Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959
May 11, 2004
Fire in the Belly!
Report on Visit with Canadian Gun Owners
I was so honored to be asked to speak at the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) seminar in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was an all-day event on May 1, with a large variety of mostly Canadian speakers discussing the reasons for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms ("RKBA") and strategies for restoring legal protection for that right in Canada.
The most remarkable thing I found: there are Canadians willing to be arrested and prosecuted so that they get the chance to challenge head-on the national gun registration law in the courts. One of the attendees, a retired Master Sergeant in the Canadian army, was still in his legal fight. Few Americans have that kind of dedication.
No Second Amendment in Canada
Unlike Americans, Canadians see their RKBA deriving from a thousand-year tradition of British history and lawmaking. Canada has nothing like the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment in their constitutional documents and laws. Canadians see their RKBA as one of the "rights of Englishmen" coming to them from the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
The English Bill of Rights states (in part): "That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law."
That early British statement of the RKBA does not have the strong language of the Second Amendment, which says, in pertinent part: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Working to Repeal National Gun Registration
A large part of the May 1 seminar dealt with discussions of the various arguments in favor of the RKBA that could be used to influence Canadian lawmakers to change or repeal the national registration law.
Canada has a national law mandating registration of nearly all firearms, but large numbers of Canadians have either ignored the law or refused to obey it. Dr. Gary Mauser, of the Simon Fraser Institute, presented the facts that the Canadian gun registry has spent over $2 billion (CAN) to install the registration system but has produced no beneficial results in crime rates. Meanwhile, the registration law has generated fierce resistance from many gun owners in the western provinces.
Many Canadians are farmers and ranchers, or live in rural and semi-rural areas where wild animals are far more commonly spotted than in most of the United States. Bears are frequently found poking around in areas where humans are living or working. Deer are so plentiful in some areas that it is absolutely no surprise anymore to see fully grown deer as "road kill"along with damaged vehicles and dead or injured drivers.
In the rural and wild conditions in the western provinces, Canadians need firearms frequently to drive away or stop bears or wild boars, and to cull the overpopulated herds of deer.
Also, the aboriginal Canadians (formerly called "Indians" in the U.S.) have various legal rights to hunt and fish in many territories, and that means that they have many firearms for hunting. Counting all of the aboriginals and the farmer/rancher Canadians, there are a lot of gun owners in the western provinces. Many of these gun owners see the national gun laws as silly, wasteful, and useless.
Innocents Betrayed Gives A New Perspective
The organizers of the CUFOA seminar showed the JPFO documentary film, Innocents Betrayed, to the entire audience. Many of the attendees had never seen the film before and were strongly affected by its visuals and its message.
Dr. Gary Mauser, the keynote speaker at the seminar, had earlier viewed Innocents Betrayed and remarked (in part):
"I thought it was well done, and I congratulate you on such a professional thorough production. This is not an easy subject, but I think you've done quite well."
JPFO Communication Ideas Presented
To that seminar audience I presented several of the communication techniques developed by JPFO. These ideas aimed to help the Canadian activists empower their argument and lobbying approaches by getting down to unquestionable fundamental rights to life and self-defense.
The Canadian attendees were pleased that Americans care about their struggle. As it happens, many of the attendees remarked that JPFO was the only American RKBA organization that had actively worked to assist in the Canadian cause.
Warning to America
At the seminar I learned so very much about Canadian "gun control" laws. Americans have no idea how restrictive those laws areand they are just across the border. Canada has many of the kinds of laws described in Innocents Betrayed and in our book, Death by "Gun Control."
In other words, Canadian gun owners don't say "it can't happen here" because it did happen in Canada. Canadian RKBA activists face an uphill fight now. They can use Innocents Betrayed and many other JPFO materials to move hearts and minds and continue building their movement against national gun registration. JPFO will help them.
Americans need only travel a couple of hours north by aircraft to stand in a land much like our ownwith people much like usbut where there is a national gun registration and owner licensing program, and no open-carry and no shall-issue concealed carry laws, and no gun shows.
Canadajust a few hours awayis three quarters of the way to total national gun prohibition, like Britain and Australia have already done. Americans need to fight hard now to stop "gun control" here, and roll it back, or we'll be in Canada's situation in just a few years.
When America's example of individual gun rights is gone, there will exist no nation in the world with gun rights. Nobody will rescue us. And our government will never give them back.
Editor, The Bill of Rights Sentinel
Learn more about Dr. Gary Mauser's research work at: http://www.sfu.ca/~mauser/
Visit the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association at http://www.cufoa.ca/
Get your own copy of Innocents Betrayed at http://www.jpfo.org/ib.htm
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