The much demonized “assault weapon” is one of those firearm types that many people seem horribly concerned with but that aren’t actually used in crime all that much.
Still, many people want to ban them here in the United States.
In Canada, they almost did. The proposal nearly passed but was thwarted by a number of groups banding together to address specific concerns. None of that opposition seemed overly focused on the so-called assault weapons themselves, though.
That means lawmakers up that way are going to give it another go.
The Canadian government is proposing a ban on assault-style firearms that would apply once legislation now before Parliament comes into force.
Under the scheme announced Monday, the government would make regulations through the Firearms Act to ensure that guns are classified correctly before entering the Canadian market.
“I want to make it clear that our government is not targeting hunters and law-abiding gun owners,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told a news conference. “What we’re doing is protecting families, protecting our children, protection our communities.”
The government also plans to recreate a firearms advisory committee that will make recommendations on the classification of guns now on the market.
Mendicino said the committee will include rural and northern residents, Indigenous people, industry leaders, law enforcement and gun control advocates.
“Guided by the committee’s recommendation we will increase the classifications of firearms for ban,” he said. “This committee will be convened quickly and asked to provide its advice to the government as soon as this summer.”
Mendicino said measures are being taken so future governments “will have a very difficult time making assault-tyle firearms legal again.”
That last bit is particularly troubling to me.
It’s bad enough that they want to restrict a type of firearm that’s rarely used in actual crime, but they also want to make it difficult for future governments to repeal the restrictions.
These are the same kinds of people who lament anything that hamstrings them from passing gun control, but they see no issue with hamstringing future generations.
The kicker is that in the long run, this isn’t really going to do anything to make Canada less dangerous. It’s not going to solve any problems. This is nothing but a law being pushed because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t want people to remember his brownface scandal.
Let’s not forget that guns weren’t really a thing for most Canadian politicians until after that scandal broke, then like Virginia’s Ralph Northam, Trudeau pivoted to targeting guns and the media got distracted by the shiny object.
That’s all this is. This is nothing more than a continuation on that misdirection.
However, so-called assault weapons aren’t the problem. They never have been. There are millions in Canada already and they haven’t been used for criminal actions.
Meanwhile, the one example in recent history that might make the opposing point is the Nova Scotia shooting. The problem there is that the killer in that case got most of his guns illegally. That kind of undermines the point in banning these guns since it’s clear bad people will still get them, so bans will only inhibit those who represent no threat at all.
The upside is that this is Canada. Most of us won’t be impacted.
But any infringement of the right to keep and bear arms–a universal right, even if most nations refuse to acknowledge it–is an infringement that may turn on all of us.