1. Mr. Rock's statement is remarkably ingeneous, especially having been made by a member of Cabinet responsible for a deparment which only 24 months earlier prohibited over 30 varieties of already legally registered restricted firearms (Bartlett, 1994, p.7)

The practice of confiscating legally-owned firearms from authorized owners without financial compensation, was established by the federal government in 1977, when it prohibited the legal ownership of automatic firearms with a "grandfather clause". It appeared again in 1992, when the Conservative government used Orders-in-Council to prohibit, with "grandfathering", certain politically incorrect firearms.

"Grandfathering" exempts certain firearms from prohibition with the proviso that only existing owners can retain them. Existing owners cannot sell them (in the case of automatic firearms they can be sold but only to other authorized owners of automatic firearms). Upon the death of the registered owner these firearms are confiscated without compensation from the estate of the deceased.

The "grandfather" clause was introduced to assuage the conscience of those Members of Parliament who were concerned about the implications of confiscating legally-owned private property, which had not been involved in any criminal offense, from law-abiding citizens in direct contravention of common law traditions and the principle of property rights established in the 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights.

In 1992, legal owners of already registered restricted firearms which were declared prohibited had only two options. They could, at their expense, "deactivate" the firearm - which involved the virtual mutilation of an expensive piece of personal property - or they could surrender it to the police. In either case, they received no financial compensation whatsoever.

2. Registering, conveying, and transporting a restricted firearm in Canada, as every restristed weapon permit holder knows, is considerably more complex, time-consuming, and inconvenient than registering a motor vehicle. Under existing Canadian firearm laws, designating a firearm as a restricted firearm eliminates its use in hunting. A person caught hunting with a restricted or unregisterd restricted firearm faces severe criminal and civil penalties under the federal Criminal Code and provincial hunting regulations. These penalties can range from forfeiture of property, including both the firearm as well as motor vehicles, and a fine and/or imprisonment.

3. In 1961, handguns accounted for one homicide out of every 1,250,00 Canadians. In 1993, they accounted for one homicide out of every 322,000 (CCJS, Annual).

4. In 1961, shotguns accounted for one homicide for every 1,010,100 Canadians. In 1989, shotguns accounted for one homicide out of every 667,000 (CCJS, Annual).

5. Wade (1994, p.15) identifies that the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) maintains a registry of all firearms sold/manufactured in the United States since 1968 only. There is no information available on the disposition of approximately 25 million handguns and 72 million long guns manufactured and sold in the United States between 1899 and 1968 (Kleck, 1991, p.49), the majority of which are undoubtably still in circulation.

In addition, every year in the United States, 275,000 hadnguns are stolen from private residences (Wright, et al., 1983, p.205). This figure doesn't include theft from shippers, manufacturers, police and the armed forces. Another 1.3 million firearms are bought, sold, or traded through completely unregulated, non-retail channels along with hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition (Kleck, 1991, p.46). In light of this it should be self-evident where the majority of crime guns in the country originate.

6. In March, 1991, the Justice Department estimated there were a total of 6 million firearms in Canada (Angus Reid, 1991, p.6). This estimate is considerd to be extremely conservative and varies substatially from historical import/export estimates which places the total anywhere from 18 to 21 million.

The Canadian Centre for Health Information and the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics reports that in 1991, there were 297,000 crimes of violence in Canada, 1108 suicides by firearm, 66 fatal and 1217 non-fatal firearm accidents and 29 firearm deaths resulting from legal intervention and undetermined causes. Using the Justice Department's estimate of 6 million firearms, Statistics Canada's figure of 5% involvement of firearms in violent crime (Wolff, et al., 1991, p.2), and assuming a different firearm for every violent crime, less than 0.3% of the total existing gun stock is ever used for a violent purpose.

7. It is already well established that the majority of individuals who commit crimes of violence, especially gun predators, already have long histories of violent behaviour combined with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse. They are prohibitied from obtaining firearms under Canadian law. The image of the firearm criminal portrayed by prohibitionists as a "law-abiding" citizen who "goes crazy" with a legally acquired firearm is an argument without merit (Wright, Rossi, 1986, pp.38-55; Motiuk, Poporino, 1991, pp.ii-iv; Robinson, et al., 1991, pp.6-37; Endicott, 1991, pp.24-27).

