The Brian Dawe tragedy illustrates the totally confused state of gun laws in Canada.
Simply put, all handguns (pistols) and automatic weapons should be illegal, except for law enforcement authorities and the military.
These weapons should not be just restricted but absolutely prohibited for ordinary citizens. You can put a pistol in your pocket and nobody knows it is there. It is a concealed weapon with only one real purpose: to shoot another human being.
Automatic weapons shoot all the bullets in a magazine when you hold down the trigger.
You need neither type of weapon to shoot a moose or a duck or a rabbit.
Gun nuts try to excuse their weird infatuation with these anti-human weapons by such rationales as “target practice” or being part of a “shooting club.” That rationale could be used for the legal possession of rocket-propelled grenades or ground-to-air missiles.
Simple possession of these anti-human weapons by ordinary citizens who are not the police or military must be absolutely prohibited.
Hunting weapons such as rifles and shotguns are completely different.
Where the previous federal Liberal government and the people who are afraid of guns went wrong is to not make the distinction between a hunting gun that is three feet long and can only fire one bullet at a time and concealed pistols and automatic military weapons.
The legal hunting rifle or shotgun cannot be hidden in your pocket.
That is why there is a legal prohibition about sawing off the barrel of shotguns. The sawed-off shotgun that can be tucked under your coat is a criminally concealed weapon. A pistol serves the same purpose and is even harder to detect.
A simple example is try going down to George Street on a Friday night carrying a hunting rifle with a telescopic sight and see how long before you are arrested.
On the other hand, if you have a pistol in your pocket, nobody will even notice you.
That is why pistols were invented.
The failed gun registry, which has fortunately been scrapped, was a ridiculous effort to criminalize all legal hunting rifles and shotguns.
We need law reform to prohibit civilians from possession of any pistols or automatic weapons.