Premium

Canadian missteps on semi-auto ban a lesson for Biden

Canadian missteps on semi-auto ban a lesson for Biden
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Canada may look an awful lot like the United States if you don’t look too deeply, but it’s not. There are profound differences despite the many cultural similarities. One of those is that they’re generally more accepting of gun control up that way.

But even that isn’t helping a proposed semi-auto ban up that way.

It seems that there’s a line in the sand for Canadians and a lesson for President Joe Biden who has been talking about a semi-auto ban down this way recently.

You don’t have to look at opinion polls too long to see wide support for gun restrictions among Canadians. It should be hard for the Liberals to make a major political mistake with gun control. Yet here they are standing atop a dumpster fire of a gun bill.

More than 80 per cent of Canadians supported a ban on “military assault-style” weapons, according to an Ipsos poll conducted in 2020. Another Ipsos poll from 2020 found that a slim majority in cities supported banning all guns. All of them.

Polls are polls, but clearly gun control offered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals smooth sailing down a wide river of political opportunity. Somehow with Bill C-21, they careened into the banks.

The legislation was initially touted as a handgun bill, then amended to include what was supposedly a ban on those “assault-type” long guns, and now it is widely criticized as a ban on a lot of rifles and shotguns currently used by hunters and farmers.

In its current form, it is opposed by the Conservatives, the NDP, the Assembly of First Nations, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, and some Liberal backbenchers. That takes some doing.

And the exact same thing would happen here if Biden were to get his way and develop a real push toward banning semi-automatic firearms.

Semi-autos include handguns, shotguns, and plenty of hunting rifles. They’re used for lawful purposes other than self-defense each and every day. Factor in the use in self-defense and there’s even less reason to ban them.

So if Biden were to push such a thing, he’d face a lot of pushback as well.

And remember, Canada is more tolerant of gun control than the United States is. The polling numbers showing support for an assault weapon ban dwarf the number we see here, even right after a horrific mass shooting.

If Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can’t rally the troops to push through a semi-auto ban without such significant pushback, what are the odds that Biden could somehow manage it here?

The answer is that he can’t. It’s simply not going to happen. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it’ll take more than a similar bill going down in fiery defeat to dissuade American gun grabbers that they should still come after our semi-autos. Especially since they can’t tell the difference between an AR-15 and pretty much any other firearm available to the gun-buying public.

Whether Biden or his people will get the message remains to be seen, but it doesn’t change the fact that a semi-auto ban isn’t happening; not in Canada and most definitely not in the United States.

And that’s good news because no one really wants to see what would happen if the most effective means of self-defense were purged from the hands of law-abiding citizens. If you think our inner cities are bad now, wait until the bad guys have semi-autos and the good guys don’t.