The arms race no one is talking about

Gun control isn’t about fulfilling a utopian fantasy, an all-or-none sum game. It’s about harm reduction.

by Emma Teitel

Joy Lewis/AP Photo

Politicians are experts at ambiguity. But one of those experts—President Barack Obama (remember his ever-“evolving” position on gay marriage?)—surprised us this week when he made an entirely unambiguous statement about the controversy of the day: gun control and the right to bear arms in America. In the aftermath of the horrific Aurora, Colo., movie-theatre shooting, Obama made his stance explicitly clear: Americans should continue to have the right to bear arms, he stated, but it was worth asking what kind of arms that entailed. “I think that a lot of gun owners would agree,” said Obama, “that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not criminals—that they belong in the battlefields of war, not on the streets of our cities.” Policy steps to reflect that perspective, he continued, “shouldn’t be controversial, they should be common sense.”

Would that common sense was bipartisan: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his own statement about gun control this week (hint: he’s not a fan). “We can sometimes hope,” he said, “that changing a law will make all bad things go away. Well it won’t.” What can? “Changing the heart of the American people,” said Romney.

Let’s forget for a moment the fact that President Obama—a man consistently referred to as soft and weak by his opponents, offered his people a policy-driven, tough-on-crime solution to gun violence, and Mitt Romney—the man who’d like to unseat him—offered his nation what could be the tag line of the Oprah Winfrey show. And let’s look instead at Romney’s initial statement, the one about wishing laws would “make all the bad things go away,” with a particular emphasis on the word “all.” Why? Because that little word reveals one of the most glaring fallacies in the anti-gun-control argument: their apparent belief that gun-control advocates are hopeless idealists, under the impression that stricter gun legislation will eradicate gun violence forever. Of course, it won’t. What it might do, however, and what the pro-gun-control lobby actually thinks it might do, is mitigate some of that violence. Some. Not all.

But for ideologues, especially in America, “some” just doesn’t have the right ring to it. “All or none” captures the gung-ho spirit of the United States, a country of absolutes. So it follows that the right in the U.S. would far rather own Mitt’s “all” attitude, and they’d also rather project an “all” perspective onto the other side, because it’s so much easier, ironically, to rebut. As in, “What kind of idiot hippie thinks a gun-control law will stop all the lunatics out there from shooting up schools?” Trivialize your opponent’s position and perhaps nobody will notice the holes in your own (changing the heart of the American people?). The irony is that the right is far more absolutist and idealistic on this issue than the left, because it actually believes that any regulation around guns at all is an automatic erosion of a fundamental right. That’s right: losing your right to arm yourself like a Navy SEAL amounts to losing your right to bear arms at all.

Americans have an attachment to guns that Canadians don’t. But what began as a necessity for their ancestors—bearing arms against the British—has evolved into a modern-day fetish, touted every day by the NRA and its four-million-plus membership. Promote gun control, says the NRA, and shame the Constitution.

However, the voice of reason behind gun control in the United States right now isn’t asking why the Second Amendment is necessary, but why it’s necessary for the average American—and in the case of the Colorado accused, James Holmes, the-not-even-remotely-average American—to have the right to buy 6,000 rounds of live ammunition on the Internet and to purchase a weapon that could kill dozens of people in a matter of seconds. The NRA is right: a person intent on committing such a crime will do so no matter what laws the government writes to stop him. But why should a society make it easy for him? In the words of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, one of two Democratic lawmakers lobbying to ban anonymous ammo sales, “It’s time to close the loophole that’s allowing killers and even terrorists to buy ammunition online.” Romney says it’s foolish to condemn the instrument of violence as opposed to the violent person (hate the sinner, not the sin?), but doesn’t the instrument of violence in this case speak for itself?

Gun control isn’t about fulfilling a utopian fantasy, an all-or-none sum game. It’s about harm reduction, something that’s hard to measure, but that, judging from gun-murder numbers the non-American world over, obviously works. There’s been a spate of public shootings in the recent past where I live, for instance—an extraordinary number by Canadian standards—but the one source of comfort for me is the fact that the people responsible, gang members or otherwise, at the Eaton Centre, in Little Italy or Scarborough, were not carrying assault weapons like James Holmes was in Colorado. The main reason is that such weapons are illegal for private citizens to own in this country. Have the shootings here been tragic? Undeniably. Could they have been worse? Undeniably. The law did not work perfectly, but it worked somewhat. And that somewhat, for the people who avoided being killed in the shootings here, was a blessing. Just as if James Holmes had been armed with a pistol and not a semi-automatic rifle that fires 60 rounds a minute.




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The arms race no one is talking about

  1. A semi-automatic AR-15 like James Holmes was carrying is not an assault weapon; it’s a rifle and a relatively low-powered one at that. It is perfectly legal in Canada. Statistics of firearms recovered at crime scenes and confiscated from criminals consistently show that they favor poorly-made, inexpensive pistols over pricey and sophisticated rifles. Fear of “assault weapons”, which are already illegal in Canada and uncommon and prohibitively expensive even in America is misplaced.

    • Just wanted to point out that you’re using an all or nothing perspective just as this article urges people to avoid. The legal process for acquiring an AR15 is arduous, requiring a Possession and Acquisition Licence valid for restricted firearms, further subject to the approval of a provincial Chief Firearms Officer, is registered with the RCMP, must always apply for an Authorization for Transport to certified gun ranges (as its legality is only based on its role in target shooting), all of these things leaving a very recognizable paper trail that allows consistent tracking.

      In comparison, there are no federal restrictions posed on AR15 purchases.

      This of course doesn’t mean that gun violence using AR15s cannot happen in Canada, but with such an arduous acquisition process, we aren’t making it easy for criminals to abuse the system.

      Granted, you were right by recognizing its relatively low power. AR15s are functionally indistinguishable from ordinary semi-automatic hunting
      rifles. They don’t fire more rapidly, they don’t deliver more lethal
      rounds, and they don’t “spray” bullets. Their only resemblance to
      military arms, in fact, is cosmetic.

      The resulting realization that nothing we do will stop Americans from acquiring weapons and gunning each other down is sobering to say the least. I guess all that’s left is a campaign to urge law abiding citizens to also arm themselves. Sadly, Romney really has the only valid solution…but reaching a group of millions of people who largely still have an imaginary friend seems an impossible task.

  2. Where is the pro-gun-rights companion piece to provide “balance” to this blatant anti-gun propaganda?

    • Why would they need to balance an opinion piece?

  3. From this we can infer that the handguns used in the Scarborough shootings were confirmed as registered and legal? That’s some impressive journalism on your part–I didn’t know they had any suspects or weapons identified yet.

    The handguns used in the Canadian shootings are regulated exactly the same as the AR-15 used by Holmes–if they’re acquired legally, which they are not. Both are restricted firearms and require the same licensing and background checks to acquire them. The common argument is that its too easy for these to fall into the hands of criminals because restricted firearm owners just sell them and report them stolen; restricted firearms need to be kept in a locked safe. It’s clear as day you are either not storing them legally or are part of the crime.

