First, regarding Geoffrey Hill’s May 11, 2020 letter, “Misplaced machismo.” A few thoughts. Modern sporting rifles (black guns) aren’t designed to kill people; they’re designed to fire a projectile, similar to their wooden-stock counterparts.
The AR-15 (Armalite Rifle) was designed as a modern, modular-type rifle, in the late ’50s, by Eugene Stoner, for the civilian market. The design was later adapted by the U.S. military, and modified for select fire/full auto, as well as the regular semi-automatic fire.
This is the most popular sporting rifle in North America. Thousands of Canadian men and women own and responsibly use these firearms. They enjoyed a non-restricted classification in Canada from 1979, until Bill C-17 in 1991, which put them back in the “restricted” category.
The government recently released its Engagement Summary Report — Reducing Violent Crime: A dialogue on Handguns and Assault-Style Firearms. It’s available online on the Public Safety website.
That report found that the majority of online survey respondents, who were unfortunately unable to attend roundtable/live discussions, owing to strict limitations on the process, reject the government’s current, punitive actions via the OIC (order In council).
From that report:
On page 5: “The key findings from the online questionnaire were: Majority of respondents did not support further limiting access to firearms and assault-style firearms” (the first listed point).
On page 28, Section 3.3.2 key finding: “Most respondents (81 per cent) did not want more to be done to limit access to handguns.”
On page 31: “Similarly, most respondents (77 per cent) did not want more to be done to limit access to assault-style firearms.”
On page 32: “The questionnaire asked respondents if they believe more should be done to limit access to assault weapons. 133,369 respondents answered the question. Overall, when asked if they believe more should be done to limit access to assault weapons, 21 per cent said “yes,” 77 per cent said “No,” and two per cent indicated they had no opinion.”
Real solutions, such as early intervention for at-risk youth, were mentioned in the report, as well as targeting criminals. Another concern was with the use of the term “assault weapon” (page 5), which is a bogus political term, with no technical merit.
As we speak, more firearms are being unilaterally added to the “prohibited” list. The FRT (Firearms Reference Table) is having its prohibited list updated with more “scary-looking” guns, regardless of how they function: bolt action, semi-automatic, etc.
Canada’s civil disarmament agenda has been kicked into high gear. More will follow, and public safety has nothing to do with it.
Dr. Caillin Langmann’s 2012 paper, Canadian Firearms Legislation and Effects on Homicide 1974 to 2008 (published in 2012 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, available online) illustrates no significant benefit of Canada’s three large round of firearms controls (C-51, 1977; C-17, 1991; and C-68, 1995) on rates of homicide, using three methods of statistical analysis.
Refer to Paul Palango’s recent article in with MacLean’s magazine, which discusses the organizational failures of the RCMP, during a killer's recent murder spree. These failures, and the killer’s use of police impersonation, and arson, have taken a back seat to virtue-signaling, via civil disarmament.
Robert Bracken, Atlantic regional director, Canada’s National Firearms Association, lives in Dartmouth.