Here in the US, we spend a lot of time worrying about a new assault weapon ban. Even though the definition of an assault rifle applies to guns that almost none of us have, we know what definitions they’ll actually use and a lot of us will have to deal with the aftermath.
Up in Canada, though, they already did it. Now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is lashing out at his opposition’s promise to repeal the ban.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says Conservative rival Erin O’Toole is pandering to the gun lobby with his promise to repeal a ban on what the government has long characterized as assault-style firearms.
The Tories quickly accused Trudeau of distorting the debate by repeatedly referring to the guns as “assault weapons” during a campaign stop Wednesday.
In Vancouver, Trudeau said it is inconceivable, at a time when Canadians are worried about gun violence, that the Conservatives would pledge to reverse the federal measure.
“You can’t be anywhere in the Lower Mainland or indeed, across the country, without hearing people concerned about community safety,” Trudeau said. “And that is why we are committed to continuing to strengthen gun control when the Conservatives are committed to weakening gun control.”
In May last year, the Liberals banned some 1,500 firearm models, including the popular AR-15 rifle and the Ruger Mini-14 used to kill 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole polytechnique in 1989. It means they cannot be legally used, sold or imported.
Except, the Ecole Polytechnique shooting in 1989 wasn’t the event that ultimately triggered this, no pun intended. Instead, it was the mass shooting in Nova Scotia in April 2020.
So what was that left out? Easy. The killer in that attack used weapons smuggled into the country illegally. The only domestically sourced firearm he had was a stolen gun. In other words, he hit every single checkmark you could name about why gun control doesn’t work.
Yet despite that, Trudeau acted to ban the weapons, despite the fact that they’re actually not used in crime particularly often. That’s as true in Canada as it is in the United States. While they might be around criminals, they’re not the first choice for most criminals and never will be. They’re too big and bulky, even the pistol models.
Basically, Trudeau pushed through an assault weapon ban so he could punish people who weren’t going to vote for him because of the actions of someone who didn’t buy their guns lawfully in the first place.
So why shouldn’t the Tories repeal the ban? They don’t have any reason to punish gun owners for the actions of a criminal.
And that’s really all any assault weapon ban actually is. It’s an attempt to punish gun owners for the illegal actions of others. I’m sure no one on that side of the discussion would agree with that characterization, but that doesn’t change the fact that it all really does boil down to that.
Here’s hoping the Tories win and Trudeau is out. The people of Canada deserve better from their government.