  4. The US has a ‘gun culture’…..Canada does not.

    Let’s keep it that way.

    • last i checked we were in the top 20 most armed countries per capita. Northwestern Ontario most certainly has a gun culture. hunting is kind of a big deal here.

      • Of course we have lots of guns….so does Sweden.

        What we DON’T have is a ‘gun culture’….the ‘wild west’, shoot-em-up, Dodge City yahoo crap that Americans got from Hollywood movies.

        • We don’t watch Hollywood movies?

          • Watch, yes.

            Only westerners get taken in by them though.

          • Your sweeping over-generalizations continue to astound, dismay, and bore all at the same time. So congratulations for that.

            As a westerner myself, however, let me just take this opportunity to add my voice to the many who say, “Piss-off you arrogant twat.”

            Kindly remember it wasn’t “westerners” who put Harper into power. Their votes didn’t change.

          • Yeah, I know…..westerners all voted Lib.

            And unless you’re British, you’re calling me an unacceptable name in Canada.

            I don’t know what your problem is, but stop taking it out on me…..you are ‘over-involved’ in a comment site.

          • My problem is that you have repeatedly generalized and belittled westerners. So yes, I’m calling *you*, specifically, an impolite name, with full intention that you take offense, as I have repeatedly been forced to take offense to your inclusion of me in your repeated insults toward those in the west.

            If you do not like it, then kindly refrain from doing the same to me and others like me who happen to live out here and strongly disagree with most of the same things you do.

            You twat.

          • No, that’s not an impolite name…..’twit’ is impolite. ‘Twat’ means a vulva.

            Commonly referred to as the ‘c’ word.

            The kind of word that gets posts removed for abuse, so I’m sure you didn’t mean that.

          • Ew. You really are a twat.

          • Does it surprise me that ‘westerners’ are often yahoos?

            Sexist ones at that?

            Nope, makes my case. Thanx.

          • bigot

          • Idiot.

    • Harper is certainly trying to import Republican gun culture and pretty much everything else… If Canada was a literal democracy where a majority of voters was represented in government we’d be ignoring all the Reform party crankery instead of being shocked and horrified seeing it passed into law. Maybe we should rethink doling out absolute power to minority parties.

      • Some con thumb jockey dislikes democracy.

      • Where was your whining when the Liberals had a minority government? Oh right… it was ok because you got what YOU wanted.

        • Democracy is founded on majority rule. A voting system that awards unearned power to a minority party is an affront to democracy. In the developed world, only Canada and the UK have ironic interpretations of democracy.

          Another “whiner” on electoral reform is Stephen Harper. He said our voting system produced a “benign dictatorship.” In 2004, he was elected leader of the Conservative party using a complex voting system that incorporated both Proportional Representation and Instant Runoff Voting (preferential ballot.) Of course, he had a change of heart when vote-splitting favored his party.

          Me, personally, I’m a non-partisan centrist. But even if I believed in any political party I would always believe in democracy first. I’ve been critical of FPTP since 1995 when I first found out about it.

    • Someone doesn’t know what they are talking about….
      USA has 88.8 guns per 100 people. Ranked number 1 in the world.
      Canada has 30.8 guns per 100 people. Ranked number 13 in the world.

      Like, which means like OMG, if like you know like 100 people, like on Facebook or Twitter or like something…., like 30 of them own a gun.

      • Don’t talk with bubblegum in your mouth, son.

        • My apologies Mum!
          It be Dip, not gum…

          Regardless, everyone who is against firearms, should go and get their firearms license. Then they will see all the hoops one has to jump through that are in place already, and realized how redundant the laws are.

          If you don’t know the facts don’t talk about the subject.

          • I’m 65…and own guns.

            Always have done.

            Rethink your argument.

          • Then you are a Fudd. And Fudd’s do more to harm the firearms community more than anyone else. There is a difference between having a 50 year old shotgun in the closet, and being an active firearms enthusiast.
            This is a historic year which marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. If regular people didn’t take up their own arms to repel the American invasion, we would not be Canadian.
            The Hudson’s Bay Company used firearms to tame the land out west, and barter with Natives, and to hunt for food.
            Canada is a firearms Nation. We were just to modest before, not anymore. I have done nothing wrong to have something I enjoy taken away from me.

          • I think you need a headshake, and a putting down of the TGIF bottle. Now pay attention son.

            I live near a battlefield of 1812….I have owned and used gunS all my life, including black powder so cool it with the patronizing.

            This is the 21st century in Canada, not the American frontier….which only existed in Hollywood anyway.

            Canadians own thousands of firearms, always have….what we do NOT have is a gun culture….the Dodge City crap

            And we aren’t going to have one either.

          • Number 1, I am not your Son.
            Number 2, now that your enjoying your freedom 65 and living off my tax dollars, while I pay into a CPP that will not be there for me, paying off a debt accrued by your generation, that my grand-kids will still be paying off. Age does not equal wisdom.
            Number 3, You must be from the GTA, the center of the Canadian Universe, if it is a problem in the GTA is is a Canadian problem.
            Number 4, if you are a firearm owner, stand up for your self and other firearm owners.
            Number 5, its your city mentality that Canada isn’t a gun culture. Remember, there are a whole lot of people who live outside the GTA.

          • Number 1….No, thank gawd….because you are just too young mentally to be mistaken for an adult

            Number 2….Pensioners live off their OWN tax dollars thanx. They’ve paid into it for a lifetime. Take care of your own problems, and stop whining

            Number 3….I have no idea what you’re on about. I said the US has a gun culture….we do not….and we aren’t going to

            Number 4…..I live in a rural area.

            Number 5….now go take your non-argument to someone who cares.

          • Gun Culture: The gun culture is a culture shared by people in the gun politics
            debate, generally those who advocate preserving gun rights and who are
            generally against more gun control.

            If there was enough people to overturn the long-gun registry, there is a gun culture in Canada.

            PS, Pensioners spent all their tax dollars already. Do you have a CPP account with “EmilyOne” written on it and it gives you a monthly statement stating how much you have left? What happens when your balance is $0.00? Oh that’s right, our upside down pyramid population graph shows that we do not have enough incoming tax revenue to sustain an aging population with growing medical needs.

            Enough is enough. No wonder someone reverted to calling you the t-word. I don’t have to say it again.

          • Sigh, no….THIS is a gun culture

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJriDAhIIQs

            This is something that even women in the orginal Dodge City didn’t have to do. The US has gone waaaaay downhill.

            I don’t get a pension of any kind, but those who do paid in to it over the years. Our pension system is quite safe

            Hey…..you like being an ignorant sexist ass? Feel free.

            Kindly note, the country considers you …..exactly that ….and laughs at you.

            Albertans wonder why they’re considered yahoos and clods….well you just showed em why.

