Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the beginning of a ban on the “sale, purchase, and transfer of handguns” throughout Canada that was first approved in May. The Canadian gun homicide rate is 2.28 per hundred thousand; the US’s is 10.95.
The measures show what can happen when a supposed “Constitutional right” to gun ownership – and one that neither the Founders nor anybody else interpreted as a personal right to be an army of one before fairly recently in our history – does not interfere with sensible gun legislation.
Canada has had a much smaller problem with firearm deaths than the US, but a growing one of late: between 2010 and today, the percentage of handguns in the country has increased by 70%. The proportion of homicides by gun has gone from 26% to 37%. This worked out to 277 gun murders out of 743 in 2020. That same year, the US had over 45,000 gun deaths – over 19,000 of which were homicides.
Today’s date was chosen because it coincided with the 2014 attack on the Parliament Hill National War Memorial, which left one dead, plus the perpetrator. Trudeau was in Ottawa for the announcement.
The PM has also noted that the country has already banned many assault-style weapons.
We’ve already banned more than 1,500 types of assault-style firearms. And we’ll continue to do whatever it takes to keep guns out of our communities. More details here: https://t.co/bgdU9aoGt4
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 21, 2022
In his official statement, he said, “With handgun violence increasing across Canada, it is our duty to take urgent action to remove these deadly weapons from our communities. Today, we’re keeping more guns out of our communities, and keeping our kids safe.”
Many say that the US shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo were largely part of the motivation. Essentially, our northern neighbor doesn’t want to become like us. And for good reason: our Supreme Court has made it virtually impossible for the federal government and for states to address our enormous gun issue.
Apparently, Canadians just don’t recognize the “right” to die by gun violence.
Monthly gun sales in the US doubled during the pandemic. There are currently nearly 400 million guns in the US, and approximately 42% of them are handguns. Around 5% are assault rifles.
Oh, the land of the free and home of the brave! Where our children need armor just to go to school. Isn’t freedom grand? Thank goodness we’re not like those safe, sensible Canadians! How boring it would be to have so few murders and still be looking to reduce them. Thank you, Clarence Thomas.
Follow Ross on Twitter: @RossRosenfeld