Opinion

Oh, Canada

|
Posted: May 08, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Oh, Canada

Source: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

For our neighbors to the North, firearm ownership is in peril.

After last month’s horrific mass shooting in Nova Scotia left 22 people dead, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair announced the prohibition of 1,500 so-called “assault weapons.” 

In a formal address to the nation on May 1st, Trudeau said: “We are banning 1,500 models and variants of these firearms by way of regulations.” 

He added, “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.”

Not Letting a Crisis Go to Waste

Pushing aggressive gun control positions is par for the course for progressive politicians like Trudeau—who took a page from the Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) playbook. Get caught wearing blackface or brownface? Go full steam ahead with pushing and imposing ineffective, dangerous gun control policies onto your constituents.

This move falls perfectly in line with the Liberal Party of Canada’s platform, which calls for stricter gun control measures. Their website explicitly states these policies—measures in the form of AR-15 bans, handgun bans and a buyback program for “all military-style assault rifles legally purchased in Canada”—are top priorities.

The official government newspaper, Canada Gazette, published new restrictions in “Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons” banning most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Under the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement Issues section it also reads, “The Regulations also prescribe the upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms to be prohibited devices.”

The government inaccurately implied these commonly-owned firearms and corresponding components possess an “inherent deadliness” that makes them “unsuitable for civilian use.” 

While perusing the list of newly-prohibited firearms, readers will notice items that aren’t fully automatic in nature. For example, a newly-prohibited “assault weapon” includes an airsoft gun like the Blackwater BW 15 (z.118).

Popular American coffee company Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) picked up on the mention of Black Rifle Company (z. 117) and tweeted, “Say it ain't so @JustinTrudeau did you really ban our Fresh Roasted Freedom in Canada eh?” However, a quick Google Search on ‘Black Rifle Company’ comes up empty except for this Black Rifle BRC 5.56

Not surprising to see gun controllers in Canada’s government creating undue confusion for gun owners across North America.

Canadians Peeved By New Restrictions

Many Canadians, including Trudeau allies, are wary of these new restrictions. 

Unlike the U.S., Canada doesn’t award constitutional protections for firearms ownership. To purchase guns, law-abiding citizens must obtain a license. 

Firearms are divided into two categories: ”restricted” and “non-restricted.” The former include handguns and AR-15s, while the latter generally include hunting rifles and shotguns. Many newly-prohibited firearms were previously listed as “non-restricted” firearms.

Canada’s four leading firearms associations banded together to express their dismay with government officials and their confiscatory agenda.

One organization, Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR), called for Minister Blair’s resignation citing political motivations behind the inclusion of commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles as “restricted firearms.”

“During the briefing the government could not answer simple questions about the methods used for selection, why bolt action firearms were included on the list, why some shotguns are caught in the bore diameter restrictions, why some rimfire firearms are listed contrary to the selection criteria, and on and on,” said Tracey Wilson, vice president of public relations. “This entire regulation bears the mark of an irrational process done in haste, and it divides Canadians.”

Andrew Lawton, a Truth North fellow and Toronto-based conservative radio host, said new regulations won’t mitigate future mass shootings and, instead, criminalize Canada’s two million law-abiding firearms license holders. 

“Most anti-gun Canadians look at the U.S. and say "We're not like that" because Canada doesn't have the same issues with mass shootings,” Lawton said. “However, it's interesting that now anti-gun Canadians are terrified that guns are so readily available in Canada, even though they aren't. Legal gun access is very limited in Canada.”

Lawton added, “When you have a licensing system that decides who is worthy of safely and legally owning firearms, it's pointless to swoop in and start talking about which models of firearms they're allowed to have and which they aren't.” 

An operations director at a Canadian outdoor sports and media company, who wished to remain nameless, said his fellow Canucks generally favor gun control policies but noted these measures could undermine the country’s “long tradition of firearm hunting.”

“Unfortunately the recent ban is not likely to have an impact on gun violence, as the vast majority of gun crimes are committed by unlicensed owners who are already committing a crime by having a firearm they are not licensed and safety trained to use,” he said. 

Many of these new restrictions, he added, are duplicitous since Canada banned actual assault weapons in 1977.

“True "assault" weapons (automatic) were banned in 1977 under Bill C-51,” he said. “The ban that was enacted last week seems to cover most firearms that appear to be military in style - but not in function. The term "assault" rifle has been used in a misleading way.”

Americans Should Be Grateful for the Second Amendment

This development is cause for concern.

Without our cherished Second Amendment safeguards, this country could transform into Canada if Democrats and their gun control backers got their way in November. That would be a travesty. 

Thankfully Americans are dismissing misinformation about firearms. First-time gun buyers are contributing to historic gun sale numbers. Why? They want to protect themselves and their families. This should be celebrated.

Let’s hope our Canadian friends can successfully fight these obtuse policies. But for those desiring to escape for freer pastures, come here. We’ll welcome you with open arms.