          • I give you a definition of a term, and you rebuttal with a youtube video of how to safely carry a concealed firearm and a baby at the same time….

            Which thank you for the tip, I’ll be sure to remember what I learned for when I am carrying a Firearm and a baby together.

            Nonetheless I’ll reiterate what gun culture is.
            Gun Culture: The gun culture is a culture shared by people in the gun politics debate, generally those who advocate preserving gun rights and who are generally against more gun control.

            Sorry you didn’t get it the first time you read it. Smog from the GTA must be reeking havoc on your eye sight.

            Who said I’m from Alberta? Because I’m not.

            Always has to have the last word. Just like a typical wo-opps can’t say that.

          • You don’t have a definition….you just make it up as you go along, trying to save your dignity here. LOL

            Sorry….doesn’t work that way. Your dignity such as it was….is long gone.

            When women need to carry a gun, along with a baby, to go to the grocery store…..their society is toast.

            Nope, you’re not in Alberta….you’ve just picked up the ‘tude…..which is why I say ‘westerners’ and get ole Thwim all worked up. LOL

            Give it a rest, and go to bed. It’s over hon.

          • Sorry one last time.
            Gun Culture: The gun culture is a culture shared by people in the gun
            politics debate, generally those who advocate preserving gun rights and
            who are generally against more gun control.

            http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/gun-culture

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_culture

            http://www.wordnik.com/words/gun%20culture

            http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/Gun+culture?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744%3Av0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=Gun+culture&sa=Search#906

            http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/11/matt-gurney-toronto-needs-a-gun-culture/

            The last one is for you.

            The woman in the video doesn’t need to carry a firearm, she has the right to do it, and she wants to do it.

          • LOL so American gun nuts write crap on the web, and you suck it up

            Sorry….Canada doesn’t have any ‘gun rights’….or bare arms, or bears with arms, or bears in sleeveless shirts, or any musket militias or second amendments.

            And nobody in Canada would even think of taking a gun to a supermarket.

            See…in Canada, we don’t need to. Civilized society and all.

            Yer in the wrong country dude.

            Now go to bed.

          • Many Canadians believe (and our government would certainly have us
            believe) that there is no Right of the citizen to keep arms for their
            own use and defense, like the US Second Amendment, in Canadian law. To
            those citizens, I would suggest a bit of reading up on our own history
            and legal framework. Our right to bear arms is not mentioned in recent
            documents such as the Constitution or Charter because it’s already
            stated elsewhere in Canadian law.

            Our right to keep and bear arms in our own or the country’s defense
            comes from exactly the same place as the American one — English Common
            Law, the English Bill of Rights 1689, the writings of Sir William
            Blackstone in his Commentaries on English Law, and others. All these
            laws (and indeed the full body of English Law), became part of Canadian
            law on our Confederation in 1867 with the affirmation of the British
            North America (BNA) Act.

            We have this Right, though our government is attempting to suppress it
            and deny citizen’s their age-old right to self-defense with the
            egregious and unconstitutional (not to mention horrendously expensive)
            Firearms Act and other proposals.

            Magna Carta is important for a couple of reasons: it establishes
            that Royal Perogatives do have limits, that subjects do have certain rights
            under the Common Law, and that the King cannot run roughshod over those
            rights.

            1. [...]

            We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom,
            for us and our heirs for ever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had
            and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs for ever:

            [...]

            63.Thus, we wish and we firmly ordain that the English church shall
            be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these previously
            determined liberties, rights, and concessions, well and in peace, freely
            and quietly, in their fullness and integrity, for themselves and their
            heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever, as
            is previously described here.

            This establishes that “freemen” have rights, and that they shall
            be recognized and maintained by the Rulers of England “in all things and
            all places for ever” — wherever England rules, for all time.

            Freeman — those of free status in the eyes of the
            law (that is, not villeins) and as such having certain rights denied to
            villeins, such as access to the Kings courts in certain actions, freedom
            to move about and marry and exemption from certain onerous duties.

            English Bill of rights 1689

            An Act for declaring the rights and liberties of the subject and settling the succession of the crown.

            Notice it says RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES of the SUBJECT — rights that previously existed, which the EBOR seeks to restore.

            complaints

            Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers
            evil counselors, judges, and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to
            subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion, and the laws and liberties
            of this kingdom.

            This is their complaint — that King James II tried to subvert the
            laws and liberties of the kingdom — in other words, he exceeded his authority.

            [...]

            [idem]

            By causing several good subjects, being protestants, to be disarmed,
            at the same time when papists were both armed and employed, contrary to
            law.

            This is one of the specific complaints, the disarmament of Protestants
            – which was contrary to the law

            [...]

            All of which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws
            and statutes, and freedom of this realm.

            This is the conclusion of the complaint portion of the petition
            (“Bill”) — all the previous actions of King James II listed were DIRECTLY
            CONTRARY to the known laws and statutes and FREEDOM of the realm

            And whereas the said late King James II having abdicated the government,
            and the throne being thereby vacant, his highness the Prince of Orange
            (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering
            this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the
            lords spiritual and temporal, and divers principal persons of the commons)
            cause letters to be written to the lords spiritual and temporal, being
            protestants; and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities,
            boroughs, and cinque-ports, for the choosing of such persons to represent
            them, as were of right to be sent to parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster
            upon the 22 January, 1689 in order to make such an establishment, as that
            their religion, laws, and liberties might not again be in danger of being
            subverted; upon which letters, elections have been accordingly made,

            this is the preamble to the “rememdy” phase of the petition (“Bill”);
            they seek to remedy the complaints listed in the first section, and ensure
            that they don’t happen again: “as that their religion, laws, and liberties
            might not again be in danger of being subverted” and abused by “arbitrary
            power”

            And thereupon the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons,
            pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled
            in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most
            serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid;
            do in the first place (as their ancestors in like cases have usually done)
            for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties, declare:

            This is the part of the petition (“Bill”) that outlines how they
            expect the Crown to remedy and redress the unlawfull actions of the former
            King. Note it says “THEIR ANCIENT RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES” — these are what
            are being vindicated and asserted

            Remedies:

            [...]

            [idem]

            That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their
            defence suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law;

            having had this RIGHT subverted and denied them by the former King,
            this RIGHT is being restored to them, fully and completely. If the right
            was being restored, it must have previously existed. Throughout the
            EBOR, the phrase “allowed by law” is an affirmation,
            not a constraint.

            Commentaries on the laws of England by Sir William Blackstone 1765

            [...]

            In the three preceding articles we have taken a short view of the
            principal absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman. But in vain
            would these rights be declared, ascertained, and protected by the dead
            letter of the laws, if the constitution had provided no other method to
            secure their actual enjoyment. It has therefore established certain other
            auxiliary subordinate rights of the subject, which serve principally as
            barriers to protect and maintain inviolate the three great and primary
            rights, of personal security, personal liberty, and private property. These
            are,

            [1 ... 4]

            5. The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall
            at present mention, is that of having arms for their defense, suitable
            to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is
            also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c. 2. [English Bill
            of Rights] and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of
            the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions
            of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of
            oppression.

