Gun Control in Canada
A national conversation on gun control in Canada has instigated the demand for stricter government control of weapons. Canadians have a strong belief in the established practice of “peace, order and good government”. Our nation is culturally conditioned with the general cultural norm of non-violence. However, with recent news on the increase of gun violence happening in the country, the need to tighten the guidelines on the use of guns is an urgent matter.
Recently, the mayors in Toronto and Montreal have asked the federal government to put in place a ban on handguns and assault weapons, and many people are in support of this concept. However, with close ties and the sharing of a border with the United States, the problem of banning guns would not completely go away. The problem with gun control is that these guns can conveniently be smuggled into the country. Either that, or owners with registered guns may legally sell these weapons to people who cannot purchase guns, hence enabling them to use the weapons for criminal purposes.
Furthermore, we see the idea of strong regionalism with an urban-rural divide in the country. People living in these rural areas would be more concerned with the ban of these weapons, mainly because the use of their weapons is for hunting purposes. Certain parts in Canada have strong regionalism due to how gun policy is constructed in that area. For example, if we look at Alberta, the province is more open to the ownership of guns, hence a cultural approach to the issue.
A potential solution to the problem of gun violence would be to implement a multi-layered system that filters out anyone that may pose a threat to society. The government should place a restriction on gun sales via a program that controls and tracks the number of guns and holds the owner responsible for any damages caused by the weapon. Background checks and criminal record history should be verified for every individual that wants to purchase a gun.
Doing so will ensure civilians that their right to own a weapon is not under threat as long as they accept responsibility/hold themselves liable for whatever danger may come through their property (weapon). This way, guns will not be owned by people with a potential of abusing them, so the person is less likely to use it for the wrong reasons. When compared to the United States, where you can buy guns without any background check, this solution should prove to be much more effective.
Lastly, to maintain integrity of these policies, a series of checks should be set in place to ensure the weapon is not being sold privately. A suggestion is a weapons check-in system. Gun owners would get a safety check every few years to make sure they still own and are maintaining their weapons. This will ensure that the weapon is being accounted for and has not been sold.
It would be a better way to track firearms, which in return, would help in the reduction of gun crimes. In addition, the owner of the gun would be required to renew their license and ensure that their weapon has not been sold without a record. If the following measures are taken, I am certain gun violence may be minimized.