UPDATED 4/20 @ 4:25 p.m. PDT—When a 51-year-old Nova Scotia man went on a 12-hour rampage that began Saturday night and ended Sunday with a body count now numbering at least 19 victims, it was more evidence that strict gun control laws do not prevent violence as the authors of those laws have perennially argued, U.S. rights activists contend.
Canada has much stricter gun control laws than the United States, but those restrictions did not prevent a suspect identified by authorities as Gabriel Wortman from leaving a trail of crime scenes and bodies, including one victim who was a constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. According to USA Today, the shootings began in the small town of Portapique, about 90 minutes north of Halifax and Dartmouth.
So far, no motive for the shooting has been established, and at least some of the victims had no known relationship with the suspected killer.
All of these details have similarities with notorious mass shootings that have occurred in some communities around the U.S. in recent years, including the mass shooting in Las Vegas two years ago.
According to The Inquirer. Canadian gun laws were “overhauled” decades ago after the Ecole Polytechnique college shooting in Montreal in 1989. Fourteen people were murdered in that incident.
As noted by BizPacReview, Canadian anti-gunners have already launched new demands for more gun control restrictions, as if the nation didn’t already have very strict gun laws.
The murdered constable was identified as Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the famed Mounties. She leaves a husband and two daughters.
Details are sketchy about how Wortman met his demise, whether he was killed by lawmen or committed suicide.
The Associated Press is reporting that the suspected gunman disguised himself, at least for a while, as a police officer. He also allegedly tried to disguise his car as an RCMP vehicle. It is being described as the “deadliest attack in the country’s history.” Wortman also reportedly set several homes on fire in the Portapique area during his rampage.
What is not prominently mentioned in any of the coverage—if at all—is Canada’s strict gun control. There are licensing requirements, some types of firearms are restricted including handguns, and some firearms are prohibited. Unrestricted firearms include traditional hunting rifles and shotguns. Canada does not have a Second Amendment to protect gun ownership.
Last September, the publication Chatelaine reported that since 2013, gun-related violent crime had gone up 42 percent. The story noted that Canadians can’t get a firearm unless they are first licensed, and those are available only after completing the Canada Firearms Safety Course.