            In these several articles consist the rights, or, as they are frequently
            termed, the liberties of Englishmen: liberties more generally talked of,
            than thoroughly understood; and yet highly necessary to be perfectly known
            and considered by every man of rank or property, lest his ignorance of
            the points whereon it is founded should hurry him into faction and licentiousness
            on the one hand, or a pusillanimous indifference and criminal submission
            on the other.

            And we have seen that these rights consist, primarily, in the free
            enjoyment of personal security, of personal liberty, and of private property.
            So long as these remain inviolate, the subject is perfectly free; for every
            species of compulsive tyranny and oppression must act in opposition to
            one or other of these rights, having no other object upon which it can
            possibly be employed.

            “Personal security” equates to “security of the person”, that is, the
            right to be free from assaults or other violence perpetrated by the
            State or others.

            To preserve these from violation, it is necessary that the constitution
            of parliaments be supported in it’s full vigor; and limits certainly known,
            be set to the royal prerogative. And, lastly, to vindicate these rights,
            when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled,
            in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice
            in the courts and law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament
            for redress of grievances; and lastly to the right of having and using
            arms for self-preservation and defense.

            And all these rights and liberties it is our birthright to enjoy
            entire; unless where the laws of our country have laid them under necessary
            restraints. Restraints in themselves so gentle and moderate, as will appear
            upon farther enquiry, that no man of sense or probity would wish to see
            them slackened.

            The “restraint of law” must be “reasonable”

            For all of us have it in our choice to do every thing that a good
            man would desire to do; and are restrained from nothing, but what would
            be pernicious either to ourselves or our fellow citizens.

            This means that “good men” do not need the constraint of the law to act in a responsible manner.

            So that this review of our situation may fully justify the observation
            of a learned French author, who indeed generally both thought and wrote
            in the spirit of genuine freedom[x]; and who hath not scrupled to profess,
            even in the very bosom of his native country, that the English is the only
            nation in the world, where political or civil liberty is direct end of
            it’s constitution.

            Recommending therefore to the student in our laws a farther and more
            accurate search into this extensive and important title, I shall close
            my remarks upon it with the expiring wish of the famous father Paul to
            his country, “ESTO PERPETUA!” x Montesq. Sp. L. 11. 5.

            Blackstone establishes these rights as belonging to all Englishmen, not just nobility or others.

            British North America Act 1867 which brings all previous laws of England to be enforced in Canada.

            129. Except as otherwise provided by this Act, all Laws in force
            in Canada, Nova Scotia, or New Brunswick at the Union, and all Courts of
            Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction, and all legal Commissions, Powers, and
            Authorities, and all Officers, Judicial, Administrative, and Ministerial,
            existing therein at the Union, shall continue in Ontario, Quebec, Nova
            Scotia, and New Brunswick respectively, as if the Union had not been made;
            subject nevertheless (except with respect to such as are enacted by or
            exist under Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain or of the Parliament
            of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,) to be repealed, abolished,
            or altered by the Parliament of Canada, or by the Legislature of the respective
            Province, according to the Authority of the Parliament or of that Legislature
            under this Act.

            The important part is the section in parenthesis: (except with respect
            to such as are enacted by or exist under Acts of the Parliament of Great
            Britain or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
            Ireland,). This means that any Acts of Parliament of Great Britain
            cannot be overidden by the Parliament of Canada.

            So at the time of Confederation, at least, we still had the right to
            bear arms given to British Subjects by the English Bill of Rights 1689.

            SOURCES OF THE CRIMINAL LAW IN CANADA

            1.1 History and Sources[1]

            1.1.1 Introduction

            To understand the nature and purpose of Canadian criminal law, it is
            necessary to understand its sources. Under the British colonial system,
            the letters patent or instructions issued by the Crown to the Governor
            governed the constitution of a settlement. When unsettled territory was
            conquered by or ceded to England, it was a matter of royal prerogative
            whether the Crown would grant the territory its own constitution.

            Settlers of unsettled territory were deemed to take with them the common law and applicable statute law of England[2].
            Accordingly, the unsettled territories that were to become Canada had a
            criminal law from the moment of their settlement. That law consisted of
            the common law and applicable statute law of England as of the date of
            settlement. In addition, each territory had a legislature with limited
            power to amend existing laws or enact new ones.

            [...]

            The basic criminal law of each territory varied according to the
            date of initial settlement or conquest. For example, the date of “reception”
            fixed for Ontario was September 17, 1792[5]. Just before Confederation,
            the criminal law of Canada consisted of that part of the criminal law of
            England applicable as of the reception date for each territory concerned,
            and any alterations made by the legislature of the territory[6]. Because
            the various colonial and provincial legislatures had passed criminal laws,
            striking differences existed in the criminal law from one jurisdiction
            to another. The system of criminal law at Confederation was therefore not
            consistent across Canada, except for the common law base. Immediately after
            Confederation, that criminal law remained in force. However, the British
            North American Act [now the Constitution Act, 1867], transferred the amending
            power to the federal government.

            Therefore, the English Bill of Rights 1688 was extant in Canada at the
            time of settlement, and could not be repealed by the Canadian Parliament
            under the provisions of the BNA s. 129

            UN Universal Declaration of Human rights 1946
            Article 3.

            Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

            Article 17.

            (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
            with others.

            (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

            Canadian Bill Of Rights 1960

            Preamble

            The Parliament of Canada, affirming that the Canadian Nation is founded
            upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, the dignity and
            worth of the human person and the position of the family in a society of
            free men and free institutions;

            Affirming also that men and institutions remain free only when freedom
            is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of
            law;

            And being desirous of enshrining these principles and the human rights
            and fundamental freedoms derived from them, in a Bill of Rights which shall
            reflect the respect of Parliament for its constitutional authority and
            which shall ensure the protection of these rights and freedoms in Canada:

            Therefore Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the
            Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
            Part 1 Bill Of Rights
            1. It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have
            existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of
            race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights
            and fundamental freedoms, namely,

            (a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the
            person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof
            except by due process of law;
            Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982
            26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms
            shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or
            freedoms that exist in Canada.

            I do not believe that this right was ever specifically repealed. The
            right still exists; The Government chooses to suppress that right.

          • Yeah I’ve heard all this bilge before. Fantasy land.

            Magna Carta isn’t even law in the UK much less here

            This is Canada dude….21st century… and there was never any such ‘right’

            Go to bed, and sleep it off.

          • When presented with the facts and laws, and common laws of our country you blatantly dismiss everything our country was founded upon.
            It was the English Bill of Rights 1689 which is adopted by Canadian Law which proves it. Not the Magna Carta. Yup this is Canada, and all British laws prior to Confederation and the BNA Act of 1867 apply.

          • This is not fact or law, it is fantasy.

            10 seconds on Google would tell you that.

