Commentary, Opinion

You can’t ban everything

February 10, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Liberal government has now backtracked and stopped its efforts to ban hundreds of hunting rifles and shotguns, effectively making them illegal and turning owners into some kind of lawbreakers. Finally, some pressure on the government has resulted in what the people want – not what the government is forcing us to do.

When the amendments to Bill C-21 were first introduced, they were fluffed off by the government as some minor changes.

However, they weren’t minor changes at all. The Bill caused considerable concern among the opposition parties, hunters, sports shooting groups, Indigenous groups, and even within the Liberal party itself.

The government claimed they weren’t banning hunting rifles, when clearly they were – because there is a list of the firearms they wanted to ban.

It’s pretty hard to convince someone you aren’t planning on doing something when you have clearly written it down as an explanation of what you are planning on doing.

Lately, the Liberals have been referencing mass shootings in a foreign country as an excuse to try to take your firearms away from you.

We don’t have a mass shooting problem in Canada. We don’t even have a shooting problem in Canada when it comes to legal gun owners.

Even some of those in the Liberal party realized they were heading down a slippery slope. If this amendment went ahead, millions of Canadians, who live outside of a couple of the major metropolitan areas, would never vote liberal again.

I’m sure Liberal MPs across the country were getting some pretty serious opposition from their local constituents.

The liberal government’s attempt at banning firearms isn’t a safety measure, it’s a way of controlling citizens in this country.

If they were serious about public safety, they would take care of the criminals who have illegal guns and use them to inflict injury and death on public streets.

The recent killing of a police officer near Hagersville, Ontario wasn’t carried out by a responsible hunter or target shooter on his way to a gun range or hunting outing. That shooting was carried out by a criminal with a criminal record and an illegal gun, which should have never been on the street in the first place.

You can have all the gun bans you want – but criminals don’t care – they will still use and carry illegal guns. That’s why they’re criminals.

While I don’t agree with some of the rather free gun laws south of the border, where you can be standing in line next to a good old boy at a McDonalds in Texas who has a .45 in a holster on his hip, I think our current Canadian gun laws are fair, and no further restrictions are necessary.

Canadian gun control regulations go back over 100 years. Early in the 20th century, laws were put into place regarding carrying handguns in public. Those laws were amended in the 1930s to require a handgun permit.

This was a simple process. However, serious penalties were introduced if you decided to walk around town with your gun and were caught.

In the 60s, categories for ‘restricted’ and ‘prohibited weapons’ were introduced. In 1976, fully automatic firearms were put on the prohibited list. The 70s also introduced a new level of permits required, including Firearms Acquisition Certificates.

By 1994, the rules to obtain a Firearms Acquisition Certificate were amended to make the process more stringent.

After all these new requirements and regulations, there was no real reduction in violent crimes related to guns. That’s because legal gun owners were still responsible and met all the requirements to own a firearm.

The long gun registry was an attempt by the government to register every firearm in the country, including hunting and sport rifles and shotguns. It was a total failure. Many people simply chose not to register, effectively making them criminals for having something in their possession that they had owned for years.

The long gun registry was finally scrapped after costing hundreds of millions of dollars when the government of the day finally announced the program was a waste of money, ineffective at reducing crime, and targets law-abiding citizens instead of criminals who don’t register their illegal guns.

The current firearm laws in Canada are adequate to keep the public safe, and legal gun owners, by far, comply with all regulations and safety protocols.

If the federal government is concerned about public safety, they need to redirect their focus on criminal activity, not spend time going after law abiding citizens just because they are an easy target.


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