[Ed: A Canada-focused, but a highly instructive piece from our Northern correspondents illustrating the many dangers of internationalist politics. Previously published in the Canadian Firearm Journal & minimally edited for DRGO. Dr. Eisen is new, and most welcome, to DRGO.]
“When politicians bloviate about a ‘higher purpose,’ it’s time to watch your wallets, hide the kids and lock your doors (front, back and refrigerator).” Michelle Malkin, columnist
Why has Justin Trudeau campaigned so devotedly against civilian firearms? The Liberals introduced Bill C-71 in 2018, next they prohibited thousands of firearms in a controversial Order-in-Council in May 2020, and now, Bill C-21 is working its way through Parliament.
Why? Research shows that armed civilians are a credit to the country; not just “law abiding” but community leaders and exemplary citizens. Facts cut no ice. Attempts to argue the facts with the Liberals fall on deaf ears. The Liberals hold fixed policy beliefs, after which they search for supportive factoids. This is a mockery of the ideal that public policy should be based on reality. The Liberals’ fixation on guns seems to be religious.
Admittedly, the Liberals campaign against civilian firearms is, to some extent, about winning elections, but it is also based on ideology. The Liberals are committed to internationalism and the dogma of collective security. This means trusting the state for protection, to “collective security.” Despite the Liberals’ claims, gun control is not about fighting gang violence, nor about protecting women from spousal abuse, the Liberals believe that firearms in the hands of civilians is a dangerous sign of “nationalism” and even threatens world peace. Far-fetched? Let’s look more closely.
First, consider electoral calculations: the Liberals think “gun control” appeals to young females in big cities, as well as immigrants, who are afraid of guns. Recent Angus Reid polls show that the strongest supporters of additional gun restrictions admit they know virtually nothing about guns or the current gun laws. Strategically, campaigning against “military-style assault rifles” puts the Tories on the back foot, forcing them to defend “assault rifles” in gun-phobic Toronto.
Behind this campaign strategy is an ideological abhorrence of armed civilians. To Liberals, firearms are symbolized by “military-style assault rifles.” Invoking the nationalist demons that cosmopolitans fear, gun owning civilians are called “right wing,” or “extremists,” or even “racists.”
The Liberals have long been committed to internationalism and the United Nations; they see national pride in Canada as undermining their internationalist dream of collective security. These beliefs are what drive Trudeau’s gun laws.
The Liberals are committed to the vision that universal disarmament will foster collective security. Not just nuclear disarmament, but their dream goes beyond eliminating military weapons, like tanks and howitzers, to include “small arms,” like hunting rifles and handguns.
Support for internationalism and the UN has grown into a quasi-religious tenet of the Liberals since Lester Pearson and the Peacemakers. Justin Trudeau would like to be seen as cosmopolitan, as a true believer in internationalist principles. He has made disdainful comments about Canada and Canadian cultural traditions, saying for example, that Canada is “post-national.” In 2016, Trudeau said, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.”
His scorn for Canada contrasts with his vocal praise of the United Nations for “laying the foundations for a rules-based international order,” and his support agencies such as World Health Organization and the UN Peacekeepers. Immediately after becoming Prime Minister, he made a Quixotic push to get on the UN Security Council, even though the chances were never good. In his recent address to the UN, he urged increased reliance on multilateralism and international law, the essence of collective security, in order to “lay the foundations of a better world.” Justin’s fawning efforts to impress UN functionaries illustrate his commitment to internationalism.
Driven by a wide-spread revulsion against nationalism, the UN was founded in the aftermath of World War II. The founders of the UN thought “collective security” would replace nationalism, which was seen as the driving force behind war, as illustrated by Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s Fascists. World elites thought that international organizations could replace nationalism and thereby reduce populist forces that they saw as having driven the world into two world wars. The UN would create a rules-based international order, and perhaps in time, like the European Union grew out of the European Coal and Steel Community, the UN would become the nucleus for a world government.
The UN adopted the disarmament policies of the League of Nations. The primary goal is to prevent wars through collective security and disarmament; international disputes are to be settled through negotiation and arbitration. After the World War I, the League of Nations was set up to limit and reduce arms. Various naval conferences, such as the Washington Naval Conference, were held during the period between the First and Second World Wars to limit the number and size of major warships of the five great naval powers. In Japan, militarists saw these limitations as insulting and this spurred Japanese rearmament. The 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact attempted to “provid[e] for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.” Obviously, the League’s efforts failed to prevent World War II.
Despite the idealism of its founders, the United Nations has not had much success in limiting international conflict. The Cold War began even before the ink was dry on the UN Charter. The Korean War raged in the 1950s, and war in Vietnam first drove the French out in the 1950s, then sucked the US and their allies into the maelstrom through the 1960s and into the 1970s. The United Nations could not stop genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, nor the massacres in the Balkans or the slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda, to name just the most prominent.
Trudeau and the Liberals are proud of their commitment to the UN Peacekeepers. But the Peacekeepers have not just failed at resolving conflict, they have been caught causing serious crimes. The United Nations refused to accept responsibility, or to pay compensation, after UN Peacekeepers irresponsibly killed over 10,000 people by introducing cholera to Haiti. Not just once, but in many countries, Peacekeepers have been caught in corruption scandals and systematic sexual abuse rings.
Undaunted by its repeated failures, the United Nations founded the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in 1998, initially to promote nuclear disarmament, but later the goals expanded to include disarmament of chemical and biological weapons as well. UNODA also promotes disarmament of conventional weapons, especially landmines and small arms, including hunting rifles and handguns.
The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty came into force in December 2014. So far, the ATT has been ratified by 110 nations. However, it is currently missing ratification by key arms producers such as Russia and China, and while the United States has signed the treaty it has not yet ratified it. The Arms Trade Treaty requires signatory nations to keep records of imported arms, including small arms, through to end use, claiming that this will “prevent their diversion into the illegal circuit, facilitate the investigation and prosecution of related offences without hampering legitimate transfers.”
In 2019, Canada became a State Party to the ATT. This means that Canada will be required to comply with all future firearms regulations that UN decides to impose under the treaty. In 2017, the Liberals amended Canada’s Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-47) to harmonize Canadian laws with the ATT. The Trudeau Liberals see sacrificing Canadian sovereignty as just a small cost to protect human rights around the world.
The current Liberal gun laws conform with their campaign promises back in 2015. To some extent this is surprising, given how many of their other campaign promises the Liberals have failed to honour, from an open and accountable government to lifting all long-term drinking water advisories in the First Nations, but Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair see gun owners as the perfect punching bag. What other issue allows Trudeau to pose as a “feminist,” scoop up the votes of ignorant urbanites, fawn on the international elite, and follow his ideological star?
—Gary Mauser, PhD is professor emeritus in the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies and the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He specializes in criminology and economics, has published extensively on firearms legislation, firearms and violence, and has provided expert testimony on criminal justice issues to the Canadian government.
— Joanne Eisen, DDS is a retired dentist living in Virginia. She is a committed 2A partisan and has co-authored over 100 articles and academic papers on firearms policy, international law, and the UN and small arms, in addition to work on the Ethiopian culture of genocide and the relationship between victims, aggressors and weapons possession. Much of her work can be found here and here.