We live right next door to the United States and share a very common North American culture and bond with Americans. We have a few philosophical and political differences that separate the two countries and they are contentious issues. Socialized medical care is a hot button issue in the States, yet it has been around here in Soviet Canuckistan for decades. It isn’t a perfect system, but it does allow equal access for all Canadians to health care. The upside is that a Canadian will not lose everything because of health issues beyond his or her control. Oddly enough, the Canadian government spends less per capital than the current US system. The other odd issue is that Canadians are up in arms about privatization for health care because it threatens the public system. The complete opposite of debate in Washington these days with the US issues, in many ways. Which brings me to the gun control issue in Canada vis a vis the ongoing debate in the United States.
Canada has very rigid gun laws, particularly when it comes to contentious weapons like handguns and assault weapons. In short, they really make things difficult for handgun owners. Canadians are not allowed to own automatic weapons with the exception of police and armed forces and a very small group of collectors.
Most Canadians are onside with this program. The handgun issue was decided in the 30s, so most Canuckleheads have simply grown up with tight handgun regulations. A Canadian owner must have a detailed police background check when he applies for a handgun. Then he must only transport his weapon to and from a gun range in the most direct route possible (no robbing banks on the way home).
Western Canadians have a stronger link with firearms, Its rural population has traditional ties to gun ownership relative to hunting and pest control in agricultural and recreational areas. Long guns are a part of the culture, and I can vividly remember Easy Rider rifle racks in many pickups during my younger years.
I wasn’t one of them, then or now. I don’t own any firearms, but I am not opposed to them or their use in hunting. I used to plink gophers and squirrels when I was a kid, but my expertise was largely limited to 22s.
The Canadian government implemented firearms training programs in order to own and possess weapons or ammunition. That is when the lazy kicked in for me. I didn’t go the extra step to get an FAC (firearm acquisition certificate), unlike many of my relatives who are avid hunters.
A massacre that targeted women at a Quebec post-secondary school initiated a call for a national gun registry in the 90s. The government’s knee-jerk reaction to the actions of one woman-hating sociopath has been largely ineffective and cost billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. The current Conservative government wants to axe the program, but they have met resistance, primarily in large urban eastern Canadian regions.
It makes better sense to shovel the wasted money at actual law enforcement, but it makes factions of do-gooders feel better if they have an expensive yet highly ineffectual registry to help them sleep at night.
Canada’s urban centers have many gangs that serve as poster boys for gun control advocates—even though these lowlifes will never own legal weapons anyway. We now have drive-bys and random gang executions in our big cities, so we are now able to imitate some of the less desirable aspects of U.S. thug life.
Most of the gang-bangers’ illegal weapons are smuggled in from the U.S., so I guess the guns are payback for the pot and Prohibition-era booze from Canada.
My final thoughts on firearm laws in Canada? I’m OK with our tighter handgun laws and bans or restrictions on automatic weapons and assault rifles. However, I think we are over-regulated on hunting rifles and shotguns.
My final thoughts on U.S. laws? I would be well-armed if I lived in a state with liberal gun laws. I’d want to keep up with the well-armed Joneses next door.