By now, you’ve heard about the continued push for gun control in Canada. As things currently stand, pro-gun forces have managed a win, but only for now. Anti-gun advocates up that way are going to try again as soon as they’re able.
For us, this isn’t a huge deal. We can watch it and rest easy knowing that it’s not happening to us.
Yet that’s just how it is for now. As NRA’s Jason Ouimet notes at America’s 1st Freedom, it’s a glimpse at our future if we’re not careful.
Despite the similarities, we can see very different outcomes in the two countries. Canadians have essentially lost the right of armed self-defense, and are frighteningly close to losing the freedom to possess firearms at all. America, meanwhile, has the highest per-capita gun-ownership rate in the world, with the right to keep and bear arms shielded—at least theoretically—from urban elites.
An article published last December in The Washington Post opined that Canada’s progressive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a “gun-free Canada within his reach.” It noted how Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, “was the first to begin the process of systematically banning entire categories of firearms,” with 1969 legislation that allowed the executive branch to declare certain firearms “prohibited.” A mass shooting in 1989 was then exploited to further clamp down on legal firearm ownership, prompting a needs-based licensing system that presumptively banned firearm acquisition for self-defense. Justin Trudeau capitalized on another mass killing in 2020 to accelerate the banning of “military-grade assault-style” long guns in Canada under existing law. He then promoted legislation in 2022 that would expand this bogus and misnamed category, coerce surrender of non-conforming guns and institute a “freeze” on handgun ownership. Trudeau later went even further, introducing amendments that would essentially grant the government control to ban what few hunting guns had remained legal.
Unlike Canada and the other commonwealth realms, however, the U.S. liberated itself from Britain’s monarchy in the Revolutionary War. This experience led the founding generation to enshrine the right to keep and bear arms in the nation’s organizing charter. Like Canada, the U.S. Congress passed major gun control in the 1960s. But this sparked renewed efforts by pro-gun Americans—led by the NRA—to promote responsible firearm ownership and to ensure the original understanding of the Second Amendment was expounded in scholarship and eventually preserved in judicial rulings.
Now, Ouimet notes that we have the Second Amendment and the Bruen decision working in our favor, but we have plenty of politicians who would do what Canada is doing if they got the chance.
And let’s not forget that there are plenty of people who would do whatever they could to alter the makeup of the Supreme Court so as to affect that change. They’d love to see a new group of justices decide that the Second Amendment is a collective right, that it only applies to “the militia” and define that in such a way as to render it irrelevant.
That is, ultimately, the goal.
At that point, no gun is safe. Your AR-15 is definitely gone, but so are many of your hunting rifles and shotguns. Your handgun? Gone as well.
If these folks get their way, you’ll be relegated to little more than 19th Century weapons technology, just a step above what you see in your favorite westerns.
Look, I love Silverado and Tombstone, but I’d much rather have more effective guns than they had, especially since the bad guys sure as hell will.
Canada is a glimpse into on potential future. It will become our reality unless we remain vigilant in protecting our right to keep and bear arms.