Laws Are Made for Lawbreakers
When Justin Trudeau says, “Give me your guns,” he’s not addressing the common criminal. He’s talking to the hitherto law-abiding citizen who legally possesses firearms for hunting, sport, or self-defence. For criminals, the Prime Minister has a special deal: reduced sentences for those who use a firearm in the commission of a crime.
This is an amazingly short-sighted approach to reducing gun violence: taking guns away from people who have not committed a crime, and giving criminals who have used a gun in the commission of a crime a “get out of jail free” card.
Liberal Bill C-21, which purports to make Canada safer by making it illegal for Canadian gun owners to continue to possess and use over 1500 firearms makes and models, completely ignores the inconvenient truth that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” By describing the firearms he is targeting as “assault-style” weapons, Justin Trudeau spins for the public a narrative of crazed gun owners wreaking havoc on an otherwise peaceful populace. He ignores the mental, emotional and sociological origins of “assault,” and instead, focuses on the weapon. Even in his own media release, he acknowledged that out of a horrific 99,000 victims of intimate partner violence in 2018, only about ½ of 1% of these involved a firearm. Of course, every instance of violence is a tragedy, but should we not be looking at the reasons for uncontrolled anger and violence, rather than simply blaming the inanimate object used in an attack?
While the Trudeau Liberals are busy trying to “buy back” firearms, which they never owned, they are also pushing more lenient sentences for those convicted of actually using a firearm to commit a crime. Their companion piece of legislation, Bill C-22, would eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing for 14 firearms-related offences.
The original intent of these mandatory minimum penalties was to prevent soft-hearted judges from failing to impose appropriate penalties for violent crimes, and to ensure that penalties for crimes that endanger Canadians would be sufficient to provide a deterrent effect. Now, it appears the Liberals want to once again put Canadian citizens at risk by allowing more lenient sentences for:
- Using a firearm in the commission of an offence,
- Robbery with a firearm,
- Discharging a firearm recklessly or with intent,
- Using a firearm for extortion,
. . . and a number of other offences. Not surprisingly, those proposing this legislation claim that this move is necessary to combat racism! They quote statistics showing a higher rate of conviction and incarceration in Canada for people of colour (indigenous peoples and blacks), and draw the strange conclusion that mandatory minimum sentences unfairly target these groups. The obvious response to this is; while there are certainly underlying factors in society that have led to a disproportionate level of conflicts with the law in those communities, the “rule of law” referenced in the Charter’s Preamble means that every person is entitled to equal treatment before the law, equal protection of rights and freedoms and equal punishment for lawbreaking. We cannot have, and we must not have one rule for white people and another rule for people of colour. The laws we have on the books may not always have been equally applied, but that doesn’t mean the law is wrong. Police officers, judges and politicians need to get it right, and they need to be held to account when they fail. Laws can be revised when necessary, but everyone must be judged by the same laws.
All Canadians are entitled to equal opportunity before the law, but the law can never ensure equal outcomes. People of all ethnic backgrounds make choices in their lives and generally reap the consequences, whether good or not so good. That’s why it is so important that we ensure that all Canadian young people are given a clear understanding of their responsibilities as citizens, as well as their rights.
When grandstanding about gun control, the PM presents himself as a person deeply concerned about the loss of human life. This, in spite of his track record of supporting abortion-on-demand in Canada and around the world, and in spite of his government’s legalization and promotion of assisted suicide. Abortion takes approximately 100,000 lives every year in Canada, and more than 21,000 Canadians have been killed by MAiD since Trudeau’s Liberals passed C-14 in 2016. One really has to question the PM’s claim to being concerned for human life. Canada averages 767 deaths per year by firearms including homicides, suicides and accidents. It’s a tragic number, but so is this one: the more than 13,000 Canadians who die each year of other types of accidents, completely unrelated to firearms. Do we “buy back” cars? Do we ban outboard motors? Do we outlaw snowmobiles?
The Christian Heritage Party has always supported the lawful acquisition, possession and use of firearms by citizens who are well-trained, and we have always promoted stiff penalties for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. The Liberal government is going in the wrong direction on this file. God’s Word says that “laws are not made for the righteous man but for the lawless and disobedient.” 1 Timothy 1:9 Canadian laws should not restrict law abiding citizens any more than necessary. Our laws and the enforcement of them must be designed to restrain and punish violent crime and to protect the innocent. For this reason, we oppose both C-21 and C-22. We need to protect our society from both violent criminals and misguided politicians.
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