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Why does anyone “need” a firearm in Canada?

Editorial January 6, 2011


The question of necessity as it pertains to firearms in Canada is an interesting one.  Sure we have all heard our American counterparts’ mantra about their “right to bear arms”, but this is Canada and the reoccurring question I have heard is “why on earth would anyone need a firearm”?

I usually state the obvious that there are those who need a firearm for their employment to which I quickly hear retorted, “ok, so the police and military, but that’s a small portion of our population”.  What many people don’t realize is that there are many other industries that use firearms on a routine basis.

For example,

  • The film industry requires anyone handling firearms to either have a firearms license or be under the direct supervision of a licensed individual.
  • Border Services
  • Armoured Car
  • Sheriffs
  • Federal Corrections
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans requires firearms for predator protection, as does
  • The Ministry of Forests
  • Mineral exploration companies
  • Forestry Agencies
  • The Adventure Tourism industry working in wilderness areas
  • Cartographers
  • Farmers
  • Airport Wildlife Control
  • Trappers

While this list is by no means exhaustive it does show a much larger sampling of the population who require a firearm for employment alone.  This also doesn’t include those who hunt as a way of life as many aboriginal groups do, as well as sustenance hunters.

Finally there are those who simply enjoy the sport or like to collect.  These are the people who often face the pressing question “why do you need to collect firearms”.  Most of those asked this question will honestly reply “I guess I don’t need them, I just enjoy them”.  This is of course not taking into account that firearms afford many Canadians a level of self defence which is a right guaranteed to them both by the Criminal Code of Canada as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but that is an issue for another post.

I guess one could ask the question “why do we really need anything over and above what Abraham Maslow has listed in his famous hierarchy of needs”.    I find it interesting that other collectors or sports enthusiasts don’t seem to have to rationalize their need for whatever they may be interested in.  Imagine asking the golfer or baseball player why they needed more than one set of clubs or a second bat.  Or the hobby chef why they needed such expensive cooking instruments.  As baseball bats and knives individually are used in far more criminal activities in Canada than firearms wouldn’t that be a reasonable question?

Clearly firearms are needed in Canada for employment reasons and even at the fundamental core of human needs whether you subscribe to Maslow, Max-Neef, Hofstede, or any other paradigm, firearms do fill a certain need in many.

Travis Bader


Firearms Canada Inc.


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