            There is no English bill of rights, nor did we adopt one.

            Canada, dude….independent country. Sorry.

          • Canada is a part of the Commonwealth. Our head of State is the Queen. All Canadian Law must be approved by her legal representative in Canada, being the Governor General. The

            Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces is the Queen. When one swears allegiance to Canada, it is to the Queen.

            But then again you never have sworn an oath to protect your Country, so you wouldn’t know.

          • Canada is an independent nation dude….not a part of England

            And fyi….I’m a Canadian vet

            Now get your head out of your ass.

          • EmilyOne, you are right, It is over and you lose!
            There is a gun culture in Canada and it’s growing. Just not your hoplophobe/fudd version.
            If you really were a vet, you wouldn’t be so quick to throw away the freedoms that true veterans fought for.
            Now go ahead and get your last word in.

          • No, there is no ‘gun culture’ in Canada….and there won’t be.

            In spite of your confused English. Is it your second language?

            Canadian vets, btw, did not fight for the US constitution, or any confused version thereof, so kindly stop being silly.

  5. How many rounds per minute do you need to take down a deer. You can legally buy assult rifles in America. . which makes them easier to obtain correct me if im wrong. other than the collapse of society for what purpose do we need assult rifles? Guns are for killing people. It is a complex tool designed to kill other humans that was adapted to other purposes like hunting. Obviously how they look at gun control is flawed because more people get shot at everyday in the states than anyother country including syria in its current state

    • Have you ever heard of Mexico? And guns are highly illegal there.

    • The second amendment acknowledges a right to bear arms so that we have the means to participate in a militia if called to do so, not to hunt deer. Hunting is a sport, done for recreation. This is about war. Get hunting out of your head. It is exactly in preparation for the colapse of our society, which is a realistic possibility. It follows that in order to be an effective militia, we would require exactly the type of weapons that we could expect an invading force to have, not just what is required to hunt. The invaders are not going to have simple hunting rifles that only hold 5 shots. Shootings, while tragic are the price we pay to maintain a free society.

      • So RPGs, anti-tank guns, cruise missiles, and nuclear armaments should all be allowed the private citizenry?

        • This is called a straw-man argument. That occurs when you inflate someone’s position to something greater than they actually proposed in attempt to make it easier to defeat, It’s very tired and cliche. You aren’t the first person to try it. Don’t think you’ve found some unique witty new argument. You aren’t the genius you think you are. It’s also called an argument to absurdity, used to inflate someone’s position to a point which is absurd and not truly representative of their position. Militia members are not expected to be required to purchase these other weapons on their own. Rather, the government would purchase these things with their new found federal power to levy taxes should they be needed by a militia. RPGs, anti-tank guns, cruise missiles, and nuclear armaments are too expensive for the average militia member to be expected to pay for on their own as well as too large to carry by themselves.

          • Except that’s not the definition of a straw-man argument. A straw-man argument is when you create and argue a point that the other person isn’t presenting at all. It has nothing to do with inflating an argument they did present. That would tend to fall under either slippery slope, or false generalization.

            Neither of which I did, as your exact words (since you seem to be having trouble remembering) were: “we would require exactly the type of weapons that we could expect an invading force to have,”

            So what I proposed was exactly what you said.. unless you think that no invading force would ever bother to bring an RPG, anti-tank gun, cruise missile, or any sort of nuclear armament when attacking the United States. I trust you’re not a moron, however.

            I’m curious as to what authority you base your statement that “militia members are not expected to be required to purchase these weapons on their own” but that they should still be allowed to purchase other weapons? Just pull that from your arse? Because there’s certainly nothing in the constitution that differentiates between the arms allowed.

            And incidentally, if you’re going to argue that it is the government’s job to fund the armament of the militia, then fine, but you’re running straight into the contradiction between the 2nd amendment and Section 1, Article 8, which states that it is Congress that is responsible for providing for the arming of any militia. (Incidentally, this contradiction is easily resolved when you realize that the right to keep and bear arms does not necessarily confer any right to *purchase* them privately, only to have them once provided by Congress under section 1.)

          • I am suggesting that it is as equally as absurd to suggest that we are limited to what types rifles and handguns we can expect to bear as it is to suggest that we can expect to carry RPGs, anti-tank guns, cruise missiles, and nuclear armaments. The authority on which I base my statement that “militia members are not expected to be required to purchase these weapons on their own” is the failure of the articles of confederation to provide a centralized government with the power to levy taxes and “to provide for the common defense”, as mentioned in the preamble That was the whole point of adopting the constitution in the first place. However, that does not mean that the individual people who made up the militia would be expected to keep and bear only rifles which were inferior to those of an invading force. There is no contradiction. The people were granted the RIGHT to own and bear personal arms, nothing more. It is also not inconceivable that there were some, who could not afford their own arms and were provided them temporarily for militia use. So certainly the government needed the ability to pay for things like cannons and even rifles if they were needed.

          • Sorry, I forgot to mention this: “Because there’s certainly nothing in the constitution that differentiates between the arms allowed.” We are at least limited to those arms that can be both “kept” and carried.

        • In Heller vs. D.C. the majority opinion held that “arms” are not limited to those in existence at the time of the 2nd amendments inclusion. So you might be right, maybe an argument can be made that RPGs can be permitted as private arms.

          • Exactly my point and the justice who wrote the opinion in the case acknowledged there could be restrictions. Heller did not approach the question of exactly where the restrictions were permissible, only that we were not limited to muskets and that nukes and such were off the table. Other court cases will be necessary to determine exactly what can be restricted. So called “assault weapons” function no differently that other semi-automatics used for hunting, some of which fire ammunition which is far more devastating than an AR-15. Even a common shotgun is more devastating. For that reason, I can’t possibly see how banning an AR-15 would be constituional. In fact there is at least one case which clarified that an AR-15, specifically was protected. A case could be made that because we were intended to have the type of weapon suitable for a militia member, a fully automatic may not be off the table. So those collective rights people who always emphasize the “militia clause” over the operative clause should bear that in mind. Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.

      • Ah…….so you arm yourselves to participate in a militia?

        To protect you from who – Ze Germans?

        The country with the world’s largest military budget needing a militia? Qualification for have a ‘fee society’ is the right to bear arms?

        Very debatable if the laws and restrictions in place today in the U.S. constitutes a free society…but I digress. You believe what you need to.

        Rationalization and denial are great!

        I guess Canadian medicare sucks, as well – huh?

        Hey look; another shooting!!! Great to be Free….

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Wisconsin_Sikh_temple_shooting

    • One cannot legally purchase an “Assault Rifle” in the USA, or in Canada.
      An assault rifle has three setting which are , “Safe”, “Repetition”, and “Automatic”.
      So an AR-15 has only two settings “Safe” and “Repetition”, thus making it a Semi-automatic rifle.
      An AR-15 functions the same way as a SKS, Remington 750, Browning BAR, or a Ruger 10/22; in a semi-automatic fashion.
      An AR-15 just looks different, it has an adjustable stock, so the length of pull can be adjusted to the one firing; it has an ergonomic pistol grip, so it is more comfortable. The more comfortable the one using the firearm is, the safer the person is going to be using it.
      But the AR-15 is a restricted firearm in Canada, even though a 30-06 semi-automatic Browning BAR is is more powerful, and the Browning BAR is non-restricted.

