May Day Speech, Saskatchewan
May 1st, 2004. By Bruce Montague.
- -Title page This is the last of the history lessons. I will be covering what
I see are the key points in the gun control laws in England from 1903-2004.
I'll point out some similarities to our own laws as we proceed.
- -1903 Pistols Act- Restricted purchase of handguns to people over 18 yrs of
age and not to "drunken or insane" people.
This is the successor of the failed pistol bills of 1893 and 1895. This 1903
bill was a much a more watered down version of the previous two. The law
itself had no real meat to it and served no useful purpose except to lay the
groundwork for future restrictions. The supposed purpose of this law was to
address the increase in crime - - the only problem was that the statistics
never showed any such increase.
- - Firearms act of 1920 eliminated the right of individuals to be armed. This
was a major turning point in British law. It is also very similar to where
we are now with our current firearms act (bill C-68), especially with
respect to licensing. The rationale for this law by the ruling government,
again, was an increase in armed crime. - - Yet statistics still showed no
In fact the statistics showed a steady decrease in armed crime for hundreds
An interesting debate broke out in British parliament at this time: The
pretence of "crime prevention" was challenged, and a concern was raised,
that the people needed a means of resisting a government gone bad! That
after all, that was one of the important reasons that the right to keep and
bear arms was in the constitution.
During the debate, it was ultimately determined that the people didn't need
guns anymore, because there were many others legal avenues available to
redress any wrongs of the government. - - sound familiar?? It does to many
of us in the CUFOA organization as we try to get arrested. We are trying to
address the constitutional problems with bill C-68, and are being denied
that right. From my experience, most of these avenues for redress are
In 1920 there was a lot of unrest in England. Civil unrest was probably the
main factor in their push for more gun laws. The government wanted more
control over the people. I believe the same is true in Canada as well.
Although I don't think that Canada is quite at the point of an armed revolt,
I am sure that government control of the people, is the overriding factor in
our own gun laws.
I have an important point I'd like to emphasize here:
The Constitution was written to protect THE PEOPLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT -NOT-
to protect the government from the people!
- -1937 guidelines for gun ownership changed "As a general rule applications
to possess firearms for house or personal protection should be discouraged
on the grounds that firearms cannot be regarded as a suitable means of
protection and may be a source of danger"
Idiotic statements like this infuriate me! Sounds like some of the same
propaganda we hear today. You have to wonder why they arm the police and
military if guns are really that unsuitable for protection and dangerous to
By the time WW II came along, England was desperate and needed to arm as
many citizens as possible in order to "protect the Realm". One of the
reasons for the "old right" to keep and bear arms was to "protect the Realm"
along with the right to resist oppressive government. If the Brits adhered
to this constitutionally guaranteed right, before the war, they would have
been in a much better position. Instead, the British citizens were used like
pawns by their government only to have themselves disarmed again after the
By the 1950's disarming the populace was well under way. The guidelines for
the acceptable reasons to own a gun became narrower and more stringent.
- -1953 Prevention of Crime Act This act started to alter the law on the
traditional concept of the right to protect oneself. There was a lot of
government propaganda and lectures on the foolishness of taking independent
action in the face of an assault on oneself or others, and of the need to
let the experts - the police - handle such matters.
The bill of 1953 banned public carriage of all offensive, or potentially
offensive weapons, and to transfer to the police sole responsibility for the
protection of individuals. This is where they really started pushing the
myth that "you are safer if you don't resist or protect yourself".
- -1967 the Criminal Law Act- This act is a little confusing to explain in a
nutshell, but it had the end effect of making it legally hazardous to
protect ones self or property with physical force - with or without a gun.
The myth of "non-resistance" has now become more of a reality, because if
you do successfully defend yourself the government is likely to prosecute
you for your efforts.
At the same time the "guidelines" used by the police for granting permits
for firearms have become very narrow and exclusive. These "guidelines" were
a very sneaky and powerful method for removing legal guns from the populace.
The law allowed for these guidelines to be changed with very little
scrutiny. All the government had to do is make the conditions so restrictive
that nobody can meet them. In Canada we have something called "Orders In
Council" that do a similar thing.
- -fast forward 3 frames to the following
- -1969 the guideline changed to simply "It should never be necessary for
anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person."
The attitude conveyed in these guidelines sounds very familiar to us in
Canada. I'd like to repeat two famous quotes from our former justice
minister Alan Rock:
· "... protection of life is NOT a legitimate use for a firearm in
this country" and (Calgary Dec.1994)
a.. " I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this
country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers" (Maclean's,
April 25, 1994, pg.12 )
I wonder how Rock would explain the purpose for all the guns his body guards
carry? It seems easy for our hypocritical leaders to say that guns are not
needed for self protection, when they themselves are protected by a team of
Ok, back to England - Certificates issued for recreation also sharply
declined. It was much easier to arbitrarily refuse certificates for sporting
purposes because the constitution didn't protect the right to own guns for
sport. Their constitution only protected their right to own guns for
defense, - -and we can all see how well that right has been upheld!
- -1973-1978 Depending on the type of license or permit you were buying, the
fees jumped anywhere from 7 to 12 times the original amount.
This was just another facet of this multi-pronged attack on gun owners. -
Let's hit them in the pocket books!! In Canada they like to call them "user
fees" - - Well I've got news for them, I'm not the user!!!! This is supposed
to be a public safety issue, and if so, then it's the general public that is
the user not us.
