By now you must all be aware of the ruling we received from the appeal court of Ontario a couple of days ago. I am not really surprised that we lost but I am surprised that they decided to increase my punishment by also stealing my ammunition.
As bad as this ruling is, our lawyers at the CCF (Canadian Constitution Foundation) found some encouraging aspects to it. There are a couple of legal principles we put forward and the court affirmed them. This not only should help if we appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but it will also help others that get caught up in the snare of laws designed to persecute firearms owners. This is the first defeat we've taken that has some tangible pluses that will help gun owners in general.
My short explanation of one small legal victory is that the confiscation of my firearms and ammunition was indeed a punishment. Up until now it has never been considered a punishment, although to most people it seems obvious that losing your valuable property is indeed very punishing. This precedent should be helpful for others who are facing sentencing because now the value of the property should now be considered as part of the sentence. This may be a small plus, but you take what you can get.
Also on our side was a very strong bias shown by the court against firearms owners. This has been spotted in past rulings as many of you have commented on. Up until now we didn't have any idea of how to address this. Things will change in future court hearings as a result. - - "Live and learn."
I am quite surprised at how much media attention this ruling has gotten. Whatever the reason, I'm glad that this story is getting out. More people need to be aware of how easily the government and court system can take away your rights and your property. I'm hopeful that by the time we are in court fighting for our house, even non-gun owners will wake up to this travesty of justice.
The way in which the law is written in regards to taking our house (civil forfeiture laws), I don't see any legal argument to stop them from taking it. We will be at the mercy of the courts, and so far I haven't seen any mercy from them. The only chance I see us having is if the common people of this country speak up and say enough is enough!
I wish I had more promising news than this to report. I am reminded of what our past lawyer Doug Christie told me before he died. He told me that even if we don't win in the courts we are still doing a positive thing for firearms owners and even the general population by standing up and fighting as long as possible. The people need to see these important issues argued because regardless of the courts ruling, each individual will have his own perception of whether justice was served. Sometimes losing in court will give you the best outcome in the long run. (It's kind of like the Martyr effect.)
If you think this fight is worth fighting I would encourage you to visit the CCF website (http://www.theccf.ca) and make a donation. Now that the CCF has offered to represent us we now defer all donations to them. They are sincere and dedicated to doing a great job defending all our rights. Please let your non-gun owning friends see what can happen when you fall out of favour with our justice system.
Yours in Liberty,
P.S. I was in a discussion with my son who is a Lutheran pastor and this famous quote came up. It seemed quite applicable in this case because most people, if they are not gun owners don't realize the threat this law is for everyone.
"In Germany they first came for the communists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
They came for the Jews
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade Unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."
- -Pastor Martin Niemoller (Lutheran Pastor)