In Canada, it’s illegal to have fun with a firearm – now more than ever before.
Let me explain my personal situation a bit; I love shooting guns, but I don’t like hunting. This is likely because I grew up in the city rather than the country, and never developed a taste for wild game. For me, hunting is a blast until I’m left with a hundred pounds of meat that I don’t like the taste of – then it becomes a chore.
I learned to enjoy shooting first with pellet guns and .22s at Katepwa Lake, blasting tin cans (and the occasional squirrel) with my cousins and older brother.
My father took on the responsibility of teaching us safe firearm handling practices, and did a great job. We learned the basics, how to properly maintain our guns and how to hit what we were aiming at. When I turned 15, my father enrolled me in a government hunter safety course that reinforced all of his teachings, and certified me to buy my own guns.
Less than a year later I joined the North Saskatchewan Regiment as an infantry private. Immediately my childhood training started to pay dividends; I was one of only two soldiers on my basic training course who shot a perfect score on our handling test with the C7, the Canadian service rifle.
In my time with the army reserves I learned what it really means to have fun shooting. I can confirm that it is significantly more fun to fire a 200-round machine-gun belt with a single trigger pull than it is to hit a tin can with a pellet. The same goes for the Carl-Gustav rocket launcher, the M203 underbarrel grenade launcher, and even our archaic Browning Hi-Power 9-mm service pistol.
Now that I am no longer an active-duty member of the armed forces, I naturally no longer have access to such joyous hardware. These days I get my shooting kicks from blasting clay pigeons (or, in a pinch, fruit) with a shotgun, and tapping away at targets with a small-calibre Ruger 10/22.
I would like to add a handgun to that list (nothing is more fun to shoot, except possibly the Carl-Gustav, and a visit to Texas in 2012 left me infatuated with the long-barrel Colt Python), but Canada’s laws regarding handguns are so oppressive that a person breaks the law if they stop for gas between their home and a licensed firing range with their handgun unloaded and locked in their trunk. The fun is simply not worth the hassle.
Currently, the Ruger provides the most fun of all. This is because .22 LR rounds are cheap, the recoil is nonexistent, and – best of all – there are aftermarket magazines that hold 30 or even 50 rounds. These mags let a person enjoy a few minutes of uninterrupted target shooting without having to pause and reload every ten seconds. Having 30 uninterrupted rounds really lets you get into the zone and improve your accuracy, much like hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range will help a golfer improve his swing.
That is, until a July 21 announcement by the RCMP that “all 10/22 style of oversize magazines – over 10 rounds, are now prohibited.”
And just like that, shooting is a lot less fun in Canada. Oh, and also I guess I’m a criminal now.
Leaving aside the huge issue of the RCMP taking it upon themselves to write criminal law rather than enforce it (honestly, how dare they?), this new restriction represents the very worst of lefty ideology: virtue signalling.
There’s a good reason criminals don’t use Ruger 10/22s to commit murder. It would be really hard to kill a person with a .22, even with extended mags. You’d have much better luck with a hammer or a kitchen knife.
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the terrorist who drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84, effectively proved that firearm restrictions are no barrier to mass murder only seven days before the RCMP announced the new restriction.
So why are they banning 10/22 magazines, when the only people who use them are recreational shooters and farmers with a serious gopher problem? Simple: it makes them look good.
The average civillian hears “we’ve banned 30-round magazines” and thinks about AK47s and AR-15s. Most Canadians don’t know just how small and piddling a .22 round really is – a good comparison is that the .40 S&W round commonly used by police puts more than five times the weight of lead into the air with each trigger pull.
The only thing the RCMP will accomplish with this new restriction is to reduce the amount of fun had by law-abiding recreational shooters like me (and, I assume, some of you). Here’s a suggestion for the RCMP – instead of improving your image at my expense, why don’t you improve your image by doing your jobs and actually making Canada a safer place? Laws exist to protect Canadians, not to make the RCMP look good.