  6. Gun control isn’t “tough on crime”. It’s tough on the law-abiding. Criminals aren’t inclined to get their weapons legally, even when it’s legal for them to do so, simply because it’s easier to track.

    Gun control disarms the lawful. No one else. If anything, it increases the number of guns in criminal hands, since they know they’ll now be unchallenged in their use.

    Gun control isn’t about harm reduction, either – it’s about power. Convince the people you can make them secure – *especially* when what is proposed will only make them less secure – and you convince them to give up freedoms to give you power.

    Don’t make guns hard to *obtain*. Make them hard to *abuse*.

    For example, someone is quite less likely to start a shooting spree if they have reason to believe a high portion of the populace may be armed. And the fool who is willing to regardless of risk to their own lives was going to find a way to do so regardless of some silly thing like *law*.

    It’s common sense. Outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have guns. Restrict guns, and only criminals will have restricted guns.

    So you want to talk about what “obviously works”? Look at the Swiss. They REQUIRE their citizens have a military firearm in their home. Check out their gun violence rates.
    Compare it to, say, Mexico or Russia. Plenty of gun control laws there.
    Then try comparing gun crime rate to overall crime rate, and see how gun control affects it.
    People aren’t violent because they have guns. People are violent because they’re people.

    • A person who starts a shooting spree may not have the sanity to be thinking about getting killed. Either that, or they intend to get killed. Your logic is flawed. Gun control IS harm reduction. It works, don’t be ignorant.

      By the way, I sell guns. And trust me, there are people who walk in the store who should not be buying black arms with 30-50 round clips. It’s not perfect, but at least we try to keep things safe. There is no purpose for making it too easy for people to buy guns and ammunition. The more that are out there, the easier the market for criminals. Why do you think Canadian gangs import their guns from the US? Because the US has so many to steal.

      I’m all for gun control. Insane, inept, irresponsible people don’t deserve guns. They’re the reason criminals can get guns so easily.

      • Since you “sell” guns, you should know that it isn’t a “30-50 round clip”. They are called “magazines”. Also since you “Sell” guns, you should know the law is that a rifle magazine has to be pinned to 5 rounds for center fire cartridges. So if it looks like a 30 round mag, it is pinned to 5. But you knew that cause you “sell” guns. Since you “sell” gun, you should know that a Ruger 10/22, a SKS, a Remington 750, a Browning BAR, and an AR-15 all function the same way. They just look different. You Sir, are a Fudd, and Fudd’s are worse than Anti’s.

        • You beat me to it. Nevertheless, well said.

        • yeah right, he sells guns and I’m a lifetime member of the Coalition for Gun Confiscation. Ha ha.
          He’s an idiot anti liar who has likely never even held a gun.
          I believe in strict gun control: ACTS
          And keeping guns out of the hands of antis who project their misuse tedencies.

    • “Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns,” is one of the stupidest arguments ever came up with. Put anything else in it and it makes just as much sense.

      “Outlaw rapes and only outlaws will rape”

      “Outlaw murders, and only outlaws will murder”

      It’s the argument of a moron who doesn’t understand what a tautology is. It’s also, as you would have seen if you’d managed to read all the big words in the original article, completely irrelevant.

      A person who goes on a shooting spree isn’t thinking about their own safety or well-being. Most of them intend on a “death-by-cop” ending in the first place, and the few that don’t are simply mentally unhinged. Prevent them from having an automatic weapon by making them impossible to obtain legally — which makes them more difficult and expensive to attain illegally — and while you won’t stop “all” the violence, you can at least mitigate the damage. Which.. again.. is what the article said in the first place.

      • Uh, no…. You’re confusing an object with a behavior. Try this:
        Outlaw knives, and only outlaws will have knives.
        Or:
        Outlaw celery, and only outlaws will have celery.
        See? There ya go, But people who want knives and celery are still going to get them.

      • Mexico has an almost total gun ban for citizens. So how did they have almost 50,000 murders in the
        past 5 years? Guess the outlaws managed to find a couple after all…

      • Oh, you mean make AR-15 type rifles impossible for the law abiding to obtain, so that they become ridiculously espensive to obtain illegally? You mean the same way that it has been done with cocaine and crystal meth? Yeah, I can see how successful the ” harm reduction” has been there, and will be with your new application.

      • It’s great that you have such understanding of the types of people who go on shooting sprees. If they are not thinking of their own well-being, can you please explain why the Colorado shooter was dressed head to toe in bullet-proof gear?
        Also, if such a person is intent on “death-by-cop” then why not have a civilian with legal concealed carry status oblige them? Wouldn’t you rather the shooting spree be stopped as soon as possible? You know, mitigate the damage?
        Nice of you also to resort to name calling and the suggestion that we can’t understand big words…when you end statements proposition with.

        • If I’m not mistaken, the Colorado shooter purchased his weapons, attire, and ammunition all legally over a 4 month period. From what I understand, most state concealed-carry laws allow private businesses, like that theatre, to disallow legal concealed carry holders. Should the solution then be to allow firearms anywhere?

  7. So you take comfort that they were shot with a semi-auto handgun and not a semi-auto rifle? I sure those who died of bullet wounds are just as comforted knowing it wasn’t a rifle that killed them. Those who are breaking the laws and killing people will use whatever they want. The laws did not work somewhat, they didn’t work at all. Different objet, but the same result in the end.

  8. “The main reason is that such weapons are illegal for private citizens to own in this country.”
    Oh! Thank goodness!……
    Not so good with the “research” and “fact checking”, are we, Emma?

  9. One cannot write an article comparing the US gun laws and Canadian Firearms laws. Secondly, if you were to write an article pertaining to Canadian firearms laws, maybe you should know something about them.
    Firstly I would like to point out that Canada was BUILT on hunting and trapping ever since Europeans started inhabiting this continent. Firearms were used to procure food on explorations to the west, and used are bardering tools with the Native Inhabitants. Personal firearms were used by Canadians to repel advancing American troops after they burned down York (present day Toronto; thought I would point it out due to your ignorance already displayed in your article) during the War of 1812. This country has been built and defended with firearms just as must as America, if not more, since we are currently not the 51st State of Ontario.

