Bruce Montague


You know, I've thought many times about this similar action, but I never considered myself to have the funding or the expertise to do it. I applaud this man and he will be my hero for months to come.

The Bruce Montague Case: Round One

By Christopher di Armani

In 2003 Dryden, Ontario gunsmith Bruce Montague set out to get arrested for violating Canada's Firearms Act. His intention was to challenge the law's constitutionality in court.

He protested on Parliament Hill on January 1, 2003, placing a placard of defiance at the doors of Parliament. That summer he traveled across Canada with members of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association and protested in every provincial capital, and at the Canadian Firearms Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick.

Bruce and the others presented evidence of their clear, flagrant and continued violations of the Firearms Act to the Sergeant at Arms of each provincial parliament and to the Prime Minister's office in Ottawa. They were ignored.

On September 11, 2004 Bruce Montague was at the Dryden Gun Show purchasing a horse saddle for his then 12-year-old daughter Katey. Six Ontario Provincial Police officers surrounded him and after a brief discussion, dragged him outside. His young daughter cried as she watched her dad be hauled away. When his wife Donna arrived at the show to pick up Katey, she was arrested and charged as well. While Donna was released immediately, Bruce was held in jail for eleven days while the Ontario Provincial Police executed two search warrants on his home and property to locate his firearms.

When he was finally released, he was not required to post bond of any kind, despite his facing 53 charges of violating Canada's licensing and registration scheme.

A year later the Crown applied for and received a “Seizure Order” for the Montague family home and property. They did this under Ontario's Proceeds of Crime legislation, legislation written to combat drug dealers and organized crime.

At first glance this may appear to be no big deal, but for two reasons this event is incredibly chilling. First, the government showed no hesitation in using legislation designed for one purpose for a most draconian and different one. Second, the house seizure effectively killed the Montague's defense. Equity in their home and 160 acre property, which they own outright, could no longer be used to help finance their legal challenge.

Bruce Montague had pulled together a team of dedicated individuals to help coordinate his defense, and secondarily to help raise funds for the case. The seizure of his home forced him and his case management team to find other ways to finance the Charter Challenge. Katey, Bruce's daughter, found her own way to help raise awareness of the case using the video sharing service (see sidebar “No Ordinary Girl”)

Fund-raising events were held at gun clubs across the country, mass mailing campaigns were mounted and the website ( became a repository of information about the case. Every news article published anywhere was duplicated there, and a financial report was posted and updated monthly so people would know how much had been raised and how much more money is required to complete the Charter Challenge.

All of this work was designed to educate Canadians about the Montague case and to bring out the facts about Bruce, the charges he faced, in order to counteract the government’s smear campaign against Bruce.

The Crown, from the very beginning, attempted to paint Bruce Montague as a menace to society. Press releases from the Dryden OPP detachment stressed how serious the charges were against Mr. Montague and made a big deal about the numbers and kinds of guns seized. Many of the charges centered around the government’s desire to paint Bruce as a deranged and dangerous man. These charges contained the phrase “for a purpose dangerous to the public peace”. The Crown stated repeatedly that they sought a lengthy prison term for this so-called dangerous offender, despite the fact he was released with no bail or bond.

Fortunately the Dryden community knew the Montague family well and never bought into the Crown's assertions. The Montagues are a Christian family and attend worship services in Dryden every Sunday. They volunteer countless hours every month for charity work. Bruce and Katey are a strong part of the area's theater community, with Bruce being active in every facet of producing local theater plays.

On October 22, 2007 Montague finally got his day in court. The first stage was the Charter Challenge. Bruce believes the Firearms Act violates his Charter rights as guaranteed under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and he was eager to have the opportunity to prove it.

On October 25, after a four-day hearing, Ontario Superior Court Justice John Wright reserved his judgment, saying he would hand down a ruling on the Constitutional issues before Bruce and Donna Montague's criminal trial, scheduled to begin in a few weeks.

On November 6, 2007 Justice Wright said in his ruling, in part:

“While Canadians have many rights, not all of them are fundamental rights which are guaranteed by the Charter. Even Blackstone noted that at Common Law the right to possess firearms was not an absolute right but an auxiliary right." ...

“It is clear that Parliament has always legislated to regulate that right and that this is not a fundamental right which is protected by the Charter.”

While he also wrote that

“Canadians have an undoubted right of self defence, and that they have a right to use firearms for self defence in appropriate circumstances”

he still ruled that Canadians have no Constitutional right to own firearms for self-defense.

Justice Wright, in a carefully worded judgment, struck down Montague's Charter Challenge and ensured the Montagues' criminal trial would move forward.

On November 13, 2007 jury selection began for the criminal trial. Empaneling the jury was more difficult that expected. Dozens of prospective jurors said they could not be impartial, and that they admired Bruce Montague for the stand he has taken against the Firearms Act. Since the prospective jurors felt Montague had done nothing wrong, they would not be able to convict him.

As a result, over thirty prospective jurors were excused from jury duty because of their strong views on the Firearms Act and their approval of Bruce Montague's civil disobedience.

It is unfortunate that these individuals were unwilling to stand for jury duty. Had they chosen to stay on the jury and to judge both the law and the accused (jury nullification) as is their right, it would have made an interesting verdict. However, musing in this direction is just that, a fantasy best left for another day.

While originally slated for two weeks, the criminal trial lasted twice that long. During that time the Crown changing the wording of Montague's charges three times. The last change, ordered by Justice Wright himself, came on Monday, December 3, after the defense had already rested and could no longer present any evidence.

It is more than a little mind-boggling how a man can defend himself when the charges against him change constantly during the course of his trial. When the final change comes after he can no longer enter any defense at all is beyond comprehension. Throughout the trial Justice Wright refused to allow evidence of Bruce's civil disobedience, and in his charge to the jury, explained that Bruce's civil disobedience was not a valid defense to the charges he faced.

Despite that bizarre series of changes, the case was handed to the jury for deliberation and Bruce and Donna Montague, along with defense lawyer Douglas Christie, tried to be patient as they waited for the jury's verdict.

The jury took only two days to return a verdict. The results, while not what Bruce Montague had prayed for, were much better than he expected. The jury refused to convict Bruce on any of charges that said he was a “danger to public peace”. He was convicted of not having a license, not having registration certificates for his firearms, and for “defacing a serial number”.

