"There can be no compromise on basic principles.
There can be no compromise on moral issues.
There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction."
-- Ayn Rand
Civilian firearm ownership developed in Canada,exactly the same is it did for our friends directly to the south, out of the ancient common-law right of citizens to keep firearms for the purpose of self-defence.
The Bruce Montague case is about the Right of Canadians to own and keep firearms without government interference. Period.
It's certainly not about what type of firearms Mr. Montague owned. If a man has the right to own firearms, then what type of firearms he owns is irrelevant. One either has the right or one does not.
In the United States this debate would appear to be answered once and for all in the recent US Supreme Court Heller decision, which held that the individual does in fact have the right to keep and bear arms for self defence.
Our American cousins get their Second Amendment Right from exactly the same place Canadians get their right to keep “armes for their defence” : English common law and the 1689 English Bill of Rights.
This right was first codified in the 1689 English Bill of Rights, the document that forms the foundation of Canada's constitution, just as it does the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
As Justice Scalia writes in the Heller decision,
In a 1780 debate in the House of Lords, for example, Lord Richmond described an order to disarm private citizens (not militia members) as “a violation of the constitutional right of Protestant subjects to keep and bear arms for their own defense.” In response, another member of Parliament referred to “the right of bearing arms for personal defence,” making clear that no special military meaning for “keep and bear arms” was intended in the discussion.
Between the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution, the Stuart Kings Charles II and James II succeeded in using select militias loyal to them to suppress political dissidents, in part by disarming their opponents.
Under the auspices of the 1671 Game Act, for example, the Catholic James II had ordered general disarmaments of regions home to his Protestant enemies.
These experiences caused Englishmen to be extremely wary of concentrated military forces run by the state and to be jealous of their arms. They accordingly obtained an assurance from William and Mary, in the Declaration of Right (which was codified as the English Bill of Rights), that Protestants would never be disarmed: “That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.” This right has long been understood to be the predecessor to our Second Amendment.
It is also the place where Canadians get their right to own firearms for self-defence.
Much to the dismay of hoplophobes (those with an irrational fear of weapons) across the nation, this right has never been extinguished.
That is the point of the Bruce Montague case.
Proving this in court is both time-consuming and expensive. Bruce Montague needs the help of every gun owner in Canada. Yes, that means you, the person reading this article.
The time is past for us to sit in our comfortable chairs and say to ourselves, “I wish I could do more.”
Don't wish you could... just do more. Support Bruce Montague's fight for our constitutional right to own firearms.
It's your right too. Be proud of it. Own it. Countless of our countrymen have fought and died for that right.
Let's stand beside all of them, and beside Mr. Montague.
A suggestion: for every firearm you own, donate $20 to Bruce's legal defense fund. For every unregistered firearm you own, donate $30. After all, the ones without the annoying rustle of paper, to quote Tom Selleck, are far more valuable, aren't they?
Please send your cheque payable to “Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund", c/o Roger Nordlund, Trustee, RR#2, Site 211, Box 7, Dryden, Ontario, P8N 2Y5.
If you're more comfortable donating online, you can do that too. Just visit Bruce Montague's website (http://www.BruceMontague.ca/), click on “Donate” and donate whatever amount is right for you.
In addition to Bruce's gratitude for your support, his fundraising team is offering the following incentives to those who lend their financial support for this landmark case:
Donations of $100 and above will receive a copy of the documentary "Good Men vs. Bad Law".
Donations of $250 and above will receive a copy of the documentary "Good Men vs. Bad Law" and the Saskatoon Firearms Act Seminar 4-DVD set.
Donations of $500 and above will receive copies of the Saskatoon Seminar and the documentaries "Good Men vs. Bad Law", "Illegal Acts" and "Shootout at Rock Creek".
Donations of $1000 and above will receive a free fierarms self-defense training course (http://brucemontague.ca/html/0338.html) valued at $2000, in addition to copies of the Saskatoon Seminar and the documentaries "Good Men vs. Bad Law", "Illegal Acts" and "Shootout at Rock Creek".
For more information on Bruce's case, please contact him directly at 807-937-2197, or via his fundraising website at http://www.brucemontague.ca/html/0015.html.
"If you will not fight for the right, when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory,
because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
- Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm (vol. 1 of The Second World War), p. 348 (1948).
Christopher di Armani is a freelance writer and filmmaker who resides in Lytton, BC, Canada, with his wife Lynda and their two dogs, Koda and Tuco.
Christopher can be contacted at christopher(at)diArmani.com or http://www.diArmani.com.