Farewell, Canada

First, Trudeau came for free speech – and we said nothing. Then, Trudeau came for people’s bank accounts – and we kinda noticed, but ultimately those who tried to speak up were silenced.  Now, Trudeau is after Canada’s firearms – and Canadians are wondering what the hell is going on…but they shouldn’t be. 

The writing was on the wall. 

Gun culture in Canada sits somewhere between America and Australia. Americans love their guns while most Australians have never owned one and don’t plan to. Canadian law reflects this half-way house approach where firearms are legal but heavily regulated. Recently, the nation announced a buyback scheme (similar to Australia’s) to reclaim 1,500 military grade guns after the Nova Scotia killings.

As the Minister of Emergency Preparedness said, ‘In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.’

That is true – at least, legally speaking. There are no special protections on gun ownership in Canada.

‘This is a principle that differentiates ourselves from many other countries in the world, notably our colleagues and friends to the south. In Canada, guns are only intended to be used for hunting and sport purposes.’

Actually, that is the common position among Canada’s peers – exempting America. Bill Blair may be attempting to paint the nation’s anti-gun laws as some kind of a unique stand against the tide of steel, but his message is nothing new.

Regardless of how gun culture began in Canada, handgun ownership has been on the rise as the country leans toward American gun culture. Ownership increased 71% in a decade, but instead of asking why Canadians suddenly felt the need to protect themselves, Trudeau introduced legislation in May (Bill C-21 to be brought in before the end of 2022) to freeze the importation and sale of handguns as an attempt to stall the cultural shift.

‘We are capping the number of handguns in this country,’ insisted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. ‘It will be illegal to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada.’

In addition to this, ‘red flag’ laws are on the horizon to allow Canadian officials to retract gun licenses for a range of offences including domestic violence and criminal harassment. Of all the reforms Trudeau has suggested, this may be the only sensible one, as it is usually the case in mass shootings that the perpetrator was known to be mentally unstable or had engaged in criminal activity. Indeed, the conversation about restricting gun use would not be happening at all if authorities had done their jobs and properly monitored those individuals who had openly fantasized about causing harm.

Trudeau admits that the majority of gun owners in Canada are responsible, with no need for the government to babysit them. However, as has too often been the case in the post-Covid world where ‘safety’ is used as the unquestionable excuse to expand government power and interference, Trudeau has insisted that he is going to take all the guns anyway. Because he can.

‘This is a concrete and real national measure [that goes a long way] toward keeping Canadians safe.’

Safe from – what?

Many would argue that in a country such as Canada where help from authorities is often an unacceptable distance away, removing guns could pose a widespread threat to public safety. Especially as Canada is essentially being punished for America’s mistakes.

The erasure of guns from private hands is a larger ideological movement among the Left that has very little to do with real-world statistics. Like the Democrats, these leaders ‘want guns gone!’ and if you don’t agree, you’re basically killing people. (Where have we heard that before?)

Canada does not appear to have a significant gun problem, so why has the Prime Minister decided to crack down on gun ownership? Attempts have been made to link Trudeau’s decision to the recent school massacre in Texas, but the Canadian government has had gun reform in the pipeline for years. With a literal stockpile of handguns sitting just over the border, Trudeau doesn’t only need to change policy – he needs to police it. Presumably with guns.

Not everyone is happy. As with America, Canadian politics is split straight down political lines with the Conservative Party, run by Pierre Poilievre, insisting that criminals who misuse weapons should go to jail while law-abiding citizens should be left alone by Trudeau.

Trudeau, like many leaders of so-called ‘liberal’ governments in the West, has exhibited an increasing fascination with exerting government control over the lives of citizens. It’s a ‘freedom – but only if you do as I say’ scenario that the world saw play out in Ottawa during the Freedom protests.

Instead of negotiating with freedom protesters or resolving Trudeau’s borderline unlawful pandemic measures, he quickly turned to threats and force to implement his political will. This is how dictators treat political dissent – not Western nations. Worse, when Trudeau’s threats didn’t work, he took the unprecedented step of freezing the bank accounts of individuals who donated to the protest movement – people who were not in attendance and not breaking any laws.

Essentially, Trudeau made it illegal to protest government policy. Now people are asking, why should they trust Trudeau on gun reform when he has shown so little respect for the rights and lives of Canadians?

For Trudeau, ‘keeping people safe’ appears to have more to do with ‘keeping his regime safe’ than citizens.

This brings us back to the original question. Why has gun ownership in the notoriously peaceful Canada been climbing? What are the Canadian people afraid of? Gun sales also increased 85% in America during the Covid period. While an increased distrust of government and a drastic increase in crime – particularly in Democrat states which has seen looting, robbery, and assault at all-time highs – goes a long way to explaining America’s situation, what about Canada?

Self-defense is not a valid reason to own a gun inside Canada. Some have suggested that there is a market fear of gun shortages prompting people to ‘act now’ and purchase a weapon for hunting. It is likely that the detail will show that the vast majority are probably not new gun owners but rather existing ones expanding their collection. There are just over 2 million licensed gun owners in Canada but less than a quarter are allowed to purchase highly restricted handguns – which are the target of Trudeau’s crackdown.

Canadians would probably prefer Trudeau do more to tackle the rise in illegal guns found in the hands of violent gang members. His $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund to ‘target at risk children’ is not as effective as frequent raids, seizures, and arrests of gang members.

Too often Western leaders punish law-abiding citizens as a way to look ‘tough on crime’ without the need for going after criminals. Unnecessary and draconian laws are implemented to silence, limit, and coerce the overwhelming mass of good people while the criminals continue to prey on the ever-weakened ordinary citizen.

2020’s terrible attacks in Nova Scotia by lone gunman Gabriel Wortman could have been avoided had the police taken his previous instances of domestic violence more seriously. His weapons were gifted to him – so where were the police checks ensuring military-grade weapons are not passed onto people without licenses – especially those prohibited from owning them due to assault charges?

The failure of Trudeau’s blanket ban has been criticized by experts who rightly point out that it has no impact on how Wortman’s weapons were acquired. That appears to be a frequent failure of legislators using broad brushes. Their solutions look great written across a news headline but they fail, on the most fundamental of levels, to address the core problem.

As an Australian, I come from a gun-free culture. Prime Minister John Howard’s buy-back program after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 happened when I was a child. 650,000 guns were reclaimed and destroyed by the government, giving Australia a global image as a gun-free society. While you’re not likely to come across granny packing an AK-47 at the local supermarket, there are estimated to be 3.5 million registered firearms in Australia and at least 260,000 unregistered illegal weapons in circulation – although authorities admit that they have no idea how many illegal weapons have been imported. Ironically, the vast majority of illegal weapons in the hands of criminals were hidden during the 1996 buy-back program.

Fear of losing their weapons led to the creation of a grey market.

One thing is clear, Trudeau hasn’t put any of the necessary work in to merit his draconian gun legislation. As one prominent Twitter user points out, the imagery of his regime is one of blind, masked, obedient compliance that doesn’t bode well for the future of Canada.

American congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene writes:

‘Trudeau foolishly completely ignores how taking guns away from his people makes his country weak and vulnerable to being invaded and easily taken over by another stronger country. Like, perhaps Russia, who is very angry at America right now. Canada has an incredibly weak military and now with Trudeau’s gun grab, his people are left defenseless, not only be a criminal attacker, but also defenseless against another country’s military invasion.’

Canada, as it appears, is now ripe for the picking & primed for the taking. 

Privacy Preference Center