A culture of safety

A culture of safety lies at the heart of the North American Model of Wildlife ConservationNorth American hunters are the driving force behind wildlife conservation

Ottawa claims firearm owners need to be closely monitored to ensure public safety. Supposedly, public safety requires not only licencing and gun registration but also nightly checks by the police (“continuous eligibility screening”), and, even that’s not enough, because the Liberals sporadically impose ever increasing restrictions and prohibitions.


Ottawa can only get away with such outlandish claims because Canadians do not know their own history. In reality, Canadian firearms owners have created a culture of safety. Not only are accidental firearms deaths quite rare, but firearms owners contribute to society in many ways. 

Canadian firearms owners have long been among the most patriotic and most responsible of citizens. Not only were firearms owners foremost among the patriots who volunteered to fight during both World Wars, as well as in Korea and Afghanistan, but they were also responsible for pioneering a uniquely successful model for wildlife conservation, the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. A model that relies upon wide-spread civilian gun ownership.

Hunters are the best conservationists

The North American Wildlife Conservation Model is the most successful approach to conserving and enhancing wildlife in the world. Canadian fish and game organizations were among the leaders. The success of this approach relies upon widespread hunting opportunity. Instead of banning hunting in order to “protect” wildlife, wildlife is made available for general hunting. For more details, check out Val Geist‘s publications.

When general hunting is the rule, as in North America, every hunter has a vested interest in protecting the vulnerable animals from poaching or environmental degradation. Hunting is only allowed under strict regulations based upon ecological rules that guarantee healthy wildlife populations. The result is that hunters are the driving force behind wildlife conservation.

Hunting bans fail to protect wildlife

Either one of two things will happen. Removing the pressure from hunting removes the limits to population growth of the protected species until the species destroys its habitat. As well, the unrestrained growth of any population (deer, bears, elephants) imposes a cost on the immediate neighbors of the protected area. Farms may be devastated by voracious wildlife, lives may be lost in road accidents (ungulates are serious traffic hazards), or hikers or outdoor workers may be injured or killed by aggressive bears. In Africa villages are trampled by rampaging elephants. With no legal recourse, locals may kill protected animals to defend their families.

Hunting bans also stimulate poaching. Bans increase the economic value of a “protected species” so illegal markets expand – whether bear gall bladders or ivory tusks. Both in North America and Africa, hunting bans have failed again and again. The failure of the ban on ivory is a sad commentary on such schemes.

North American Wildlife Conservation Model

In contrast, the only successful approach to wildlife conservation is the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This approach was originated by big game hunters, led by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell, who led the campaign for conservation. In doing so, they created the modern hunting culture of “Fair Chase.” Fair chase refers to the pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals. Thanks to hunter organizations, all Canadian provinces and states in the US instituted hunting regulations that protect and enhance wildlife across the continent.

The North American Wildlife Conservation Model relies upon widespread hunting opportunities and civilian gun ownership. Recognizing the vital importance of firearm safety, North American fish and game organizations have been among the first to introduce and promote a culture of safety which begins with regulations. But doesn’t end there. 

Fish and game clubs and the culture of safety

Realizing that government regulations alone would never guarantee hunter safety, Firearm organizations, including Canadian fish and game clubs, knew they had to install the culture of safety in the hearts and minds of civilian firearm owners. Such efforts relied upon a longstanding tradition of responsible firearms ownership.

With the increase in hunter numbers after World War II, the National Rifle Association in the US, building upon decades of involvement with marksmanship training, launched the first hunter safety program in 1951. American and Canadian fish and game clubs followed suit, quickly ramping up efforts to teach firearms safety, first introducing voluntary courses, and later pressuring provincial governments to mandate safety courses as part of hunting licences.By the mid-1970s, almost all provincial and territorial governments required hunters to take a firearm safety course as part of hunter safety training. In 1957 Ontario introduced a hunter safety training course. British Columbia mandated hunter safety classes (including firearms safety instruction) for new hunters in 1974. 

The results of the resulting culture of safety are readily seen in the plummeting numbers of accidental firearms deaths in Canada.

Number of accidental deaths in 2022Rate per 100,000Target population
Motor vehicles1,7524.739 million
Falls7,60319.539 million
Poisonings5,88215.139 million
Motorcycles20024800,000 registered motorcycles/mopeds
Pedal cycles741.236 million active cyclists
Firearms110.284 million firearms owners [est]

4 Comments on "A culture of safety"

  1. Jack Burley | May 1, 2024 at 7:05 am | Reply

    The problem is that firearms owners understand. Most city dwellers only see meat coming in Styrofoam wrapped and cut up. They have NO IDEA that that was a walking breathing animal. My own cousins son, college student. didn`t understand that until I pointed it out. And he took a bit of offence to the fact. Typical green pusher.
    I was once a butcher, and a meat cutter. they are 2 different professions. The first I took great care in making sure it was done humanely. Many people need to be educated, to the fact taht it is gangs, drug dealers, and other criminals who are shooting up their city streets. Not us!

    • The other problem is that the current Liberal/NDP government has an undeclared plan to disarm the public, to enable their desired “total control of everyone else’s life, cradle to grave” policy. They’ve learned the lessons well, of all current and past totalitarian states. A disarmed population is a compliant population. Make no mistake, that’s their ultimate goal. Take away our ability to resist them effectively, when they decide it’s time to go “full rogue, totalitarian dictatorship”.
      Oh, and the “conspiracy theory” of today, is the “see, I told you so” of tomorrow.

  2. “As well, the unrestrained growth of any population (deer, bears, elephants) imposes a cost on the immediate neighbors of the protected area.”
    You left out humans.
    Just saying…

  3. This is not New Zealand or Australia. Canada is so vast and will always be free; as long as there are still “BOOMERS” around. Their first step in disarmament failed didn`t it? How many firearms have they confiscated from RCMP vetted, law following owners, so far? Even after all of their LIES to our fellow Canadians? And they have spent over $42,000,000 trying to achieve it? I guess it will never happen, because they are skimming 99% of the money into their own pockets. Which is Canadas` biggest problem; the corrupt, useless Canadian hating coalition with DICKtator Trudeau and useless Singh?

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