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The French trading posts and the French gun trade with the Indians ceased.
By mid-century, the Iroquois were heavily armed, and had commenced a sixty-year campaign called the "Beaver Wars" to destroy the trade of France and her Indian allies, especially the Ottawa. The Iroquois' main objective was to replace the Ottawa as middle-men, trading western beaver pelts for European guns.
The French and Ottawa prevailed, however, and their trade continued to expand. The victory in war with the Ottawa over the Iroquois confirmed to the Governor of New France, the Comte de Frontenac, that friendship with Indian traders was the best policy. Building an empire of commerce that stretched deep into what would become the Louisiana Territory, Frontenac did everything possible to supply the Indians with guns.
There are almost as many rifles per capita in Canada as in the United States. Although there are important cultural differences, Canada and the United States "probably resemble each other more than any two nations on earth," observes sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset. It is therefore somewhat surprising that American gun control advocates have not placed more emphasis on the Canadian model.
This article examines the Canadian gun control system to consider whether it might serve as a model for restructuring gun control laws in the United States.
Because guns made big game hunting more profitable, and because many Indian tribes were involved in wars with each other, firearms were the most valuable commodity a European could offer. The French explorer La Salle observed: "The savages take better care of us French than of their own children.
From us only can they get guns and goods." Frontenac's policy was the right one for France.
The social implications of firearms ownership are also studied, with particular emphasis on police and civilian attitudes and practices regarding armed self-defense.
Finally, the article examines the cultural aspects which have influenced Canadian firearms control, and discusses whether those controls would be suited for the United States.
Unlike the English, and later the Americans, the French were not settling the land with waves of immigrant farmers.