Chicken or Egg?

A judge in Californa has overturned the state’s ban on owning assault weapons. He expecially noted that the AR-15 assault rifle is “a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.”

Wikipedia tells me the AR-15 has been the weapon of choice for many American mass murderers because it is lightweight, accurate and its magazine holds a lot of bullets, 20-30 at a clip. Naturally, the gun is banned in Canada.

I’m not a fan of firearms, though I understand they can have practical uses. As a city dweller I don’t understand why I would ever need to own such a weapon. If I lived on a farm I would probably think differently.

Whether they should be banned or not is perhaps a discussion for another day. What disturbed me about this news story was the judge’s underlying assumptions about America. Makes me glad I don’t live there.

Admittedly, I don’t always follow American news, but I hadn’t realized the country had fallen into such a state of lawlessness that citizens had to arm themselves because there were no police to protect them. If the social contract has been broken to such an extent that the state is no longer able to keep the streets safe then home defence might be theleast of your worries.

As a Canadian, I don’t need a home defence weapon. I am not worried about the bad guys breaking into my residence.

Furthermore, from what I have read about gun owners and burglaries, you are probably safer not owning a gun – you are less likely to shoot your spouse and children in the confusion if there are no guns in the house.

Some might argue that you need a weapon to protect you from the government. I can understand that thinking, even as I reject it. Both Canada and the US are still democracies, as imperfect as they are.

There are ways that you can hold the government to account that don’t involve shooting people. I have expressed many times my disillusionment with Canada’s current prime minister and his dictatorial tendencies. But he is part of a still-functioning democratic system.

If I can convince enough people of his malfeasance and incometence, then someone else will have the opportunity to lead the country. If I can’t, well, the people are always right – even if they are wrong.

As for a Californa judge who thinks an AR-15 rifle is no different from a Swiss Army knife, it seems to me the United States has far bigger problems than Canada.

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