Thank you for the question, Ms. Michaud.
Yes, we are indeed hearing here in Canada something very similar to the rhetoric being bandied about in the United States. Proponents of the right to own and use firearms sometimes spout arguments taken directly from organizations such as the National Rifle Association.
That said, you are absolutely right. The Supreme Court of Canada and one of the Ontario courts have reaffirmed the right of the federal government to legislate on firearms here in Canada. In Canada, ownership of a firearm remains a privilege that is given by the government.
Allow me to digress for a moment. Ghost guns weaken and even take away the powers of decision of the federal government in terms of who can own a firearm and the types of firearms that can legally be sold to Canadians. That's what I have to say on that issue.
Here in Canada, we are seeing a firearm ideology and culture that have been imported from the United States and are being broadcast in the media and on social media. However, as Dr. Langmann, has stated, protection is the number one reason why people get a gun. That's also the reason some criminals get one.
Research literature on gun violence has been published in the United States. I am referring to the studies conducted by Patrick Sharkey and Thomas Abt, which are fairly recent. These studies prove that protection is the main motivation for getting a gun. Then there is the cultural aspect, by which I mean status. Ownership of a firearm gives a certain status to the individual and obviously, that individual makes it known.
Other studies have shown the problems that follow. If someone is in possession of a firearm on the scene of an altercation, chances are very high that the firearm will be discharged, especially if it is illegal. The impact of these firearms can be seen in the news in our big cities, like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
I would say that this culture is definitely imported, but the idea that a firearm becomes a solution to various problems, whether for criminals or other individuals, also comes from the United States. These ideas are percolating into Canada.