Bruce Montague’s Firearms Challenge: A Brave Battle for Freedom
October 28, 2007
For the past several days, I’ve been reading up on the Bruce Montague case, a Constitutional challenge of Canada’s Firearms Act, and from what I can see, a brave stand against the most corrupt and hypocritical forces in government.
All last week, the case was being argued at Kenora Superior Court in Kenora, Ontario, as a precursor to criminal proceedings being brought against Mr. Montague and his wife for the possession of “unregistered” firearms. A verdict is expected sometime in the next few days or weeks.
The Constitutional challenge seems to be centred on the question of political legitimacy; or more specifically whether our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (and other legal protections which preceded it) should prevent the federal government from forcing law abiding citizens to “register” their legally obtained weapons in a complex bureaucratic system, mired in red tape, which could ultimately lead to the confiscation of said weapons.
Personally, I have never owned a gun and have no real interest in obtaining one, so let me say that my interest in this case is purely academic. Yes, I am fully aware of the damage and violence that firearms can cause in a society, but I believe that the traditional “gun control” arguments simply don’t stack up against the all-important principles of individual freedom, sanctity of the home, and the right to self-defense.
I am also concerned about the absurd and unprecedented amount of power given to police officers by the Firearms Act, as well as the Act’s apparent infringement on numerous Charter rights (see http://www.brucemontague.ca/html/0080.html for a full explanation).
Most police officers are, in my opinion, far more corrupt and arrogant than the average citizen who seeks only to guard his home and mind his own business. And yet, we trust our police with a whole array of dangerous weapons, which they all-too-often abuse. Add that to the reality that disturbed criminals will always be able get their hands on guns and other weapons one way or another. Why should law-abiding homeowners be left helpless in the crossfire?
Yes, I realize that judges are cautious about striking down legislation (as they should be), but I really can’t understand how this particular law is compatible with our Charter, Bill of Rights, British common law, or any of the principles that freedom-loving Canadians hold dear. If judges are able to make bizarre and, quite frankly, laughable changes to the definition of “civil marriage” (and may well continue to do so in the future), then surely they can strike down a law that sees citizens jailed for trying to ensure their own safety, within their own homes.
Whether Mr. Montague can win his case, I’m honestly not sure, but I am encouraged by the fact that Doug Christie, a well-known Victoria lawyer who fights for freedom of speech and other civil liberties, was able to help him fight this battle. Christie is known for a strong professional dedication to his clients (many of whom hold some rather extreme views), and has all-to-often been unfairly portrayed by the Canadian media as a “Nazi” or “fascist,” even though the principles he fights for are anything but.
Overall, I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of a victory for Montague, but I’m happy to see that he and people like him are willing to fight for the cause of freedom. I don’t advocate the use of firearms, but I feel that each individual must decide for himself how to protect and defend his property. That’s what the Montague family is fighting for, and for that they have my sincerest congratulations.
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