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Tipsheet

Canada Cracks Down on Handguns but Decriminalizes Cocaine, Meth, Opioids in BC

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File

As Leah reported earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the most aggressive gun control measures "in a generation," specifically capping the market for handguns with a policy that means "it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada."

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Trudeau said of the extreme policy that while he realizes "the vast majority of gun owners use them safely and in accordance with the law...other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives."

The argument from Trudeau, and the case made with his proposed policy, is that removing guns from Canadians' hands is the only way to stop gun crimes from taking place. If that were true, places with strict gun control should have lower rates of gun violence, but of course anyone with a brain knows that isn't the case — look at any major city in North America to see that strict gun control leads to more violence as law abiding citizens are disarmed against the lawless. 

Yet, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, the opposite strategy is being employed by other leftist authorities. In the year following the drug overdose deaths of more than 2,000 BC residents, the government is decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs. 

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For a three-year trial period, British Columbia received a criminal code exception from the national government that will decriminalize possession of up to 2.5 grams of cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and opioids. 

According to BBC:

While those substances will remain illegal, adults found in possession for personal use will not be arrested, charged or have their drugs seized. Instead, they will be offered information on available health and social services.

In its request to the federal government last year, BC said it asked for the drug laws exemption in order "to remove the shame that often prevents people from reaching out for life-saving help".

Federal minister of mental health and addictions Carolyn Bennett said on Tuesday that "for too many years, the ideological opposition to harm reduction has cost lives".

"We are doing this to save lives, but also to give people using drugs their dignity and choices."

So, to save lives from drug overdoses, Canada's government is allowing drug possession. Those on the social justice side of things were quick to praise British Columbia's request and the national government's decision to allow the trial program, claiming that "decriminalization is harm reduction."

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But when it comes to saving lives from gun violence, they're cracking down on legal gun ownership? 

Tragically, by limiting gun ownership among law abiding Canadians while allowing possession of drugs in British Columbia, neither plan is likely to save lives as their creators intended.

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