By Chris McGarry
In spite of overwhelming evidence proving time and again that gun control just doesn't work, why do so many often well-meaning but naive and misinformed individuals continue to support this failed experiment, even crying for more restrictions on the rights of law-abiding firearm owners?
Could it be they've bought into the myth that by licensing all gun owners and registering all firearms, you somehow magically reduce violent crime, which in turn will make the streets of our cities safer? If this were truly the case, why then has gun crime actually increased in the 14 years since the passing of the Firearms Act?
We occasionally hear some of more extreme antigun folks make statements such as "since Canada is a civilized, safe nation, nobody except police officers and the military need be in possession of firearms." While many unsuspecting Canadians may believe that our governments will protect them from all harm, sadly history shows us that governments are often the perpetrators of horrific crimes against their own citizens.
In addition to being useful tools for shooting food and for self-defense against predators (whether they be four-legged or two-legged), firearms have a much more important role and that is to give the citizenry of a nation a degree of protection against an invading foreign army or a once democratic government that has turned tyrannical.
Throughout history, power-mad rulers have used draconian gun control laws to subjugate, enslave and even murder their citizens. Between 1915 and 1994, an estimated 93 million people worldwide were slaughtered by governments who first put into place draconian laws which severely restricted the sale and possession of guns and ammunition and also allowed for warrant-less searches and confiscatory powers.
In my opinion, that's 93 million reasons to own a firearm. While Canada is far from being a brutal, totalitarian regime, governments over the past few decades have increasingly shown disdain for the rule of law and also for the fundamental common law rights of Canadians.
What is truly disturbing is the attitude many police officers (particularly those of the younger generation) have taken towards legitimate firearm owners. This blatant discrimination and profiling has resulted in numerous average, law-abiding citizens (Bruce Montague, John Rew, Jonathan Logan, to name a few) being lumped into the same category as dangerous criminals.
The passing of Manitoba MP Candace Hoeppner's private member's bill (C-391) to scrap the costly long-gun registry may very well usher in a new era for gun rights in Canada.
The next logical step would be to dismantle the Firearms Act and the unnecessary, intrusive licensing requirement.
Here comes the million dollar question: just what sort of gun laws should Canada have?
Since gun control merely focuses on an inanimate object and not the wider issues relating to crime, in my opinion no gun laws are necessary.
But since this likely isn't possible (at least not anytime soon) a practical Firearms Acquisition Certificate F.A.C. system that would enable a holder to purchase both long guns and handguns might be the answer.
People who've received their F.A.C could then take a handgun defense course and apply for a right to carry license. The bottom line is unrestricted firearm ownership is paramount to a free society.
Every person has a natural right to protect themselves and their loved ones and we must ensure that this right is always respected.
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