In response to the draconian measures proposed in Bill C-21 which will ban many types of popular and commonly owned sporting and hunting firearms in Canada, many gun owners and advocates have taken to a mass letter writing campaign and posting about their efforts on social media.
The Reddit subreddit “r/canadaguns” has received several posts with photos from its contributors in recent days showing the fruits of their letter writing efforts.
The campaign appears to have started nearly three weeks ago with an image post by a user named Mr_Winemaker, showing a bundle of white envelopes grasped in his hand captioned “My stack of letters for the Senate and MPs”. The post has received over 1,000 upvotes, and was heavily commented.
Reddit has a reward system aside from its upvoting/downvoting, with the “Gold” award being among the most prized, as it allows ad-free browsing. The post received the Gold, along with ten other awards.
Nearly two weeks ago, a post by drank_myself_sober added to the collection, with a image and caption boasting of adding 159 “letters of disappointment to the liberals”. Bill C-21 is a government house bill sponsored by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, a Liberal Party of Canada member.
Another user, “hairychickennipples”, managed letters to all 338 Members of Parliament. The subreddit is averaging over a post a day for the letter writing campaign.
There are signs the letter writing campaign may be having an effect. There has been intense media attention since the committee hearings on C-21 started, and new, more restrictive amendments have been proposed. Major media outlets and firearms commentators, including all of the major firearms advocacy groups, the CCFR, NFA and CSSA, as well as private individuals such as lawyer Ian Runkle, have expressed their concern, and in many cases alarm, at the breadth and scope of the C-21 proceedings and the bans proposed by the law.
Just two weeks ago, the narrative from the Public Safety Minister and from the government was that Bill C-21 was not going to ban long guns. A November 28, 2022 article in the National Post quoted Mendicino as accusing opposition Conservatives of “whipping up fear” and insisting that the government “has no intention whatsoever to go after long guns and hunting rifles.”
However, he was immediately attacked as being misleading on that point by firearms groups and by the Conservatives, who say that C-21’s amendments ban many types of common long guns and hunting rifles not previously envisioned, such as the SKS rifle, a five-shot semi-automatic centre-fire rifle available in a common deer hunting calibre.
Then, this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he is “always open to tweaks” according to a CBC News article.
Despite the media attention and the possibility that C-21 will be moderated, the letter writing campaign appears to be continuing. “Dragon_slayer169” was the most recent to post their waiting letters, saying in their post “A letter for each Senator and each MP. Times two: one from myself and one from a friend. Just dropped in the mail” above a picture of three envelope boxes filled with white envelopes.