First there is the argument that 'if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns.' That's true, because if you have an illegal gun you will automatically be a criminal. Guns for self defense make no sense and do not work.
"...research has shown that a gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or friend, than an intruder.(Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm Related Deaths in the Home." The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 314, no. 24, June 1986, pp. 1557-60.) The use of a firearm to resist a violent assault actually increases the victim's risk of injury and death(FE Zimring, Firearms, violence, and public policy, Scientific American, vol. 265, 1991, p. 48)."By having a gun in the home you are actually putting your family and any potential guests at greater risk.
Then there is the black helicopter argument - that if the government has guns and the population doesn't that the government will become oppressive and 'the people' will have no means of defense. This is almost cartoonishly naive. First even if all firearms were legal for everyone - the 'government' has fighter planes and bombers, helicopters, tanks and missiles your handgun will do you no good. If you look around the world where insurrections are being fought none of them are being fought with hand guns. Very few are being fought with guns at all. In most cases they are either being fought with improvised weapons, sabotage and "terrorism" or the insurrection has acquired military grade weapons. Additionally there are dozens of countries around the world where brutal dictators rule and the population is armed to the teeth. When the U.S. Constitution says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." they are talking about the 'National Guard' or other military reserves, not the general population. Having firearms does not defend against repressive government, not even just a little.
So just like you need a license to drive or fish you should need a license to own any firearm. This license should require a background check, a written test on gun safety and no history of violent crime. A license should only be granted to persons over the age of 18. If we don't trust you with a beer we're not trusting you with a gun. Minors should not be allowed to own, possess or use firearms. These licenses should only apply to rifles.
Hand guns should be banned in total. They should not be allowed to be bought, sold or possessed in Canada. Unlike rifles which are used for hunting and defending farm animals there is no legitimate reason to own a handgun. Some will say that they like target shooting with hand guns. To that I can only suggest that you get a new hobby. If a person currently possesses a handgun of some kind of historical significance it should be fixed so that it no longer fires and that work should be verified by law enforcement.
This won't end violent crime but if no one can get hand guns, then fewer people will be shot with them. If the police can automatically incarcerate anyone found with a hand gun it will make the process easier for them and will start to diminish the number of firearms available.
Humanity has made great strides since the 18th century. The thought that the entire civilian population should be armed, which is not even a Canadian concept, should be put to rest alongside a number of other bad ideas from that era that we've already abandoned.
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