To avoid insulting the reader’s intelligence, we will be using the following marked-up word:
several times in the narrative to come. When you see (SHRUG), it means that there is a fairly obvious hole in what is being reported or described — I can see it, you can see it, but nothing can be done. Using (SHRUG) in this fashion is inelegant and deliberately contra a few rules of grammar and usage, but we really need something that performs this particular task in this particular instance. Are you with me? Alright.
Last week, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman had an argument with his girlfriend. This (SHRUG) was the catalyst for him to head out to his garage, put on (SHRUG) a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform, and get in his (SHRUG) detailed copy of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police car. He set a few houses on fire and killed the people when they came out. We don’t (SHRUG) know why he chose those people. Then he started pulling people over, using his fake police car, and killing them. The RCMP was in possession of this information fairly early in the spree but (SHRUG) decided not to alert people to what was going on. Instead, they (SHRUG) just told the cops to keep an eye out. Wortman then crashed into a real cop car, shot the male officer, and continued on his way. He crashed again (SHRUG) into a female officer’s car, killed the female officer, and continued on his way.
Wortman drove his cop car to the house of a woman he (SHRUG) knew, killed her, removed his police uniform, and took her SUV in place of her car. While refueling quietly at a gas station, looking exactly like everyone else instead of the fake cop he’d been for the entire day, he (SHRUG) happened to catch the attention of a police officer, who (SHRUG) gunned him down without return fire.
Wortman’s ruse was hugely effective, taking advantage as it did of Canada’s natural trust in its national police force. As the details of the shooting were coming to light, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a comprehensive ban on all semiautomatic rifles, aka “assault weapons”, in Canadian hands. At the same time, it was explained that Wortman was a convicted criminal who was not eligible to own firearms in Canada, and that he had not legally purchased any of the weapons he used. Nevertheless, (SHRUG) Trudeau emphasized that it was time for Canada to ban “assault weapons”. In a hastily delivered speech, Trudeau said
“”These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.” Ah, but there is a use and a place for them. Get your (SHRUGGING) shoulders ready.
Over the past four years, Canada has been gradually equipping its everyday police with the Colt C8 “patrol carbine”. You can read some breathless rhapsodizing about it on the law-enforcement sites. The C8 is a semi-automatic rifle firing the NATO 5.56mm cartridge, which has considerable armor-piercing capabilities in certain variants. It’s a close cousin of the M4 and M16 rifles used by the United States armed forces, although apparently it’s built at even greater cost to a more demanding set of tolerances.
Many of my readers are not “gun people” so they are perhaps not aware what an aggressive action this is. The average American police officer carries a pistol on his person and has access to a shotgun in his patrol car. These are weapons designed for short-range use — 100 feet away would be too far for most cops. They don’t have the capability to penetrate brick homes or multiple sheets of drywall. They’re intended for last-resort use.
European police often carry submachine guns. These use pistol rounds, given additional energy by being fired from a longer barrel. They’re 100-150 foot weapons, and while they are far more “offensive” than pistols, you still wouldn’t take one to war if you had another choice. (The infamous AK-47 “assault rifle” was a Russian ripoff of the German Stg44; both were designed to bridge the gap between submachine guns and true rifles.)
The C8 carbine is basically what the average Marine takes to Afghanistan, minus the “full-auto” capability which has no use outside of massed-unit tactics. In other words, the Canadian cops are preparing for war. In a country of 38 million people which had 651 homicides during 2019 (Chicago had 760 homicides all by itself in 2016, for 2.6 million people) and where most people don’t own guns. And if you want to be just a little bit terrified, consider that at some point during this craziness a few Canadian cops just started blasting away at a fire station, leaving holes in the building. The fire station was occupied at the time but Wortman was nowhere near. (SHRUG).
Prime Minister Trudeau states that the purpose of the C8, and other weapons like it, is “to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.” And he’s making sure that every cop on every corner has one. When regular citizens have these guns, they are “assault weapons”. When the police have them, they are “patrol carbines”. Of course, if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Except. The Canadian government has been remarkably vague about where Mr. Wortman got his guns, saying something about “long guns from America”, but I would imagine that he helped himself to at least one of the C8 “patrol carbines” along the way.
I suspect Mr. Wortman will join Stephen Paddock in the Great North American Memory Hole For People Who Do (SHRUG) Un-Explainable Things very soon. It’s not a good idea for people to look too closely at the logic here: Man uses illegal guns, illegal cop car, and illegal cop outfit to murder with impunity, so the government takes away everyone’s legal gun and rolls out a War-On-Terror-spec armor-piercing high-capacity rifle to every cop on the beat. It’s all (SHRUG) perfectly reasonable, right? It makes me think of this:
Blade Runner was supposed to have taken place in 2019. How odd that we never got our flying cars, but we did get a gradually widening gap in power, safety, and security between the cops and the little people. Say it with me: (SHRUG).
For Hagerty, I wrote about a trucked-up situation.
Brother Bark wrote about the perilous future of automotive retail.