If virtuous intentions are the yardstick by which we measure good government, then Justin Trudeau’s is the best government Canada has ever had.
Unfortunately for Canadians, Trudeau’s May 1st announcement to ban “military grade assault-style weapons” was all show and zero substance, as are the opinion polls trotted out to show “overwhelming support” for it.
“Nobody in the world knows what an ‘assault-style weapon’ is. There is no definition of the term in law,” says Tony Bernardo, a 5-year former member of the government’s Firearms Experts Technical Committee for the Department of Justice.
“The term ‘assault weapon’ was created by Josh Sugarmann in the late 1980s specifically to confuse people about what guns we’re talking about,” Bernardo says. “We’re seeing the result of that well-executed disinformation campaign today.”
“Assault weapons’ menacing looks,” wrote Sugarmann in 1988, “coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons –anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”[i]
Sugarmann, executive Director for the anti-gun Violence Policy Center in the U.S., successfully muddied the waters to the point where Justin Trudeau looked Canadians in the eye on May 1st and declared every gun that scares him is a “military grade assault-style weapon” and must be banned.
And this is where Trudeau’s virtue-signalling rubber meets the harsh road of reality.
What changed to enhance public safety as a result of Trudeau’s announcement of a “military grade assault-style weapons” ban in Canada?
Absolutely nothing. (Unless you count all the hair on fire across the Canadian internet.)
Every single gun listed on his 69-page May 1st Order in Council is exactly where it was on April 30th – safely stored in the gun safes of licensed, law-abiding Canadians.
Not a single firearm was turned in for destruction.
Not a single firearm could be turned in for destruction, even if we wanted to.
The government – in its virtuous and total ineptness – has no clue how to collect them, let alone compensate gun owners for them.
Justice Minister Lametti specifically told Canadians NOT to “attempt to surrender their firearm while social distancing because of COVID-19 is being practiced.”
Then Lametti announced a two-year amnesty to protect us from being prosecuted for the new criminal offences they just created.
If these guns are as dangerous as the Liberal government claims they are, why will they remain in civilian hands for two years while they figure out what to do next?
Great question, right?
It’s also one the Liberal government can’t answer.