Skip to comments.Gun owners invite arrest Protesters tote firearms openly in defiance of new gun registry (Canadian)
Posted on 01/02/2003 1:39:28 PM PST by FreeSpeechZone
Gun owners invite arrest Protesters tote firearms openly in defiance of new gun registry
CP / Jim Turnbull of Jarvie is arrested during an anti-gun registry protest on Parliament Hill on Wednesday.
Greg Southam, The Journal / Oscar Lacombe, former Alberta Legislature sergeant-at-arms, carries his unregistered rifle in protest on Wednesday.
From Parliament Hill to the Alberta legislature, gun-toting protesters taunted police to arrest them in defiance of the new federal gun registry.
"Here I am, Ottawa," said Oscar Lacombe, the Alberta legislature's former sergeant-at-arms, holding his plastic-wrapped, unloaded .22 rifle at a one-man protest in Edmonton.
"I'm the criminal you spent billions of dollars to catch. So if you believe in your law, come and arrest me, please."
Under the act, all Canadians were required to register or declare their intent to register their guns by midnight Tuesday.
Police didn't take any action against Lacombe, 74, during his protest, but later they stopped his car and seized a weapon.
On Parliament Hill, two protesters got their wish -- sort of. Police laid charges, but not for having an unregistered gun.
To chants of "shame, shame" officers ushered Jim Turnbull, a 70-year-old retired auctioneer and farmer from Jarvie, Alta., into a cruiser. The arrest was the culmination of a protest in front of the eternal flame, where a handful of the 150 demonstrators flouted the law by setting ablaze their gun registration forms, gun licences and Bill C-68 -- the contentious piece of legislation requiring owners to register all rifles and shotguns by Wednesday.
"I would never register," vowed Turnbull, head of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association who says he owns 35 firearms. "I believe that's my personal property. Next thing they'll want me to register my refrigerator and my dishwasher."
The boisterous gun enthusiast was later charged with carrying a weapon to a public meeting, a Criminal Code offence punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a $2,000 fine.
Gun-control opponent Ed Hudson, of Saskatoon, was charged with the same offence after turning himself in at the police station. Turnbull and Hudson were later released.
Edmonton police who seized Lacombe's gun said charges would be considered under the Criminal Code, not the Firearms Act. Lacombe had no possession permit for it and his firearm acquisition certificate had expired.
Richard Fritze, Lacombe's lawyer, is awaiting the decision on charges. At that point, he may recommend a constitutional challenge, depending on the nature of charges laid.
During his protest, Lacombe -- resplendent in a fringed, mooseskin jacket adorned with rows of military medals -- stood on the terrace overlooking the Legislature building and declared he would not submit to "this unjust and dangerous law."
His protest drew a group of about 25 supporters.
The registry was created by Ottawa in response to the 1989 massacre of female engineering students at a Montreal school by a lone gunman.
Gun lobby groups contend, however, that it punishes legitimate gun owners while failing to stop criminals.
Two members of the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta, who served overseas with Lacombe, showed up in military dress to support him.
"I'm backing him," said Herbert Bell, 70, sergeant-at-arms of the society. Lacombe, who referred proudly to his Metis heritage several times in his speech, is a member of the society.
Bell added in an interview that he has registered his own guns because "I'm not a law-breaker."
Several gun law opponents from Calgary came to the protest. They included University of Calgary academic Ted Morton, who was elected an Alberta "senator in waiting" in the province's Senate election a few years ago.
Morton said Lacombe represents thousands of Canadians "who have been turned into criminals today" by the gun law. "What is happening to this country?" Morton asked.
Newly elected Conservative MLA Doug Griffiths of Wainwright, who has also said he won't register his weapons, was at Lacombe's protest but kept a low profile.
Griffiths didn't speak but said in an interview later he has heard nothing from police or members of the Conservative caucus since making his statement that he wouldn't register his guns.
Griffiths said he doesn't want to make his point with rallies or loud protests. But he said he wants to follow Gandhi's road of peaceful disobedience and be "just not in compliance" with the gun law.
"It's a bad law," and Canada should follow the example of New Zealand, which decided to drop a similar law after concluding it was unenforceable, Griffiths said.
Lacombe, in his speech, cited his own Alberta heritage dating back to early pioneers Father Lacombe and Laurent Garneau, and his honours won in military service in Korea, Europe and elsewhere.
"I have devoted my whole life to protecting law and order and defending freedom. But today a new law takes effect which I cannot support in conscience ... In fact I have come here to defy it openly and in public."
Lacombe said he has used a gun since childhood and shot his first deer at age nine for food for his family. Even though he still only owns what he called a rabbit gun, "effective today, I am a criminal under Section 92 of the Criminal Code."
But he said he wouldn't submit, even if the price of rebellion is jail.
"Now the time has come to fight for freedom in our country," he said. "I won't register this gun and I won't hide.
Better late than never, I suppose. But, WHY did you wait SO LONG?
But civil disobedience means having your guns confiscated by force by the civil authorities. Hence, losing your guns is a fait-accompli and they win.
loaded guns will only make things worse,IMHO.
It will be the only way to prevent the authorities you are appealing to from confiscating your guns at their gunpoint.
Notice that the authorities carrying loaded guns doesn't make things worse for them.
Civil disobedience only works when the Government you are appealing to is unwilling or unable to kill enough of the civilians being disobedient. How can an armed citizenry defending its rights make things 'worse'?
If 90% of the gun-owning population refuses to participate in the registration, what can they do?
Go house to house like they did in the UK.
Make an example of some small number of folks, probably, but if everyone holds their ground, the bureaucrats are screwed.
Never happen--because, by your own attitude, people are sheep and will stampede to gun-registered-safety after the wolves get a couple of sheep who strayed.
Of course, if you are civilly disobedient and refuse to give up your guns as well, the end game will play out, but on the tyranny's terms, not the freedom-minded.
"When they kick in yer front door, 'ow ya gonna go?
Wif yer 'ands on yer 'ead or the trigger of a gun?
They can bash us! they can bruise us! Totally abuse us!
But, ooooooohhhhhhhh oohhh--the guns of Brixton"
The Clash--Guns of Brixton, RIP Joe Strummer....
Good luck, neighbor.