Jordan Candler / December 19, 2018

Canada’s ‘Gun-Control’ Harbinger

America can avoid a lot of headache simply by taking heed of the missteps of our northern neighbor.

In September, a CTV News survey reported that 48% of Canadians back “a total ban on handgun ownership.” Another 19% at least marginally endorse a total ban. That’s more than enough public appeal to arouse the gun-control predilections of Canadian politicians. And they aren’t missing a beat.

Writing in National Review, Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University researcher Vincent Harinam and Simon Fraser University professor emeritus Gary Mauser say that “talk of a national ban on handguns and ‘assault weapons’ has reached a fever pitch” in the aftermath of incidents in Toronto and Fredericton. As such, “Under orders from Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau, Canadian border-security minister Bill Blair has chaired a series of closed-door consultations to determine the feasibility of such a law.”

Harinam and Mauser beseech Americans to take note. “Though Americans are rarely interested in Canadian politics,” they write, “American politicians often uphold Canadian firearms legislation as a model to be emulated. … The Canadian gun-ban debate may prove instructive for Americans looking to avoid the consequences of hasty, emotion-driven gun legislation. Three lessons can be gleaned, with each highlighting the pitfalls of a distorted national conversation and the ineffective legislation it breeds.”

The first lesson proclaims: “A failure to recognize past failures dictates calls for more restrictive legislation.” A long-gun registry that was imposed in 1995 not only included “error rates of 43 to 90 percent in firearm applications and registry information,” but the initial estimate “that the firearms program would cost only C$2 million … had ballooned to more than C$2.7 billion by 2012 — the year the registry was discontinued.” Moreover, “Canada banned over one-half of all legally registered handguns through a reclassification process. … Embarrassingly, the overall homicide rate dropped even more in the U.S. than in Canada, without the benefit of Canada’s maze of firearms restrictions.”

The second lesson states: “Politicians prefer grand gestures over measured policies.” According to the authors, “Canadian lawmakers have failed to address the primary driver of gun violence: gangs. Demands for gun control routinely displace calls for measured policies that target this problem. … As in the U.S., gang violence in Canada is concentrated in certain urban hubs. From 2013 to 2016, gang-related homicides doubled in census metropolitan areas.” Sadly, “The gun ban’s popularity remains high as political half-measures are designed to placate voters rather than protect them.” Sound familiar?

Finally, the third lesson cautions: “Long term and secondary consequences are rarely considered.” The authors observe, “Guns and drugs go hand in hand because the competitive nature of the drug trade demands violence for purposes [of] personal protection and eliminating rivals. … More drugs equate to more drug deals. And more drug deals yield additional gang violence. It is quite likely that gun violence in Canada would increase if handguns were banned. Then there’s the issue of corruption. In addition to cases of state corruption in Quebec and British Columbia, reports from 2007 and 2012 revealed hundreds of cases of corruption among Canadian police and federal officials. For the Canadian government, corruption is the elephant in the room. The expansion of illicit international supply lines is likely to create further opportunities for clandestine profit.”

America can avoid a lot of headache simply by observing what has transpired across our neighboring country.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.