Six charges were given a directed verdict of not guilty including careless storage, three dealing with a loaded gun and another for an explosive substance not reasonably stored. The judge ordered the directed verdict because the Crown had failed to present any evidence in relation to those charges.

He was convicted, however, on all charges under sections 91(1) and 92(1), possessing non-restricted and restricted firearms “without being the holder of a license under which he may possess them”.

The jury's decision is interesting for many reasons. The Crown, having spent over three years building a case on how dangerous Mr. Montague is, failed to convince the jury of their position. Indeed, the judge ordered directed verdicts of not guilty on many of those charges, stating the Crown had not proven their case.

That Montague was convicted for failing to have a license to possess his firearms is good, as this is the only way Bruce's constitutional challenge can move forward in the Canadian legal system. Had he been found not guilty on all counts, he would no longer have what in our legal system is called “standing”. The only way Montague could appeal Justice Wright's decision in the constitutional trial was for him to be convicted of at least one charge.

Bruce and Donna Montague will be sentenced in Kenora, Ontario on March 17, 2008. Justice Wright has ordered a pre-sentence report be completed by a probation officer before that date.

After more than three years Bruce Montague's path through Canada's legal system has finally completed its first step.

But that is all it is, the very first step. They now face a series of very costly appeals. The work continues, both inside the courtroom and on the streets, where the Montague family continues to raise funds for their defense.

As for Bruce, it's on to the next step.

He and lawyer Doug Christie will now appeal the Charter ruling and his criminal convictions to Ontario’s Supreme Court.

If you want more information about the current state of the Montague case or if you can donate funds to help defend Canadians right to own and use firearms for self-defense, please visit

To see bill C-68 scrapped, join in on the petition online!

Read more about Bruce's battle!

Donate Money to Bruce's cause!

Find out more about the Libertarian Party of Canada, who unequivocally supports the rights of people to own property and defend themselves!


  1. so how do I sign a petition to see gun laws more strictly enforced?

    — Kris Benson Sat, 12 Jul 2008

  2. Don't know, I figured you'd say something along those lines. That's not my concern though. My concern is maintaining my right to defend myself and the tools by which to do that.

    Tyler Beckett Sat, 12 Jul 2008

  3. why would you need to defend yourself if the criminals that may threaten you could be locked up just because they have deadly weapons in their possession?

    I mean, the way this story went down seems a little less than cool. He should have been arrested at the first Legislature he showed up to with his weapons.

    — Kris Benson Sat, 12 Jul 2008

  4. So a guy breaks the law, goes around shouting about it, then gets annoyed when he gets arrested? What a stupid, inane method of changing something. The fact that they took the length of time they did to arrest him is stupid.

    Business code: success breeds success Extrapolation: violence breeds violence, guns breed guns, how does that make anyone safer? If everyone owns a gun, no one will get shot?

    — Craig McKee Sat, 12 Jul 2008

  5. @Kris: Because how many criminals are actually locked up for having deadly weapons in their possession? How well is that actually working for the UK? I have the perfect method of creating millions, nay, billions when the Liberals come back into power (God help us all if that happens), I have invented a butter knife registry! I have a deadly weapon in my possession, should I be locked up as a criminal? They are defensive weapons, I wouldn't out and out shoot someone, unless I had a damn good reason for doing so. Check out the following link:

    The reason he broke the law was stated right in there:

    "That Montague was convicted for failing to have a license to possess his firearms is good, as this is the only way Bruce's constitutional challenge can move forward in the Canadian legal system."

    @Craig: He wasn't annoyed, he fully expected to get arrested. He was annoyed that he traveled across Canada, trying to get arrested and didn't get arrested until a year later, but hey, he was successful at his goal. If there's a possibility of me being armed, and you are a crook, will you maybe think twice about robbing me? How about a rapist, check out the following video for one girl's view on this.

    So, in your view:

    It is better for a woman to be raped and possibly murdered in the interest of not harming the rapist.

    It is better for the senior to have their house invaded and be placed in a position of helplessness than to harm the invader.

    It is better for the man to get mugged and possibly murdered for his wallet than to scare the thief.

    It is better for child to be murdered at his or her desk rather than allow the teacher to defend them.

    It is better for the population to have their lives dictated by government than to allow the insolent beings to dictate what foolishness they believe is best for their own lives.

    My view does not restrict you from not owning a weapon, my view just allows those that wish to, own a weapon for defensive purposes. My view believes that each is entitled to live their own life dictated as they see fit, without government interference. Your view says that, as a Canadian citizen, I am too stupid to know what's good for me.

    Where is the fairness in that? Where is the freedom in that? Is that not why we live in either of the USA or Canada? Freedom is supposedly our number 1 right, unless you actually try to do something.

    In response to your Extrapolation, Craig: No guns breed criminals only have guns. How does that make anyone safer? If only criminals own guns, they have free reign over those law abiding citizens who don't own guns.

    On top of the link above to the results of the Australian Ban on Guns (also reposted directly below this:

    The link below shows a Harvard Journal Study showing similar results:

    Again, prove to me, without a shadow of a doubt that gun ownership increases crime. It cannot be done.

    Tyler Beckett Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  6. On a first note, I don't believe that if all the guns in the world vanished overnight that crime would decrease, nor do I believe that arming every person would swing the scales either way, but I would much rather have my home broken into by someone with a knife and a bat - or defend my home with a knife or a bat - than with a gun. Likewise, I think that more people should be considering the use of tasers instead of guns. A shot to the chest with a taser is less deadly than a shot to the chest with a .22, while I do not have articles or stats to back that up, seems to me to be common sense.

    I'm not entirely against gun ownership - for hunting, defensive, recreational, or other use, but (here's the key phrase) if done right gun registry would simply make criminals easier to catch. Yes! I know that's the ideal, and *not* the reality, but hey, the country is young yet, so are guns, but crime is old as time. It'll be many years before something easy and effective comes about, until then, I think there are smarter methods of changing things than doing what Mr. Montague did. As for the article, cry me a river that his daughter saw him being arrested. I wonder if he said "It's ok honey, daddy broke the law many, many times, and is a big criminal according to the law." While he was being dragged outside in cuffs.(I know that's a bit of a tangent, but that bugged me a bit) His house was taken control of? So what? He broke the law, and that's what can happen. Why should I have sympathy for him? Why should I donate my money to a criminal who has no political savvy?

