While the title of the article is a bit disingenuous, we are provided with some useful data regarding guns, carrying and our cousins to the north:
Applications to carry handguns have skyrocketed in B.C. and Alberta in the past three years – likely driven by demand among people who work in the bush and want portable protection against wildlife.
What we do know is that more people are submitting these applications for “authorizations to carry” : The number of applications across the country rose from 386 to 564 between 2011 and 2013.
In that time period, they more than doubled in B.C.; in Alberta, they more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.
People in the territories submit far more application rates than the rest of Canada. The Yukon had 33 applications in 2013 – almost one for every 1,000 residents – while the Northwest Territories had 29. By contrast, Quebec’s 64 applications make for fewer than one for every 100,000 residents.
The Yukon had one application for every 1,000 residents. I think (IIRC) that during the same period, South Dakota had one issued permit (not an application) for every 10 to 15 residents. This is a remarkable difference. Let’s continue:
The number of applications and the authorizations issued are about the same, says Ontario’s chief firearms officer, OPP Supt. Chris Wyatt.
” If somebody applies for an ATC and it’s really deficient – they’re not a prospector, they don’t have a wilderness occupation, they just want it when they go camping –we just say ‘You don’t qualify,’ and they don’t pursue their application.”
Lovely. One has to qualify (kinda like needing a “qualifying event” to change one’s insurance status) by being a prospector or having a wilderness occupation, or some other job, one would surmise, that exists far away from civilization.
Who, then, is actually carrying in Canada these days? Apparently not this gentleman:
But “with brown bears, carrying a handgun is just absolutely stupid,” argues former OPP staff-sergeant Doug Carlson, who ran the gun control system in northwestern Ontario before his retirement.
“You’re dealing with such a humongous bear – you’ll have a hard time knocking it down with a handgun. You might get lucky, but more likely it would just bounce off his skull, or aggravate him.
Why would one be shooting the bear in the head? Perhaps Mr. Carlson thinks that all people defending themselves from bears would be as clueless as he.
Anyway, back to figuring out who is carrying:
Toronto mayoral candidate and former councillor Norm Gardner, who had a concealed carry permit for several years in the 1990s, said the weapon made him “very, very calm.”
Gardiner, a Metro councillor at the time who sat on the Police Services Board, was approved after talking to then-Toronto police chief Jack Marks, he said. For several years, Gardner carried a Glock 19, a compact handgun.
In brief, very few people in Canada are permitted to carry short weapons (handguns). One of the reasons is that those in charge of handing out permits think that handguns don’t really protect one very well from large, violent, furry creatures. And, it would seem that the politically connected are able to procure permits for handguns, regardless of the basis for that decision.
There are many things we can learn from Canada. How to foolishly prevent people from protecting themselves because some expert knows how to do it better is one of those lessons.