Monday, January 24, 2011

Self Defence is a Canadian right

Lorne Gunther hits the nail on the head with his article named Right to self-defence never abolished. Canadians have always had the right to use deadly force as outlined in the Criminal code of Canada Sec. 34-37. where it gets murky is the protection of property and the protection of people in your care. This clearly needs to be fixed because the moment you try to protect your property from theft, you are putting your life in danger. While people claim property is not worth dying for, at what point is enough is enough?
Take for example the street vendor in Tunisia who started the revolt by setting himself afire because corrupt officials took away his only honourable means of livehood, was the property worth his life in a pure economic sense? Clearly the answer is no, but just as clearly, the property meant everything to him and the loss of it meant the final degradation of who he was.
If you don’t protect and defend your property, thieves will take it(including government sometimes), they look for opportunity and weakness constantly and you must constantly be on your guard. In our society property is normally purchased with money, money in a sense is the product of the time that we put into our work so we can enjoy life and purchase that which we need and want. For us time is linear, the time used to earn the money to buy the property can never be replaced. The risk/benefit analysis that everyone uses to determine how much they will do to protect their property is unique to themselves, but almost everyone has a breaking point where they will no longer accept the cost to themselves and the violation of self that theft creates. Once that point is reached no law restraining the owner will matter. Society forms a pact with the citizen saying we will take measures as a whole to protect you and property and in return you will restrain the actions you take to do so. Where that line falls vary between jurisdictions. See more here on Castle Doctrine
The authorities here seem to look at property crime as an almost victimless crime because they assume (wrongly) that insurance will cover the loss, clearly they don’t deal with private insurers very much (Likely because most governments insure themselves) because insurance companies will very quickly jack up the rates of insurance if you submit several claims in a row and will refuse to pay out for a number of reasons.
Protecting others brings up more complicating matters. If you protect your spouse, children or dependents, the courts seem to look at this as an extension of protecting yourself and pretty much the same rules applies. Protecting strangers can get very tricky and even in the US, proponents of concealed carry of firearms recommend caution getting involved into a dispute of unknown origins as you may not really know who is bad and both parties may turn on you. If you use deadly force to protect a stranger you risk losing your liberty despite good intentions and will likely have little protection under the law.
What truly mystifies me about the people that would disarm you and prevent you from protecting yourself or your loved ones is that given the right circumstance the majority would also use deadly force if given the chance to save their lives or the lives of people important to them.
The next time someone says to you “You don’t need a gun and guns are bad” Ask them to state in front of their spouse and or loved ones, that they would refuse to use deadly force to protect them because of their principles and that they would accept the loss of their spouse to protect that principle. I suspect the results of such a statement might create a wee bit of disharmony in the relationship.
The problem with most people who support gun control is that they have not put yet put 2 and 2 together and realized the end result of their desires. They have thrown all their eggs into one basket and that is they have no othrr option than to trust the authorities and government to completely protect them. The fact that Canadian courts have made it clear that police have no legal duty to protect the average citizen is lost on them. In other words if it’s to dangerous for police to help you, they are likely not to come or be ordered not to (see Caledonia).

Here is the relevant section of the CCC in regards to Defense of Person. Read it and understand it, because when the fecal matter hits the circular rotary device, you have seconds to decide the rest of your life.

Defence of Person
Self-defence against unprovoked assault
34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.
Extent of justification
(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if
(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 34; 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F).
Self-defence in case of aggression
35. Every one who has without justification assaulted another but did not commence the assault with intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, or has without justification provoked an assault on himself by another, may justify the use of force subsequent to the assault if
(a) he uses the force
(i) under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence of the person whom he has assaulted or provoked, and
(ii) in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary in order to preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm;
(b) he did not, at any time before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose, endeavour to cause death or grievous bodily harm; and
(c) he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 35.
36. Provocation includes, for the purposes of sections 34 and 35, provocation by blows, words or gestures.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 36.
Preventing assault
37. (1) Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or any one under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.
Extent of justification
(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the wilful infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was intended to prevent.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 37.

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