The Liberals are expected to campaign this fall on a pledge to make non-government ownership of handguns illegal. It will turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals under the law, and require the police to act like criminals.
A handgun ban as floated by Liberal Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair would require law-abiding owners to turn in their pistols. Hardened criminals are surely trembling at the thought.
The government would have to spend tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars in a buy-back program, assuming that most gun owners even cooperate. And why would – or even should – they? Men and women who have gone through the extensive training required for a license, undergone the rigorous background checks required, and acquired property with their own money, have a God-given right to own a gun. It is their property, as much as their house and car are.
To take away someone’s property without that individual giving any cause, is theft. It is as much theft for a government to forcibly confiscate someone’s property without a crime being committed, as it is for a gangster.
Giving a token compensation to gun owners for surrendering their property is little better than a gangster thanking his victim for their cooperation.
Radicals like the Toronto Star’s Heather Mallick even go so far as to urge the Liberals to steal legally-owned guns without so much as the common courtesy of a bribe.
Beyond their own ideological prejudices, the Liberals’ primary reason for a gun ban is to win votes, so it is unlikely that they would skip the bill.
For many of us, owning firearms is not a negotiable right. Many – if not most – handgun owners may outright refuse to surrender their recently lawful property. Unlike long guns, all legally owned handguns in Canada are strictly registered.
So, what happens if someone refuses to play ball? After telling their provincial Chief Firearms Officer to get stuffed, the next step would be to send armed police to the owners’ home, and confiscate them by force. Having committed no real crime beyond keeping their own property, it’s not much of a reach for citizens to refuse entry to authorities into the homes. The prospect of armed police forcing their way into law-abiding homes to enforce government sanctioned theft would not be an unrealistic prospect.
Canadian police offices are on the whole professional – but like soldiers – it is their duty to follow orders. Our politicians would be ordering those responsible for upholding the law to act like the criminals they are charged with stopping.
How many real criminals would hand in their guns? Few. How many raids would take place on the homes of real criminals with already illegal handguns? Zero.
With all legal handguns already registered, it’s likely that many owners would simple “lose” theirs in the woods. What’s the penalty for losing a handgun? Normally a fine and the revocation of their license; a license that the Liberals plan to revoke en masse anyhow.
As John Ibbitson pointed out in the Globe and Mail, the federal government has exactly zero data as to what proportion of crimes involving handguns in Canada, are actually obtained legally. The criminalizing of all non-government handguns would likely flood the black market with weapons.
Like all firearms, handguns are dangerous, but unlike long-guns, are more useful in the commission of crimes. That is why there is good reason for Canada’s current onerous regulation of handguns. I follow the law with my own, and have no problem with it.
But confiscating private property in order to score political points in an election will not just turn me and thousands of others into criminals, it will require our government to act like them.
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