That we are a country with a vast wilderness, with lots of large predators in huge areas with no cell coverage and no ability to seek medical aid or otherwise, and we cannot carry sidearms for self protection, to then turn around and expand a full-on handgun ban to a large cross spectrum of hunting rifles and shotguns is hard to understand.
For those who may not know, Canada banned fully automatic guns in the 70s. And our semi-auto firearms are limited to five cartridges in a magazine. The federal government also banned approximately 1,500 “assault style” guns under the current government, which itself was controversial as a bunch of guns were banned because they looked a certain way but performed like grandpa’s hunting rifle. Just the other month, the Liberals froze the acquisition and trading or handguns, full on.
Now they want to extend the earlier “assault style” ban onto old school rifles and shotguns that are the back bone of hunting, and tools for self-protection in the wilderness.
Circle back to the vast wilderness with large predators and no cell coverage over large expanses of land, and tell me how that makes sense, under the guise that the Liberals say their only goal is to make the streets of Canada safer but they don’t admit that the vast majority of guns used in criminal activity in Canada are illegally imported by criminal organizations, many of which (guns) are already banned in Canada and have been for a very long time.
In other words, criminals are not going to stop importing illegal firearms, because hunters are banned from using the best tools for the task at hand, or people in the wilderness who rely on specific firearms for protection must now figure out alternate firearms, which may not be sufficient to protect them, depending on where Bill C-21 lands.
Which leads us to this interesting scenario for a political party:
On the bright side for Justin Trudeau’s gang, even now they have a constituency that will applaud every new package of gun control measures as a “step in the right direction,” even if the step is much smaller than promised or in an unanticipated or nonsensical direction. Case in point: The AR-15 rifle, favourite of mass shooters, has been top of this constituency’s gun-ban list for nearly 30 years. The Liberals were always happy to nod along with them, but it wasn’t until 2020 — immediately after the massacre in Nova Scotia — that the Liberals finally got around to banning it.
(You can see the problem, strategically: Now that they’ve banned it, they can’t raise money by promising to ban it anymore.)
The Liberals still have that constituency even now — especially in Quebec — even as Bill C-21 falls to pieces. An editorial in Tuesday’s La Presse perfectly summed up this viewpoint: Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot conceded the bill had been “poorly explained”; that defining the “assault weapons” to be banned “in the middle of the legislative process (was) frankly bizarre”; and that only “a small percentage of crimes committed with firearms are committed with legal weapons.” Nevertheless, he concluded, C-21 “sends a clear message: we want to reduce as much as possible the risk of another killing.”
It’s at odds with the Assembly of First Nations, which on Thursday passed an emergency resolution in defence of Indigenous hunting rights and opposing the Liberal gun bill.
It’s at odds with some in the NDP, the party currently supporting the Liberals in a supply-and-confidence motion. (The NDP has always had a better read on rural and north-of-60 life than the Liberals. The fate of the long-gun registry was a key point of division under Jack Layton’s leadership.)
And it’s at odds with the normally quiet majority of Canadians who think gun control is good but that hunting is a perfectly legitimate activity — i.e., the status quo, the many virtues of which the Liberals can never seem to accept on this issue. That majority is now uncommonly engaged in and informed about this issue, because the Liberals have made such a hash of it. It’s not just conservative media outlets reporting on it, and it calls very much into question the Liberals’ basic competencies as a government.
By rights, a similar reckoning awaits the Liberals on firearms. We all know the vast majority of “crime guns” come across the border — and that’s after countless pledges over the years by Conservative and Liberal governments alike to crack down on it. Demonizing Conservatives or gun control advocates won’t stop it. Only stopping it will stop it. That seems to be a very difficult task, but going after legal gun owners is no substantial substitute.