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Letter: Banning 'assault-style weapons' nothing more than vote pandering

Nickel Belt MP toeing the party line, says constituent

As expected, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals took advantage of a tragic event from 30 years ago to advance a particular agenda.

Through Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, it has been announced that the Liberals will use Orders in Council to arbitrarily ban most semi-automatic firearms in Canada. While permissible within our system of government, OICs are really a throwback to the days of governing by decree in which monarchs, despots, and in Canada’s case today; elected governments, may dictate to the populace with no regard for process, fairness or legal recourse.

The Liberals are claiming they are removing “military assault weapons” or “assault-style weapons,” whatever they may be, from circulation. What they are really doing is banning anything they do not like the looks of, including many historically and technically significant firearms.

Put in another context, the Liberal ban is akin to wanting to eliminate all race cars by banning any car upon which one can find or place things like spoilers or fins; however, we all know that such things do not transform Civics into Formula One cars.

Assault rifles as used by military forces around the world have been banned in Canada for decades. Use of the term is disingenuous and deliberately vague: there is actually no legal definition of an “assault rifle” under Canadian law.

So, in effect, this legal grey area allows the Liberals to confiscate any firearm they wish; including many popular hunting rifles and shotguns on the basis of things like being centrefire, and magazine fed. That means many popular hunting arms like Remington and Browning rifles and shotguns will be confiscated and sent to the smelter.

Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré has come out in support of this move by his government and has demonstrated a profound lack of understanding of the issue and what is at stake for many of his constituents by merely toeing and parroting the Liberal Party line on this matter. In fact, he has not even bothered to respond to attempts to speak with him about this issue. 

Well, Mr. Serré, many of your constituents are hunters and stand to lose thousands of dollars worth of legally owned and used personal property because your government wishes to virtue signal its progressive bona fides to other such groups and people.

And yes, it is virtue signalling. After all, the Trudeau government has always talked a big game in terms of evidence based policy. Well, where is the evidence that legal firearms owners and their firearms are a problem?

There are many questions surrounding the government’s sincerity regarding any such bans and many legitimate concerns pointing to it as mere political opportunism.

For example, why is the government choosing to ignore its own consultation results, which show minimal support for any such ban? 

Why is the government ignoring the judgment of police and police leaders nation wide (such as the Commissioner of the RCMP) who say any such bans will not affect the gang violence we see in our urban centres? 

Why is the government moving to ban firearms now, based on one event from 30 years ago? If gun owners could be trusted for the past 30 years, what has changed (in the face of no evidence to the contrary) to dictate that their guns must be banned now?\

The Trudeau Government has gathered no data, commissioned no studies, and done zero scientific research into the relationship between legally owned guns and gun violence. If there is no new evidence, what justifies the new policy and urgency to ban firearms and confiscate them from their legal owners?

In truth, nothing more than vote pandering and crass political opportunism.

George Fritz