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

Letters to the Prime Minister
& other Federal Ministers

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Draft Apology to Responsible Firearms Owners

On 11 June 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons and issued a long over-due apology to Canada’s Aboriginals for the abuses they suffered under the Residential School Program.

I believe Mr. Harper and the Government of Canada owe responsible Canadian citizens who own firearms a similar apology.

I have taken the liberty of drafting an appropriate address for the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement of apology
to the Canadian Firearms Community

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to the Canadian Firearms Community.

Over the last 50 to 60 years the federal government, ostensibly in order to meet its obligation to lessen crime in Canada, began to play a significant role in the development and administration of specious and useless "gun control" laws.

Two primary objectives of past Firearms Acts were to remove firearms from all responsible Canadian gun owners and to assimilate them into the dominant urban cultures of Canada's major centres.

These objectives were based on the assumption that rural Canadians’ heritage, traditions, culture, and history were inferior and unequal to their urban counterparts.

Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, "to socially re-program Canadians."

Unfortunately all we accomplished was an exponential grow in a useless government bureaucracy.

Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong. We have caused great harm. This policy has no place in our country.

Most of our so-called “gun control” programs were operated as "joint ventures" with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Professional Police Association, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party of Canada, the Bloc Party of Quebec, the Conservative Party of Canada, the federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada, the Coalition for Gun Control, and most of the nation's media.

The government of Canada built a "gun control" system in which firearms were forcibly removed from the homes and possession of responsible firearms owners leaving them defenseless victims upon which rogue governments, criminals, terrorists, and wild beasts could easily prey.

Many firearms owners were unjustly imprisoned and abused.

All firearms owners were deprived of their unalienable natural rights and their rights inherited from England such as the Right to property, privacy, and to have arms for self-defense.

The cultural practices of the firearms community were prohibited in their communities and even in their own homes.

Tragically, some of these firearms owners died without being able to defend themselves or their loved ones from the vicious criminals within our society.

The government now recognizes that the consequences of the "gun control" laws were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on rural and western Canadian culture, heritage, traditions and history.

While some gun owners have spoken positively about their experience with Canada's "gun control" laws, these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical, human rights abuse, and neglect of defenseless people caused by the loss of the most effective means to protect themselves and their families from violence.

The legacy of "gun control" programs has contributed to social problems that continue to exist in many communities today. It has taken extraordinary courage for these socially abused, and openly vilified people to come forward and speak publicly about the oppression they have suffered at the hands of their government. It is a testament to their resilience as individuals and the strength of their history, traditions, heritage and culture.

Regrettably, many former firearms owners are not with us today and died never having received a full apology from the government of Canada.

The Canadian government recognizes that the absence of an apology has been an impediment to healing and reconciliation for government civil rights abuses of the Canadian Firearms Community.

Therefore, on behalf of the government of Canada and all Canadians, I stand before you, in this chamber so central to our life as a country, to apologize to the Firearms Community of Canada for the Canadian government's role in the disarmament of its responsible people.

To the approximately five to seven million responsible Canadian firearms owners, the government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcibly remove firearms from the homes and individuals of the Canadian Firearms Community and we apologize for having done this.

We now recognize that it was wrong to abuse the civil rights our people's rich and vibrant culture, tradition, heritage, and history, which created a void in many lives and communities, and we apologize for having done this.

We now recognize that, in disarming our responsible people, we undermined the ability for them to adequately protect themselves and their loved ones from harm and sowed the seeds for generations of potential defenseless victims of criminals and rogue governments to follow, and we apologize for having done this.

We now recognize that, far too often, disarmament gives rise to defenseless victims of criminals who are inadequately controlled by our police and justice system, and we apologize for failing to competently protect not only you but also your civil rights.

Not only did you suffer human rights abuse, you were left powerless to protect your own family from suffering the same experience, and for this we are sorry.

The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden is properly ours as a government, and as a country.

There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the disarmament of Canada's Firearms Community to ever again prevail.

You have been working on recovering from this experience for a long time and in a very real sense, we are now joining you on this journey.

The government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the Firearms Community of this country for failing them so profoundly.

"We are sorry."

In moving towards healing, reconciliation and resolution of this sad legacy of Canadian civilian disarmament, implementation of the Canadian Civilian Disarmament Settlement Agreement began on the first of January 2010.

Years of work by survivors, communities and firearms organizations culminated in an agreement that gives us a new beginning and an opportunity to move forward together in partnership.

A cornerstone of the settlement agreement is the Canadian Firearms Community Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

This commission presents a unique opportunity to educate all Canadians on the failed Canadian Civilian Disarmament Program.

It will be a positive step in forging a new relationship between the Canadian Firearms Community and other Canadians, a relationship based on the knowledge of our true history, a respect for each other and a desire to move forward together with a renewed understanding that strong families, strong communities and vibrant cultures, traditions and heritage will contribute to a stronger Canada for all of us.

{End Draft Apology}

I hope I shall live long enough to see Mr. Harper issue this apology. Responsible firearms owners deserve no less.

I took the concept of remorse from Prime Minister Harper's apology delivered to the First Nations people in June 2008. I then modified Mr. Harper's speech by referring to the civil rights abuses that the Government of Canada has foisted upon the Canadian Firearms Community.

If the Prime Minister of Canada can apologize to many other groups of people for the Government's human rights abuses of them, which he has, why then does he not apologize to this group, the Canadian Firearms Community?

Finally, the Canadian House of Commons must do the right thing. Our Members of Parliament must abolish the unjust, unconstitutional, and undemocratic Canadian Firearms Act of 1995, Bill C-68, Chapter 39.

Joe Gingrich
White Fox, Saskatchewan
15 January 2009

For Mr. Harper’s Residential School Apology, please see: