The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Canada

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Canada

We Stand on Guard for Thee

Some un-spun, straight-ahead facts, statistics, and opinion
on Rights, gun control, crime, and dirty politics.

An opening thought...

"To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow... For society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding."
-- Jeff Snyder, Oct 20, 1994


Rights and Law

Canadians do have the Right to Bear Arms.

Many Canadians believe (and our government would certainly have us believe) that there is no Right of the citizen to keep arms for their own use and defense, like the US Second Amendment, in Canadian law. To those citizens, I would suggest a bit of reading up on our own history and legal framework. Our right to bear arms is not mentioned in recent documents such as the Constitution or Charter because it's already stated elsewhere in Canadian law.

Our right to keep and bear arms in our own or the country's defense comes from exactly the same place as the American one -- English Common Law, the English Bill of Rights 1689, the writings of Sir William Blackstone in his Commentaries on English Law, and others. All these laws (and indeed the full body of English Law), became part of Canadian law on our Confederation in 1867 with the affirmation of the British North America (BNA) Act.

We have this Right, though our government is attempting to suppress it and deny citizen's their age-old right to self-defense with the egregious and unconstitutional (not to mention horrendously expensive) Firearms Act and other proposals.

It leads one to wonder why the government so wants an unarmed and defenceless populace. See The Legal basis for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Canada.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a precious and revered document to most Canadians, and rightly so. Are we prepared to tolerate law that is contemptuous of the Charter and constitutes a grievous affront to its provisions? Are some minorities 'equal-er' than others? See How the Firearms Act (BILL C-68) Violates The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Our politicians claim to be passionate defenders of the Charter. That is patently not true. The claim is hypocrisy while Acts such as the Firearms Act exist.

We should be fearful of a government that would confiscate citizens' legally acquired property because it is politically expedient. Which group of Canadians is next? How about when they want to confiscate SUVs because they're "getting tough on pollution?" What if your home is in the way of a profitable shopping complex?


Effectiveness of Gun Control

Confiscation of lawfully acquired property is a violation of Charter rights, but some maintain that it will cause such a profound reduction in violent crime that it's "worth it." So, does confiscation or a gun ban reduce crime? Fortunately, there are other places, very similar to Canada, that have already tried it. Let's take a look at how well it worked.
News reports on the success of the Gun Ban and Confiscation in the UK

A very good Canadian study that examines crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., Great Britain, Australia, and Canada may be found here.

"Using cross-sectional time-series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992, we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths." The Chicago Study

In 1997 the San Diego Police Officers Association polled its members about gun control, and what they believed would be most effective in reducing violent crime. The results were published on 05 May 1997 in their official newsletter, "The Informant." See the San Diego Police Survey

"Contemporary scholars have little explored the preconditions of genocide. Still less have they asked whether a society's weapons policy might be one of the institutional arrangements that contributes to the probability of its government engaging in some of the more extreme varieties of outrage. Though it is a long step between being disarmed and being murdered -- one does not usually lead to the other -- it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed."
-- Daniel D. Polsby, Washington University Law Quarterly, Volume 73, Number 3, Fall 1997.
See The Relationship Between Gun Control And Genocides


Politics

Dirty Politics

The Liberal government has always known that the gun registry, ban, and confiscation would not work, and would waste our money. Its purpose was to appear to be "doing something" about crime in order to get votes: "The short answer, arrived at by every study of the option in the Department of Justice, was that it would be ruinously expensive, and could actually yield a NEGATIVE public security result..." See OFF TARGET


Opinion

Imagine A World Without Guns. An intelligent, well reasoned extrapolation from where we are now to a world with no firearms.

Firearm Owning Mom tells why she doesn't like Canada's C-68 and Gun Control

Letters and comments by concerned citizens.



Contact:
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The Free State Project

"No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-- Thomas Jefferson