We are your friends, family and neighbours. We are your colleagues and co-workers. We come from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders. We are well-motivated participants in our communities. We come from all political persuasions. We enjoy life and deplore violence. We are the over two million Canadians who own and use firearms.
That number is likely much higher, as Canadians own from fourteen to twenty-one million firearms. That’s based on import and export numbers, reasonable attrition and solid research.
Canadian firearms owners are statistically far less likely to be involved in any criminal activity that non-firearms owners.
That’s reality as confirmed in Canadian research by Professor Gary Mauser, PhD. Dr. Caillin Langmann’s analysis of Canadian statistical data is clear that none of Canada’s firearms laws for the past fifty years have had anything whatsoever to do with preventing violent crime.
These laws have always been about political expediency against an easily targeted group, namely firearms owners.
Crime rates have been dropping for decades, and the research indicates that the likely cause of this is an aging population which is less likely to be involved in violence.
Spikes in violence are clearly due to criminal gang activity in large centres, and the failure of the governments in those centers to support their citizens and police in dealing with criminal organizations.
Going after gangs is hard work, and both police and we ordinary citizens want their evil deeds stopped. However, taking away people’s property with misguided firearm bans will have no effect whatsoever on violence.
Simply put, our guns aren’t the ones in the hands of criminals. The criminal element has always been able to make, smuggle or steal whatever weapons they want, and they likely always will have that ability.
The solutions are not found in banning guns – firearms are not complex technology and can be readily made by anyone with rudimentary skills and tools.
A firearm is a tube, a projectile, a propellant and a receiver to direct the energy. Higher quality firearms are expensive tools, works of art, and competition pieces that provide much enjoyment to their owners. When necessary, they are also useful for protection, whether they are fired or not.
The Canadian firearm owning public and our firearms culture are important aspects of our society. They are worthy of respect and support. There is absolutely no reason to be banning and seizing the billions of dollars of private property held by good people because of a failure to stop bad people from doing bad things.
Our firearms laws are already excessive and in serious need of reform. If gang violence is to be checked, then municipal budgets need to reflect the need to support police and provide economic alternatives to gang lifestyles.
Taking away firearms from the innocent is not going to stop gang warfare, and it will likely only make our country less stable and more prone to political bullying.