Don’t grandfather machine guns, eliminate them

Posted on May 6, 2020 in Child & Family Policy Context

Source: — Authors: – Opinion

The federal government’s widely popular ban on military grade assault-style rifles, if successful, will be the best news Canadian women have had since the emergence of women’s shelters, abortion rights, equal pay legislation and the #MeToo movement.

The ban covers about 1,500 types of these semi-automatics, including those used in the École Polytechnique massacre of women; of children at Sandy Hook and the recent slaughters in New Zealand, Las Vegas and Orlando; and the Moncton killings of RCMP officers. There are 16,859 of the École guns in Canada, 83,572 of the mass slaughter guns, and 5,229 of the Moncton guns.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: To kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the nation. “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer.”

Trudeau’s subsequent reference to “grandfathering” rules after a post-ban two-year transition period is alarming. Will the Liberals let women down, as the NDP has in the past? Don’t test our patience; we have none left.

A ban means no guns; it doesn’t mean keep the ones you have. It shouldn’t mean large payouts to gun owners; the government doesn’t compensate drivers whose cars fail emissions tests. Everyone moves with changing times, including men clutching massive black emblems of terror.

There are more than 100,000 of these guns in Canada. Semi-automatic in name only, they can easily fire almost as fast as an automatic rifle used in war.

In other words, they are basically machine guns but not called that because simple words are obscured by cults lobbying for mainstream respect while whitewashing hideous death, e.g. “shooter,” which evades the more damning “gunman” word.

What is the point of these phenomenally lethal guns? They are fetishized by their owners who know they’re socially unacceptable and a red flag to most women. Reporters regularly get avalanches of male rage about tiny details of manufacture and definition, a true sign of obsession.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who grew up, as I did, with guns, says nobody owned an assault rifle then. True. She is aware, as are all Canadian women, of the daily dangers women live with. One of them — after nighttime, parking garages, alleyways, sex attackers, stalkers and violent controlling partners — is guns. One woman or girl dies by femicide every three days, she said.

“They’re designed for only one purpose: To kill people and to look like they can kill people. The culture around their fetishization makes our country inherently more dangerous for the most vulnerable: women and girls.”

Many aspects of gun love are puzzling. Why do respectable gun owners, hunters who eat the animals they kill, allow themselves to be co-opted by Machine Gun Men? What will end gun fetishization in the U.S., dotted as it is with annihilation sites?

If only Americans could see a massacre, they’d revolt against guns, the rational anti-gun campaigners say. But the Las Vegas bloodbath that killed and injured 869 people was filmed, as were many other acts of carnage.

If only Americans could see the dead bodies, they say. But U.S. entertainment is based on dead bodies, Americans often see war photographs of enemy corpses, and they often hear doctors explaining what bullets do inside the human body.

If only Americans could see dead children, they say. But they can. A much-shunned 2016 documentary, “77 Minutes,” (now on Netflix) looked back at the 1984 slaughter of 21 people, including babies and children, in a San Ysidro, Calif., McDonald’s. The killer, an unemployed security guard who beat his wife and daughters, fired an Uzi inside the restaurant until he was shot dead.

The police filmed the aftermath, a tiled floor sloshed with blood, booths packed with bodies lying at strange angles, a dead baby on the floor with a chubby belly covered in blood.

And 36 years later, they said a notable thing, that the hyper-militarization of local police that you see now began that day when they realized they didn’t have the arsenal needed to fight one man’s Uzi.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair mentioned the same thing about policing such guns last week. Gun butchery doesn’t stop. It spreads. It gets worse.

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