Thursday, August 21, 2008

Victimhood Encouraged in Canada

I am very happy with what this 85 year old woman did. She had a gun by her bedside and used it to defend herself. Good for her.
She made the intruder call the police on himself. Double good for her.
She showed strength and courage. She used good judgment in that she didn’t shoot the kid. The kid even managed to dredge up a bit of common sense for himself by listening to the woman with the gun.
I like strong women. I like women, and men, who stand up for themselves and refuse to be victims.
I wish more people would do that although I don’t want to see any innocent or guilty people dying over it.
It’s unlikely to happen here as the culture of victimhood is enshrined in Canadian law. We are supposed to run and hide when someone breaks into our homes.
We can use reasonable force to protect ourselves. In Canada that means, “Excuse me. I’m sorry to bother you, but would you mind not stealing from me please? Thanks.”
“No? Okay. Guess I’ll just nip off to the basement while you clean me out. Sorry to bother you.”
We have to keep our weapons unloaded and locked away. This woman who protected herself would, in Canada, be looking at charges such as unsafe storage of a firearm, careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm, and woe betide if the firearm was neither licensed nor registered. A good lawyer might get that bargained down to one firearms charge if she agreed to plead guilty.
She’d get a criminal record for standing up for herself and she’d be banned from owning a weapon of any sort for up to 10 years.
A hero in the US would be a criminal in Canada.
Do I want guns everywhere? No, but I’d like the right to stand up for myself properly.
I’d like to be able to use pepper spray. Possessing it, unless I’m actually hiking in bear country, is against the law.
Best of all, if an intruder slips on a rug in my house she or he can sue me and will win.
I like this woman did especially because she didn’t shoot. If I tried it here, the kid would get a slap on the wrist and I’d get a criminal record.
It’s wrong. It’s stupid. And I’m sick of being obligated by law to be a victim.
No, my possessions are not worth dying over, but I should have the right to protect myself and my property. It is one thing to fear the nameless, random criminal. It is worse to fear the legal repercussions from defending yourself.


the Bag Lady said...

Hear, hear, dfLeah.

I am completely in favour of reducing crime on the streets of our cities, but our gun laws are ridiculous.

I would like to think I would be as calm in that situation as that 85 year old was, but I'd be fumbling around, trying to find the key to the gun cabinet, then trying to remember how to load the freakin' thing, etc. etc.
Any self-respecting burglar would be either long-gone, or would have beaten me to a pulp by the time all that transpired.

Leah J. Utas said...

Yep, and that's sad, dfBag Lady. Our gun laws are just, plain stupid. One wonders how much better survivors feel knowing that their loved one was offed by a licenced, registered weapon?

Lethological Gourmet said...

Leah, this is so interesting. Coming at it from a US perspective, I'd always thought that Canada had it right because there just so much less gun violence up there, even though the percentage of people with guns is about the same. And the news media is so much calmer than here in the States, which is all action bam-wham, be afraid for your safety because there are murders and rapings and thieves everywhere. And the easy proliferation of guns here definitely contributes to the violence.

But I didn't realize that in Canada you can be brought up on charges for pointing a gun, even if it's in defense of your home, or that if an intruder slips on a rug he can sue you (um...if he hadn't committed a felony by breaking in, he wouldn't have slipped...). Those laws seem rather arbitrary. I understand the gun storage law, because a lot of the accidents that happen here are with kids who don't know how to use them and hurt themselves. But seriously, an intruder can sue? That's ridiculous!

Leah J. Utas said...

It's beyond ridiculous, LG, but it happens.
We're sorta kinda allowed to defend our homes and property, just as long as we don't, y'know, do anything.
We do have a lot less gun violence, but it didn't stop us from overreacting and bringing in the absurd gun laws that we have.

bunnygirl said...

Well, here in Texas it's legal to use deadly force if the intruder is inside your home. Pepper spray is legal to carry, too, as far as I know. Runners do it and after a few run-ins with feral dogs since moving to this neighborhood last year, I'm thinking of getting some.

It's crazy to make it illegal to defend oneself. But a concealed handgun isn't necessary for that and there are people in the US who think we should be able to carry any kind of weapon, anywhere. A shotgun in the house would sufficiently deter an intruder and when you consider that your aim can be a lot sloppier and still do damage, it would actually be my first choice of home protection, should I want a gun for that purpose.

Leah J. Utas said...

Bunnygirl, I wish we could use pepper spray. It's so annoying stupid to not be allowed to protect yourself. Or, I should say, only allowed to protect ourselves to a degree.

Missicat said...

I hear ya. I didn't realize things were that way in Canada! I remember a lawyer telling me to have an unloaded shotgun near me at night...if you hear someone, just ratchet it - once someone hears that familiar cachunk, they should head for the hills!

Leah J. Utas said...

That would work, Missicat. But I think I'd like to have the shells handy.

Ahh, we call our gun laws progressive here.

Frank Baron said...

I agree with our restrictions on handguns (just wish those young gangbangers in Toronto did too) but the new-ish gun registry law borders on the insane.

And good for that lady in PA!

Reb said...

Yes, our wonderful Charter of Rights & Freedoms! That is what started this insanity about protecting yourself and it has also tied the hands of our police forces in some regards.

It is what allows our National Anthem to be sung in languages that are neither French nor English and allows the uniform of the RCMP to be changed. It is sickening to know that our country is turning into a joke and the law allows it.

Good for that woman for standing up for herself. I think we all need to do that more often.

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank - Thanks for stopping by. I got so angry when Paul Martin announced some "new" law about handguns that had actually been on the books since 1937. The degree of pandering the liberals did on gun control turned my stomach.

Reb- It should have been the charter of rights and responsibilities. Best if I don't get started. I will say that once you start including specific rights others are commonly deemed to be excluded until such time as they are added. Ergo, it will never end. BTW, we're guaranted peace, order, and good government under the Charter. I'm still waiting for a good government.

Thomma Lyn said...

Good post, Leah, and good for that 85 year old woman. I'm someone who refuses to be a victim, and I'm appalled at Canada's laws re: self-defense.

A saying comes to mind: I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.

State-enforced helplessness and the criminalization of self-defense are crimes in and of themselves.

Leah J. Utas said...

TL - I hadn't heard that expression before. I like it.
We've gone too far here in our zeal to be non-violent. It's crap really. And you're right. The laws regarding self-defense are appalling.