September 21, 2011
Gary McHale had my full support in his September 14's article right up until he wrote " we, as Canadians - part of our British heritage, have entered into a social agreement that the garrison that defends our castles will not be our own personal army but will be the local police" and ".. we, unlike Americans, have no right to bear arms"
Armed self-protection had been a vital part of the Common Law of Great Britain and Canada for two and a half centuries until the United Kingdom began the destruction of this Right after World War I with their Firearms Act. In Canada it has been impossible to own a handgun for self protection alone since 1977. Previous to that year it was considered a valid reason for owning one. American law also traces it's roots back to British Common law which is the origins of their "Castle Law" . The difference between The United States and Britain and Canada is the Americans have maintained the spirit of the original law and various British and Canadian Governments have not, leaving their citizens at the mercy of both the criminals and their own "justice" systems.
The Canadian criminal code DOES include the right of citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves (sections 34, 35, and 37). The key provision in the Canadian criminal code (§34) is that, no one may use "more force than is necessary" and then only when "he believes on reasonable grounds that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm." In section 35, the code goes on to require that one must show that "he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it (the assault) as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself ... arose."
Any belief that there is a "social agreement" to be a victim until the police arrive is the result of gradual conditioning to accept this as
"normal" for the past couple of generations so much so that to many people, the whole concept of active self defence now seems to be a foreign concept invented by the Americans when, in fact this is fundamental British Common Law. The government, the crown attorneys and the police do not want you to actively defend yourself, they want you to dial 911 , remain passive and wait for help to arrive even if that wait is for the rest of your life. This became for many a "Canadian" trait as the result of conditioning by social engineering not because of any mythical "social agreement".
However, There is hope some measure of sanity may be restored in this country. A recent Ontario Court of Appeals decision cited, among others, a judges decision in British Columbia that when you are under attack in your own home, you may stand your ground and fight because "one's home is already one's last line of defence against an assailant." this is a very strong endorsement of the right to self-defence in this country based entirely on pre-existing laws and precedents none of which are "new" as these rights have existed since well before Confederation. No one should fear they will be dragged through the courts by crown prosecutors for defending themselves or their families.
Yes, we all expect the police to arrive when called. No, we do not expect they will stand by and do nothing until a man is nearly beaten to death when the means and resources were readily available to prevent the attack. Sam Gualtieri easily deserves twice what he is asking for in compensation and half should come from Six Nations and the other half from the coffers of the Ontario Liberal Party as this particular incident is the direct result of the political machinations of Dalton McGuinty and his minions to discredit Mike Harris's government over Ipperwash. The new policies and procedures put in place on how police should respond to Native protests after the Ipperwash decision was brought down leads directly to Sam Gualtieri in Sterling Woods.
Donald R Goodbrand