|Ownership is not a crime
A crime is an act carried out by an individual during which the rights
of another individual (or multiple individuals) are either directly threatened
or violated. For example: murder is a crime because it violates your right
to life. So if we know what a crime is then what is not a crime? Simple
ownership for one. Owning a firearm does not constitute a crime no matter
which way you spin it. It is the way in which you own that item that constitutes
a crime. Pointing it at someone and asking for their wallet is definitely
a crime. Doing the same thing with a knife is also a crime. Owning either
is not. The deciding factor here is action.
Canadians (and maybe people in general) have a tendency to seek the easy
way out of complex problems. We create legislation that throws bandaids
over gaping wounds and little by little we barter away our liberty and
our freedom for some false sense of security and the fuzzy feeling that
« at least we're doing something about the problem
». But the question that we should be asking is «
At what price? » At what price do we appease
special interests and their twisted need to interfere in the day to day
living of the law abiding citizen? Milton Friedman said « A
society that puts equality (...) ahead of freedom will end up with neither
equality nor freedom. » I believe this is also true
in regards to safety. Any society that gives up an ounce of freedom for
any false sense of security will end up with neither.
beings should have the right to live
as they see fit so long
as they do not violate
the rights of others
and if they do then
they better be prepared
to suffer the consequences. »
C-68 (now part of the criminal code of Canada) and its proponents promised
that this new legislation would make Canada safer. I dispute this. Logically
speaking it will not happen. But let's suspend disbelief for just a moment
and give them the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Let's say that Canada
could be a safer place by virtue of this new law... the question that still
needs to be asked and answered is: « At what price?
» How much of your freedom are you willing to relinquinsh
for the feeling that Canada might be safer? I hope it's a lot because that's
what you've given. The police can enter your home without a search warrant...
dangerous precedents have been set regarding the confiscation of legally
owned private property... and how about giving up your right to silence
in the face of a search by police? More importantly though is the power
granted to the justice minister who is now capable of amending the criminal
code with a simple Order in Council. Is that too much of a price to pay
for a little bit of perceived safety? Surely it isn't? We sanctioned it
Who do you work for?
What we as Canadians have not figured out (or refuse to acknowledge) is
that we do have rights that are supposed to protect us from this sort of
tyranny and they go beyond what is written in our precious charter. It's
called Common Law. Besides, the charter does not directly recognize our
right to private property and this, for all intents and purposes, makes
it a useless document. One cannot say that one has the right to his or
her own life when the products of your own labour (your private property)
are subject to the whims of any politician who happens to be in office
at a given moment. Truthfully, someone who does not have any rights to
private property is a slave and nothing more.
Think about it. Who do you work for (literally)? Some government official
or for yourself? If the answer is you then your property should not be
subject to confiscation if it is not being used to violate another human
being's rights. Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying «
Private property has a right to be defended. Our civilization is
built up by private property and can only be defended by private property.
» This principle was at one time the foundation of our society.
Private property is essential to the growth of any nation and to deny its
rightful and absolute existence is to deny man that his time, his labour
and his life are his own.
Political humorist P. J. O'Rourke wrote: « There's only
one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with
it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
» This seems a bit extreme but I believe what he was trying
to say in his somewhat less than eloquent fashion was that human beings
should have the right to live as they see fit, so long as they do not violate
the rights of others and if they do then they better be prepared to suffer
the consequences. This implies what Ayn Rand calls a « negative
contract » and it is the only contractual obligation
that naturally exists between any given set of individuals. What this means
is that a man is free to live as he
sees fit so long as that lifestyle and his actions
do not violate the rights of other men. Aside from this we do not
have the right to interfere in the lives and affairs
of others... PERIOD!
This does not constitute a lawless society... quite the contrary... it
is the respect and recognition of an
individual's rights that constitute the foundation
of any moral law. It is this law (the common law – derived from
the notion of individual rights) that governs
society and at the same time allows
government to sort out legal disputes between us. Government and
special interest groups overstep these boundaries
whenever they legislate beyond these
principles. Moreover, when they institute mass confiscations
of legally held property without justification
they are kin to the same thieves who
break into my home to steal my VCR. The only difference
is that government does so with the backing of the state's guns
and the sanction of its own legislation.
So the question remains: « What is freedom and what
is it worth to me? » For me
freedom implies two things: 1) being left alone to do as I please and 2)
being responsible and accountable for my own actions
be they good or bad. As for what it
is worth to me... EVERYTHING. I do not wish to live
in a society where I am ruled by an
elected dictatorship and I do not wish to live as a slave
to any government official and his agenda. To the boys in Ottawa and
those who pull their strings I have but one message:
the gig is up. If I can figure it out
so can anyone else... the only thing the public requires is a
desire to see the truth. I suggest you stop passing
oppressive laws like C-68 or you'll
be sure to wake them earlier than you'd hoped.
From one previous sleeping citizen to the rest I leave you with this final
thought from Dante Alighieri:
« Mankind is at its best when it is most free. This
will be clear if we grasp the principle
of liberty. We must recall that the basic principle of liberty
is freedom of choice, which saying many have on
their lips but few in their minds.
Freedom and Liberty For All.
(*) Scott Carpenter is a young
entrepreneur living in Victoria, B.C. >>