    “The main reason is that such weapons are illegal for private citizens to own in this country.” Boy oh boy, that made me laugh. It proved to show you do not know what you were writing about. One purchase an AR-15 platform rifle if they have the correct license. Which is a Restricted Possession Acquisition License (RPAL). To get an RPAL, one must first have a Possession Acquisition License (PAL). To get a PAL you have to pass a Federal Test, then a background check, and in bout 3 months one can finally purchase a non-restricted rifle.
    To get an RPAL, one must do another federal test, pass another background check, pass interviews with the Chief Firearms Office of ones given province, ones significant other must be interviewed, and two references interviewed, ones local police station gets an interview about the individual, at which point in another 3 months one gets their license. Seems pretty restricted already to purchase a pistol or AR-15 looking firearm. But wait, once one has the license and goes to purchase said firearm, another background check is done, at the Chief Firearms Officers leisure, and in about a week one can go pick up their new firearm; if they have their Authorization to Transport (ATT) all in order. One cannot legally transport a restricted firearm in Canada without a valid ATT.

    Now with a PAL, one can purchase a Russian SKS rifle for about $300. The SKS was the predecessor to the AK-47 (OHHH SCARY), and it has two settings, “Safe” and “Repetition”. That makes it a semi-automatic rifle. It will fire bullets as fast as one can pull a trigger. But lets not forget that magazines (the thing that holds bullets) are limited to 5 rounds in Canada for center fire cartridges. One can also go shoot it on the back 40 of their property when ever they wish. Oh, yeah its a bigger bullet than an AR-15 as well.

    Now with an RPAL, one can purchase an AR-15. Those rifles range from $600.00 for a Norinco, to $4200.00 for a state-of-the-art Heckler and Koch MR223. These rifles have two modes, “Safe” and “Repetition”, making them a semi-automatic rifle. It also can fire bullets as fast as one can pull the trigger, up to five rounds because that is the legal limit for a center fire rifle magazine. Now lets be clear, the definition of an assault rifle has three settings including “Safe”, “Repetition”, and “Automatic”. No “automatic” setting, no “assault rifle”. Now with your new AR one has to belong to a gun range to use it. That gun range is in fact the only place one can use it legally. Also because of its restricted status, completely based upon looks not function, one needs an ATT to even drive to the range to use the firearm.
    I hope this was informative for you, Emma. Your article should have been about how the justice system is failing us, example being that the alleged murder of 2 persons, Christopher Husbands, had 9 weapons charges dropped 4 weeks previous to his murder spree. Or maybe why Ian Thomson (a law abiding citizen) is being made an example of for protecting his property from 3 masked attackers who firebombed his house, and dog pens.

    I will end with a quote from our past Prime Minister when the Liberal government of the time was trying to ban the carrying of handguns, Sir John A. Macdonald said the proposed ban would have the effect of
    “disarming the person who ought to be armed, and arming the rowdies.”

    Well Sir John A. Macdonald, you were right, and time has proved your point.

  10. where are your facts woman? facts…. this is the same tired disproved theory and opinion of Wendy Cukier. Didn’t work ins the USA, nor South Africa (by a looooooong shot!), nor Japan, nor Britain, etc ad infinitum. The real lie here is that you and your ilk refuse to compare the number of MURDERS rather than gun crime. Take away the guns and the people still die..hmmm People still commit suicide… people still stab people to death with the number one weapon in the world… the KNIFE.

    Do a real study with facts and not some puff piece cashing in on tradgedy for a cheap paycheque.

    over n out

  11. should we outlaw diesel and fertilizer too? The movie shooter was a bright guy, and booby trapped his house pretty well, would you even have wrote an article if he bombed a movie theatre and there was NO GUNS INVOLVED. you are an ambulance chaser.

  12. Senator Mobina Jaffer’s editorial in support of a return of the now defunct long gun registry was long on rhetoric, but short on facts.

    Like our own Canadian mass killers, the gunman in the Aurora USA cinema shootings was a government approved killer.

    He had no criminal record or history, and no complaints against his mental state.

    In order to purchase the firearms he used in his killing, he had to pass the mandatory American BATFE “National Insta Check” system (NICS), a mandatory screening system that endeavors to deny criminals and felons the opportunity to purchase firearms legally in the USA.

    NICS checks are performed hundreds of thousands of times every day during firearms purchases in the USA, far more than the alleged 16,000 checks performed when the Canadian long gun registry was in effect.

    Was the long gun registry usefull in preventing such mass killings as the Aurora incident in Canada? Certainly not, by evidence of the Dawson College shootings in Montreal in 2006.

    There, the killer used restricted firearms, long controlled even before the advent of the long gun registry, and had all of the required licenses, registrations and authorizations necessary to possess them. These gun control measures were useless in preventing him from carrying out his atrocity.

    The difference was at Dawson College, there were others present who had firearms and they put a stop to the killer’s rampage.

    At the Aurora cinema, the patrons were disarmed by the cinema companys “gun free zone” policy, and many more died because of this.
    Gun control and firearms registries have failed us here in Canada, and perhaps the Americans look to our failures in this area as reason not to succumb to the demands of the gun ban lobby.

  13. Mexico has an almost total gun ban for citizens…there is one gun shop in the entire country. So how did they have almost 50,000 murders in the past 5 years? Oh, you mean criminals ignored the laws and got/used guns? But there are laws to prevent that!

  14. To correct this article and get straight to the point:
    1) Gun “control” laws have been proven over and over to have little to no effect on the homicide rate (Lott, Mauser, Langmann studies).
    2) When a gun control law fails, the misguided answer from gun controllers is to pass yet another gun law that is in tern just as ineffective at lowering homicides.
    3) Shootings like the one in Aurora are happening in France, Germany and Norway where guns are almost outlawed.
    4) The only people anti-gun laws effect are the law abiding, because they are the only ones abiding by them. So, you restrict civil liberties for a fake peace of mind. Criminals and psychos don’t care about laws.
    5) The damage wrought by a single-shot hunting rifle (and that’s what it was, it was NOT an assault rifle thank heavens) is far less than that of an Oklahoma style bombing (168 dead) and make no mistake, the Aurora nutbar had the resources to make bombs.
    6) It is not for nosy Canadians to wonder and worry about the United States. They have made a conscious choice to have a freer society based on liberty and the individual. Funny we should criticize that, because many Canadians continue to move there and…purchase guns.

  15. Gun control is a game of both complete control and absolutes.

    Contrary to what Emma thinks, it has always been that way. When the long gun registry was in place, authorities constantly combed it to search for additional firearms to either place further restrictions upon, or to confiscate.

    Witness Canada’s history with handguns. Prior to Trudeau, Canadians could use them defensively, or could hunt with them. With Trudeau, that ended. Since then, handgun use has been limited to ranges. And with that change in uses, the cry from some ever since has been to outright ban and confiscate since they have no legitimate use save for “killing people”. Under Chretien, that goal was partially fulfilled with the widespread bans and confiscations of the Firearms Act. Now, his successors and accomplices are working hard to finish the job.

    Also, with virtually all semi-auto rifles that look “scary” by virtue of a martial appearance, or construction of modern materials, now banned, the controllers and banners have turned their attention to high powered centre fire rifles equipped with scopes…because they are “sniper rifles” and in their eyes nobody needs those. The problem is that they have consciously decided to target a huge number of common as dirt hunting rifles by doing so…that in addition to their constant claim that nobody needs any type of semi-auto firearm for hunting anything.

