An Open Letter to The City of Ottawa
To all the people in Ottawa and any councillor who may be thinking on this – people who want the city to ban handguns, or who want the federal government or the province to ban them:
What, exactly, do you hope to achieve? Handguns are nearly banned in Canada now. There are a *LOT* of hoops to jump through to get and keep a handgun legally in Canada. We’re not in New Mexico, where anyone can just walk up to a Walmart and buy a Glock.
Legally acquiring a handgun in Canada requires that the purchaser be vetted by police, complete a course, get and maintain a licence, own a proper storage facility for the gun, be “walk-in” inspectable by police with no notice, and essentially maintain a very clean criminal record.
Carrying that gun is allowed only between its usual storage facility and a certified firearms range. This also requires what amounts to a licence from the range. Other types of carrying require specific one-time permissions or a special (and in Canada, very rare) court order.
That’s the state of legal handguns in Canada.
So how, by banning handguns and taking away my licenced target shooter neighbour’s gun that is locked in a safe going to prevent Abdullah “Slider” Mohammed over on Ledbury from shooting Jimmy “Small Balls” Malone over a drug deal gone sour, with a gun he got in the By-Ward Market two weeks ago from some crook from Montreal, who himself got it on the docks, smuggled in?
Handguns are essentially banned in Canada. If you want to reduce gun violence how about aiming laws at crooks using guns? Why not spend the effort addressing the core issues that cause people to join gangs?
Oh yeah, those things require work. Picking on some retired soldier who shoots bullseyes in his spare time is trivially easy. The handgun ban that people are asking will not make streets safer – it is “security theatre”: it looks cool, but it’s all for show and does nothing.
A common refrain is that “there have been no shootings in the UK since they banned handguns.” Fair enough, in closing, lets look at that:
A quick search on “shootings in the UK” reveals 24 shootings in London alone in 2018. 24 is a lot more than zero. Really, without digging any further it is fair to dismiss the UK argument, but let’s dig anyway… In 2015 there were 25. There was a mass shooting of 12 people (with 11 more injured) in 2010. I’m just selecting random years. In short, there are plenty of shootings in the UK since they banned guns, because BANNING GUNS DOESN’T TAKE GUNS AWAY FROM CRIMINALS.
I will not argue that owning guns makes anyone safer, because that too is a stupid argument. But taking guns away from people who aren’t criminals doesn’t affect crime. Crack down on people with illegal guns. Take steps to keep kids out of gangs. Harshly punish people who commit firearms crime.
And, of course, keep up the gun control we have.