“Even though many of the same notorious guns allowed in the U.S. are available in Canada, it takes a lot longer to buy your first gun,” says the host as she goes down the rabbit hole to get her gun license.
In Canada you need a Possession and Acquisition or PAL license to purchase or own a gun. Vice News sent reporter Manisha Krishnan on a seven-week trek to get hers.
We warn you. The images and themes you are about to see in the above video may jar you. They are disturbing to a red blooded pro-Second Amendment gun owner on this side of the U.S/Canadian border.
First up, while Canada has a huge gun culture– 21 million guns, two million licensed gun owners (and an estimated two million others who own a gun without a license) — they also have a lot of things different than in the U.S.
There is no such thing as Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground for justifiable homicide in the Great North. No guarantee of a right to keep and bear arms. The government basically says gun ownership is for target shooting and hunting only.
To get a PAL, there is extensive background checks, mandatory training, letters of reference. Your spouse has to sign off on it if you are married.
Further, the government is kinda always watching. The only citizens to get a background check everyday are PAL holders, though they point out they are 2/3rd less likely to commit a crime.
Krishnan, almost to a trope, gets in little jabs at gun culture though she seems to try to be impartial. She also shies away at a few points.
“Its just too aggressive to me” says Krishnan as she finds herself drifting to the parking lot while observing a woman shooting a .338 Lapua Magnum.
When she goes to the NRA Meeting in Louisville the full-tilt Freedom blows her mind.
Also, being Vice, it is a little holier than thou on the subject of gun control and its perceived affect on gun violence (though they make a point to use the much more correct figure of 11,000 killed by guns in the U.S. every year, rather than the tired “33,000” pushed by the left here in the states) but still, it is a good view through the looking glass at a culture that is very polite but more than just a little Orwellian in its take on gun restrictions.
In the end, she buys a Henry Big Boy .357 based on the name (giggle) and winds up reselling it a few weeks later. Because, why not, if it is all just an assignment, right?
And you can bet, people like the Brady Bunch, Moms Demand/Everytown, Gabby Giffords, and the like are wistful when they look to the north.