8. These figures are based on: an average hourly wage of $13.06 (1992$); minimum of four hours lost from work in order to register firearms; and, a 20km round trip at $0.25 per km.

9. Article II of the United Nations 1950 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.9):

"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to being about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

10. The Minister of the Interior who signed the 1928 firearms law was Walter von Keudell, a member of the Nationalist Party which, five years later, would help the Nazis achieve absolute political power in Germany (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.11).

11. Simkin and Zelman (1993, p.83), maintain that provisions of the United States 1968 Gun Control Act, which prohibit the importation of firearms which cannot meet the BATF's criteria of "sporting purposes" was a concept borrowed from Section 25(1)1 of the Nazi 1938 "Weapons law", which reads:

"It is forbidden to manufacture, to deal in, to carry, to possess, and to import:
  1. Firearms...beyond the common limits of hunting and sporting activities..."

Similar provisions were introduced for the first time in Section 82(1)(g)(iv) of the Canadian Criminal Law Amendment Act and allows the Governor in Council to prohibit or restrict firearms of a kind not commonly used in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes. It is not unlikely that this particular legislation was simply copied from the American 1968 Gun Control Act.

12. Civilian ownership of firearms was apparently not an issue in China. The average Chinese was simply too poor to afford firearms; however, Simkin, et al (1994, pp. 188-189), argue that while the majority of Chinese could not afford firearms, decades of civil was between the government, Communists, and warlords would have undoubtedly distributed large numbers of military firearms throughout the country.

13. Amin was never anything more than a bully and a profiteer. He reportedly lives as a free man in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.64).

14. In all likelihood, Cambodia's situation was very similar to China's in that the majority of the civilian population was simply too poor to afford firearms; however, decades of warfare in the region, beginning with the French conquest of Indochina in the late 1800's, the Japanese occupation in World War Two, and again with the French who attempted to restore colonial rule after the Japanese defeat, no doubt altered this situation.

After the French withdrew from Cambodia in 1954, American involvement in southeast Asia escalated. These conflicts had, in all probability, distributed substantial amounts of weaponry throughout Cambodia; however, few Cambodians appear to have taken advantage of this circumstance, possibly due to the tradition of being unarmed combined with a history of restrictive firearm controls (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.306).

15. Pol Pot in the Khmer equivalent of "John Doe". His real names are Saloth Sar (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.303).

16. Like Idi Amin, Pol Pot is still a free man. He apparently lives near the Thai town of Trat, guarded by Thai and Khmer Rouge soldiers (Simkin, et al., 1994, p.316).

17. Under the firearm control laws existing in Canada at the time, all persons who were not British subjects were considered "aliens". They were required to have police permits allowing them to acquire or possess firearms. It would have been a relatively simple matter to confiscate firearms from Japanese-Canadians as these individuals were already known to the authorities.

18. In 1986, a consulting firm estimated that Japanese-Canadians had lost over $443 million for property confiscated and sold, without their permission, between 1941 and 1948 (Adachi, 1991, p.375).

In 1988, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney formally apologized to Japanese-Canadians for their treatment during World War II and provided a total of $360 million in compensation (Adachi, 1991, p.377).

19. At this time, the Northwest Territories comprised the entire area to the north and west of Manitoba. These territories had been governed by a Lieutenant-Governor and Council since 1875. Alberta and Saskatchewan would not become provinces until 1905 (Herstein, et al., 1970, p.290).

20. As these immigrants were not British subjects, they were referred to as "aliensquot&;.

21. Known as a "Form 76", this permit could be obtained from any officer of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, provincial police, of chief constable of any city or incorporated town or district municipality who was satisfied as to the "good character" of the applicant. It was renewable every twelve months. The form contained the appplicant's name, place of issuance of the permit and the date. It specified whether the handgun being carried was a pistol or a revolver. The permit was issued to protect life or property. In 1933, the form was revised to include target practice as a reason for issuance (Criminal Code, 1993, Section 3).

