How the great Canadian gun compromise was destroyed

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Tim Thurley.

Gun control groups had gotten most of what they’d wanted. That wasn’t surprising. They had actively participated in drafting legislation and worked directly with senior bureaucrats. Allan Rock’s policy advisor called their contributions “very instrumental.” In 1995 Heidi Rathjen of gun control group PolySeSouvient said, in response to Pierrette Venne’s question about what the group would do if Bill C-68 came into effect, that “…if [Bill C-68] is passed as it was tabled, without major amendment, then, as far as we are concerned, after what we’ve presented today, we will no longer fight for a federal legislation.” No major amendments were made. In 2015 she essentially re-endorsed their 1995 position, and blamed their continued activism on Harper-era tweaks and the post-1995 invention of “new” “assault weapons” — though many of the “assault weapons” her group wanted banned were on the market decades prior to C-68, were not prohibited by it, and remained legal until 2020.

C-68 was touted as the “end of the struggle to strengthen gun control in Canada.” While some advocates pledged to continue a push for a total ban on the remaining murkily-defined “military assault weapons,” the compromise was set. Subsequent Liberal and Conservative governments accepted the core philosophy and most core elements. The 2004 Conservative manifesto retained all of the central components except for the controversial, expensive, and ineffective  registration of hunting guns, a position eventually supported by Trudeau the Younger.

Gun-control groups used to be realistic about the scope of their goals and the Canadian way of life. They acknowledged hunting and sporting use, the importance of having “a supply of ammunition in the home” for predator defence in rural areas, and maintained that the Chief Firearms Officers should have discretion over license issuances or revocations when a person has been rehabilitated, a policy which C-21 would abolish. They didn’t even push for a total ban on handguns. In turn many gun owners came to see licensing as a point of pride. They saw it as a badge of honour indicating they belonged to the safest and most trusted citizens, clearly set apart from the criminal class and even safer than the general public.

[ … ]

These groups consider removing firearms from society an unalloyed good, yet consumer demand shows plenty see it differently. There are 2,300,000 licensed gun owners in Canada who rely on firearms for needs as diverse as agriculture, sport, wilderness protection, trapping, investment, heritage and hunting. Fifty thousand jobs and billions in GDP rely on them. Loss of livelihood is bad enough, but we also cannot ignore the loss of life that economic harm entails or that every dollar we spend or lose here could be spent on a nurse we do not employ, a soldier without proper equipment, or a diversion program for an at-risk youth.

For fun, I once roughly estimated the building costs for central storage units using comparable public contracts. It came to just over $600 million, before any operational costs. Six hundred million bucks is a lot of money in any scenario, but here’s the kicker: that’s for only 20,000 guns, in just the Northwest Territories. Where guns are critical to food security. Canada has about 12.5 million firearms. There’s a reason almost no serious comparator uses central storage, even in far smaller countries.

No one, especially the central government, is going to foot the bill for central storage of firearms, and especially not locked down and manning those storage locations with guards and stewards.

Rather, the goal is just to make all firearms illegal.  His work to compute the cost was a waste of time.

Notice how proud gun owners were of their licensure – and notice how earnestly and honestly gun owners negotiated the new laws.  But there will never be “end of the struggle to strengthen gun control in Canada.”  Governments don’t care one whit about “sporting” applications of firearms. They are trying to protect and ensure the survival of government, of the elitists, of the rulers, not a way of life or the ability to defend home and hearth. That’s why self defense with a firearm in Canada is illegal.

Negotiation and compromise is the road to hell.  Just don’t do it.  Ever.


Comments

  1. On January 22, 2024 at 4:45 pm, Mike in Canada said:

    I, for one, was not ‘proud of my licensure’- far, far from it. I grudgingly did it because there was a rifle I wanted to purchase, and this was the only way to do so. That was my sole contribution to the long gun registry.
    It has been more than thirty years since we first started arguing about C68; prior to that we argued over C17 (which brought in the mag cap restrictions, among other things, which essentially began the destruction of IPSC shooting in Canada). The mere fact that we are still arguing over this indicates that the discussion has little to do with reason, logic, or fairness. There is clearly an agenda of total disarmament at play, and unless some other concern diverts the gov’s attention, that agenda will continue to be pursued.
    So much is obvious. The question now is, how best to comport oneself under these conditions? The only thing we can do, just short of that final, terrible step, is massive non-compliance…
    Tick, tock.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Second Amendment and was published January 21st, 2024 by Herschel Smith.

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