In less than a week New Zealand prime-minister Jacinda Ardern has promised sweeping gun control with a ban on all or most semi-automatic weapons (exact details forthcoming). This is the type of leadership we need on gun control, but it is too bad it took a tragedy as bad as Christchurch mosque shooting for this to happen. Even more impressive is all parties support this including those on the political right, a consensus you almost never see nowadays in North America on gun control. While our gun laws in Canada are somewhat different than New Zealand, we can still learn from this and hopefully take proactive action to reduce the chances of such mass shooting. As such we should ban all centrefire semi-automatics with detachable magazines or at least as many as possible. You don’t need these to hunt; you only need two rounds to hunt and no more. Likewise for sports shooting there are still plenty of events available including all Olympic ones that don’t involve using these weapons. Having fun at the range is not worth one life. I understand the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law abiding, but no amount of vetting is 100% full proof thus there are certain weapons due to their risks that civilians just should not be allowed to own. This is not an attack on gun owners as this is not about one person; this is about the greater good of society as a whole and since we live in a society where our actions impact others, there have to be some limits on our freedoms, they cannot be absolute. For sure such ban would be divisive, but whatever divisiveness there is in it, the harm of doing nothing is far greater.
On the Alberta election front, polls are tightening a bit with the NDP only a few points below the 41% they got last time around while UCP struggling to hit the 50% mark. More importantly when leaders are assessed Notley performs just as well as Kenney so I believe polls will tighten even further. While Kenney may be the favourite, I don’t think an NDP win in Alberta is as far fetched as some believe it is. Obviously if the polls don’t move between now and election day Kenney will be the next premier, but most elections polls do move. I’ve seen plenty of leaders blow even bigger leads; after all Christy Clark in 2013 was even in worse shape poll wise at this point yet still pulled off a win few thought was possible, so point being it is not over. More importantly if the results are like this or closer, this should be a strong warning to Conservatives, swing too far to the right and you pay at the polls as other provinces have even less favourable terrain.