Confiscation of legal firearms could never happen in North America, right?
It has been happening in Canada for years. Active gun confiscation on a large scale is not as far away as some Americans think. With President Obama’s recent executive actions, things seem to be heading in the same direction as our northern neighbors. His executive actions involved stricter background checks, not active confiscations, but are those coming next? For many Canadians, it is not a conspiracy, it is a reality.
Canadian gun confiscation has been accompanied by the government’s discouragement of the use of firearms, even in legitimate self-defense cases. A few years ago, a man from Ontario, Ian Thomson, fired several rounds from his revolver into the air in an effort to discourage four men who were literally firebombing his home. No one was killed and the attackers fled, which was what Thomson wanted. Still, a state prosecutor came after him in a legal battle that lasted almost two years before he was finally acquitted. The goal of the state is apparently to make using a firearm for self-defense such a hassle that it will discourage people from using them at all.
What about the United States? The warning to Americans from Canadians who are experiencing the government crackdown on guns is this: Registration of all firearms, not just for new ones, leads to confiscation.
The Obama administration has long wished for a national gun registry to be created, and the groundwork appears to be building steadily. The stated goal of such a database is to track the sales and movement of all firearms. In Canada, such a registry exists, and it is not only being used to track sales and movement but also to collect them from the legal owners. The legislation that led to the registry was enacted over 20 years ago, and anyone who brought up the fear of gun confiscation at the time was laughed at.
Fast forward to 2011 and beyond, and thousands of Canadians who had legally registered their firearms began to receive letters that stated they must relinquish the firearm to a law enforcement officer within 30 days or else face legal action. These are not criminals, but ordinary citizens. In one prominent case, the owner was required to surrender his firearm to law enforcement because it was a .22 caliber rifle that only looked similar in style to an AK-47. It wasn’t an AK-47 that had been customized to fit a .22, it was a completely separate weapon.
There was no democratic process to decide on the ban and confiscation. It was simply enacted by a government official that had no one to stop him. Sounds familiar, right? It also happened years after the registry was put in place. The groundwork for such an act was put in place well in advance in order to not raise alarm.
The situation in Canada is proof that an unopposed government official can subjectively ban something deemed to be unacceptable. If a .22 caliber rifle that looks scary is unacceptable, what about your scary-looking AR platform or tactical shotgun? It even has the word tactical in it.
While there will still be some who are skeptical about the Obama administration’s intent to actually take legally owned firearms from law-abiding citizens, it is impossible not to recognize the similarities between these situations in both the U.S. and Canada.
What direction do you think this is heading?