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The buck can wait

by Archives September 30, 2008

The wait one must endure before receiving a gun licence in Canada isn’t short, but by the same token it isn’t unreasonably long either. Strict and thorough gun registration is necessary to keep the streets of Canada safe.
Gun licences in Canada are divided into three categories: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Why we allow people to own guns that are already deemed “prohibited” is beyond me – but let’s continue.
The time it takes to obtain a licence varies in length depending on just how ridiculous of a weapon you wish to procure. To obtain a licence for a hunting rifle, or even a shotgun, one doesn’t have to worry much as they fall under non-restricted guns. So, when we hear people complaining about excruciating wait times, they are usually trying to purchase restricted guns; like a handgun or semi-automatic rifle.
As you can see, we’ve not even finished the restriction list and the guns one can own are lethal to the ninth degree. The reasons for needing some of them are truly outlandish. What good reason could someone have for not only needing a semi-automatic rifle, but needing one right now?
For those of us who are experiencing a crisis of penile jealousy; one can even apply for a prohibited licence. When obtained, this licence allows you to purchase handguns with a barrel smaller than 104 millimetres (easily concealable), and automatic weapons such as the infamous AK-47.
Thankfully, this licence is nearly impossible to obtain. Only two routes exist for getting one. Firstly, if you received a prohibited gun under previous laws (1998 or earlier), you can request to have it grandfathered in. Secondly, you can be personally approved by a chief firearms officer – after a written exam, a performance exam (licence hopefuls need to prove they are capable of handling a gun) and a proper background check, a licence can be yours.
Now, I am not saying these laws should be even stricter, not at all. I am, however, saying that they are fine the way they are. A person will never have a good enough reason to complain about waiting for a gun licence. The only one I can even think of would be, “Oh man, I really felt like shooting a doe in the head today.”
These licensing levels and long waiting periods have been put in place for our protection, and yes, there is a correlation between gun ownership and gun violence in Canada. When compared to the United States, which has very lax gun control, the difference is astonishing; in 1998, the United States had over three times as many guns per capita, and had over four times the amount of gun-related homicides.
The argument that we should scale back on gun control is based on flawed assumptions. Pro-Gun advocates mysteriously believe that gun owners would all be law-abiding citizens, who would keep their guns safe and secured, and that the influx of guns per capita would not result in higher rates of gun crimes. In the real world, more people with more guns and fewer restrictions results in more gunplay, more robberies, and more murders.

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