There’s been a lot of discussion around town about the new firearms ban imposed by Ottawa in wake of the horrific mass shooting in Nova Scotia, where 22 innocent people were murdered.

With everyone already on edge because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sheer psychotic nature of the crime — information coming in from the investigation seems to suggest the murderer had planned something like this for a long, long time — the shock of a mass killing hardened everyone’s resolve, hence the widespread support for the ban. Scenes of heavily armed thugs staring down lawmakers in the United States probably didn’t help either.

Personally, I have very mixed feelings about the ban. Probably my biggest issue with it is there isn’t really a lot in it that would actually prevent another Gabriel Wortman. The firearms he used were acquired illegally, many from the United States, and he had gone out of his way to maximize the amount of damage he could on his rampage using gasoline and disguises.

To date, it appears he did not have a firearms licence. Yet he was clearly better armed than most PAL holders (myself included.) If someone wants to get a firearm and go on a rampage, there really isn’t much to stop them.

So I feel for the sport-shooters. Keeping up with the legal hurdles to own, never mind actually use, some of these firearms now banned takes serious dedication. And the goalposts move every few years whenever someone does something evil, insane or idiotic that no self-respecting firearms owner would ever allow with their tools.

But I really feel for indigenous hunters. It seems whenever a nut case or group of them storm a legislature building or go on a shooting spree down south, more restrictions pile on which hurt people who don’t have deep pockets. To be legally able to own firearms requires one to two days in classes, which means prohibitive transport costs and accommodation. Then you undergo an RCMP screening and submit a photo to get your PAL card. Then of course the cost of a decent shotgun or rifle and ammunition is on top of all that. You can’t carry a handgun for wildlife emergencies and if you want to have one at all, what you can do with it is even more restrictive.

All that being said, the gun lobby is shooting itself in the foot. Claiming this ban is undemocratic is nonsense; it was front-and-centre in the Liberal party’s re-election platform. Their critics were too preoccupied with Justin Trudeau’s misadventures with make-up to notice. The ban is well within the regulatory framework of the law and can be undone just as easily. So while excessive, there’s no reason restrictions couldn’t be eased back when things settle down and still keep the spirit of the ban.

But I favour a temporary ban because we are at a period in time where a disturbing number of people are calling for violence against the Prime Minister and joining far-right and/or separatist paramilitary groups that have dangerous attitudes towards immigrants, aboriginals, women and minorities. And they’re getting more brazen all the time.

Until the political climate in North America cools down, I think it’s pragmatic to disarm people of the more dangerous weapons out there and the only fair way to do it is to do it across the board.

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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  1. The author really shoots himself in the foot, what’s left of it, when he attempts to assert the unilateral fashion in which this oppression was brought to bear as democratic. In Canada we are governed by a representative democracy, one in which we elect representatives to debate issues in parliament and ONLY that debate by our elected representatives can produce legitimate law. This system was intentionally subverted, in a time of crisis, by the Trudeau government as a means to appeal to their voter base via their most effective means: creating hate and division between Canadians and capitalizing on that division by attacking whatever minority group their voter base wants to see oppressed. This has been the Modus operandi of the Liberal party for over 50 years.

    Perhaps it is simply that the author is confused? Seems probable, given his utter ignorance of the content of this order in council. He seems to have confused our representative democracy with a direct democracy, let pretend that is the case for a moment and ask ourselves; how many Canadians actually voted Liberal and therefor support Liberal authoritarianism, as per the reasoning presented by the author. In 2019 the Liberals took less than 1/3 of the popular vote (33.06%) compared to the Conservatives, which actually won the popular vote with 34.4%. Now on top of that only 66% of registered voters actually voted, so how many Canadians actually voted to oppress their innocent neighbours?

    Well, 66% comes out to 17.9 million votes cast in total which means that a paltry 5.9 million Canadians actually voted for Trudeau in 2019. That’s 5.9 million who support tyranny against roughly 25 million of us adults who don’t. The author conveniently ignores the Liberals recent commitment to pass legislation that will make it impossible to reverse their tyrannical aims. It’s difficult to discern which aspects of the author’s argument are due to his ignorance of the world around him, or pre-existing political agenda, it could very well we that the author is simply remarkably incompetent but I doubt this is really the case.

    In reality, the opinion offered here is no different than the self aggrandizing racists who fought ending segregation in the states, the author even uses the same reasoning, he only only hates the assault guns because they’re “most dangerous”. His only basis for this pathetic excuse for an opinion is his prejudice and ignorance. He even has the audacity to describe his bigotry as “pragmatism” as if it is pragmatic to criminalize millions of innocent people.

    Like all who support the staggering criminality and fascism of the Liberal party regime, the author doesn’t care in the least about people, lives, freedom or democracy. He’s perfectly happy to see the government hold a gun to his neighbours heads, as long as it’s the ones he hates.