CUFOA

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

Armes for Their Defense;
An Inherited, Historical, Canadian Right

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“Whatever its other defects,
Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.”

A Terrible, Corrosive, Enervating Passivity

Do Canadian men lack testosterone?
Writing in “Excusing the men who ran away” (Maclean’s, 09 March 2009) Mark Steyn seems to suggest that indeed we do:

The defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lépine/ Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, [when] ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate—an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The ‘men’ stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

Mr. Steyn then compares and contrasts the “social norm” at the École Polytechnique to that which was present on the deck of the RMS Titanic when she sank on the night of 14 April 1912 where the doctrine of “women and children first” held up under intense pressure. Mr. Steyn states:

Whenever I write about this issue, I get a lot of emails from guys scoffing, “Oh, right, Steyn. Like you’d be taking a bullet. You’d be pissing your little girlie panties,” etc. Well, maybe I would. But as the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle put it:

When we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances,” we make cowardice the default position.

I prefer the word passivity—a terrible, corrosive, enervating passivity. Even if I’m wetting my panties, it’s better to have the social norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it.

While honest, responsible Canadian firearms owners do not face the same horrible challenge that those young men in Montreal faced, we now confront a severe testing of our “testosterone” levels. With the Firearms Act our federal Government is forcing us to make a choice every bit as devastating. Do we meekly submit to the Government’s demand that we surrender our Right to have ‘Armes for their Defense’ and obtain a licence to possess our firearms, or do we resist our democratically elected government? The choices are quite clear; we both capitulate and surrender the innate, natural right to defend ourselves, or we resist. If we refuse to apply for a firearms licence, our Government is fully prepared by Parliament to send us to prison for ten years. The thought of arrest, seizure and confiscation of our property, trial, and imprisonment makes many of us start “pissing our little girlie panties,” and with good reason.

But failure to resist is not an option. Whatever the consequences of defying the Government’s unjust mandate we must resist. ‘Armes for their Defense’ is an integral part of our Canadian history, heritage, and culture – both British and French. We have a duty to fulfill. Our generation must set the example for the younger generations. If we fail to protect our Right to armed self-defense, Allan Rock’s publically stated goal “that only the military and the police will have firearms” will become Canada’s deadly reality.

As the song in the musical Les Misérables demands, “It is time for us all to decide who we are.”* As Todd Birch has asked, “Are we the sons & grandsons of the Canadians who took Vimy Ridge?” Or are we spineless pansies?
Sincerely,

Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Secretary

Excusing the men who ran away - Mark Steyn
http://blog.macleans.ca/2009/03/05/excusing-the-men-who-ran-away/

*“Red and Black” Les Misérables

http://www.lyricsdownload.com/les-miserables-red-and-black-the-abc-cafe-lyrics.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do5ZVohtQxQ&feature=related

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaries san permis
402 Skeena Crt. Saskatoon
Saskatchewan S7K 4H2
(306) 242-2379 (306) 230-8929
edwardhudson@shaw.ca
www.cufoa.ca


Written by Mark Steyn on Thursday, March 5, 2009

Excusing the men who ran away
The new film ‘Polytechnique’ sidesteps the old norm of ‘women and children first’


On the annual commemoration of the “Montreal Massacre,” the Quebec broadcaster Marie-France Bazzo remarked how strange it was that, after all these years, nobody had made a work of art about what happened that day at the École Polytechnique.

I wonder, in the two decades since Dec. 6, 1989, how many novelists, playwrights, film directors have tried, and found themselves stumped at the first question: what is this story about?

To those who succeeded in imposing the official narrative, Marc Lépine embodies the murderous misogynist rage that is inherent in all men, and which all must acknowledge.

For a smaller number of us, the story has quite the opposite meaning: M Lépine was born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater. And, as I always say, no, I’m not suggesting he’s typical of Muslim men or North African men: my point is that he’s not typical of anything, least of all, his pure laine moniker notwithstanding, what we might call (if you’ll forgive the expression) Canadian manhood. As I wrote in this space three years ago:

“The defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lépine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate—an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The ‘men’ stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.”

That’s what my film would be about. But don’t worry, the grant from Cinedole Canada seems to have got lost in the mail.

I would imagine that, when the director Denis Villeneuve and the talented vedette Karine Vanasse set out to make Polytechnique, they were intending to film the official narrative. But, in this case, art cannot imitate life. There is no hero in the official version—other than, as is invariably the case in Trudeaupia, the Canadian state riding in like a belated cavalry to hold annual memorials with flags lowered to half-staff and to demand that every octogenarian farmer register his rusting shotgun. Alas, on celluloid, that doesn’t come over quite as heroic.