    Is the debate registry Vs. no registry or simply whether or not he can own one?

    — Craig McKee Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  7. I'm not sure if you read his site, but he legally owned each and every one of the guns in his household. These were not black market guns. However, he did not believe that Canada's laws were fair. So, in order to be arrested and be able to challenge the laws in a constitutional challenge, he allowed his license to expire thus making the guns in his possession now illegal. He was charged, from what I understand, with 53 charges of illegal possession. There were storage charges as well, but those were dropped because the police couldn't prove them.

    I would like to know why you think a gun registry makes criminals easier to catch. I really would like to know if you have actually bothered to investigate this or if you are just repeating the government tagline of "It's in the public's best interest" and "It's for the common good". How does my gun being registered, help to catch a criminal? Think about this one carefully. 70% of guns used are imported illegally from any number of sources, meaning they've never been registered to anyone in the first place.

    Something else, why would you want to defend your house with a knife or bat? Did you know it takes the average, knife wielding criminal, 1.5 seconds to cover a distance of 20 feet? That's 1.5 seconds you have to dodge his attack, from a distance. Don't forget there's a .75 second time delay for your brain to understand what's happening and to decide an action plan. That leaves you with .75 seconds to act. What if he has a gun? The old adage, "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight" fits in perfectly. Not everybody has Crocodile Dundee's skills in knife throwing. In fact, why don't we just arm our military with knives and bats? If that's good enough for you to protect your house with, it's obviously good enough for our military. Right?

    The problem is the registry. You have, thus far, paid $2 Billion in tax dollars to a program, the gun registry, that Police cannot access and has done nothing for enforcement. The registry, paid for by tax dollars, does nothing other than allow the government to know which law abiding citizens have guns and who they can harass when they finally go about banning guns. They do not track a criminal's guns, because criminals don't register them. They don't follow the law, that's why they are criminals.

    Finally, how about those other questions? Starting with:

    Is it better for a woman to be raped and possibly murdered in the interest of not harming the rapist?

    If you find that one true, I know of many support groups that you should probably start talking to, they'd love to hear why the victimized women, are so much better because they didn't harm their attacker.

    Is it better for the senior to have their house invaded and be placed in a position of helplessness than to harm the invader?

    I've heard of numerous seniors all over Canada who have been victimized by home invaders who would love to hear from you and have you tell them why they are better for not harming their invader.

    Is it better for the man to get mugged and possibly murdered for his wallet than to scare the thief?

    There are also numerous men, and women, who get mugged on a daily basis, some have been hurt, some have been killed. I'd love for you to tell them or their surviving families that they are better off since they didn't scare their mugger.

    Is it better for child to be murdered at his or her desk rather than allow the teacher to defend them.

    I'm sure the parents of Columbine, Taber and Littleton would love to have you tell them why their children are better off dead with a living attacker rather than alive with a dead attacker.

    Is it better for the population to have their lives dictated by government than to allow the insolent beings to dictate what foolishness they believe is best for their own lives?

    I know of 30+ Million Canadians who are slowly giving up their rights to live life by letting the Canadian government take your decisions for you.

    Tyler Beckett Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  8. Tyler, you're missing the point. All the firearms in the world wouldn't have helped the vast majority of your victims (real and theoretical). Truth is, if the raped woman you speak of had a firearm, that may actually guarantee her murder.

    Weapons get turned on their owners. That's one of the easiest arguments to make against them. When I'm carrying a pocket knife (tool, not weapon), at the earliest sense of trouble, it gets unclipped from the pocket lip and dropped into the bottom of the pocket. Why? because I don't want to deal with the potential weapon ending up in my attacker's hands.

    I firmly believe that this world is a less safe place, and specifically your home, simply because you own a firearm. Is that because *you* own it? No. It's because it exists in that setting.

    There is no case to be made for gun ownership that has any reasonable standing. It is an item that is designed for one purpose -- to cause grave harm to another human being.

    Be very careful of the slippery slope you're on. If your group succeeds in this, it will eventually be followed up by people that are equally radical believing it is their God-given right to have an ultra-low yield thermonuclear device that will auto-detonate when some punk decides to break into their car.

    I do agree with Craig that crime would not disappear (in fact, it would likely not change a whole lot overall) if guns just went away (i.e. were uninvented). But I do believe that crime-related deaths and even accidental deaths would notice a marked downturn.

    And, if you for one instant believe that it would be reasonable, prudent or appropriate for teachers to have a firearm in the classroom to "defend" against potential assailants, you really need to see a shrink before someone gets hurt.

    If you want to get on the "government doesn't know what's best for the people" bandwagon, maybe start with something that has a little less to do with something that a minority of the people feel should be allowed, and look to something that the majority of Canadians are behind -- did you know that something like 60% of Canadians were strictly against allowing homosexual marriage?

    Also, make sure you're arguing the same thing -- the dude in your story wasn't convicted of anything relating to the gun registry, just that he needed a license.

    And for that, he's going to lose his appeal. There is no constitutional grounds in the US, let alone Canada that means you can carry firearms without a license.

    Frankly, this dude is as criminal as the guy that walks into a convenience store, rapes the clerk at gunpoint, takes all the money from the register, shoots the clerk and the three customers that walk in, and drives away while drinking his second 40# of the night.

    — Kris Benson Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  9. You still neglect to see my point. Violent crime statistics in the UK where guns have had an outright ban for a while, surpassed the USA in the year 2000. How does that NOT go against everything you are stating? Just because one does not believe in gravity, does not mean it doesn't exist. Your "belief" that guns make people unsafe, does not make it so. The link I gave you to results in Australia, distinctly show an increase of crime since guns were banned. Again, how does that not go against everything you are stating? Show me proof that a ban in guns results in a lowering in crime.

