Should semi-automatic firearms be banned?

popular semi-auto rifleJohn Moses Browning invented semi-automatic action rifles and shotguns over 100 years ago

Should semi-automatic firearms be banned?

All semi-automatic firearms should be prohibited and confiscated, Professor R. Blake Brown urged in his submission to the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia. Despite the MCC’s attempt to hide submissions, I managed to find and criticize a copy of Professor R. Blake Brown’s paper. It’s now available here.

However, Professor Brown did not provide any evidence that semi-automatic firearm pose any greater threat to public peace than any other type of firearm. He showed scary pictures and provided examples of when semi-automatic firearms were used in multiple-victim homicides. He ignored cases involving other weapons. See here and here. He also ignored the research showing that Canadian gun bans were failures. See here. And here. And here.

Professor Blake Brown misled the Mass Casualty Commission. While he surveys Canada’s gun laws, he failed to recognize that previous Canadian firearms legislation have been ineffective in reducing homicide or multiple victim murders. See Professor Langmann’s presentation to SECU. 

Notably, Professor Brown did not mention that the killer, Gabriel Wortman, possessed his firearms illegally. Wortman was prohibited from owning firearms, yet he still managed to acquire his guns illegally even though he was prohibited from owning firearms. Some were smuggled; some were stolen from the RCMP. 

Professor Brown correctly pointed out that the Canadian government has previously confiscated firearms from people deemed ‘suspect.’ That does not make it morally right.

In the past, the government has confiscated firearms from ethnic minorities deemed ‘suspect,’ as Professor Brown has reported. In the 19th and 20thCenturies, the Canadian government repeatedly crafted firearm legislation so that it fell more heavily on recent immigrants than it did on Canadians of either English or Scots ancestry. Canadian gun control has at various times targeted law-abiding Canadian residents of Irish, Italian, Ukrainian, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry, as well as First Nations and Métis peoples.

Should this practice be called racism? Xenophobia? Or ethnocentrism? It’s not morally defensible. 

If the government can confiscate property lawfully held and used by any group claimed to be ‘suspect,’ no one in Canada can consider their property safe from arbitrary seizure. Although it may seem outlandish and unlikely, a government influenced by radical environmentalist dogma might order the “buy-back” of internal combustion motor vehicles, and base this confiscation on vague concerns about climate change. More and more restrictions on internal combustion engines are based on these vague concerns. 

Should semi-automatic firearms be banned? Indeed, the Commission’s focus on firearms may be too narrow. Rampage killers are not limited to using firearms to murder victims. A recent multiple public killing involved a driver of an SUV plowing into a crowd at Christmas time. Earlier, a similar event happened in Toronto, where the driver of a van attack killed 10 people and injured 16 others, some quite seriously.

It is my hope that this Commission will uncover just how much the local police knew of Wortman’s firearms and criminal activity in the months prior to his rampage.

11 Comments on "Should semi-automatic firearms be banned?"

  1. Herman Folgering | April 27, 2022 at 1:08 pm | Reply

    Our firearms laws are a mess, there should only be two classifications, long guns or handguns, everything else is irrellivent, does not matter if its semi or bolt or lever.

  2. No Semi-auto firearms should not be banned. The government needs to get their heads out of their asses and get tougher on the criminals that possess these firearms and leave the law biding hunters, collectors, farmers and trappers etc. alone.

  3. “Professor” doesn’t automatically mean “someone it is wise to listen to”.
    There are plenty of folks with impressive titles who are nevertheless,
    pathologically neurotic, and generally maladjusted. Keep the guns out of THEIR hands, along with policy making powers, and we’ll all be much better off.

  4. As usual, the anti-gun “experts” blame the tool, and not the “craftsman” wielding it. Wortman was in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and it will be interesting to see whether anyone knew about that, or not, prior to his April 2020 rampage. If it turns out he was known to be in possession illegally, more questions need to be asked and answered. Without delay, and without any cover ups.
    I agree that our firearms laws are a mess, and the entire Act needs to be thrown out, and reinvented in a manner using function, not form, to decide what is and isn’t acceptable for personal use, and to redefine acceptable personal use, itself. We need to apply experience, knowledge, and common sense, not fear and ignorance, in deciding what is reasonable for personal firearms possession and use for sport and for hunting and for defense of self, and what is not. Anyone who knows anything about firearms, and our laws, knows that.
    Even more concerning in recent history, after some events where the police have used deadly force, the police at all levels need to be made fully accountable in the same ways that the rest of us are, when they use their firearm, and kill anyone, no matter the situation. No more “police investigating the police”, and no more protection from prosecution, or using deadly force with impunity, because “their lives are considered more valuable than the rest of us”, which is embedded in the Criminal Code. How can Canadians allow themselves to be seriously injured or killed, simply because a police officer said that “they were scared, and feared for their life” or some other purely subjective and unverifiable defense? It’s happening far more frequently, and more often than not, the persons involved are neither charged nor prosecuted, often based on their own testimony of how the event unfolded. How is that fair to the victims of police use of deadly force? The sad fact is that police can kill with impunity under Canadian Criminal Law. No reasonable person can possibly agree that anyone’s life is more important than anyone else’s life, in a civilized society, yet that’s the status to which our police are raised. As a result, some members of some police forces have apparently adopted a lazy “shoot first, and let the courts sort it out” attitude in situations where there were clearly other options to diffuse and de-escalate confrontations between themselves and the general public, while performing their duties. That also has to change. If I defend myself or my loved ones or friends with the use of deadly force, and am charged with a crime such that I must defend myself and my actions in a court of law at great personal expense, then so should they. No exceptions.

  5. Russia military just lives across the pond from us. Maybe the professor thinks we should take our chances. Besides, Putin is holding it personal and despises any country helping the Ukraines. Being a disarmed civilian is definitely not a got idea in this day and age.

  6. In my mind, the sole blame of this tragedy is the ineffective policing of the RCMP. The perpetrator was known to them and as the comity of errors unfolded a simple amber alert may have saved several lives. The gun control advocates will see this as an opportunity to spew their nonsense about all firearms should ban. But again gun owners are low-hanging fruit and easy prey for the gun ban. Laws are for the law-abiding the rest with no moral compass gangs etc. have no regard and are above or below the law!

  7. English Bill of Rights 1688
    Clause 7:
    “The subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law”

  8. No semi-automatic rifles shouldn’t be banned. This whole issue is a creeping total gun ban by any other name. Activists never quit,the entire purpose to their lives is activism, with little consideration of the result or the harm it might do to others. Once we allow the government to implement a ban on S-A’s, the next step will be to limit the number of guns one can own, undoubtedly restricting us to one hunting rifle and one shotgun,which should of course be a single shot. By the time the public has been propagandized into Gun Control using methods like they have for the “Climate Emergency”, no one will complain when a total gun ban is legislated. Iow, a total ban by stealth. The longer a Trudeau government reigns in Ottawa,the more likely this is to happen. Those guys don’t believe in democracy or inherent rights,but only those they hand out.

    • Gary Mauser | May 1, 2022 at 9:55 am | Reply

      Exactly right. That’s why we need to organize and resist. I urge you to support which ever group you prefer — NFA, CSSA, or CCFR — and volunteer for the Conservatives in your area. We need to replace the Liberals.

    • 2 thumbs up. 🙂

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