Not Relying on Thoughts and Prayers, Canada Bans Assault Weapons Following Mass Shooting

Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Image: Getty

Anytime there’s a mass shooting in the United States, it’s almost certain that Americans can count on politicians for two things. Thoughts and, of course, prayers. And while neither of those things has proven to be of any use when it comes to preventing the, what has unfortunately become almost inevitable, next mass shooting, it does serve as a constant reminder of just how deep in the pockets of gun manufacturers and fanatics Republican politicians are.


In stark contrast to the thoughts and prayers response that has come to be emblematic of the United States’ answer to gun violence, two weeks following a mass shooting in rural Nova Scotia, Canada has officially banned assault weapons in the country.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

Now, far be it from me to over-glamorize Canada, as I’ve heard that despite rumors they are a perfect liberal utopia, they do in fact have to deal with their fair share of nonsense, but I’m honestly turned absolutely all the way on by this rational, effective, and timely response to the situation at hand.

According to The New York Times, about 1,500 kinds of assault weapons fall under the ban, and legislation will be drawn up to institute a buyback plan for the estimated 100,000 that are currently in circulation in the country. Canadians currently in possession of any of the banned weapons will be able to retain possession of them for two years and may not use them, although they are able to trade or sell them to non-Canadians with a permit.

Less excitingly, this could potentially mean some of those 100,000 assault weapons will make their way into the U.S., which is where many of the Nova Scotia shooter’s guns had come from to begin with.

While armed protesters are storming the Michigan House of Representatives, and gun sales are spiking in the U.S., I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to live in a country that actually took gun control seriously. Of course, it would be great for literally everyone alive if we didn’t have to wait for a mass shooting to serve as a precipitator for common-sense gun reform, but if nothing else this proves that big, systemic change is possible if only the people in charge are willing to stand up and do it.

freelance writer living in San Francisco. Please clap.


Cliff Hesby

It’s a very popular move by the Liberal Party government, approaching 80% support according to recent polling.

The other 20% correspond very closely with the base of the Conservative Party, who just happen to be in the middle of a protracted and ugly leadership contest, our version of primaries.

Prime Minister Trudeau just forced every leadership candidate for the opposition party to campaign to that noisy, angry 20%, creating lots of wonderfully toxic sound and text bites - more than usual even as it’s a lot harder to dog whistle from lock down - and thereby alienating the other 80%.

Sometimes the right thing to do, if timed ruthlessly enough, is also the most politically damaging to the opposition thing to do.