LETTER: Gun ban is baffling

From reader Richard Green

Our prime minister and minister of public safety seized a golden opportunity — no parliament, a horrendous rampage in Nova Scotia, and the nation’s focus on the pandemic — to continue their harassment of law-abiding firearms owners.

On May 1 they announced that, by order-in-council, 1,500 makes, models, and variants of firearms — the legally purchased property of non-violent hunters and sports enthusiasts — would be banned immediately. This was presented as somehow an effective strategy to reduce gangs and gun violence. The justification for this confiscation of lawfully acquired property was baffling.

Justin Trudeau claimed the firearms being banned were unsuitable for sporting or hunting purposes but Indigenous hunters could continue using them for hunting as they were accustomed to. He stated they were only useful to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Please explain, then, why two models – specifically, an H&K sub-machine gun (up to 700 RPM) and a Colt Canada C8 assault rifle (US army M4, up to 950 RMP), as well as a Remington sniper rifle (US army M24) are being provided to the RCMP? GooglE “what firearms do the RCMP use” to see the full list of weapons in the RCMP arsenal.

Where and when does Trudeau expect the RCMP to put these rifles to the only use he accepts for them? Meanwhile, Bill Blair asserted the ban would have somehow prevented the Nova Scotia rampage, where the firearms used were found to have been smuggled from the U.S. No actual evidence was presented to suggest this ban will in any way reduce crime. The cost, if the promised buy-back actually is implemented, was touted as an unbelievable $250 million.

There certainly are actions that might have some beneficial effect on gangs and crime. Currently a five-year program at $13 million per year is proceeding for two more years; it is meant to stop firearms smuggling across the U.S. border. Perhaps this could be increased to the level required to do the job? Possibly an effort could be made to reduce the attractiveness of joining a gang. Maybe we can, at long last, make a serious effort to deal with mental illness. Poverty sometimes leads to gang membership.

It appears the prime minister and minister for public safety are using this pretense of “doing something about gang violence” to troll for votes from people who are not well informed about the realities of problem gangs. What happened to Trudeau’s promise to make policy based on evidence?

Richard Green

Nelson

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