What has just occurred in Canada cannot happen in the United States of America, but I have to tell you that I wish somehow that we could follow the Canadian model on how to stem gun violence.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an immediate ban on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in the wake of a Nova Scotia shooting that killed 22 victims in April.
That means you can’t own an AR-15, or an M-16 or an AK-47. Period.
As The Associated Press reported: “Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers,” he said, rejecting the reaction of many politicians after mass shootings.
Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including the rampage that killed 22 in Nova Scotia April 18 and 19. He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two guns used by the gunman as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States.
I am left to say, merely, “Wow!”
The Canadians don’t have a constitution that contains an amendment that guarantees that the “right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” That gives the prime minister a clear path to take unilateral action.
Spare me the dogma associated with gun-owner rights. I do not want to move to Canada. I am a proud American patriot who believes in the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment that guarantees gun ownership.
However, I remain baffled, bamboozled and blown away (no pun intended) by our inability to legislate any kind of modest gun reform that could prevent the sort of carnage through which we suffer with alarming frequency.
The AP reports: Trudeau said the weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.
“Today we are closing the market for military-grade assault weapons in Canada,” he said.
Owners of these weapons use them for that purpose here, as well, yet our political structure is hamstrung by fealty to the Second Amendment and the inability or unwillingness of politicians to buck the gun lobby.
But here we are with two nations of comparable physical size, but with huge differences in population. They also are governed by vastly different documents and precepts.
We need not be held hostage in this country by gun lobbyists. I continue to believe there exists a legislative solution to gun violence that keeps faith with what the founders wrote when they drafted the Second Amendment to our beloved Constitution.