Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« For a President on the way out, Bush sure is busy | Main | Today on Political Animals: Dumbocracy »

Monday, October 06, 2008

Lemieux: Of Switzerland and Canada

In this week's column, Pierre Lemieux compares Switzerland and Canada. Lemieux was recently invited to Switzerland to give a talk on "the right to keep and bear arms." After his talk, his hosts gifted him with a Schmidt Rubin M-1931 7.5 mm carbine, the rifle the Swiss army used during World War II.

In his column, Lemieux describes Switzerland's revolutionary tradition and suggests this is why the right to bear arms is taken more seriously in that country than it is in Canada. Canada, he argues, "totally lacks a military culture." In addition, "Canadians... have been too nice, smiling, and trustful of authority." According to Lemieux, these two factors together explain why Canadians have allowed their government to take away more and more of their liberties.

As he notes, in Canada, no one could have spontaneously given him the Schmidt Rubin rifle as a gift (and I'm not sure I even want to know the hassle he endured getting his prize back into Canada.)

Lemieux's thesis is an interesting one. We know that the United States, like Switzerland, has a revolutionary tradition. For the most part, mainstream American politicians have had to give up their quest of taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding American citizens. Even Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama had to admit that there is an individual right to bear arms -- though his idea of what "common sense" regulation involves is not entirely clear.

D.C. v. Heller, a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, affirmed that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. This prohibits any jurisdiction from enacting an all-out ban on handguns, for example. The state has a long way to go in the U.S. before it will be able to stop Americans from owning guns, if it will ever be in a position to do so at all.

In Canada, matters are somewhat different. Aside from the national gun registry and other existing regulations on firearms, in 2006, the Liberal Party campaigned on a promise to amend the criminal code to allow provinces and municipalities to ban hand guns. At the site of a school shooting, Stephane Dion recently promised to ban "military assault weapons." Whether this legislation is necessary is beside the point (AK-47s and the like are already banned, so it is unclear which additional kinds of firearms Dion plans to take out of people's hands if he's elected.)

According to Lemieux's thesis, Canadians don't have the revolutionary history necessary to make them more resistant to a further abridgement of the right to bear arms. Canadians are unwilling to think that they might need the weapons the government is taking away -- not only to defend themselves against criminals, but from the government itself.

In contrast, in both Switzerland and the United States, citizens are still prepared to fight their government if necessary to preserve their liberty.

Lemieux's column can be read in its entirety here.

Posted by Terrence Watson on October 6, 2008 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lemieux: Of Switzerland and Canada:


Canada, he argues, "totally lacks a military culture."

A country that put roughly one in ten people in uniform during WW2 could hardly lack a military culture. That culture was purged during the Pearson and Trudeau years and is now only a remnant unable to counter the urban left-lib Ottawa disarmament mentality.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-10-07 10:17:27 AM

As an American I view Canadians as brothers in the free world. It is saddening to know that the Canadian government distrusts its law-abiding citizens so much.

In a perfect world, personal firearms would not be needed. Our world will never be perfect. From the beginning of time til the end of time there will be criminals, violence, theft, murder and wars.

During an attack you are the first responder, not the police. There is no guarantee that you will have time to call the police. Even if you do it will take time for law enforcement to show up.

Someone I know relayed an incident that occurred recently near his home where a criminal broke into someone's home in a rural gated community. The criminal came after the home owners (elderly) with a knife. The home owner grabbed his gun and shot the intruder and thereby stopped the attack. The home owners immediately called the police. Here's the point: It took the police 20 minutes to arrive. And the bad guy would be free to murder again.

It took time to get the community and then time to go through the gate and then time to reach the home. If the home owners were not armed they would likely be dead.

It is a God-given right of every human being of self-defense. It is governments that suppress that right. Our government was founded by The People and after throwing off our oppressors The People codified such rights in our Constitution to prevent government from taking away our firearms.

To all Canadians: Begin restoring your rights now. It will take time. We started in the mid-1980's and have come a long way (still a long way to go). If you pay attention to the global news it appears (at least to me, I may be wrong) that the world is gearing up for WW III. Not soon, but eventually.

Russia is now in cahoots with Iran providing them with nuclear capabilities. Terrorists groups (including Hamas, who have publicly stated they want Nobama to win the US election) are increasingly trying to destroy Israel. EU nations are trying to quickly become energy independent, etc. Islamic terrorist have claimed and are implementing Jihad against everyone non-Muslim.

If a large scale war ever occurs you will wish you had acted sooner to allow every law-abiding citizen of your country the choice to posses and carry firearms.

Gun Free Zone - Get Yours Today!

Posted by: GunsSaveLives | 2008-10-07 10:38:46 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.