The mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, again raises a by now common concern in Canada. What risks stem from bordering a nation 10 times as large with far more lax regulations on guns? From The Tyee's earliest days, our writers have examined the implications from various angles. A sampling:
How many combat shotguns are there under my bed? Thanks to new laws, none of your beeswax.
Kai Nagata attends class in Surrey to acquire his firearms license, ruminating on the light scrutiny given Canadians nowadays when it comes to acquiring pistol grip shotguns and the like. (May, 2012)
Arizona Shooting: Americans Must Face This Reckoning
Steady poisoning of US political culture led here. Can that culture now take responsibility?
Essay reflects on the deadly mix of unbridled political hate rhetoric and loose gun laws that led to the shooting of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and at least 18 others. Co-writers Michael Fellman and David Beers warn: "dismissing this event as just the work of a madman is a refusal to engage in mature, adult analysis of the meanings of violence in American society. And then in the future this unexamined society may well careen to the next outburst and the next, down a slippery slope into some even more dire civic catastrophe." (January, 2011)
A Golden Age for US Gun Lovers
Americans have never been freer to pack heat, but conservatives stoke fears of a firearms crackdown.
After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down any American city's ability to pass its own handgun control laws, we published this analysis by Joshua Holland explaining why there's no end to the gun debate to our south: "Gun politics not only raises right-wing ire, but also brings in big dollars for conservative candidates and the gun lobby." (June, 2010)
If Long Gun Registry
Is So Dumb, Why Do Police Like It?
Most Canadians want it, too. So why are opposition members helping Tories kill it?
Bill Tieleman on how renegade New Democrats and Liberals helped Conservatives "end registration of rifles and shotguns from a database police across Canada access over 10,000 times a day." (November, 2009)
Rising Tide of Smuggled Guns
Why British Columbia is being flooded.
This first in a two-part series by Kendyl Salcito and Lucy Saunders on how easy it is to move guns across our southern border tells the story of a network "involving the smuggling of approximately 40 handguns, $50,000 U.S. cash and $8,000 worth of low-quality diamonds into Canada." (May, 2006)
Gunning for Gun Smugglers
Border officers say they need more tools and teaming.
Second part of 'Rising Tide of Smuggled Guns' series by Salcito and Saunders finds "police on both sides of the border say their fight against gun smuggling is hampered by national policies that increase supply and demand and by a local lack of resources as other law enforcement priorities press for their attention." (May, 2006)
Living Next Door to a Gun Culture
The PM may have the gun registry in his sights, but there is no political support for the American way of firearms. The body count is just too high.
More than eight years ago, Crawford Kilian concluded that "Americans are stuck with their gun culture. But it ought to give us, as the Americans' closest neighbours, something to ponder: Why does the U.S. wince at every GI's death in Iraq, while ignoring every child's gunshot death at home? Why do Americans tolerate 31,000 such deaths a year?" (January, 2004)
David Beers is editor of The Tyee