    Why go with something people can "get behind"? 60% of Canadians may have been against allowing homosexual marriage, but contrary to popular belief, there is no majority rules in Canada. It is <insert minority group that actually bothers to vote here> rules. There are 2 million REGISTERED gun owners in Canada. That does not include the people who have stayed away from registering because of their beliefs. That also doesn't include the natives and aboriginals that have been granted exemption to registration because of their status.

    Take a look at armed guards, as yet another, example which shows what I'm saying. In the UK, there's no such thing as armed guards. Our guards over there have no weapons and are robbed weekly. Why not, they have no resistance. The last time our guards, here in Edmonton, were robbed was 7 years ago. The guns supply a very large deterrent.

    You have, thus far, provided nothing but belief and faith and hope. I have provided over and over again, statistics proving my points. Yes, there is a chance that a few guns might get turned on their owners, but the case in point is that far more lives would likely be saved. Believe me or not, that is what the statistics show. I'll believe time proven statistics over someone's belief in something any day.

    Tyler Beckett Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  10. Neither Kris nor I asserted a belief that crime would go down. However, the number of people being killed during those altercations would. As a second point, I can rely on hearing two or three times a year "Johnny two-year old blew his head off today, because his father was a moron." Far less often do I hear that Johnny two-year old knifed himself to death. Now, you pointed out Columbine, and a number of other massacres, here's a question: how many MORE people would have died if they were instead armed with knives?

    You asked me about how a registry would assist in catching criminals, a scenario: guy breaks into your apartment, steals your gun, drives to Banff, kills 3 people. Where'd he get the gun? Registered, you would report it. If (and I say if, because there is an opportunity) the gun is recovered, the police now know where the gun came from, and they now have two scenes from which to gather evidence. As a side note: the day I agree with anything this government says simply because they say I should is the day I get a sex change and blow myself.

    Now, to your items. First, the rapist. Would you want to get tasered in the nuts?

    Second, the senior. A generalization would state that seniors are older, weaker, and less co-ordinated than they typically younger assholes who b&e a house. Even if the tables are turned, both stand a better chance of living without a gun being involved. A senior swinging a bat or firing a taser, heck, even swinging a cast-iron pot, can be a sight, especially if the assailant is armed with a knife. And since most b&e's are supposed to be quick and uninterrupted, chances are they'll scram. If not, the old guy is probably going to end up beat regardless.

    That's not to say having some guy firing off rounds in a residential area hopefully not killing the Jones' isn't an ideal thing, that makes a lot of sense, to increase the chances of stray bullets...

    Third: Muggings. That's a great idea. fewer people will end up dead if both sides have guns. First, the mugger pulls out his gun, the mugged pulls his and (probably) fires first. The mugger still gets a shot off, two are now dead, and the death toll just doubled. Congratulations.

    Let's hope the wild-west shoot out is happening the right way down the alley, backs to walls, otherwise the Jones' (who just came back from the hospital after a bullet fired by a freaked out senior landed their son in emergency) are going to get hit by a stray while they are walking down the sidewalk.

    Fourth, I suggest you email the parents of the kids from Columbine, Littleton, Taber, Virginia, and the parents of all the dead Johnny two-year olds and say "Thank goodness it was a gun. Can you imagine if it had been knife!? Some of your kids would still be alive, and we all know how annoying two-year olds/teenagers/college grads/church goers/broke insurance scammers are!"

    As for your trust in statistics - you never took a stats course in college did you?

    Last year, no word of a lie, I increased my magic business by 800% over the previous fiscal year. That's a statistic. Not so impressive when I say I booked 9 shows. You might even call it a bit misleading.

    And, you never did answer my question. You came close - " However, he did not believe that Canada's laws were fair."

    How so? This is really what I'm interested in, but if you want to debate whether guns kill people or if it's just the noise they make, go ahead. Show me this guy traumatized his girl for a reason. Is it not fair because his registry expire and he had to renew? Does he have a driver's license? I think even you can agree that pointing a knife at someone is going to end up less deadly than pointing a gun - that's your whole point, a gun makes better defense than a knife - it's obvious you are convinced, now, tell me what your convinced about.

    PS - sorry for this one being so long.

    — Craig McKee Sun, 13 Jul 2008

  11. Lol, no worries Craig, I'm enjoying the debate.

    I don't understand your taser assertion. Tasers, however, are illegal in Canada, except by use by a Police officer. The knife assertion really doesn't make a difference, because criminals are already armed with guns. So the police know where the gun came from, ok, good point, but the registry still did not stop the 3 people dying in Banff.

    So, tasers would be a start, I'd be somewhat happy with that, it would allow a certain level of defense. However, a taser is useless against someone who, in the off chance it happens, is hopped up on some drugs. They don't feel the pain. And again, they're useless if the guy has a gun, actually, it's likely to exacerbate the act. You manage to get the taser into him, which causes involuntary contractions of the muscles, and voila, the trigger gets pulled. That's just one example, however, I'll still concede that tasers would be a wonderful start.

    I'm really not understanding your fourth assertion, if it had been a knife the assailants were using, they wouldn't have been included in my arguments. The assailants had guns. In Utah, the teachers are allowed to, assuming they have a CCW permit, carry their weapon at the school. I have yet to hear of a school shooting in that state.

    My system isn't perfect, I will admit that in a moment's notice. People are the variable, and people are unpredictable. Nobody likes variables, even terrorists don't, and that's why they do "random" searches at airports. Because there's a chance they might get searched, terrorists will likely avoid them now. Right now, though, there is no variable when it comes to robbery, rape, murder, etc. The good, law abiding citizens of this country are unarmed. I am not condoning arming every single person, but the variable of someone possibly having a firearm on them, would be a great deterrent to criminals.

    I also am not condoning untrained people receiving a carry permit. What I am saying, though, is why not allow a person, who has proof of training at an approved course, and who is also willing to requalify that training every <insert time period here> to carry?

    If women were allowed to carry a firearm, a lady might have it in their purse or a fanny pack, or wherever comfortable for them. A rapist wouldn't have a clue, but the woman, upon having the chance would be able to either deter or remove the rapist. I read of a woman who did exactly that a while back, and I'll have to dig and see if I can find the link. She was on the side of the road and had run out of gas. A man stopped, got out and offered a ride to a gas station. She accepted, but as they approached his car, he forced her into his trunk with some sort of weapon. He drove for a while before stopping. He did not know that she had a gun in her purse and when he opened the trunk to retrieve her, she shot him.

