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Some notes on Canada's existing gun bans suddenly snapping much tighter today. Specifically:

1. What actually happened?
2. What determines whether a gun ban comes to pass?
3. What are the implications?…
1. What actually happened?

Canada has 3 gun categories:
- Non-restricted
- Restricted (registration, paperwork++, strict transport rules)
- Prohibited (haram)

By law the gov can edit the lists at will. Today they moved ~1500 guns from the first two categories into "prohibited".
2. What determines whether a gun ban comes to pass?

History is full of examples of a general principle: you cannot survive as an unpopular minority. You have to get popular, become a majority, or both.

That's why we always say that culture-building is the high-order bit.
Note this "get popular, become a majority, or both" frame leaves out any consideration of "wait, but we're right". Being right counts for very little.

The recent mass murderer broke Canada's preexisting laws. The new ban wouldn't have changed a thing. But that didn't stop it.
Instead, the way to change minds is *to literally change the minds*. Get more popular and make more of yourself, and you won't need to fight a ban. By the time you're fighting a ban, the problem happened *way* upstream.

Let's analyze ownership numbers in Canada.
This image estimates ~125k rifles for popular models. Let's add another 25k for the long tail, and assume the ban targets an installed base of ~150k guns.

Canada has ~37.6MM residents, so the ban affects ~4 guns per 1000 people. Ok, what does that mean compared to, say, the US?
AWBs became a thing in the US in 1989. (Previously, the focus had been banning handguns.) A drifter in Stockton, CA used an AK to murder 5 children in 1989, and Cali passed the nation's first AWB. The federal one passed in 1994. What did ownership numbers look like at the time?
We actually did the math on this last year, in a piece about the trends in US gun rights data:…

"That brings us to 674,000 rifles affected by the 1994 AWB. That’s the constituency the ban had to overcome."

US pop in 1994: 263MM

2.6 guns per 1000 people.
Those numbers look very different today (for reasons we go into in the essay). ~20MM guns with illegal cosmetics/ergonomics and today's pop comes to…

61 affected guns per 1000 people. A *23x* increase since 1994. That's what "get popular, become a majority, or both" looks like.
What happened today in Canada was unavoidable given their ownership numbers. Ownership of guns qua weapons was banned there a long time ago, before it ever started. CA gun rights orgs are building the idea from scratch, and are making cultural progress. But it'll take time.
Good points and all the rest are good, but they're not the goal in themselves. Even winning political arguments isn't the goal, per se. (Which is why we're apolitical.)

The goal is creating, protecting, and growing the space for culture to flourish. Everything else serves that.
3. What are the implications?

With possible Swiss and Czech exceptions, the US is the only country in the world with a (begrudging) legal agreement that common people ought to own weapons qua weapons.

Legally and culturally, the US will continue to carry the fire.
But we'd like to question the narrative that gun rights in every other country is secular decline. On the one hand, yes, sure, their gun control ratchets ever tighter, and our own data above explains why that's so hard to stop.

On the other hand, what's the starting point?
Throughout the world, you find longstanding cultures of guns-as-weapons ownership (as opposed to hunting, ranching, or sporting tools). But almost everywhere, 20th century *legal* recognition of that concept is nonexistent.
So it's mostly not that people in most countries (in modern times) had a right to own weapons and lost it. It's that they *never* had a meaningful right to own weapons, and govts are just making their way down the list of things that could be weapons.

But there's cause for hope.
Because it means that the right-to-weapons legal culture in other countries — as small and fragile as it is — isn't a low-water mark from the past, because that past never existed. It's instead the high-water mark: the progress they've made in building those cultures *from zero*.
The internet is the most powerful tool ever made for spreading ideas.

So yes, today the US is carrying the gun rights fire for the world. But the internet is nascent. Smartphones are barely 10 years old. Increasingly, sparks will spread where they've never been before.

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