Opinion

Bring your pen to this gun fight

Editor:

Despite being a disabled veteran whose hands often shake with pain; my privately owned, civilian firearm has been invaluable to my neighbours and to me.

When an elderly friend’s sole companion, her dog, was repeatedly attacked by coyotes, nothing she tried worked. Animal control wouldn’t help because she lived in “too remote of an area.” So my rifle and I helped, and Socks the dog lived happily ever after.

My gun saved human lives shortly after moving to Chilliwack. Late one summer night, a gang of would-be murderers came with knives and bats to kill my neighbour and her unborn baby. I phoned 9-1-1 before I loaded my gun and held them off; thankfully without firing a shot. The police did not arrive until 30 minutes after my intense standoff with these butchers ended. Having a gun made the difference between life and death that night. That baby got a chance in this world; not because the police had their guns, but because I had mine.

My rifle has been a powerful protector. But as a weapon, its power is dwarfed by that of RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson’s pen.

With a stroke of that pen, my rifle has been branded a hazard to public safety and I have been branded a dangerous criminal. Under his pen’s power, men with automatic rifles and body armour can kick my door down in the middle of the night and take me away or kill me if I resist. Imagine your house empty, with the door frame broken in and the boot prints of heavily armed men marking your halls despite your good standing. The Commissioner’s pen is such a dangerous weapon that it can do this to any Canadian in the name of “public safety.”

That this is done under the autocratic authority of a non-elected bureaucrat without parliamentary leadership makes the Commissioner’s pen all the more terrible of a weapon. It slashes arbitrarily and without reason or notice across the rights of thousands of law-abiding Canadians.

My rifle is a pitiful weapon indeed.  It is no defence against this type of tyranny.

So I am calling out to any who would stand up for what is right. The quasi-legislative power given to the RCMP needs to be eliminated. Currently, they have the authority to classify and re-classify firearms that are already categorized by the Criminal Code. This is the power to make “dangerous criminals” out of upstanding citizens. Even those who see civilian ownership of firearms as unsavoury must see the greater evil in this unchecked power.

Please contact your Member of Parliament, the Minister of Public Safety, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Call on them to reign in our nation’s power hungry police force.  If we fail, I fear it will not be long before the whole country finds out how High River, Alberta residents felt when the RCMP looted their homes.

Andrew James

Chilliwack

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