Atlantic Canada — Across the country, owners of assault-style weapons that the government recently banned are lashing out, claiming that the new law is undemocratic and that it will do nothing to stop crime.
For many though, the new law shines light on their deepest fears: that they will be forced to take up hobbies that are more productive and that they will have to find new ways to prove their masculinity.
“Trud-no and his Liberal elite snowflakes just don’t understand real men,” stated John Duncan of Perth. “I mean, how do they expect me to spend my time now that I don’t have big, macho guns to shoot? By volunteering in my community? Learning a new language? Travelling abroad? Sheesh…those things are for sissies.”
Boyd Jones of Rusagonis also had concerns.
“Listen, when I was a kid I was a tender-hearted little bugger. I loved poetry, played the violin, and sang in a choir. I got the crap kicked out of me a lot. So I adapted: I started playing first-person shooter games. Then, when I was old enough, I began collecting assault rifles. Man, did I ever gain respect. Now tell me: how will I release all of my suppressed emotions without shooting big-barrelled weapons into a field? Am I supposed to actually talk things out? I mean, it’s ridiculous!”
In response to the country’s masculinity crisis, a local non-profit, Man Up!, hopes to teach gun owners alternative ways to display their manliness, without the assistance of assault weapons. Retired war veterans Chris Regis and Sean Philman of Oromocto drew on skills the two learned when they retired from the army in order to create the program.
“We know many men rely on their assault weapons to feel powerful and manly. Without them, we can feel completely emasculated,” stated Regis. “At Man Up! we teach men how to showcase their testosterone without the use of assault weapons. In our beginner course, we teach basic lessons, like how to take a beefy gym selfie; how to grow a longer, thicker beard; and how to build furniture using nothing but an axe.”
“Some men might not find these skills manly enough,” continued Philman. “So, in our more advanced course, we take it up a notch. We teach how to chop down trees using only your non-dominant hand and how to sew plaid shirts using your own chest hair for thread. You’ll learn how to do jump cars with your motorcycle — on a rainy day.
“Finally, for those who dare, we’ll teach how to wrestle invasive bears to death and eat the raw meat — using only your hands and teeth. We think once men have mastered these skills, they’ll forget about their need to shoot dangerous assault-style weapons and focus instead on being the big, powerful, manly men their ancestors were before the invention of guns.”
We asked the owners of Man Up! why they couldn’t instead focus their efforts on facilitating a forum for open dialogue around the culture of toxic masculinity, which leads so many men to purchase assault-style weapons in the first place.
Regis was quick to respond: “Look, you don’t mess with the patriarchy, okay? It’s worked great for this long.”