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15 Feb - Gun Murder and Gun Control in the USA & Canada, 1600s-2000s.docx

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HIST 3850
Patrick J Connor

Feb 15, 2013 G UN M URDER AND G UN C ONTROL IN THE USA&C ANADA ,1600 S-2000 S  1530s – French colonists began to arrive and settle in the colony of New France. A lot of these settlers were farmers; fur trade (i.e., beaver) was a valuable and driving commodity. There was competition between French and English and French forbade the Natives in NF to trade with British  First gun shooting in Canada 1609 – Samuel de Champlain; Huron v. Iroquois – Champlain shot 2 Iroquois leaders – Huron and Iroquois were blown away by the use of guns, and this is when they began to use guns and weapons that the Europeans had brought. Guns became a symbol of status and prestige  1636 – French revised their trade policy and began trading firearms  British also traded their guns with Aboriginal peoples  HBC – purchased for trade over 480-1000 guns/year  Mid 1800s – As Canada developed, the use of guns decreased; the need for guns declined even more due to rural societies  Before confederation – there were very few limits to the use of guns; restrictions in place were usually temporary  Gun control had typically been enacted for 3 reasons: o Political – trying to limit the guns to friendly and useful Natives (i.e., Acadians’ right to guns was seized because they didn’t want to pledge allegiance to the British) o Safety – fear for public safety o Immigrants  There was an understanding among colonists that they had a right to own guns – it had less to do with self defense, and more because of property and that every person was entitled to the right of life, liberty and property under due process  English Bill of Rights, 1689  Types of guns – changes of technology had an effect on which technologies were used and by whom o Matchlock – needed a lit match and gun powder o Wheelock – an improvement because you no longer had to walk around with lit matches o Muskets o “The Brown Bess”  Class and Gender issues – guns were seen as an elite pastime, and shooting clubs were reserved for elites  French weren’t outright banned from the clubs  Little need for anyone in Canada to hunt their food in the 19 century – and those who hunted were looked down upon because it was expected that you’d go work  Hunting was a form of masculinity  Revolvers  Late 1800s – politicians complained that in the 1850s revolvers show manliness  There was hesitation on the part of the government to ban guns  Sir John A. Macdonald – personally opposed towards regulation of guns o In 1869 – guns were necessary for personal protection  Edward Blake, member of parliament, introduced legislation regarding pistol use – riots, suicides and murders were being too common and with pressure of society he introduced this legislation  He didn’t advocate banning revolvers, but crafted the legislation so that the use of pistols was for select individuals 1  Federal government refused to recognize the right of working class men and made this legislation permanent as opposed to previous gun controls  1867 – federal government largely banned the carrying of pistols without a reasonable cause; possession of a pistol was fined $20-50  With these provisions, the government was interested in preventing the use of firearms - this did nothing about the handguns that people had in their homes as well as the selling of guns  Use of guns by children – this was a concern to the government; use of guns was enc
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