my good buddy Rob sent me an email today and included a link to an article at survivalblog.com. the article is entitled "Why Not Canada?", by C.N. it is an excellent article and i suggest that you all read it!
C.N. does a fantastic job of explaining why Canada seems a natural choice as a perfect bug-out location. many of the points he raises have been discussed by myself and jambaloney many times and it's one of the main reasons that we have shared our physical address with so many of our American friends - if it all goes to h*ll in a handbasket - get yer butts up here. anywhere in Canada!!! even in our largest city of Toronto, just drive 3 hours north and you will hit the flat-out wild wilderness!
JWR notes at the end of C.N.'s excellently-written article that the reason why Canada is an objectionable place to bug-out to is because of our gun laws. and jambaloney and i think that it is high-time to get into this discussion. i have had the gun law discussion with many of my American friends, some whom were more knowledgeable about our gun laws, than others.
first off - there are 7 million guns in Canada (i had to type over the word "weapon", as i was trained in the military to NEVER call my weapon a gun!). next - in Canada, there are two classes of what our government calls firearms. these are restricted and non-restricted firearms. now that the long-gun registry has been abolished, the only fire-arms that have to be registered are restricted fire-arms (for more detailed information, see the Canadian Firearms program).
the basic difference between restricted and non-restricted firearms can be summarized like this: non-restricted firearms are what you would use to hunt animals. restricted firearms are designed to kill people. as an example, there is no "hunting for dinner" with a snub-nosed .38 police special, if you get my drift.
jambaloney has his non-restricted PAL (Possession and Acquisition License), which means he can go into any store that sells non-restricted firearms and buy a bunch of guns and a pile of ammo by just showing his card. once you have your PAL, it's as easy as that. you may not agree that requiring a PAL is necessary based on your Second Amendment Rights, however; the purpose of a PAL is to ensure that law-abiding citizens in Canada are sufficiently trained to operate a firearm - hey, in both of our countries you need a license just to drive a car! i guess, to the majority of Canadians, we feel that you should be required to have a license to own and properly use a firearm, too.
maybe some of the reasons that there are a lot of Canadians who don't feel it's necessary to walk around carrying restricted firearms can be explained in a few different ways:
- we have never experienced a revolution in our country, nor have we ever experienced a civil war
- the violent crime rate in Canada has always been statistically-low
- as is pointed out in C.N.'s article, the majority of Canadians don't feel hemmed in and can always get away for a weekend or a lifetime to a very low-populated and even remote, place. heck, our government will pay you extra to go to some of those places!
- we may be called pacifists or timid people if you like those terms, but you should really reconsider as we have sent our superbly-trained military everywhere in the world, whenever it was asked of us - and our military is made-up of ordinary Canadians!
- and lastly, as strange as this may seem, the majority of Canadians will bitch, whine and moan about our government and it's practices the same as any American. the difference is, we really are just bitching, whining and moaning. the majority of us are very happy with the social services and benefits at our disposal.
before i pass you off to jambaloney, i want to state my personal opinion. i would have no trouble blowing a hole through someone who was threatening me or my family. however; the chance of that ever happening, for the majority of Canadians, is very slim. and i think that's why we don't feel the need to hoard and store restricted firearms, or carry a gun with us at all times. please, this is my Canadian opinion and i truly understand and empathize with the American position. in fact, if i lived in the US, i would want as many guns as i could have. and there's the rub.
first off, i would like to say that the course i took to get my PAL was an excellent use of time and money. It is a 2 day course that is both in-course and hands-on. the course covers all types of firearms including even black powder rifles. it is historical, legal and practical. kymber may have been in the military, but there are basic things about firearms that i know that she doesn’t. and by basic, i mean more like algebra and less like religion ;-)
(Kymber edits: i know about military-grade weapons – trust me! But i know diddely-squat about guns!)
on the PAL course, you do in-class lessons, handling of a variety of firearms, then you take the test and if you pass both written and hand’s on with above 80% in each, they submit your application for you. i paid $160.00 for the course and 50.00 for the license. there were people in the course that i secretly hoped would fail, based on the questions they asked in class, and more than likely, they did! if you think about a gun like a car, i am sure you all know people that shouldn’t drive… i mean, shoot. if you are interested, here is the course manual for non-restricted firearms, i am sure you all would agree that is good stuff for a gun-owner to know:
i came out of that course with a great overall summary of firearms, some great safety training and a license with which it is super easy to buy a wide variety of firearms and ammo – by mail if i want, now WITHOUT having to register them. here is a major Canadian supplier (scroll down to hunting):
handguns require a separate licence and are, well, restricted.. you have to register them and notify the RCMP if you are transporting them, etc. i don’t feel i need one anyway, not a lot of people get shot in Canada, they really don’t. almost all that do are dispatched quite effectively with hunting rifles.
i guess that overall point is, the government doesn’t prevent me from owning a gun, it only regulates that ownership and not in a way that makes it difficult to obtain one… i had a LOT more of a hassle getting a driver’s license and i am more afraid of being killed by a vehicle than i am by a gun. i don’t need to get insurance for my rifles, there are less moving parts than truckdura and if my rifle breaks down, i can simply carry it home.
jwr implies that our gun laws make Canada a less than stellar choice to retreat to when things collapse… i maintain the opposite is true… i would want to be where there are less guns when SHTF, not more. the logic is flawed, you are safer from your fellow human in Canada anyway, it will be even more acute if things break down… there is ALWAYS a place further down the river to go to where there is no-one.
and fresh water to drink..
now, jwr also suggests that BC is a great place to go. check out the climate data in the following link:
now check out Sydney NS (1 hour from here):
the difference is almost negligible, it IS a bit more temperate in the winter but boy does it rain in Bella Coola – i’m talking 3,214 days out of 365 a year!
my point is that these places are both in Canada and are 4500 miles apart. in between there is a climate for almost anyone. true there are very cold places in Canada, but try northern MINN in January ;-))
it is as if jwr didn’t read the article, the real selling points for Canada are space, water, location and food.. these are key survivalist “must-haves”.. so you can’t own a .357 magnum in Canada right now… take solace in your .444 marlin, your .22 and your 12 GA shotgun, if you must . when SHTF, everything else you need will be on your doorstep...in Canada.