    This doesn't happen every day, but this victim is safe now because she had that gun. These are the types of examples I see. There is a lot of good credible information out there that proves what I'm saying.

    No, I did not take any statistics courses, but basic percentages are easy to understand. You would not argue with me saying there is probably more than 100 violent incidents in the United States every year, so even 10% is a 10 fewer per year. Even 1% at 1000 incidents (still plausible) is 10. So even a 1% drop is worth it. Percentages is just an even flooring way of measuring the same statistics in different countries with different populations.

    Anyway, back to your question, he (Bruce) seeks to have the gun registry (Bill C-68) repealed as being unconstitutional. The following challenges are, from what I understand, going to be made.

    Right to Liberty

    The Supreme Court has broadly interpreted the right to liberty (section 7 of the Charter) to protect "an irreducible sphere of personal autonomy wherein individuals may make inherently private choices free from state interference". The Firearms Act interferes with this liberty by making illegal the mere act of owning a firearm inside one's own home. It does so without any evidence of harm to others, the prerequisite for limiting a citizen's freedom.

    Right to Security of the Person

    The Firearms Act violates the right to security of the person (section 7) by taking away the ability of citizens to defend their own homes and property. The right to bear arms for the protection of one's home, family and property has been recognized in English common law for over 200 hundred years. It is affirmed in the writings of Locke and Blackstone. This right is imported into Canadian law by the preamble to the BNA Act (1867) and by section 26 of the Charter. The Firearms Act deprives Canadians of this right by making them completely dependent upon prompt police response in the case of home invasion and robbery. This deprivation is especially harsh for the thousands of Canadians who live in rural areas where police response is often hours after a 911 call has been placed.

    There is more, and the following link is a list on his website of ways in which our current Firearms Act violates our Charter Rights.

    On a side note, are you aware that a Possession and Acquisition License is a License to commit a crime?

    " making illegal the mere act of owning a firearm inside one's own home...."

    Since when was the government given the power to give out a license to commit crimes?

    Tyler Beckett Mon, 14 Jul 2008

  12. "because criminals are already armed with guns."

    No. rather *some* criminals are already armed with guns. In Canada, this number is far lower than in the US where gun laws are much more lax.

    "the variable of someone possibly having a firearm on them, would be a great deterrent to criminals."

    Really? So that's why crime is so much lower in Los Angeles than in Canada? Because the dude might have a gun?

    "No, I did not take any statistics courses, but basic percentages are easy to understand. You would not argue with me saying there is probably more than 100 violent incidents in the United States every year, so even 10% is a 10 fewer per year. Even 1% at 1000 incidents (still plausible) is 10. So even a 1% drop is worth it. Percentages is just an even flooring way of measuring the same statistics in different countries with different populations."

    So, how many accidental deaths does it take to balance out the (theoretical) drop in other violent deaths?

    You're missing Craig's point here, though -- statistics are not not just percentages. Statistics are numbers that are supposed to represent people, but the science/art has been perverted to make it so they can say anything the person wants them to say. Using the same data as your statisticians used, I'm sure I could find a statistician that could interpret that information in the exact opposite way.

    You claim stats beat out "belief and faith and hope" but you're not understanding what I'm saying. I'm providing reasonable arguments that come from an objective standpoint. For instance: it stands to reason that if guns didn't exist, no one would have ever been shot by a gun. Just as, if guns ceased to exist, no one would ever get shot by one again. Of course, that's a utopian fantasy.

    Your arguments about these rights violations fail to hold water -- here's why. First off, there have been a sufficient number of cases where a firearm being discharged has brought "collateral damage" -- an unintended target.

    These unintended targets show that, even when discharged in the unsafety of one's own home, damage may be caused to individuals outside this "sphere".

    Furthermore, the right to bear some form of arms (i.e. knives) is not being restricted, therefore that right is not being infringed upon. The right is merely being limited so as to look out for the public's best interest.

    Seriously: do you believe that, in addition to firearms, you should be allowed to possess (and use to protect your property) explosives, such as hand grenades and dynamite? What about that ultra-low yield thermonuclear device I mentioned? Where do you draw the line?

    — Kris Benson Mon, 14 Jul 2008

  13. I generally draw the line at fully automatic assault rifles. Not that I wouldn't love to own one for collections purposes, I just don't see them necessary to everyone except in the case of defending a nations borders.

    See, you have all this talk about collateral damage, I am armed, therefore I am dangerous to everyone in a 2 mile radius. I see someone armed and I think, hey, at least if something goes down, somebody would be able to defend us.

    People are natural risk takers. That's why we have bungee jumping, sky diving, base jumping, mountain climbing, etc. They all realise a certain amount of risk. Because of people's risk taking, there will always be the risk of an accident happening.

    I honestly believe that gun ownership, especially in the context of the USA's second amendment, makes people more responsible for their own self defense, instead of mistakenly relying on the police for everything. We need to get rid of these people who whine and complain that the police didn't get there in time, and make them partly responsible for their own safety. I see a gun as one method of accomplishing that. I do not want to rely on police to defend me. They cannot reliably be there to defend you when something occurs. In the case of rape, should I stand by and watch it happen? Or should she be allowed to raise a weapon and defend herself? If you say the first, then for women's sake all over, I hope you never get married.

    When it comes down to fight or flight, if the opportunity presented itself, I would choose the latter option and call the police. There is a smaller chance of harm coming to me in that way. If it comes down to being cornered, then you can be damn sure that I am going to fight. If that means raising a gun against a fellow human being, I'm sorry, but they have just forfeited their right to life by attempting to take mine. I may feel bad for taking someone's life, and I hope it never happens, but I want the option of survival, and no defense against an armed suspect, does not give that option.

    The chances of collateral damage are not as high as you make it seem. Not everyone who carries a gun has to use it, it just gives them one more option of survival.

    If Canada doesn't begin to understand this right, then moving to a state may be the answer. I love my country, but we have come to a point of either being pacifist and accepting whatever happens to you as, oh well, nothing could have been done (when nothing is further from the truth), that I want nothing to do with it. I am far more welcome in the US, where many folks understand my sentiments.

