The RCMP has now released their report on the Northern B.C. murder investigation involving two men from Port Alberni. Anyone interested in how the police conducted their investigation should read it.
Heck, every Canadian adult should read it. While it describes a disturbing series of events that hit close to home it's sensitive to the three victims' families and mostly details how the investigation went down. It offers a look at how robust this particular operation was.
On Friday we published a piece about how the RCMP had confessions but no motive from the killers, Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.
In the conclusion of the report it's stated that "Based on the firearms lab results, similar offence pattern, timelines of suspects and admissions from McLeod and Schmegelsky, no other suspects are responsible for the three homicides."
Those firearms mentioned were two models of the same type of weapon; the SKS. One (the black one pictured below) was confirmed to be legally purchased from a Cabela's store in Nanaimo on the day the pair embarked on their ill-fated trip.
One box of 20 rounds of ammunition for it was also purchased that day, using Kam McLeod’s Possession and Acquisition License.
The second rifle was an older model SKS (the wood stock one on the bottom of this photo below).
Both are widely available in Canada and other countries.
Designed in 1943 in the Soviet Union, the SKS is common among legal firearm owners in Canada and there are literally millions of them in circulation worldwide.
They're available at most stores that sell guns in this country, and according to Calibre.ca they're "about the cheapest semi-automatic centre-fire firearm on the Canadian market".
You can buy one (if you have a valid PAL certification from the RCMP) for $250.
In Canada the legal magazine capacity is 5 rounds, meaning you can pop off 5 shots quickly. Then you have to take the magazine off and put on another one.
That's the same capacity as regular ol' hunting rifles that come as semi-automatics but - again - there is one major difference; these "military-style" ones look scarier.
I shot one of these rifles at a range in December of 2016. It was fun - much like the joy that comes from quick-succession swings at a batting cage - but I wouldn't ever want to own one.
As you'll see in the video below I hit 5 out of 5 targets. You'd have to be a pretty terrible shot to require 5 shots at any game you're hunting in Canada, but I appreciate why people would want to have one of these to practice target shooting.
I once shot the same model of firearm (the SKS) that Kam Mcleod and Bryer Schmegelsky used to murder three people in B.C..
It was fun - like the quick-succession thrill of swings at a batting cage - but I have no desire to own one. pic.twitter.com/d66o6TgpIY
— Bob Kronbauer (@BobKronbauer) September 30, 2019
However I don't personally think that banning rifles currently available in Canada is going to make us any more safe.
As I said in my column last week, every semi-automatic weapon in this country is just as dangerous as the "military-style" ones that the Trudeau government is looking to ban. And very rarely have they been used in mass shootings.
Undeterred by that fact, this week the Liberal party seems to have ramped up their election-time rhetoric around banning "military-style" weapons in Canada.
They just want to ban the scary looking ones.
It would seem to me that the people who are most scared are the Liberals, not wanting to go whole hog and ban semi-automatic guns completely.
That'd involve a real political risk on their part, and it seems to be one they're not willing to take.
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