Jonathan McCormick has written some really good stuff in the past. I ought to know. I published it in the print magazine I used to run. But his latest column on his Rural Crime Watch website is NOT, sadly, one of his better pieces. Far from it.
It's the kind of writing I'd expect from the likes of Wendy Cukier, not from a rural firearm owner. I'll leave the majority of the problems I have with his article aside, there are so many... but will comment briefly his falling into the trap of "good gun vs bad gun" thinking before getting to the part of his article that really shows his naivete, if not downright ignorance of the facts.
I'll get to that in a moment.
But first... the fallacy of the "good gun vs bad gun" argument.
There is no such thing as a good or bad firearm. A firearm is a tool. It's like saying there are such things as good and bad hammers or flashlights or telephones. None of these items can be "good" or "bad", i.e. evil. They have absolutely no ability to be "evil" any more than they have the capacity to be "good".
There is only "good" and "bad" people who pick up a firearm. Or a flashlight. Or a telephone. It is the human being that commits evil, not the telephone, and not the firearm.
The human being.
Here in Canada we waste a lot of time, energy and money keeping track of pieces of metal. It's stupid on numerous levels, but primarily because it lulls all of us into the fantasy that if we can just control the inanimate object, we'll magically make society safe for all.
After 9/11 you'd think that sort of illogical thinking would have been laid to rest once and for all, wouldn't you? After all, it was a few evil men armed with nothing more than box cutters that managed to commit one of the most heinous acts of terrorism North American has ever seen. (Assuming you believe the official story, of course!)
Were the box cutters used to take over the planes that fateful day "evil"? Hardly. The men certainly were, at least by North American judgment.
So that's my first major issue with what Jon published on his site the other day... that certain firearms can be "evil" and others "good".
Sorry Jon... that's garbage. Ignorance and wishful thinking.
Handguns (or any other firearm for that matter) are no more evil than the computer I'm writing this article with. Like my computer, the handgun is a tool. It can be used for both good and evil, but on its own accord it is neither.
The second issue I take with his column is this comment:
RCW (Rural Crime Watch) has written numerously that the RCMP is not interested in the firearms of law-abiding owners, provided the owners conform to common sense and legal usage and storage.
Unless Jon is COMPLETELY out of touch with reality, I can't see how he can make this statement without falling out of his chair laughing as he types it!
In the news just this week is the case of 76-year-old Henry Barnes, who had his home ransacked as he was held at gunpoint by the Toronto City Police. His crime? Being a 76-year-old lawful firearms owner with his firearms stored legally.
Court reports say this man must now prove he's "competent" to continue to own the firearms he's owned legally his entire life. It's absurd and dangerous. Dangerous because if the prosecution is successful, they will have created a new crime. Owning a firearm while you're too old. Too old? By whose standards? Certainly not by Henry Barnes' standards! And certainly not by mine.
Now, that case doesn't involve the RCMP directly, I grant you, but I'm taking the liberty of thinking that Jon meant "Canadian police" in general when he used the term RCMP.
But even if he didn't... Let's see... Alberta's John Rew suffered a triple-SWAT Team attack on his home for the crime of having an expired firearms license. Guess it was too much trouble to call Mr. Rew on the phone and remind him to get his paperwork in on time... and besides, RCMP and other SWAT teams need practice, right?
Or how about David and Amanda Lind. Back in 2000 they had the audacity to move from Ontario to Alberta. Enroute they had the misfortune of interacting with Swift Current RCMP. Dave had the temerity to ask them where a gas station was.
He was then handcuffed, tossed into the back of a squad car while a male RCMP constable pulled his wife's top over her head to "search her for weapons".
Dave had legally owned firearms in his vehicle. He was moving across the country, after all.
Does that make him a criminal?
Only in the eyes of Swift Current RCMP.
The judge tossed all charges against him after making his disgust with the RCMP members involved crystal clear.
Or how about Jon's fellow Rural Canadian, Ian Thomson. Is Jon seriously going to contend that Ian had no right to defend his life against the three men trying to murder him? Or was his use of a handgun too scary for Jon to contemplate?
The police there were sure quick to seize every firearm Ian Thomson owned and charge him with (what else) unsafe storage of firearms, along with a few others, like careless use of a firearm.
If someone is trying to murder you, I fail to comprehend how anyone can say you've been careless with your firearm, even if you've killed the person or persons trying to kill you. That's called self defense.
These are just three cases that spring immediately to mind. I have dozens more in my files. Every single one of them show a police hatred of civilians owning firearms, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to remove those firearms from civilian hands, the law be damned.
I guess my great disappointment is that I had come to expect a far higher standard of writing and of thinking from Jon. To see him defending police actions against law-abiding firearm owners like this is... well... disappointing.
That he's fallen for the bullshit of the "good gun vs bad gun" philosophy, and not only fallen for it but is actively promoting this ridiculous notion, tells me he's fallen farther from rational thought than I would have ever though possible.
The facts of the matter are this: Every single firearm, firearm accessory and magazine type Jon mentions in his article are LEGAL in Canada as long as you have the right type of license. Every single one of them.
But neither he nor the police want you to know that. No, those facts conflict with their sense of "reality".