TheGunBlog.ca — A newly released survey of Canadian gun owners prepared for the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shows why so many people oppose the mass criminalizations and confiscations he ordered in May 2020.
Environics Research Group ran the survey in February and March, and Government of Canada Publications shared the 100-page final report on its website last week.
Although 77% of respondents to the online portion of the survey supported Trudeau’s crackdown, gun owners speaking to researchers in small groups rejected his assault.
“Most expressed opposition to the ban. This ranged from passive cynicism and questioning of the government’s motives, to more intense opposition—particularly from those who currently own newly prohibited firearms.” (Page vii)
Why It Matters
- The survey reflects some of the attitudes, beliefs and values of Canadian gun owners.
- (Most gun owners like mass gun confiscations. #Fudds)
- It shows the significant resistance Trudeau faces as he works to seize cherished personal and family belongings from honest citizens who don’t want to surrender their goods.
- The report is the newest sign that his crackdown will fail.
- Prepared For: Department of Public Safety, which is overseeing Trudeau’s political attacks
- Prepared By: Environics Research Group
- Contract Date: 29 November 2021
- Delivery Date: 31 March 2022
- Contract Value: $223,527.56
- Methodology: Online survey of 2,001 firearm owners in February and March 2022, followed by 12 Zoom video meetings of 6 to 8 invited respondents across Canada. (A total of 89 participated.) The survey was based on a self-selected sample of respondents, not a random sample.
- Ekos Research Associates Inc., whose president has said he hates guns, also participated in the research.
Refuse to Participate
A small percentage (7%) of surveyed gun owners told the researchers they refuse to participate in the mass confiscations.
- If that represents all targeted gun owners, it means tens of thousands of people are opting out.
- It’s possible that many more intend to abstain and didn’t tell the researchers.
Note on Misleading Language
The researchers copied Trudeau’s dishonest and misleading language:
- They referred to the popular rifles and shotguns he wants to confiscate as “assault-style firearms.”
- They referred to his promise to offer tiny compensation to confiscation victims as “buyback.”
750,000 – 2 Million Gun Owners Targeted
If the survey accurately reflects Canada’s 3 million to 4 million gun owners, it shows a far higher number of people are targeted by Trudeau’s attacks than previously estimated.
“Half of firearms owners (49%) report that they definitely or probably currently own newly-prohibited firearms that they think could quality [qualify?] for the federal government’s buy-back program.” (Page 26)
- Using a low estimate of 1.5 million total firearm owners, half of that means 750,000 people are targeted by the crackdown.
- Using the high estimate means 2 million Canadians are targeted.
- The number could be even higher if some survey respondents chose not to disclose they are targeted by Trudeau’s attacks.
More Survey Snippets
Following are quotations selected by TheGunBlog.ca from the Environics Research report:
- “Among the small number who would refuse to participate in the buy-back program, the main reasons are that they don’t want to sell their firearms, feel they have a right to own these firearms, that the government should go after gangs and criminals instead or that they are responsible gun owners.” (Page 30)
- “It was also notable how many firearms owners described a highly emotional attachment to their guns. This was particularly the case for those with very large gun collections, many of whom had prohibited firearms. Some described their firearms in glowing terms and spoke of the craftsmanship and design of them and what their capabilities were. For the owners of newly prohibited firearms, being a firearm owner was often an integral part of their identity.” (Page 40-41)
- “Those who possessed newly prohibited guns were more likely to be politicized, to follow gun blogs and to have a very hostile attitude towards the ban on assault-style firearms.” (Page 41)
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- “It was also clear that many firearms owners were very sensitive to how they are viewed and depicted by the larger society. They described how they felt that most Canadians know nothing about guns and have many misconceptions and stereotypes about people who own guns. This sentiment was particularly common among those who owned a lot of guns and who personally identified with the firearms culture. They described how they felt that many of the gun control initiatives from the federal government seemed to be designed to stigmatize law abiding gun owners and make them scapegoats for rising crime rates.” (Page 41)
- “In general, reactions to the ban on assault-style firearms were quite negative, particularly on the part of those who currently own the types of firearms being banned. Most participants felt that the ban was unlikely to make a difference at all in the level of gun violence in Canada and that it was politically motivated in order for the federal government to give the appearance of taking action to reduce gun violence. It was sometimes dismissed as “theatre” and as a “propaganda tool”. Some went so far as to say that they felt this ban on assault-style firearms was the first step towards an eventual prohibition of all firearms. Those who do not personally own banned firearms are more passive in their opposition to the policy as it does not directly affect them.” (Page 42)
- “The most frequent criticism of the ban was tied to how many participants felt that they were being stigmatized, demonized and turned into scapegoats for risings crime rates.” (Page 42)
- “Some resented the whole premise of the program, as they opposed the ban and they pointed out that it was a misnomer to call it a “buy-back program” since they had never bought their guns from the government in the first place.” (Page 43)
- “There was a lot of scepticism about whether any buy-back program could ever fairly compensate owners for the real value of their newly prohibited firearms.” (Page 43)
- “Most participants indicated that they would grudgingly comply with the law and surrender their banned firearms and try to get what compensation they could. They noted that they and the vast majority of firearm owners were law-abiding and would follow the law to the letter even if they disagreed with it. However, some hinted that they might hold on to their prohibited firearms and wait to see if there was a change of government. They assumed that the ban might not be permanent and that a future government might revoke the ban in which case they could go back to using it.” (Page 44)
- “References to “safety” and “safe” in the taglines were viewed particularly negatively. Participants noted that gun owners already take many precautions to be safe and that the ban and the associated buy-back program will do nothing to make Canada safer. They felt that the use of words like this just imply that gun owners are “unsafe” and therefore they will further stigmatize gun owners. Most gun owners, whether they own a prohibited firearm or not, reacted negatively to the idea that the ban and buy-back was going to increase safety in Canada.” (Page 46)