There is no evidence that this permit was difficult to obtain; however, "aliens" and other undesirables were no doubt well known to the local constabulary could easily be refused.

22. The increasing militancy of the labour movement and government fears of anarchism and Bolshevism was not a strictly Canadian phenomenon. It appeared in most western nations prior to and following the First World War, and was especially pronounced in the United States, Britain, and Australia (Kopel, 1990, p.343, p.74, p.195).

23. Doherty's 1920 bill was similar to gun controls passed in Britain that same year. It is not unlikely that it was influenced by the British legislation (Kopel, 1990, p.74, p.141).

24. Members of Parliament were no doubt acutely aware that only one month prior, in February of 1933, an Italian-born immigrant names Guiseppi Zangara had attempted to assasinate American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt was not injured, but Anton Cermak, the Mayor of Chicago who was with Roosevelt at the time, was fatally wounded by the .32 caliber bullets fired from Zangara's revolver (Davis, 1994, p.428-435).

In 1934, the United States introduced the National Firearms Act which, inter alia, prohibited the ownership of automatic firearms except to persons authorized by police. The bill originally proposed a penalty of up to five years imprisonment for the unauthorized carrying of a handgun, but this section was deleted before the legislation was passed (Sherill, 1973, pp.57-58). It is not inconceivable that Guthrie's bill was prompted by these American events.

25. On 17 March, 1969, the Solicitor General of Canada, G.J. McIlraith, reported that in 1960, there were 192,000 registered firearms in Canada, the majority of which were undoubtedly handguns (Hansard, 1969, p.6673). If Guthrie's estimate of handgun ownership in 1933 was reasonably accurate, it indicates that very few of the handguns which existed in Canada in 1934 had been registered.

26. In 1976, Parliament formally abolished the death penalty in Canada. The vote in favour of abolition was 148 to 127 (Stroud, 1993, p.37).

27. The concept of the FAC appears to have been borrowed from Britain, which had similar legislation existing at the time governing the acquisition of shotguns (Kopel, 1990, p.76).

28. Basford's comments in regard to "long" guns being a more "desirable" firearm for self defense shows a remarkable lack of knowledge about the subject. Long guns are difficult to manoeuvre in the close confines of most residences and are often easily grabed by an intruder. The noise and muzzle flash (which at night will lead to a temporary loss of vision) of most rifles and shotguns are also excessive, and are even more pronounced in enclosed areas. The high velocity jacketed and semi-jacketed bullets typically discharged from a rifle will easily pass through most commercial building materials, posing a potential hazard to other occupants.

29. A subsequent report by coroner Teresa Sourour indicated that Lepine's use of a semiautomatic rifle was not an important factor in the shootings and that a standard hunting rifle or shotgun would have had similar results (Kopel, 1990, p.166). In their analysis of the incident, Canadian criminologists Robert Silverman and Leslie Kennedy (1993, p.137) concluded that these types of crimes are not on the increase and that a ban on "assault weapons" will have no effect on the frequency of their occurence.

30. In 1992, the Conservative government ordered the registration of 200 varieties of "military-style" semiautomatic firearms. The Canadian Centre for Justice statistics records annually the number of restricted firearms used in homicide offenses (Firearm Homicides by Weapon Status, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Annual); consequently, when handguns are subtracted from this total it provides an approximation of the number of "military style" firearms used in homicide. In 1992, approximately 16 homicides involved "military style" firearms. In 1993, there were no homicides which involved the use of these firearms.

31. Assault rifles such as the Soviet AK-47 and American M16 have been in active military service since the early 1950's and 1960's, respectively (Hogg, Weeks, 1985, pp.195-196, pp.198-202). Semiautomatic-only versions of these firearms have been available to civilians in Canada for at least as long; therefore, it cannot be argued that reference to "assault weapons" did not appear in Hansard because these firearms were not in existence at the time.

32. Campbell, who became Minister of Justice on 23 February, 1990, had been hand-picked by Mulroney to assume the justice portfolio and steer his government's abortion legislation, Bill C-43, through both Parliament and the Senate. The abortion bill passed the House of Commons by a vote of 140 to 131, but despite Campbell's effort the Senate refused to ratify it (Fife, 1993, pp. 123-124).