Lilley: Another Warning to America on Gun Control

People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, for a march on Washington for gun control. (Photo: AP)

“All we need is sensible gun policy, like they have in Canada.”

That’s the type of argument that has appeared in columns and letters to the editor across the United States since the gun control debate reignited last December with the Sandy Hook massacre.

You won’t have your guns taken away, just registered with the government. As I said in early January, registration leads to confiscation. That’s been the Canadian experience anyway as police and politicians decided that certain guns were bad and needed to be surrendered.

How did they get law abiding gun owners to surrender their rifles without compensation? They are all in the registry and failure to comply means jail time.

Now Missouri and several other states are following that lead and considering bills that will force legal and law abiding firearms owners to surrender their rifles or head to the slammer.

Will these bills pass? Chances are they won’t, but if I were an American gun owner I wouldn’t count on legislators doing the right thing.

There is also the possibility that even if these gun confiscation bills do not pass they could change the discussion. Confiscating guns would have been unthinkable to most Americans until recently, now with legislators discussing laws to that effect, confiscation has gone from unthinkable to radical and could soon become acceptable.

These bills will move the discussion along in the direction of more “sensible gun control” in ways that Americans once would have rejected.

Essentially politicians and the police will soon be harassing gun owners – have you heard of the proposal to allow police to search the homes of gun owners?

In addition to the gun registry, which came as the result of a horrific school shooting, Canada also instituted several other “sensible” gun control policies including licencing and transportation permits.

In Toronto recently a licenced gun owner, one deemed safe enough to be granted a handgun licence which is tough to get in Canada, actually had to take the police to court to try and force them to let him transport his guns to the range. Without this extra piece of paper it is illegal to move the guns from your home.

Yep, that’s right, forget a simple background check. In Canada you need a background check, a safety course, a licence and a hall pass to use your guns. Because in essence that’s what this document, the “Authorization to Transport,” amounts to – a glorified hall pass.

Meanwhile on February 8th, Ian Thomson, a man who lives within 25 miles of Buffalo, NY, was given his guns back by police. Why did he lose them? He fired warning shots at four men who were firebombing his home and yelling out that they would kill him.

After firing off the warning shots and putting out the fire with his own hose, Thomson waited for police and fire officials to show up. He was promptly charged for several offences, including pointing a firearm and careless use of a firearm. A public outcry saw those charges dropped but Thomson still faced charges for what the prosecutor deemed unsafe storage.

Since then he’s been cleared of those charges but not before facing more than 2 years of legal hell and racking up lawyers bills he cannot afford. Oh, and when he was told he would get back his guns the police had confiscated for the duration of his trial he was forced to get a special “Authorization to Transport” in order to pick them up.

This is what passes for sensible gun control in Canada.

This America is your future unless you stand your ground.