So M Villeneuve and his collaborators were obliged to make artistic choices. For starters, Polytechnique is not a film “about” Marc Lépine. Aside from the early voice-over narration of his ugly, banal manifesto, we hear or see very little from his perspective. He is not (if you’ll again forgive the expression) the leading man, and, indeed, barely functions as a supporting role in his own movie: there is no attempt to explore his pathologies or their roots.

M Villeneuve then opts to shoot the movie in black and white, and to be very sparing in his dialogue. I saw the film with a capacity crowd at the Maison du Cinéma in Sherbrooke (lousy sound, by the way), and the dialogue-free stretches are so frequent that, by the time someone eventually delivered a line, I’d all but forgotten the movie was in French. In reality, it’s speaking in a kind of interior language. It’s a black-and-white film of a world of grey—the literal grey of dirty urban snow falling on drab apartment houses and the godawful bunkers of Quebec government architecture, but also a kind of moral grey. The physical landscape of the École Polytechnique is unsparingly rendered: claustrophobic windowless rooms of painted brick blocks that capture the particular grimness of a city full of modern buildings that all look out of date. We hear a couple of period pop hits, but the rest of the score is mournfully anemic violin generalities. It’s an airless world, and M Villeneuve seems determined to keep it that way, as if to let in too many superficial indicators of life—colour, music, banter—would draw attention to how un-animated his characters are. Consciously or not, the director has selected a visual style that’s most sympathetic to what some of us regard as the defining feature of this atrocity: the on-the-scene passivity.

And yet, despite his artfulness, he can’t quite pull it off. He focuses his efforts on two composite students, Valérie (Karine Vanasse) and Jean-François (Sébastien Huberdeau). They’re sitting next to each other at the back of the class when the killer walks in and barks the two most important words in the movie: “Séparez-vous!” This is the hinge moment in the story, the point that determines whether the killer’s scenario will play out as intended, or whether it will be disrupted: drama turns on choices because choice reveals character. But, when the man with the gun issues his instructions, every single male in the room meekly obeys him and troops out, and we are invited to identify with Jean-François because unlike the rest, who shuffle for the exit as if for a fire drill, he alone glances back and makes momentary eye contact with Valérie. Oh, the humanity!

And then, like everyone else, he leaves the room.

“I wanted to absolve the men,” Villeneuve said. “Society condemned them. People were really tough on them. But they were 20 years old . . . It was as if an alien had landed.”

But it’s always as if an alien had landed. When another Canadian director, James Cameron, filmed Titanic, what most titillated him were the alleged betrayals of convention. It’s supposed to be “women and children first,” but he was obsessed with toffs cutting in line, cowardly men elbowing the womenfolk out of the way and scrambling for the lifeboats, etc. In fact, all the historical evidence is that the evacuation was very orderly. In reality, First Officer William Murdoch threw deck chairs down to passengers drowning in the water to give them something to cling to, and then he went down with the ship—the dull, decent thing, all very British, with no fuss. In Cameron’s movie, Murdoch takes a bribe and murders a third-class passenger. (The director subsequently apologized to the first officer’s hometown in Scotland and offered 5,000 pounds toward a memorial. Gee, thanks.) Pace Cameron, the male passengers gave their lives for the women, and would never have considered doing otherwise. “An alien landed” on the deck of a luxury liner—and men had barely an hour to kiss their wives goodbye, watch them clamber into the lifeboats and sail off without them. The social norm of “women and children first” held up under pressure.

At the École Polytechnique, there was no social norm. And in practical terms it’s easier for a Hollywood opportunist like Cameron to trash the memory of William Murdoch than for a Quebec filmmaker to impose redeeming qualities on a plot where none exist. In Polytechnique, all but one of the “men” walk out of that classroom and out of the story. Only Jean-François acts, after a fashion. He hears the shots . . . and rushes back to save the girl he’s sweet on? No, he does the responsible Canadian thing: he runs down nine miles of windowless corridor to the security man on duty and tells him all hell’s broken loose. So the security guard rushes back to tackle the nut? No, he too does the responsible Canadian thing: he calls the police. More passivity. Polytechnique’s aesthetic is strangely oppressive—not just the “male lead” who can’t lead, but a short film with huge amounts of gunfire yet no adrenalin.

