Canadians call for handgun ban, ignore government failures

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Canadian laws are not our laws, and when it comes to guns, in particular, that’s a damn good thing. They have no Second Amendment and many up that way are quite contented that way. As a result, though, anything and everything is on the table.

One of the latest efforts comes as friends of a murder victim call for a ban on handguns.

Close friends of a Montreal teen killed in an apparently random act of gun violence last month have banded together in an effort to push the federal government to ban handguns.

The group, called Ensemble pour Thomas, is named in memory of Thomas Trudel, a 16-year-old Montrealer who was gunned down as he walked home from a park in mid-November in the city’s St-Michel neighbourhood.

No one has been arrested in Trudel’s killing, one of at least three deaths involving teenagers this year that has prompted a push for tougher gun laws and calls for action to deal with youth violence.

Luna Vadlamudy, one of the group’s founders, told The Canadian Press Tuesday that their first order of business was to send a letter the day before to Quebec Premier Francois Legault, urging a clearer position from him on banning handguns and support for their own quest to bring about a federal ban.

Now, we all know that handgun bans don’t actually impact criminals. They’re generally not too worried about what’s allowed under the law and what isn’t. I mean, if they were, they wouldn’t be criminals.

What handguns do is provide a handy way for ordinary citizens to protect themselves from those criminals.

It seems Canadian activists really don’t want to see that happen.

But if Canadian gun laws are the answer, then why is their great savior trying to soften enforcement of those laws?

Shortly after a Wisconsin jury rendered its “not guilty” verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the phrase “as a Canadian” began trending on Twitter in Canada. The relevant tweets usually took the form of incredulous Canadians spluttering how, “as Canadians,” they could not fathom how a man caught so brazenly and recklessly wielding firearms could go unpunished.

Yet if Rittenhouse had been on trial in Canada, it’s not clear that things would have turned out very differently. Not because of the verdict — Canada does, in fact, have stricter gun laws than most U.S. states, since it does not have the Second Amendment — but because being guilty of a gun crime in Canada isn’t necessarily that big of a deal. It might soon be even less so, in fact.

Canada’s previous Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, made mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) a hallmark of his law-and-order agenda. In most cases, breaking a law with an MMP — a category that included both violent and nonviolent firearm charges — meant a prison sentence at first conviction. It was a classically conservative initiative to curb the discretionary power of judges the right had long scorned as soft on criminals (and, specifically, wary of imprisonment). But the judges struck back, and in 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a three-year MMP for possession of a loaded gun without a “licence under which the person may possess the firearm in that place” as “cruel and unusual.”

This fixation on softening firearm punishments is revealing. Mandatory minimums for other types of crime, after all, will stay on the books. The government has emphasized that MMPs will remain in place for murder, sex crimes (including against children) and treason, suggesting Trudeau’s party believes firearm-related punishments (along with drug-related ones) are the ones they’re most morally and politically justified reversing.

In other words, rather than punish those who break their laws, Canadians just seem to want more laws on the books for criminals to ignore.

Now, I happen to think the already existing gun control laws in Canada are awful, but if you’re going to have them and not enforce them, I don’t really see any reason any governmental body up that way should pass still more gun control laws.

What’s especially interesting is that mandatory minimums in Canada are acceptable for everything other than gun laws. It’s like they want these laws, but only for form’s sake.

Seriously, it’s got to be confusing for Canadian gun owners. I mean, should they comply or should they just say, “Screw it!” I honestly wouldn’t know what to tell them.

And there are people who want to bring that insanity here.

After all, let’s look at the constant push for gun control, all while turning jails into revolving doors that fail to do anything to keep the public safe. They don’t want to punish the criminals, but they’re more than willing to create all new laws that really only impact folks like you or me.

That’s where we are as a society.

While the anti-Second Amendment crowd thinks they’re some paragons of moral certainty, we know the truth. They’re generally just like their Canadian brethren, more than willing to let the criminals walk while punishing the good guys.