Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Right to Bear Arms: A View from Canada

The Second Amendment: Twenty-seven ill-chosen words, three badly-placed commas, one unrivaled legislative botch-up.Things certainly are different above the forty-ninth parallel. While we admittedly have our fair share of gun-control issues and controversy in Canada, at least our law-makers aren't faced with an arguable gun-ownership right being inscribed in our constitution in all-but-indelible ink.Canada's current gun-control legislation -- which the Supreme Court of Canada upheld in 2000 -- contains harsh penalties for crimes involving firearms, and requires licenses to acquire and possess them. All guns must be registered, and handguns can only be owned by police, security officers, and approved target shooters and collectors. As you read this, the mayor of Toronto is waging an internet campaign, entreating Canadians coast-to-coast to sign an on-line petition for an extension of the ban to include the latter two groups.

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