American gun control’s roots are in racism. Specifically, a post-Civil War push to deny freed slaves their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. It spread, virus-like, to northern cities with “urban issues” (i.e. large African-American populations). It went federal because it could. In contrast, Canada’s gun control legislation started on the federal level . . .
The federal Parliament instituted a system of gun control in the North-West Territories in 1885 to hinder the Red River Rebellion for Metis rights. Permission in writing from the territorial government was needed to possess any firearm (other than a smooth-bore shotgun), and also ammunition. Possession of a firearm or ammunition without the necessary permit was an offence, and could lead to the forfeiture of the firearm and ammunition. These gun control provisions applied to all of what is now Alberta, Saskatchewan, parts of Manitoba, the current Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut . . .
Legislation in 1934 required the registration of handguns with records identifying the owner, the owner’s address and the firearm. Registration certificates were issued and records kept by the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or by other police forces designated by provincial attorneys general.
Wikipedia’s summary of gun politics in Canada doesn’t tell the whole story. Suffice it to say, as always, gun control is about control more than it’s about guns. The video above outlines the legacy of Canada’s shameful history of civilian disarmament. There but for the grace of God and the determination of gun rights-protecting Americans goes the US. Shudder. [h/t SS]