Milennial’s and Gen X have to know the insight of the Firearms culture

Written By Guest User, Posted on February 26, 2020

As Parliament kicks it into high gear with eight sitting weeks scheduled over the next three months, Canadians will have their first real chance to see the new minority Liberal government in action. 

While the ratification of NAFTA will be the government’s top priority, a close second, by their own admission, is the banning of “assault weapons” in Canada. 

According to the Liberal Party Platform:

“Gun crime in Canada is on the rise, and today, our country has no clear classification for assault rifles — making it legal to buy several military-style weapons. Andrew Scheer’s policy on guns was written by the gun lobby. He has an agenda that will make it easier for criminals to get their hands on assault rifles. That’s wrong. A re-elected Liberal government will strengthen gun control and ban assault weapons in Canada.”

For a policy of the utmost importance, it severely lacks in the details needed to implement it, let alone be considered.

First off, the term “military-style assault rifles” is never clearly defined, other than to say it includes the notorious AR-15. There are few further details to be found on the Liberal Party’s website and even less in the mouths of the politicians who repeated this shallow promise during the last election campaign. 

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who last month said the government is also looking into letting municipalities bring in handgun bans, said the first step in the prohibition on “assault weapons” would be to ban the sale of all of them across the country, something that Blair believes could happen in the “near term.”

They attribute this to the alleged rise of gun crime in Canada. While gun crime in Canada’s major cities is undoubtedly an issue, the actual countrywide stats paint a more complicated picture than politicians looking for a quick fix would like. 

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The most recent StatsCan numbers from 2016 have 97% of violent crime, down 4% since 2013, being carried out without the use of a firearm. And while firearm-related violent crime is up 6% from 2013, it’s still down 4% from 2009 – hardly the rise that would justify a one size fits all ban on whatever guns the Liberals care to classify as “military-style assault rifles.” Most firearm-related offences, from 2014-2018, especially those used in homicides, were committed with handguns. In 2018, 249 homicides were committed with a firearm, down from 2017 at 267.

A ban on sales is not where they plan on stopping; however – the next step would be to implement a gun buyback, much like the governments of Australia and New Zealand have implemented. 

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Jordan Vandenhoff, the National Firearms Association’s Regional Director of Ontario, himself an AR-15 owner, spoke with TNT on what such a policy would be like for him and thousands of other Canadians in the same position. 

“The highest quote I’ve seen so far is not even one-third of what I’ve paid for that [AR-15]. And on top of that, to pay that back, they’re using your dollar and my dollar to pay me back. I bought the firearm in good faith. I got licensed, I paid my licensing fees, I did the course, I pay the taxes. I bought the firearm, and I paid the government taxes on that too. And now they’re forcing me to sell them back my property at a reduced cost. Even if they said we’ll give you full face value, I still cannot get on board because it is my property, and I’m not selling it.”

The Liberals estimate their buyback plan will cost $600 million. However, a Fraser Institute analysis pegs the cost is anywhere between $1.6 billion and $4.9 billion. If this were to turn out at all like the last gun control measure put in place by the Liberals, the long-gun registry, which was expected to cost $2 million but ended up costing $2.7 billion, such a cost expansion is certainly plausible. 

Touching back on the AR-15, in my last article on Canadian gun culture, Vandenhoff made the comment that while this weapon is available, a fully automatic version is not and is next to impossible to come by. 

“To make one with like fully auto capabilities, a gunsmith, a machinist with a lot of knowledge and a lot of time on his hands could do it. It’s not like your average Joe could do that. It takes a lot of knowledge. It takes a lot of machine work. Everything has to be right for what you’d have to do to that firearm; you’d have to have a vast knowledge of it. It’s not easily convertible at all.”

In summary, this effort by the Liberals seems like a solution made in search of a problem. While this issue may be a convenient one for them to campaign on in Canada’s big cities, a ban on “military-style assault rifles” will do nothing to help communities affected by gang and gun violence. 

It seems Canadians can expect to see the roll-out of a gun control plan this spring that high in fear-mongering rhetoric, low in policy details, fails to make a difference in areas with high firearm crime rates, strips away the property rights of law-abiding gun owners, and balloons in cost over time. 

Guest User

One response to “Milennial’s and Gen X have to know the insight of the Firearms culture”

  1. Steve Behm says:

    We need gun manufacturers to argue the unconstitutionality of destroying their businesses, the lost jobs etc.!