24. October 2009, 14:12 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

The following is an open letter written following a discussion in an on-line forum. The arguments and information is cogent and rational, unlike much of the emotional rhetoric surrounding the issue of self-defense in Canada.

“Despite their best efforts Canada’s Law Enforcement Community has demonstrated an inability to protect Canadians from random acts of violence; thus it is necessary for Canadians to proactively take charge of their own personal safety and wellbeing .”

I would like to be clear about this point: It is an absolutely impossible task to set for any police agency to guarantee the safety and freedom from assault of each and every citizen. I don't know where, when, or why we ever began thinking we could do this. Our erroneous thinking must stop, at citizen, police, and government levels.

Fire departments don't guarantee no fires. Emergency Health Services do not guarantee no heart attacks. Seat belts do not guarantee no car crashes. Life jackets do not guarantee no boats capsizing. So why do we expect the police to guarantee no violent assaults? All these things just give an extra probability of survival in the event of catastrophe. In the case of the police there is also a preventive element.

Even though we do not expect on any given day to have a fire, car crash, or boat sinking we use the protective devices all the time while thankfully usually not needing them. Similarly we cannot know in advance on any given day that we will not be assaulted and so we must have effective self defense readily available at all times, hopefully never to be used.

It must not be up to some bureaucrat to decide what out life is worth, how much risk we face, or whether-or-not we can exercise our most fundamental right to self defense. Those are intensely personal decisions that only we can make for ourselves. Unfortunately, in Canada, the bureaucrats do deny, as a matter of course, to grant us recognizance of our rights, despite there being no impediment in the law to effective self defense.

For decades, whenever I try to discuss this with police or government, they take a defensive stance and misinterpret what I am saying to mean I think the police are inadequate in numbers, skills, or motivation. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I am very proud and respectful of police but I also believe in Sir Robert Peel's Principles of Policing, and in human limitations. No matter how well funded, there can simply never be enough cops to stop each and every attack in progress for the simple reason that it is the assailant who gets to choose the time and manner of the attack.

Therefore I say we must recognize the right and duty of each trustworthy citizen to train and equip for, and then practice effective self defense. Just like the fire extinguisher, seat belt, life jacket, and police there is no guarantee that concealed carry will stop us from ever being assaulted. It just gives both the victim and the assailant an extra chance to escape unharmed. Concealed carry also has a powerful deterrent effect to reduce confrontational crime, thus saving many lives without a gun ever being drawn from a holster.

—  M.J. Ackermann, MD
      Sherbrooke, NS

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Categories: ,
Keywords: self-defense,defense,Canada,policing



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