    PS, sorry, on my cell phone answering this, so formatting may have been bad.

    Tyler Beckett Mon, 14 Jul 2008

  14. As a woman, in most cases, I would prefer to be able to defend myself. I know from personal experience that the ones who are suppose to defend don't always make it to you in time. I've seen many cases of it, and I've talked with many women who have after an incident stated that they wish they could have defended themselves. I've talked with men who have said "I couldn't stop it, I couldn't help that person. I'm defenseless."

    Not in every case of an attack if a person is able to defend themselves does it necessarily have to be death as the consequence. Any item in the hand of the wrong person can be a weapon. In women's self-defense they actually recommend to carry an umbrella with them when walking alone, so if someone does attack, you can hit away. Even some of the martial art techniques can be lethal.

    I am dependent on someone that I don't know will get to me or my family in time to help us if we are attacked. What would you do if your 4 year old (I am just giving an age) daughter was being raped in front of your eyes?

    I believe and I have had police tell me they agree with me, its not to teach a person or child that a gun is bad, but to use and handle it properly, if a gun is present in the home. A spoon is a weapon in the wrong person's hand. What is placed on here is someone's opinion. Nothing says what someone thinks is wrong. We all have the right to voice and state our thoughts. But also to not look at the stats and just go with whats in your head also makes it so you aren't giving it a fair opportunity to consider it.

    And I beg to differ on the fact that people who have guns that they aren't suppose to have get arrested in all cases. The police know my ex has a gun that is not registered, he still has that gun in his possession. I know a lot more people who don't register their guns because they don't believe in it, and a few of them have friends who are police and nothing is being done about it. They go hunting with their guns and everything, and they have never received a fine or an arrest.

    — Melinda Kavanagh Mon, 14 Jul 2008

  15. In regards to risk takers: if someone entered my home, and entered my bedroom, and I(in self defense) shoot the prick, there are more than 12 people that can be hit by a stray, and 4 by a ricochet. I don't know if they want to take that risk but do I, or should I, have the right to decide for them? Yes, I realize the odds are fairly low, but they are real, they are there, and they are in the newspapers reliably.

    I'll skip one, and go to fight or flight for the sake of flow in my dialogue. My first instinct is rather pacifist, I'll admit, if Jerk breaks in and says "I'm taking your TV, or I'll shoot you." I say "You want help loading it into the van?" I don't consider that to be saying that his life is more important than mine, simply that neither of our lives is worth a TV. However, if Jerk breaks in simply to beat or kill, then I'm all for fight. But just not to kill. I don't believe that it is my right, at any given point or situation, to kill someone else. I will die before that happens. I have no problem maiming Jerk, putting him out of commission, but not to kill.

    If I walk into my house and find my 4 year-old daughter being raped, I would destroy Jerk, but again, not kill. If I found that situation, and found at my side a bat, a knife, and a gun, I would grab the knife. Main reason, immediate bodily separation between Jerk and daughter as my body collides with Jerk to start the fight. Reason two, with the bat and gun, my chances of injuring Daughter are quite high. Daughter is not collateral damage.

    Now to the women who do get raped, first is the Cover My Ass part: I may sound callous, but the issue is not whether rape is bad or good or should happen, etc., the debate is simply defense.

    One of my ex's carries "The Spike" with her, and she knows how to put Jerk out of commission real quick with that. tasers and other electro shock devices work as well, and no matter how jacked up the guy is, a swing to the nuts with virtually anything will begin to bring him down. Pepper-spray is great, but you could also bash someone in with a cell phone if you have some martial arts training to use to your advantage as well.

    I'm not against guns, I'm against people using them as first, last, and only line of defense. I'm also against people thinking that guns make things safer on a street level. If stricter gun control takes guns out of your hands as well as criminals, then you wouldn't need the gun you don't have to defend yourself.

    Random thoughts on subject:

    Baseball bat proof windows, a security system, and dead bolts. If Jerk still manages to break in, what is he going to take from your house that you would trade a human life for? Pictures? Rings? DVD's? Computers? I can't reconcile that. My life? My daughters life? My wife's life? I'll fight vhelmently and will do everything I can do to subdue Jerk, but not kill. A gun may indeed help, but there are far more risks with a gun than (almost) anything else. I don't believe it is my right, or anyone's right, to kill, so why should it be my right to own something that is specifically made to seriously injure or kill?

    Gun-as-defense becomes mute if gun-as-weapon is not present. If you say you hope you never have to use the gun as defense, why wouldn't you support any motion making gun-as-weapon harder to accomplish?

    — Craig McKee Mon, 14 Jul 2008

  16. "...they are in the newspapers reliably."

    I'm not so sure about this one. I rarely hear about gun violence in the papers. When I do, it's usually a gang related shootout. Disarming the law-abiding people, though, will not stop that.

    "...neither of our lives is worth a TV."

    I agree on this one. I would also not resist.

    "However, if Jerk breaks in simply to beat or kill...."

    And this is where we differ. I do not want to kill the person, and either with a gun, the collapsable baton, or the hunting knife I have, I will attack to incapacitate. Whether it means shooting or otherwise. If he continues to keep coming at me, even after being wounded, I will keep attacking until such time as he is no longer a threat. The defensive attack on my part continues as long as "Jerk" continues the offensive attack. If he turns and runs, it becomes a matter for the Police. If he is knocked unconscious, it becomes a matter for the Police. If he is killed, it again becomes a matter for the Police. I will turn over any evidence they need in the matter including the firearm, baton, or knife that may have been used in my defense.

    Craig McKee (Vancouver, BC) wrote at 11:46pm yesterday

    "...but again, not kill. If I found that situation, and found at my side a bat, a knife, and a gun, I would grab the knife...."

    Take my above response in regards to this one. I will somewhat agree with your stance on what I would use personally to fend off the attacker. I might grab the knife, my problem with knives, bats, or otherwise, is that you must have a certain level of "know how" to use one effectively. That is not to say that it may not be an effective tool for defense, but it is far easier to be disarmed wielding a knife or a bat up close, than a gun from a distance. That is my primary reason for guns, as opposed to other sorts of weaponry such as the knife.

