CUFOA

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

Licensing:
A Cancer of the Soul

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Monday, 25 March 2013

The Honorable John Philip Gerretsen, MPP
Attorney General of Ontario
McMurtry-Scott Building
720 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2S9

Dear Mr. Gerretsen,

I call upon you to treat Bruce and Donna Montague with fairness.

Like thousands of responsible Canadians, Bruce and Donna consider the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act an unjust violation of our Right to have “Armes for their Defense”. What makes Bruce and Donna different from many thousands of responsible firearms owners who have quietly refused to submit to what they considered an unjust law, is that Bruce and Donna joined with us by actively participating in open, non-violent civil disobedience to the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act. Bruce was our designated representative who took our demonstration right to the very doors of Parliament during our New Years Day rally in Ottawa in 2003.

In September 2004 Bruce and Donna were arrested during a peaceful act of public demonstration. For refusing to apply for a firearms licence, Bruce and Donna were convicted and severely punished in Ontario for what many of us have done. Bruce spent six months in prison for a “crime” in which no one was injured or harmed in any manner.

Yet the Government of Ontario now wants to inflict more punishment on Bruce and Donna. The Government of Ontario wants to destroy all of the firearms they spent a lifetime collecting. And the Government even wants to take Bruce and Donna’s home away from them.

This is patently unfair.

Former Harvard Professor John Rawls in his seminal legal text on political philosophy, A Theory of Justice, speaks of “justice as fairness”. Dr. Rawls declares:

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions … laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.”

Dr. Rawls devotes a considerable portion of his chapter on “Duty and Obligation” to civil disobedience.

Professor Rawls raises a very pertinent question:

“At what point does the duty to comply with the laws enacted by a legislative majority cease to be binding in view of the right to defend one’s liberties and the duty to oppose injustice?”

Dr. Rawls’ answer:

  1. This question involves the nature and limits of majority rule. For this reason the problem of civil disobedience is a crucial test for any theory of the moral basis of democracy.”
  2. “Civil disobedience is a political act … guided and justified by political principles.”
  3. “Civil disobedience is a public act … it is not covert or secretive.”
  4. “One may compare it to public speech, and being a form of address, an expression of profound and conscientious political conviction, it takes place in the public forum.”
  5. “Civil disobedience expresses disobedience to the law within the limits of fidelity to law, ... .”

Again, what Bruce and Donna did was merely an act of public civil disobedience. As Professor Rawls says, Bruce and Donna were “willing to pay the price to convince others” that their actions had in their carefully considered view, “a sufficient moral basis in the political convictions of the community.”

Bruce and Donna were doing nothing more that expressing the views of thousands of responsible firearms owners. Bruce and Donna should not now be punished more while I – and thousands of other unlicenced firearms owners – have never even been arrested.

I ask that you respect Bruce and Donna’s actions as proper, public free speech.
Treat them with justice; treat them with fairness.

Sincerely,

Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Secretary

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis
402 Skeena Court Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4H2
(306) 242-2379 (306) 230-8929
edwardhudson@shaw.ca
www.cufoa.ca

CC: The Honourable Kathleen Wynne,Premier of Ontario
The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan
The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Justice, Saskatchewan
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety
The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice