Damn Right, Justin Trudeau Took The F**king Guns
So, just like that, Canada actually did something about gun violence. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday the ban of more than 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including America's most popular child killer, the AR-15. Unlike Lindsey Graham, Trudeau isn't worried about fending off looters after a hurricane.
TRUDEAU: These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada ... Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military-grade assault weapons in this country."
That's what a world leader sounds like who exists in reality and isn't owned by the NRA. Trudeau correctly observed you don't "need an AR-15 to take down a deer." Casting fierce shade on America's continued fecklessness after mass shooting upon mass shooting, Trudeau declared that "Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers."
PM Justin Trudeau announces ban on sale of assault-style weapons – May 1, 2020www.youtube.com
Mass shootings aren't as big a fad in Canada as they are in America, but Trudeau noticed they were occurring more regularly. The last straw was the senseless murder of 18 people in Nova Scotia last month. Amazingly, he didn't consider blaming single moms or video games a valid response. He decided to actually enact sensible gun control laws ... and during a pandemic, no less. US politicians can barely pass pandemic legislation during a pandemic.
"As of today the market for assault weapons is closed. Enough is enough," Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.
Current owners have a two-year amnesty period for possession of assault weapons, during which they transport or export them only to deactivate or get rid of death machines. They can also return them to manufacturers and proudly abstain from murdering human beings in large numbers.
You might think all that sounds great, but what if Canadians refuse to return their assault weapons like Meghan McCain's tough guy brother? Presumably, the government will just consider them “criminals" and not let the tantrums of overgrown children negatively impact society.
We're naive enough to assume all of Canada is Portland, Oregon. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau of politicizing "the horrific attack in Nova Scotia" like he was a common Ted Cruz. He slammed the Liberal Party's “ideological agenda" and lamented the government robbing “law-abiding citizens" of their murder weapons. What's different here is that Trudeau and the Liberals were able to ignore that jibber jabber and pass some goddamn gun control.
Only 30 percent of Americans personally own a gun, but vocal -- and perhaps most important -- armed minority continues to hold America hostage. There were 434 mass shootings in 2019, which includes 25 school shootings. Republicans are known obstacles to seriously curtailing gun violence in the country. We don't expect anything decent from Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell, but we can't make much progress when Democrats are in control. We could win the White House and hold majorities in both houses of Congress, but we'll somehow lack a vote in the Senate or on the Supreme Court to permanently stop this twisted cycle of violence.
But for now, we can at least live vicariously through a Canadian government that didn't willingly bury the deaths of 18 people in the next news cycle. Maybe someday America will be better.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."