    "...the debate is simply defense."


    "..."The Spike"...."

    I have personally never heard of this weapon. I have no idea what it is, but if she is confident in its use, the all the power to her.

    "tasers and other electro shock devices work as well...."

    I'm not sure why we keep bringing up tasers. While I would be all for them as they are "less than lethal" to most people, they are prohibited devices in Canada. Only a Police officer may use one. So, the point is moot here.

    "Pepper-spray is great...."

    Pepper spray is another decent option, although any focused person, can put up with the effects of pepper spray and still achieve their purpose. Police, during training, are sprayed with pepper spray and forced to continue an assault on an assailant. The other problem here, pepper spray is also illegal for protection against people. You can buy severely diluted versions for protection of dogs, but it isn't as strong and it is just that much easier for a focused person to ignore the effects.

    "...I'm against people using them as first, last, and only line of defense...."

    Yes, I am not far off from this. If it is indeed their only line of defense, I encourage them to use it. If it is your first, use something else.

    "I'm also against people thinking that guns make things safer on a street level. If stricter gun control takes guns out of your hands as well as criminals, then you wouldn't need the gun you don't have to defend yourself."

    Here's where I respectfully disagree. I believe they do make things safer, which we will likely have to agree to disagree on since no amount of debating is going to change my mind on this. If stricter gun control actually did take guns out of the hands of criminals, I might be swung over to the "Anti-Gun" side. However, time and statistics have proven otherwise. A criminal is a criminal because they do not abide by the laws of the land.

    If this weren't true, then "gun free zones" in many of the US states, would work. Time and time again though, the gun free zone is exactly what gets hit. Why? Because a criminal knows that all law abiding citizens are going to be disarmed and are not going to be able to stop him until he decides to stop himself or until 10 minutes has passed and the Police arrive. At which point his killing focus will simply turn to the Police. Time and time again, it's not the Police that stop the shooting spree, it's is the criminal's decision to end their own life that does. Columbine, the shooter killed himself. Taber, the shooter killed himself. Polytechnique in Montreal, the shooter killed himself. In the US, why would the shooter pick a school? Because under law, it is illegal for a law abiding citizen in that state, with a CCW, to carry in a school. The shooter knew he would be uncontested.

    "...Pictures? Rings? DVD's? Computers? I can't reconcile that...."

    Neither can I.

    "My life? My daughters life? My wife's life? I'll fight vhelmently and will do everything I can do to subdue Jerk, but not kill."

    I will, if the person does not cease their attack, either by running or becoming incapacitated.

    "A gun may indeed help, but there are far more risks with a gun than (almost) anything else. I don't believe it is my right, or anyone's right, to kill, so why should it be my right to own something that is specifically made to seriously injure or kill?"

    It's not that I believe it is my right to kill, but it is my natural born right to live. If I were to ever draw a weapon on another person, I would forfeit that right, as it is not my right to choose who may live or die. With that forfeiture, the person I threatened with force, would be free take my life in order to protect their life. They could face questioning, to ensure that it was really a defensive act, but they would not be culpable.

    "Gun-as-defense becomes mute if gun-as-weapon is not present. If you say you hope you never have to use the gun as defense, why wouldn't you support any motion making gun-as-weapon harder to accomplish?"

    I have stated my reasons above, if stricter gun control actually did work, I would be all for it. However, time and statistics have proven that this is not the case. Guns themselves are not the problem, anything put in the wrong person's hands, is a very dangerous weapon. Cars, knives, bats, spoons, forks, swords, 2x4, etc. How about a steam roller? Not generally a dangerous weapon, right? Well, a few days ago, a train was derailed here in Edmonton. The culprit? A steam roller. The Police are pressing forward on attempted murder charges. Apparently, someone wanted the conductor of the train dead. So, should we now enforce a steam roller registry? Maybe make it illegal to own one, without a Police background check?

    All gun control does, is punish those of us who would own one for any of a number of reasons. I love collecting them, I love going to a shooting range and testing my skills and I love finding the history on them and how they evolved. I would love to expand my collection. I'd love to have a secured display case where one could come in a look at, what I consider to be, a marvel of human invention. This little device, which has shaped the world through countless conflicts, is what I see. There are other valid reasons for having a gun, hunting, sport shooting, barricade shooting, triathlon, etc.

    Again, the problem is not guns, the problem is the stigma the media has attached to the word. You hear guns and automatically, you think death, maiming, Police, war, armies, gangs, etc. I don't believe anything unless I have experienced it first hand. I decided to get out and try this horrible piece of steel. You know what I found? I found stress relief. I found defense. I found fun. I can now go to a range, and shoot at a piece of paper.

    I can see if my skills have improved from the last time I was there. It is relaxing and fun. It's just as much fun to participate in competitions. Testing your skills in drawing from a holster and trying to get the best shot possible. Kind of like basketball. When the ball gets to your hands, you can now take the shot, but you'd better be quick or the defense will likely steal it.

    How about farmers? Canada is largely a rural country. There are thousands of farmers out there that need to protect their crops, their herds, their livelyhood from animals. Guns are, more often than not, that protection.

    We have seen the form that gun control takes, which is why the 3 Million+ gun owners in this country are outraged. They are genuinely frightened that they are going to be punished for being innocent and law abiding citizens. In the UK, they banned all guns. I believe it was in 1997 that this came about. By 2000 violent crime, per capita, was higher than in the USA, where gun ownership was basically unrestricted. Why is this? The crime wave in the UK right now, is so bad, that muggers, burglers, arsonists, etc (also known as small time bad guys) are given a "warning" by the Police and no charges are laid. This makes theft a fairly lucrative business over there. I can steal whatever I want, and I won't even be charged. Gun crime over there has also only risen since the ban was put in effect. How can this be? Guns were banned, of course all the criminals are going to follow the letter of the law and turn theirs in... ... ...

    I think you can see where I'm going with this. The problem with gun control is, it relies on a utopian type world, where everyone follows the letter of the law for it to work. We don't live in that world, we live in the real world. Criminals are rampant and I promise you, will only get worse if a full gun ban is introduced.

