Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Battle is Won but the War is Just Begun

April 5, 2012 was a great day as tonight the long gun registry was done away with. It's no longer available to authorities and we don't need to go through this useless process for buying and selling non-restricted rifles and shotguns anymore! Well, everyone EXCEPT gun owners in Quebec which is unfortunate. I'm seriously hoping they win with the rest of us.

This is a big deal because I'm currently helping out at the Calgary Gun Show. It was a very different show from last year. I've been seeing many more people buying, trading, and selling rifles because the process is that much easier. It's nice. Everyone who has a gun, has a license. It's a room full of lawful people doing lawful things lawfully and NOT being punished for simply wanting to own a firearm.

What I don't think the left wing liberal crowd realizes is we won this step through due process.  Gun owners didn't protest in the street.  We didn't scream and yell or get ourselves arrested and call that a win.  We didn't damage public property and stop traffic or feel entitled and put upon when we didn't get our way.  For 17 years, we fought to have the laws changed so that law abiding people didn't get punished for simply wanting to own a gun.  We also didn't expect this change to happen overnight simply because we wanted it.  We fought for this step tooth and nail.

As much as I would like to say the fight is over, it really isn't. This is just a step in the right direction. So many other things about the Firearms Act must change. How lawful firearms owners are viewed needs to change. Gun control advocates have to stop vilifying law abiding citizens and realize it is the actual criminals that require punishment, not us.

There are changes that need to happen in the criminal code.  For example, there needs to be a repeal of Section 91 and 92 of the criminal code. These two sections are:
  • Section 91 – Unauthorized possession of firearm;
  • Section 92 – Possession of firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized.
Both of these sections were written specifically to punish law abiding citizens. For example, if a firearms license expires, and the person is in possession of any firearm, they are immediately deemed a criminal.  This person could then be jailed for up to four years.

If the person leaves their home, with their restricted firearm but forgets the registration certificate at home, they are deemed a criminal.  Again, this person could be jailed for up to four years.  What bothers me about this is, if actual criminals are caught with unregistered or stolen firearms, the first thing they try to have removed from their case is the firearms offence and they are successful a good deal of the time.  Not only that, actual criminals have lesser sentences for actual crimes.  Law abiding citizens, who have never done anything wrong in their lives however are raked over the coals for paper crimes. How can anyone think this is okay?

What I have JUST learned is the firearms license is the ONLY document that keeps law abiding citizens from being convicted under the section 91.  This is scary for so many reasons. There is this person called Governor in Council that can revoke any and all licenses under section 119 as long as a letter of explanation is presented to Parliament. So in one fell swoop, all law abiding Canadian gun owners could be made criminals because this person decides it. The best part, the Governor in Council is another name for the Minister in Charge of the Firearms Act.

There are a number of worries with section 91 and 92 but what everyone should concern themselves with is this: if/when there is a conviction under these sections, there was never a threat, intimidation, robbery, injury, violence, murder, or a victim.  The once law abiding citizen can go to jail for up to 10 years for a paper crime and there is almost nothing they can do about it.

Something else that I've learned about is Clause 69 and Clause 70. A Chief Firearms Officer can refuse to issue a license, registration, or ATT as long as you are provided notification. The owner has a right to appeal but I don't actually know the process or why a CFO would refuse or revoke these for anyone.  Then again, I don't know why anyone would write such spiteful laws against law abiding people.  Personally, I would write laws to punish criminals, not honest people.  But, that's just me.

The Federal Liberal Party put so many laws in to punish the law abiding so many years ago and over time it's gotten worse.  Not only that, the police and the government have actually punished lawful people using the firearms act.  The ONLY advantage that's come of this is to tighten up the laws and make them more understandable.  They were written vaguely so that they could be interpreted any way authorities wished at the moment.  This is not a good way to treat a population of any country, especially a group of people that should be the biggest advocates for police and safety of a country.

What I hope left wing gun control advocates realize is punishing lawful people will get them no where.  Blaming us or blaming the tool for tragedies is never a good idea.  If so, then cars should be blamed for crashes, fast food restaurants should be blamed for overweight people, knives should be blamed for stabbing, and bombs should be blamed for war.

Royal assent of Bill C-19 is merely a step in the right direction.  We need to keep fighting for our rights and freedoms.  As long as we keep at it, keep speaking with those in power and keep using due process, we will win.  We can't stop, ever.  If we're quiet for even a minute, they'll think we've gone away.  The world is changed by those who show up.