After a number of years trying to enact more gun laws, it took horrific gun
crimes before parliament was able to succeed.
In 1987 Michael Ryan, a former paratrooper, went on an 8 hour rampage before
he was finally cornered - where he shot himself. It seems strange that there
wasn't much focus on the fact that it took 8 hours to stop him, because a
disarmed community and a disarmed police force could do nothing but run and
- -Just a few days later another mass shooting took place in Bristol.
There is an infuriating and disgusting tactic that the government and the
anti-gunners like to use. They exploit tragedies like this to further their
anti-gun agenda. They are riding on the backs of victims and their families
and using them to further their own attack on legitimate gun owners!! - -All
the while, using twisted logic and statistics to support their cause.
- -1988 Firearms Act was born out that these tragedies. Under this law all
guns had to be registered, even shotguns. People were requested to give a
reason for needing a shotgun when registering it. The act also imposed
costly security conditions for owning these guns.
In 1996 it was the Dunblane massacre. Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and
a teacher before shooting himself. The twist here was that Hamilton had a
license, but did not meet the conditions for it. The police were even
previously asked to revoke his license! They did an investigation, but
nothing was done.
- - - But for the anti-gunners this wasn't important- - They wanted more
- -1997 Firearms Act was born out of this tragedy. This was the final nail in
the coffin for legitimate handgun owners. All handguns greater than .22
caliber were banned outright. A few months later, after Tony Blair won the
election the ban was extended to also include .22 cal handguns. Even Olympic
shooters were not exempted.
England is now seeing increases in armed crime like never before. Other
countries that have tried this sort of gun control have also experienced
this pattern, and we will probably see the same pattern here if we allow it.
- -Display last slide of presentation- (Remember: . . . )
At this point I'd like to have all of you help me out with an informal
survey. I doubt we have a typical cross section of people here, but I hope
this illustration will still make my point, on how we are systematically
losing our rights.
All stand please. Think of yourselves as the population of England or maybe
Canada. I am going to ask you questions and have you sit down depending on
your answers. If this is going to work I'll need you to answer honestly.
This is not intended to offend or embarrass anyone, just to give an
illustration of how the government is succeeding in it's disarmament goal.
1. Non-gun owners sit. - - When anti-gun laws are introduced, people that
don't own guns will think the law won't affect them.
2. Machinegun owners sit - -This is probably the most stigmatized of all
gun owners, even by other gun owners. The sooner we realize we are all in
this together the better off we'll be. This divisiveness has to stop! Full
auto guns are no more a crime problem than any other gun!
3. Handgun owners sit - - This is the next most stigmatized group. Again,
even by other gun owners. Don't buy into the myth that there are good guns
and bad guns. All gun owners are targets of our government. Let's not forget
4. If you didn't vote at the last federal election, even if you had a
valid reason, please sit. - - Some may have valid reasons for not voting,
but by and large I consider the non voter as part of the problem. If you don
't vote, or more precisely, if you don't vote intelligently, then you have
absolutely nothing to complain about. - You will get the government you
deserve. Make sure your gun owning friends get out to vote in the coming
5. If you have a PAL, POL or applied for one please sit. - - Don't be
embarrassed now, be honest. You may have unwittingly been fooled into buying
into this big scam. Most people don't realize the difference between the old
FAC and the new PAL. I'm sure this will be touched on later so I won't say
much more other than this is a big turning point in the loss of our rights
to own firearms. This is a sneaky trap that many gun owners have fallen for.
Our British cousins fell for this one back in 1920. (Read more:
FAC vs. PAL)
6. (Remove my jacket to show holstered gun) Anyone who feels
uncomfortable about the thought of me exercising my right to keep and bear
arms, please sit down - It's amazing, how years of propaganda can change
attitudes. No one thinks twice about cops walking around with guns, but
there seems to be a big taboo about regular citizens being armed. When
police forces were first instituted the tables were the other way around.
The public was nervous about the idea of a police force, let alone armed
- Public opinion has been slowly manipulated to the point where the
image of me being armed is a shock. Soon it may be the mere fact of owning a
gun that will be a shock. The point I'm trying to make here is how
government propaganda is manipulating public opinion in order to promote
more anti-gun laws.
- This is probably our biggest single threat to our liberties, and
the hardest to fight. It takes a concerted effort and a lot of money to
educate the public and counteract the propaganda that is continuously being
7. Final question - how many of you left will hand over your guns when
the gun police come knocking on your door? - - Actually I don't want you
answer this question - so everybody please sit. I just want everyone to
seriously think about the obvious ramifications of allowing our government
to run roughshod over our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Because,
ultimately, these laws boil down to physically taking your guns away. I know
some people who have the attitude that "yeah, they can have my guns, - -
bullets first!" - BUT- That attitude does have at least one major problem
with it. You don't stand a chance in winning an armed conflict with the
police, - and it may be difficult to get your point of view across to the
general public in this kind of situation.
In closing, I hope this illustration has reinforced the history lesson. I
don't want to give you the impression that this fight is hopeless, but we
all need to be aware of how easily we are being compromised to death. The
sooner we recognize what is happening the better off we'll be. For Canadians
this fight is still very winnable!
Some might say I have an attitude, and I hope it's contagious! because I for
one, refuse to be declawed, defanged or neutered no matter how politically
correct it may seem!!
When we leave here today, I want every one of us asking ourselves what we
can do to help restore our liberties, and to motivate others to do the same.
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