Whenever I write about this issue, I get a lot of emails from guys scoffing, “Oh, right, Steyn. Like you’d be taking a bullet. You’d be pissing your little girlie panties,” etc. Well, maybe I would. But as the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle put it:

“When we say ‘we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances,’ we make cowardice the default position.”

I prefer the word passivity—a terrible, corrosive, enervating passivity. Even if I’m wetting my panties, it’s better to have the social norm of the Titanic and fail to live up to it than to have the social norm of the Polytechnique and sink with it. M Villeneuve dedicates his film not just to the 14 women who died that day but also to Sarto Blais, a young man at the Polytechnique who hanged himself eight months later. Consciously or not, the director understands what the heart of this story is: not the choice of one man, deformed and freakish, but the choice of all the others, the nice and normal ones. He shows us the men walking out twice—first, in real time, as it were; later, Rashômon-style, from the point of view of the women, in the final moments of their lives.

If M Villeneuve can’t quite face the implications of what he shows us, we at least have an answer to Mme Bazzo’s question: you can’t make art out of such a world. Whether you can even make life out of it for long will be an interesting question for Quebec, Canada and beyond in the years ahead.

[The ABC Cafe, where the students, led by Enjolras,
meet to discuss their revolutionary plans.]

Combeferre
At Notre Dame
The sections are prepared!

Feuilly
At rue de Bac
They're straining at the leash!

Courfeyrac
Students, workers, everyone
There's a river on the run
Like the flowing of the tide
Paris coming to our side!

Enjolras
The time is near...
So near.. it's stirring the blood in their veins!
And yet beware...
Don't let the wine go to your brains!
For the army we fight is a dangerous foe
With the men and the arms that we never can match
Oh, it's easy to sit here and swat 'em like flies
But the national guard will be harder to catch.
We need a sign
To rally the people
To call them to arms
To bring them in line!

[Marius enters.]

Marius, you're late.

Joly
What's wrong today?
You look as if you've seen a ghost.

Grantaire
Some wine and say what's going on!

Marius
A ghost you say... a ghost maybe
She was just like a ghost to me
One minute there, and she was gone!

Grantaire
I am agog!
I am aghast!
Is Marius in love at last?
I have never heard him 'ooh' and 'aah'
You talk of battles to be won
But here he comes like Don Ju-an
It's better than an o-per-a!

Enjolras
It is time for us all
To decide who we are...
Do we fight for the right
To a night at the opera now?
Have you asked of yourselves
What's the price you might pay?

Is it simply a game
For rich young boys to play?
The color of the world
Is changing
Day by day...
Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

Marius
Had you been there tonight
You might know how it feels
To be struck to the bone
In a moment of breathless delight!
Had you been there tonight
You might also have known
How the world may be changed
In just one burst of light!
And what was right
Seems wrong
And what was wrong
Seems right...

Grantaire [mocking...]
Red...

Marius
I feel my soul on fire!

Grantaire
Black...

Marius
My world if she's not there...

All
Red...

Marius
The color of desire!

All
Black...

Marius
The color of despair!

Enjolras
Marius, you're no longer a child
I do not doubt you mean it well
But now there is a higher call
Who cares about your lonely soul
We strive toward a larger goal
Our little lives don't count at all!

All
Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

Enjolras
Well, Courfeyrac, do we have all the guns?
Feuilly, Combeferre, our time is running short.
Grantaire, put the bottle down!
Do we have the guns we need?

Grantaire [drunk]
Give me brandy on my breath
And I'll breath 'em all to death!

Courfeyrac
In St. Antoine they're with us to a man!

Combeferre
In Notre Dame they're tearing up the stones!

Feuilly
Twenty rifles good as new.

[Gavroche rushes in, shouting.]

Gavroche
Listen!

Jean Prouvaire
Double that in Port St. Cloud!

Gavroche
Listen everybody!

Lesgles
Seven guns in St. Martin!

Gavroche
General Lamarque
Is dead!

Enjolras
Lamarque is dead.
Lamarque! His death is the hour of fate.
The people's man.
His death is the sign we await!
On his funeral day they will honor his name.
It's a rallying cry that will reach every ear!
In the death of Lamarque we will kindle the flame
They will see that the day of salvation is near!
The time is hear!
Let us welcome it gladly with courage and cheer
Let us take to the streets with no doubt in our hearts
But a jubilant shout
They will come one and all
They will come when we call

http://www.lyricsdownload.com/les-miserables-red-and-black-the-abc-cafe-lyrics.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do5ZVohtQxQ&feature=related

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