As the Alberta government readies to rumble with Ottawa over standing up for our province and the people in it, the Trudeau government is certainly demonstrating gross federal overreach with what is believed to be the largest gun ban in Canadian history, leaving little confusion over why Albertans are getting amped up over autonomy.
Trudeau’s Bill C-21 is creating a firestorm among hunters, sportsmen and associations from across the country. It began as a ban on “military-grade” assault-style firearms – black guns. Then the feds turned their sights to legally-obtained handguns. And now the revisions made will impact thousands of rifles and shotguns that are “low-powered, slow to fire and only ever designed to shoot birds, deer or skeet.”
While some Canadians could see merit in the banning of “military-style assault rifles,” in light of our country’s deadliest mass shooting – the April 2020 rampage in Truro, Nova Scotia that claimed the lives of 22 innocents and injured three others until the RCMP shot the gunman – the scales of public sentiment on the current ban have seemingly tipped against Trudeau and his Ministers.
Unlike our southern neighbours, gun culture in Canada is more subdued and has a strong history of reasonable legislation. But get in the way of a northerner on his or her annual moose hunt or Sunday outing to fill the freezer with deer? Look out. That is a sure-fire way to ruffle some Canuck feathers.
Even Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is speaking out against this draconian gun grab, taking to Twitter to tell fellow Canadians that Trudeau is out of line, with hunting rifle in hand, sporting camo garb: “What Justin Trudeau is trying to do is unjust. I support the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights to keep my hunting tools.”
Ironically, maybe it takes a hockey goalie to be the hero and defend common sense from our attention-seeking selfie-king prime minister, instead of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners in protest.
Trudeau now says he is “listening to concerns” over the impacts of the ban on hunting rifles. Sadly, if we look at his seven-year track record of listening – nothing built, back or better – this too is probably just poli-speak. But perhaps like his failed attack on Alberta beef, we could see the prime minister fold a bit.
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have made it clear they do not support the federal push, with potentially more provinces to join. And while Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino wags his finger at them and calls their pushback “reckless” and “political stunting,” it’s pretty tough for even the greatest gun opponents to argue their reasons for opposition.
These opposing provinces maintain that they won’t take part in the buyback program because they don’t have the RCMP resources to waste on harassing duck hunters, that the ban is virtue signalling and that law-abiding gun owners are being unfairly made to look like criminals. All of which are fair and truthful reasons to oppose the gun grab.
But if more provinces join the ranks of opposition at this latest measure of federal government overreach, how far will the feds get with this anyways? More importantly, why wouldn’t the feds listen to provincial voices of dissent if this is really a democracy?
It’s the same old story, where you can bet a lot of these pencil pushers in Ottawa have never protected a herd from a predator, fed their family by the grace of a bountiful November hunt or engaged in a family tradition like a Saturday afternoon at the gun range.
They just don’t get it. And perhaps they never will.
Safe to say from our perspective at Alberta Proud, it just lends more to the winning argument that we need more Alberta and less Ottawa.
Never forget, once we give government an inch, they will always take a country mile. And it looks like Trudeau is putting an ultra marathon feather in his cap over this one.
Lindsay Wilson is President of Alberta Proud.