the gun laws that we already had in place prior to 2020.
All handguns have been subject to registration since 1934
Fully automatic firearms (military grade/assault-style weapons) have been prohibited since 1977
A Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) has been required to purchase any firearm since 1977
Training through an accredited course has been mandatory as a prerequisite to obtain an FAC since 1991.
Short-barreled handguns have been prohibited since 1991
All firearms have been categorized as non-restricted, restricted and prohibited
None of this has changed. Trudeau’s recent Order-In-Council, has merely reclassified many “non-restricted” and “restricted” firearms as “prohibited” firearms.
There are two separate issues here; the first being the reclassification of firearms.
The second issue has to do with Trudeau’s use of an “Order-In-Council” to change the classification of these rifles.
RECLASSIFICATION OF FIREARMS
To begin with, we should all know that in reality, only 11 types of firearms have been reclassified as “prohibited”. Where does the 1,500 number come from? These 11 types of firearms are manufactured by different companies with different features which make up a total of 1,500 variants of the 11 types of firearms.
The emotional impact of using 1,500 as the number of guns being banned instead of 11 is interesting in that it supports BOTH sides emotionally.
Gun advocates will cry, “Foul! They’re taking away 1,500 of our guns,” while anti-gun activists can boast, “Victory! We’ve banned 1,500 guns”.
In both cases using the number 1,500 over 11 sounds so much more dramatic.
Trudeau and anti-gun advocates are notorious for using such ominous descriptions such as “military grade” and “assault style” weapons, neither of which have a legal definition in Canadian law and are being used to work on the emotions of the general public. Who wouldn’t want a ban on such weapons? NOBODY needs them.
The real problem is accurately defining and categorizing these firearms.
Yes, there are some gun advocates that will try to legitimize, as hunting tools, some firearms that really go way beyond that scope.
At the same time there are anti-gun advocates that would prefer to criminalize anything that “fires a projectile” whose broad scope might include pellet guns, sling shots and pea-shooters with little regard to basic human rights or even common sense.
It’s the middle ground whose expertise we require to arrive at a realistic and unemotional compromise to decide which weapons are correctly labelled into their proper classification.
This cannot be done with an Order-In-Council and requires the passing of a bill to be debated and voted on in Parliament.
|Sports Rifle or Assault Rifle?|
To begin with, AR does NOT stand for "Assault Rifle" as so many assume. It was designed in 1956 by ArmaLite for military use with the capability of fully automatic fire. (Interestingly the AR-15 was invented over 25 years before the phrase “Assault Rifle” even existed in our lexicon.)
“Ah-ha!” cry the anti-gun advocates. “The AR-15 IS a military grade / assault style rifle.”
But there’s more to the story. In 1964, Colt, who had purchased the trademark rights to the AR-15 a few years earlier, began selling its own version with an improved semi-automatic design.
This might be a good time to clarify just what a “semi-automatic” firearm is for readers that, like me, have very little gun knowledge. While a “semi-automatic” firearm will load the next cartridge into the chamber of the firearm, once a shot has been fired, it requires the shooter to manually pull the trigger again to fire the next shot.
One cannot simply hold the trigger to keep firing the firearm as can be done with the prohibited “fully automatic” firearm.
Aside from the fact that a BB gun is legally defined as an “imitation firearm” in Canada, many could still be technically defined as a “semi-automatic” firearm.
For the record, many "semi-automatic" firearms are legal for use for hunting in Canada.
Whether a “semi-automatic” firearm such as the AR-15 is dressed to LOOK like a sporting rifle or a “military grade / assault style rifle”, it remains the exact same weapon.
It’s kind of like using a clothes-pin to attach a bubble-gum card to your bicycle. The flapping of the bubble-gum card against the spokes makes it sound like a motorcycle (at least in the imaginations of young boys) but it doesn’t suddenly mean that the owner now needs a motorcycle licence to drive it, because the bicycle is still just a bicycle.
So how should the AR-15 be classified? Don’t ask me. I already told you I don’t know much about guns.
Is there a legitimate need for hunting with an AR-15? You would have to (and should) ask a hunter that question.
Is there a potential for misuse of an AR-15? You bet there is. But we all knew the answer to that already.
Yes, there is a potential for the misuse of an AR-15. There is a potential for the misuse of EVERY gun and almost EVERY object man has ever invented. Prescription Drugs, automobiles, knives, scissors, hell even Tide PODS can all be misused to the detriment of the general public but they don’t get banned solely on that criteria.
|You'll put your eye out!|
For decades, Mothers have been warning of the dangers of “putting your eye out” with the infamous Red Ryder BB Gun. And yes - even that HAS happened.
It is not my intention to make light of this serious subject, but sometimes it is simpler to use humour to put things into perspective.
The real question is, has history in Canada demonstrated the misuse of the AR-15 as a potential threat to the public AND is banning them likely to prevent any future possible misuse?
Questions like these need to be debated and decided upon for every one of the 1,500 variants of all 11 types of firearms that Trudeau has recently banned with just the sweep of his hand, allowing no discussion or vote as mandated by a democratic country such as ours.
Trudeau has even contradicted himself on some of the firearms he has recently banned when he was quoted as saying "These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."
Trudeau then went on to acknowledge that “most firearms owners are law-abiding citizens. Hunters don't need this sort of firepower.”
His Order-In-Council however, suggests otherwise.
“Recognizing that some Indigenous and sustenance hunters could be using previously non-restricted firearms for their hunting and may be unable to replace these firearms immediately, the Amnesty Order includes provisions for the limited use of these firearms for such purposes.”
So which is it, Mr. Trudeau? Is there or is there NOT a use and place “for such weapons in Canada?”
And if there is a use and place “for such weapons in Canada” as your Order-In-Council clearly indicates, who better to possess these weapons than the “law-abiding citizens” of Canada whose integrity you have already acknowledged?
The passing of Trudea’s Order-In-Council will not directly affect me one way or the other. It DOES however affect each and every one of us whether we are gun owners or not.
It DOES affect each and every one of us whether we are anti or pro gun advocates or not.
And this brings us to Trudeau’s recent use of the “Order-In-Council” to ban the 1,500 variants of 11 firearms.
The “Order-In-Council” in Canada is similar to an “Executive Order” used by Trump in the U.S.
And just as President Trump has abused his authority in the U.S. with his excessive use of Executive Orders, so too has Prime Minister Trudeau abused his authority in Canada with his misuse of the “Order-In-Council”.
Traditionally, an “Order-In-Council” is used to make political appointments, but it can also be used in times of emergency to bypass parliamentary procedure.
The “emergency” here of course was Covid-19. One must ask themselves “what will banning guns do to help battle Covid-19?”
Who can realistically deny that the banning of these guns was a political move to garner the support of the often uninformed public based solely on raw emotions following the April shooting in Nova Scotia?
Is this how you want your laws made in Canada? On emotions?
If Trudeau can make such drastic changes to our laws with no parliamentary debate and the consensus of parliament - what other changes can he make? More importantly, what are the ramifications for future Prime Ministers? Does this open the door that will lead to the demise of the democratic process in Canada?
THAT scares me the most.
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