Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garry Breitkreuz Still Battling With Police Over Right to Bear Arms

Following is my second posting for Religious Right Alert. I found reading some of these pro-gun sites to research this article, just as disturbing as the Christian extremist sites, and not terribly different. I'm now feeling very icky and need a shower.

My next blog posting will have to be something that won't keep me up at night. Maybe, I'll cover a flower show or something. A topic that won't be so emotionally draining.

Nah! I'll live to fight another day.

“A program can’t run without money and we’ll keep pressing the government until all the funding for this useless program is cut off completely.”

On September 22, 1998, a large group of what I will call "gun enthusiasts" marched on Parliament Hill. They billed it as Fed Up II, so I can only assume there must have been a Fed Up I.

During this, from what I understand, rather large rally; some of the people who were "fed up", noticed RCMP snipers on the roof of the Parliament Buildings. When reporters asked about the snipers, they were told by the RCMP boss that there were no snipers, only officers with binoculars.

This upset the people who were already "fed up" and with great will and determination, they set out to prove that the RCMP were lying. They filed an Access to Information Request to determine what weapons had been signed out that day, to RCMP officers on the Hill. I think they were big ones ... lots of letters and numbers. Very impressive.

Now I can't speak for everyone, but when there is a large group of angry gun owners marching on Parliament Hill, I for one do not want to see snipers on the roof. I want tanks. Lots of them.

They are gun owners and they are "fed up" .. for the second time!

And one of the organizers of this rally, and the person who set out to prove that the RCMP were lying, was Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz. (You can read his press release here) At the time he was a Reform MP; same party, new name. He has been the most vocal opponent of the Gun Registry, and the quote at the top belongs to him.

Of course I'm only kidding about the tanks, but this reveals a pattern of confrontation with law enforcement, and those who feel they should have the right to bear arms.

One of the speakers at that rally was Karen Selick, now the litigation director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation. They take on high profile cases that challenge our constitution, including the right to call gay people names; but that's a topic for another time.

What's interesting though is her speech at the rally. She quotes Allan Rock, the former Justice Minister and architect of Bill C-68: "I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers."

"Sorry, Mr. Rock" Selick says, "but if ever there were a good start towards a police state, that has to be it. We are being asked to give up our means of defence in return for a promise of protection from the very people most likely to become our oppressors."

The police and military are their oppressors?

Things have changed, because it's now Breitkreuz's government that is giving the RCMP even bigger guns.

However, this challenging the police over the gun registry issue is not unusual. Opponents of the Registry will cite the costs or inconvenience, or bill it as an attack on rural populations who use guns to hunt and kill pesky varmints.

But the real issue for them is the belief that we should all be armed as self defense.
The major slaughters of innocents in history could have been prevented if the populace were armed. I’m convinced that thoughtful Canadians will learn from history. Otherwise we’re doomed to repeat it.

That quote can be found on the website of firearms dealer Bruce Montague, the man who was arrested for several firearms violations, including unregistered guns and unsafe storage practices.

He has become the new poster boy for these "freedom loving" folks who feel that an armed populace will reduce violence. At issue for me, even before dealing with the guns, is the fact that he has been using his daughter, since she was 12, to produce "pro-gun" videos, like this one. These are seen on a great many "pro-gun"websites and I find them disturbing on so many levels.

Montague has now become the champion for gun rights, and his lawyer is none other than the infamous Doug Christie. For those who don't know, Christie has represented some of the most notorious neo-Nazis in the country, including Ernst Zundel, Terry Long and James Keegstra. He was also a close personal friend of Stockwell Day's father. Bit I digress.

They obviously want to make a statement here, and much of their press around this has been bemoaning the rights of a law-abiding citizen. A law abiding citizen who just happens to have broken many laws.

But to prove my point, there is an interesting story from the Western Standard about our "victim":

Bruce Montague, a member of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association, has been challenging police to arrest him under the controversial Firearms Act for more than a year ...

He's been challenging them for more than a year, and when they finally grant him his wish, he cries foul. And one of the most notorious trial lawyers in the country, just happens to show up to take his case. Interesting.

Now given that another press release was issued from Breitkreuz this week, where he refers to the organization of police chiefs as a "cult", should we really be surprised? They have a reputation for challenging authority. The police are the oppressors. They don't need them. They can defend themselves.

Breitkreuz did apologize for calling on Liberal MPs to beat Michael Ignatieff "black and blue", because he's taking a firm stand on saving the gun registry. Noble.

We need to hold onto this registry because it helps to define who we are as Canadians. We don't want to be an 'armed populace'. We don't want to see 12-year-old girls holding guns and smiling sweetly. We have already conceded so much to this government. We can't let them have this. We just can't.

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