Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

Constitutional Challenges
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Press Release
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association

The Paradox of the Coming Revolution

Gabriel Dumont, thou should be living at this hour,
Canada hath need of thee.
She has become a graveyard of bureaucratic red tape,
and her politicians know not the truth.

One may debate whether a revolution is coming to Canada. The portents and harbingers seem to be everywhere one looks. Our government blatantly lies to us, our media tells us that we are getting what we deserve, and we reelect the same political party to treat us badly once again. Under these circumstances is there any hope of avoiding a revolution? For firearms owners the situation has certainly reached critical mass.

But before the revolution does come, firearms owners must first address a major paradox. One of the principal causes of the coming revolution will be the government's continuing program to suppress liberty, primarily the right of self defense and the concomitant right to bear arms.

The federal government has repeatedly endeavored to make the carrying of firearms for self defense more and more difficult. This social engineering began as early as 1892 with a prohibition against carrying handguns, and gained more legal teeth during the Dirty Thirties with the requirement to register handguns after the Regina Riot where several unemployed protesters were shot and killed while on their way to demonstrate in Ottawa. But not until the late Sixties did the government begin anew to restrict access to firearms. But once renewed, the onslaught against firearms use in self defense has been relentless. Bill C-51 in 1976 ushered in the FAC (Firearms Acquisition Certificate). Next was Bill C-17 with invasive questions about relationships and mandatory waiting periods, as if the government could produce a reliable document in a timely fashion if it tried. Now many victims of violent crime have been prosecuted for defending themselves and their property with the use of "deadly force". The situation has reached the boiling point with the passage in 1995 of the Firearms Act. While this situation seems absurd to a firearms owners, the government continues to pour forth volumes of propaganda to suppress this most basic right. Many otherwise well read Canadians accept this as a natural process of "national maturity", for surely "we do not want to be like the Americans", disregarding the loss of liberty contained in all these laws as well as the fact that these new laws do not improve one's safety.

Canadian firearms owners are literally "up in arms" over the imposition of the twin requirements to obtain a license and to register all firearms by the end of 2002. And herein lies the paradox that all firearms owners must soon face: To maintain the right to self defense, we may first have to surrender our firearms in order to prove our responsibility, not the type of responsibility that comes naturally with the ownership and use of firearms, but the responsibility of citizenship. No revolution can succeed without popular support (and any that did would only replace one type of tyranny with another type). And the only way to obtain popular support is to be responsible. Being responsible means doing everything possible to "work within the system", for no one will follow an imprudent person with a firearm. The Terror of the French Revolution is well taught as the archetypical example of what happens when impatience and imprudence leads a revolution.

So before any Canadian firearm owner can cry, "To the Barricades !!" in defense of the Right to self defense, we must first patiently use all possible means within our democratic system to repeal this unjust law.

We have certainly patiently tried to work within the political system, but to no avail. So now we must work within the court system. That means we must challenge the Firearms Act on each violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Firearms Act violates at least seven different portions of the Charter. We must therefore mount a court challenge to each of these violations. We must patiently see this process though to its conclusion, no matter what our view of the court system or the man who appointed the justices.

And if we should not be successful in the courts, we must then use peaceful civil disobedience. With peaceful civil disobedience we make our appeal directly to the people of Canada by asking, "Do you really want us to spend two years in prison for refusing to register our firearms ?" And we can not ask that question if we are not serious about being willing to go to prison. A defiant "Come try to take my firearms !!" is not civil disobedience but rather a rejection of the "Rule of Law". To demonstrate true civil disobedience the person involved must be willing to submit to the consequences of his/her actions. Only by actually going to prison will the people of Canada see that we are not "firebrands" spoiling for a good fight.

So, paradoxically, to preserve the right of self defense and the right to bear arms, we must first submit to arrest, the confiscation of all of our firearms, and suffer the imposition of a prison sentence. Only after we emerge from prison can we claim the right of revolution to overthrow this oppressive government.

Edward B. Hudson