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Canada Took Two Weeks to Ban Assault Weapons, So Why Can't We?

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Two weeks.

That's all it took for Canada to ban assault-style firearms two weeks after the country suffered its worst mass shooting in history.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pronounced:

"These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada. Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country."

We can imagine hearing this from an American president.

We can only imagine.

Trudeau also said something we also only imagine:

"Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers."

Here we are, nearly halfway through 2020, and the United States of America has experienced 99 mass shootings as of this writing.

There have been, to date, 13,564 gun deaths of all causes.

As the nation contends with the mess it is making of handling the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we remain one of the most violent nations on the planet.

Knowing our neighbor to the north acted swiftly even while dealing with the same global pandemic with which every other country is dealing, might there be a chance we too will, again, ban assault weapons?

In her book This Changes Everything, author and activist Naomi Klein argues the reason the United States fails to adequately address climate change is because of the obscene amounts of money fossil fuel companies pump into lawmakers' (mostly Republican) campaigns.

It's no different when it comes to guns.

Unless we effectively cut off the revenue pouring out of the gun lobby into Washington, we should expect gun violence to continue being a regular staple of American culture.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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