    So, Emma, with the constant pulIng for ever more bans, don’t try and tell us the end game is not one of absolute prohibition. Save that trite argument for your PR sessions with Wendy and Co.

  16. The average target shooter could easily fire off a few thousand rounds a year, and buying ammunition in bulk often saves money (it ain’t a cheap sport folks) Restricting target shooters and collectors will do nothing, but they remain easy targets for politicians to do “feel good policy”. Increased legislation or prohibition will not stop random acts of violence; and random acts of violence are getting worse because of societal problems not general gun ownership. In many cases, an armed person can defend against such random acts, but today’s philosophy is to disarm the good. and let the criminals back on the streets, to continue the bad. Australia which currently restricts gun ownership has seen an incredible increase in violent crimes. The UK has not fared much better. Tackling the root problem by applying the existing laws, and improving the societal issues that cause gangs and violence to spread would do much more. But politicians are safe behind their armed bodyguards and fortified bunkers, whilst ordinary folk go about their business unarmed for the most part, and vulnerable.

  17. “The irony is that the right… actually believes that any regulation around guns at all is an automatic erosion of a fundamental right. That’s right: losing your right to arm yourself like a Navy SEAL amounts to losing your right to bear arms at all.”

    What gun owners understand (and Ms. Teitel clearly does not, judging by the numerous factual errors in her article, both legal and technical) is that ANY modern firearm (modern being those manufactured since about 1860 or so) is capable of being criminally misused to commit murder. ANY repeating firearm using metallic cartridges can be a lethal tool in the hands of a lunatic bent on causing as much suffering as death as possible. Don’t just take my word for it – put ‘Cowboy Action Shooting’ or ‘Lee-Enfield Mad Minute’ into a YouTube search and see for yourselves. Those are rifles more than a century old, and of a design that gun-control groups claim not to have an issue with – for now.

    This is why gun owners oppose any erosion of firearms rights so vociferously; because they realize that even if they themselves have no interest in owning a so-called ‘black rifle’, it is only a matter of time before the anti-firearm and anti-self defence movement starts calling for a ban on so-called ‘sniper rifles’, or ‘outlaw rifles’, or ‘bambi-killing rifles’ – or whatever inflammatory name catches on with the media. Firearms owners realize that eventually, the call will be to ban ownership of the types of ordinary, ubiquitous rifles that the average hunter or target shooter DOES own. Many of those are cherished as family heirlooms, or as valuable tools for putting meat in the freezer, or championship ribbons on the mantle.

    Gun owners realize that they must stand together, or fall separately. Gun owners realize that if given an inch, they will take a mile. THAT is why gun owners resist any encroachment on firearms rights – they recognize it as the first step towards total confiscation of anything more formidable that a child’s water-pistol.

  18. No amount of gun control will stop a person hell bent on killing many many people from doing so.

    Actually, had the people in that theater been permitted to defend themselves perhaps the victims would not have been victims.

    There were people in that audience trained in firearms usage but were denied THEIR guns in the theater.

    You can NOT keep guns out of the hands of criminals, period. You can help victims not be victims. so long as “self defense” is a bad word in Canada we will always be victims.

  19. Let’s see here,

    -United Kingdom has a firearms ban, their crime rates are thought the roof.
    -Washington DC has a firearms ban, their murder rate is high.
    -Chicago has a firearms ban and their murder rate would make downtown Kabul blush.
    -All these shootings take place in gun free zones.

    Do you see where I am getting at here?

    Finally could you site one case where the former LGR saved a life? Or prevented a mass shooting here in Canada?

    Btw, pistols have been regulated since 1934 in Canada, yet people are still getting killed. Sadly these come from sources outside the country and funny, they are not registered.

    I will await your response.

  20. So much wrong with this article, but the previous posters have addressed them. What’s really irritating is I have to come to this page (and Macleans gets advertising revenue from my click) to tell you that you’re wrong, wrong, wrong. The guns are here. They’ll always be here. They’ll always be available to the wrong people. How did he buy 6000 rounds? Same way everyone else does. Call a few gun shops and ask how many crates they ship out every month. Dozens? Hundreds a year? My laymans guess is 99.9% of those bullets are used properly and without injury to humans. But because one guy bought bulk ammunition and used it to murder innocent people, we should ban the other Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine people from buying it in bulk too.
    Give your head a shake. Bans don’t work.

  21. “but the one source of comfort for me is the fact that the people
    responsible, gang members or otherwise, at the Eaton Centre, in Little
    Italy or Scarborough, were not carrying assault weapons like James
    Holmes was in Colorado. The main reason is that such weapons are illegal
    for private citizens to own in this country.”.. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

    Yup the ONLY reason he wasn’t carrying the cosmetically politically incorrect, dreaded AR-15, is because it would have been illegal..hahaha And shooting someone is not?
    The AR-15 .223 is nowhere near as powerful as the average moose or deer rifle, As a matter of fact, it’s too small a caliber to be ‘ethically’ used for deer hunting.. It’s probably the most popular varmit and gopher gun in the world.. Except in Canada of course, where it’s looks, not function, scares liberals..The sooner this firearm is taken off the Canadian restricted list the better..It just makes our government look stupid..

  22. The point of the Second Amendment isn’t for people to arm themselves to hunt or to defend against criminals. The point is to bear military arms against the imposition of tyranny. In the late 18th century, small arms meant a muzzle loader. In the early 21st, small arms means an assault rifle. Arguments against military small arms in the context of the Second Amendment are beside the point; in that context, if you lose the right to arm yourself “like a Navy SEAL” you have in fact lost the right to “bear arms” as it is intended.

    Those intent on harm reduction must get to the root of the motive to harm, not the means by which it is done. Eliminate the profit motives of organized criminals.

  23. This article is just bursting with ill-informed drivel.
    My favorite line was “Just as if James Holmes had been armed with a pistol and not a semi-automatic rifle that fires 60 rounds a minute.”
    Really? Do you even think about what you write? A handgun in those close quarters would have been just as devastating as any “semi-automatic rifle that fires 60 rounds a minute”. Or even a bolt action rifle for that matter.
    The only thing that could have realistically helped these victims, was if someone in the crowd had a concealed carry or open carry permit and was able to take out the perpetrator before he gunned down so many people. Full stop.
    The shootings in Ontario could have easily have had a higher death toll. Semi automatic rifles are available in Canada. The only thing stoping gang members from using them is likely the fact that they cannot be hidden in a pocket.
    The firearm is not to blame for any of these activities. It is the person intent on harming others that is directly to blame.

  24. “it’s about harm reduction”

    More specifically it’s about reducing harm to criminals and maximizing it for gun owners and victims. It’s also about ignoring decades of evidence that demonstrate gun freedom is good for public safety. Above all else, it’s about putting anti-gun bigotry into law.

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