U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The restrictions Canada has placed on obtaining, keeping, and using firearms failed entirely in the recent mass murder case in Nova Scotia. I refrain from using the murderer’s name.
Canadian restrictions on gun ownership failed. The murderer had plead guilty to an assault charge in 2002. He paid a $50 fine, and served probation for nine months. He then had a lifetime ban on owning firearms. From nypost.com:
Authorities said Wortman did not have a police record, but information later emerged of at least one run-in with the law. Nova Scotia court records confirm he was ordered to receive counseling for anger management after pleading guilty to assaulting a man in the Halifax area on Oct. 29, 2001.
The guilty plea came on Oct. 7, 2002, as his trial was about to begin. He was placed on probation for nine months, fined $50 and told to stay away from the man, and also prohibited from owning or possessing a weapon, ammunition or explosive substances.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. The country overhauled its gun control laws after Marc Lepine shot 14 women and himself to death at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college in 1989. Before the weekend rampage, that had been Canada’s worst mass shooting.
Authorities have not released much information about what firearms the murderer used in his killings. We know he took one handgun and magazines from the RCMP officer he killed. The standard-issue handgun for the RCMP is the Smith & Wesson 5946 9mm. It is a stainless steel, double action only version of the S&W model 59 series. The magazine holds 15 rounds of ammunition. It has been reported the killer used one handgun and several long guns. From the CBC.ca:
Investigators are trying to piece together how Gabriel Wortman was able to obtain the handgun and long guns he used last weekend in a deadly rampage through rural Nova Scotia, including how some made it across the Canada-U.S. border.
Police have traced one of Wortman’s weapons back to Canada, but believe the others may have been obtained in the United States, the RCMP revealed on Friday.
It is unlikely the killer used any “military style” semi-automatic rifles, because, if he had, it would have been reported. It would be in Prime Minister Trudeau’s interest to have it reported.
In the former Soviet Union, people deduced what was happening by what was *not* said. I suspect, eventually, we will know precisely what firearms were used; at the moment, it may suit the PM’s purpose for that information to be withheld.
PM Trudeau is pushing for a ban on “military style firearms”, although they are seldom used in crime in either the United States or Canada. Handguns have been tightly controlled in Canada since 1935. It is common for those who push for a disarmed population to use an unrelated crime to push for controls which would have had no effect on the crime being used.
Those who wish a disarmed population are never satisfied. They cannot admit their policies were wrong; a failure always results in a call for more restrictions.
The murderer was a fairly successful denturist (someone who makes dentures), and is reported as owning several properties in Nova Scotia. His business had been shut down during the Coronavirus restrictions, for the previous month before the murders.
It has been reported he and his girlfriend argued at a party, that they then returned home; the argument became violent. The denturist tied up or restrained the girlfriend in some way. She escaped and hid in the woods. Then the killer starts his killing spree. The exact timing is not yet known.
There has not been any official speculation as to whether business losses from the Covid19 shutdown or the knowledge that the girlfriend escaped, were triggers for the killing spree. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police continue to investigate.
Strong restrictions on the ownership of firearms have proved ineffective in preventing violence by a person who has assets and is not concerned with losing them. The murderer burned down his own home at the start of the spree. He had plenty of money to accumulate unregistered guns over his life.
Mass killers often do not expect to survive their rampage, although some do.
Reducing the number of legal firearms seems to have little effect on the acquisition of firearms for illegal purposes.
India and China have had strict firearms control in effect for many decades. The Small Arms survey shows tens of millions of illegal firearms in both countries.
Brazil has had strict firearms controls, and a relatively small number of legal guns, yet it has had a very high murder rate with firearms.
Home and small shop manufacture place a physical limit on how effective gun control can be.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.