    One last thing, and I don't like to think about this one, but as Lord Acton said once, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Our government is provisioned with a lot of power. I, along with a number of other people, have noticed that their power over us seems to be constantly increasing. Along with that, our power over ourselves is constantly decreasing. Tyranny of government is not a 1600's type issue. Tyranny of government is still happening around us. There are countries out there practicing state sponsored genocide on their people. What makes you think it cannot happen here? Granted, I don't see it happening soon, but what if? All it takes for complete anarchy to take over is a natural disaster, such as the one faced in New Orleans. Lawlessness ensued. Not for everyone, but there were people looting bodies and people looting abandoned houses. How about insurrection or foreign invaders. Are you unwilling to defend your country if they are on our own soil?

    A lot of these ideas may seem far out, but how far out are they really? The framers of the US Constitution anticipated such needs and that is why they included their second amendment, the Right to Keep and Bare Arms. It defends each citizen against government tyranny, and allows anyone to defend their country if a war were ever to take place on their own soil. Is this all such a wrong thing to want?

    PS sorry for the really long post, I had a lot on my mind. :-)

    If you don't believe that genocide and tyranny has happened recently, check out the following links.

    Hitler has been heard to say: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty."

    We have a democracy, not a sovereignty, therefore, arms in the hands of civilians, should not be a problem for the government. They have nothing to fear from a happy democracy.

    Tyler Beckett Tue, 15 Jul 2008

  17. ---8<-snip All gun control does, is punish those of us who would own one for any of a number of reasons. I love collecting them, I love going to a shooting range and testing my skills and I love finding the history on them and how they evolved. I would love to expand my collection. I'd love to have a secured display case where one could come in a look at, what I consider to be, a marvel of human invention. This little device, which has shaped the world through countless conflicts, is what I see.
    Here is the problem.

    Gun control doesn't punish anyone. It requires you to be honest and forthcoming to law enforcement with your list of possessed deadly weapons. It requires you to be found of competent understanding and maturity to handle said weapon. And finally, if the system is properly designed, it allows the police to find the registered owner of any firearm that is discharged in a criminal act.

    Is today's registry perfect? I hear a resounding "HELL NO!" -- but is it even a small step in the right direction? Most certainly.

    Just as you are required to be tested, licensed and insured to drive a vehicle, and you must also register said vehicle, the same should be true of firearms. Including regular renewals.

    Finally, since you decided to make personal attacks at what may or may not be a belief in pacifism, I'll state this outright: look at the states that have less restrictive gun laws (Texas, Arizona, other confederate states) and you'll see a marked lack of intelligence (as far as the average goes). Perhaps that should tell us something about the sort of people that feel the need to carry egregious numbers of firearms around.

    — Kris Benson Wed, 16 Jul 2008

  18. "Gun control doesn't punish anyone. It requires you to be honest and forthcoming to law enforcement with your list of possessed deadly weapons. It requires you to be found of competent understanding and maturity to handle said weapon. And finally, if the system is properly designed, it allows the police to find the registered owner of any firearm that is discharged in a criminal act."

    You are talking 2 very separate things. I am fine with licensing. I can even put up with registration. Fine, that part has some logic behind it, assuming it is a properly held database, that is not publicly accessible and the proper authorities can use it to track a crime. I'm fine with all that.

    Gun control, on the other hand, is saying, no, you cannot use that gun, because the barrel is less than 4.14 inches long. No, you cannot take this gun with you for defense. You must also call us (to get a piece of paper that does nothing except tell the government, you might move this gun, at some point in time, over the next 5 years, between your home and a gun range) before you take this gun out shooting. You may only use a 10 round magazine. You may... You may... You can... You may not... You can not...

    That is the gun control I have a problem with. Registration, I have minor issues with, my problem being that it seems to me all they are doing is amassing a database so that, when they finally do ban handguns, they know who's door to come bashing in. For use in crime management, I am fine and happy to oblige. To assist the government in disarming me, I'm not so keen on that. On the registration point, though, the police are not allowed to access it to track crimes. It has been found by the courts to be a violation of an individual's privacy. It is now useless, except for the government to come and find me when they panic.

    I agree that anyone who is ever given a carry permit, or has a firearms license, should have to prove their proficiency in it's operation and safety. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to condone unsafe usage. They *can* be a dangerous weapon, just as a knife or a car *can* be a dangerous weapon. However, as Dr's Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser pointed out in their Harvard study questioning "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide":

    "Insofar as studies focus on perpetrators, they show that neither a majority, nor many, nor virtually any murderers are ordinary law-abiding citizens. Rather, almost all murderers are extremely aberrant individuals with life histories of violence, psychopathology, substance abuse, and other dangerous behaviors."

    In most people's hands, a gun would be no more than a means of defense. There would be a few out there, but whether the government removes weapons through legal means or otherwise, those "aberrant individuals" will find methods of getting their guns. The gross majority of crime guns do not come from legal sources. There are a few that are stolen, but the gross majority of them are smuggled. Whether it be from the US or otherwise, they will find their way here.

    To quote Dr's Kates and Mauser again:

    "Obviously there are certain people who should not be allowed to own any deadly instrument. Reasonable as such prohibitions are, it is unrealistic to think those people will comply with such restrictions any more readily than they do with laws against violent crime. In any event, studies analyzing acquaintance homicide suggest there is no reason for laws prohibiting gun possession by ordinary, law abiding responsible adults because such people virtually never murder. If one accepts that such adults are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than to commit it, disarming them becomes not just unproductive but counterproductive."

    I do not believe I made a personal attack at anything, if I did, I did not mean to offend anyone. I am sorry if I did. What you are trying to say is, only average to dumb people see the need for them?

    I see myself as neither average nor dumb. How about WA state? Their rules regarding CW permits are relatively lax. Short of schools and government buildings, as in most all states, you can carry as long as you have a carry permit. I would not consider WA to be a state of "dumb" people. UT has some pretty lax gun laws as well, the major difference here being that you can carry in schools and government buildings. VT and AK have basically no gun laws. Washington DC's gun ban has been ruled unconstitutional, so who knows what will come of that. How about GA? They allow both open carry and concealed carry.

    Sorry, but I don't agree with your view on this one.

    Tyler Beckett Thu, 17 Jul 2008

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Garry Breitkreuz