Letters to the Editor – from Brian Pitcairn

Gun-control bill hurts the wrong people

To the Editor:

Recently the Ottawa Liberals issued a federal order in council banning in Canada a large number of rifles. These are called ‘military assault rifles,’ but no one knows what that name means, as none of these rifles are used by our military or police ERT teams. If you are banning something, I guess the name ‘assault’ sounds better.

Most of these rifles are owned in Alberta and B.C. and Prime Minister Trudeau’s actions against their owners simply represent another Liberal attack on the West.

The federal government also proposes to allow cities to outlaw/ban handguns. No one knows how this can be done. For one thing, cities do not have the constitutional authority to legislate matters under the criminal code, which under Section 92 belongs to the federal authority. Under Section 91 of the Act, all municipalities are under the authority of the province, and so likely any ‘gun power’ given to a city would need provincial approval up front.

How do we protect the property and rights of lawful gun owners while fighting criminal use of handguns? Well, where does the illegal handgun problem originate?

In 1994, due to my involvement with an RCMP-related police project, we went to view community policing at Six Nations and Akwesasne Mohawk territories in Ontario near the U.S. border. One day a Mohawk elder took me to the bank of the St. Lawrence River and showed me the small boats coming over from the American side carrying contraband goods: tobacco, handguns (illegal) and booze. These goods came ashore and the U.S.-based crime groups behind the operation then sold the product all over Canada but mainly in the Montreal and Toronto metro areas.

No customs federal authority exists on the reserve borders to stop this action. The federal people are scared of the Mohawk Warriors Society, who profit from it and therefor a huge gap exists in our border security. Until the government plug these border gaps, the flow of illegal handguns from the U.S. will never stop. Both Mohawk reserves have competent police forces, but they have been told to turn a blind eye to the border traffic.

The problem is not caused by legal gun owners and never was their problem. Yet they are getting hammered by Ottawa over it. Attacking our firearms owners will never get illegal handguns away from street gangs in Toronto and Montreal. This issue is not an Alberta problem, and Ottawa knows this to be the case.

One can only hope common sense will prevail in ‘Disney World’ down east.

Brian Pitcairn
Slave Lake

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