This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Defending The Castle

It is extremely unnerving when one has poor relations with a neighbour.  All the more so when one cannot be certain that the neighbour will not take it into his head to behave threateningly on occasion.  Say, for example, enlisting the assistance of others as vicious as himself to surreptitiously creep onto a sleeping neighbour's property late at night and firebomb his house.  In the process injuring one of that neighbour's pet dogs.

As it happened, the neighbour whose property had been set upon was skilled in defending himself.  When he suddenly awoke from a sound sleep, hearing that something was dreadfully amiss, he swiftly gathered himself into action.  Proving that four masked men might not be much of a match for an experienced firearms instructor, well armed.  Calling 911 first as he gathered himself to react, Mr. Thomson withdrew two of his firearms from their customary locked case.

He stepped outside his house with his .39 calibre revolver in hand, firing three shots.  One he fired as a warning into the front lawn on that dark August 2010 morning.  Two other shots went into a stand of trees.  Which impelled his attackers to flee.  All four were later arrested and pleaded guilty to arson, disregard for human life, and sentenced to 2 and three years in prison.

And then the police turned to the matter of Ian Thomson, in possession of firearms, not safely locked away where they could ostensibly do no harm.  And the box of ammunition as well that they found in his bedside table, close by where they discovered the guns in his bedroom.  He was charged with careless use of a firearm; one charge for each of the pistols he had taken from his gun safe.  Those charges were later dropped.

It should have been immediately self-evident that Mr. Thomson had withdrawn the .39 calibre revolver he had taken outdoors with him, and the second, 9mm pistol, left behind in his bedroom, when he had been alerted to the firebomb attacks taking place on his property.  There is a requirement under the law that ammunition be stored separately from a gun, and so the ammunition was in his bedside table drawer.

Adrian Humphreys/National Post
Adrian Humphreys/National Post Ian Thomson leaves the Welland, Ont., courthouse Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, after testifying in his own defence as he fights criminal charges for shooting at masked men who were firebombing his rural home.
The Crown felt, however, that it should pursue the charges of careless storage.  Video surveillance from Mr. Thomson's security cameras gave evidence that Mr. Thomson did not simply reach out from his bed toward the firearms.  A time gap between the attack and his opening fire, when Mr. Thomson explained he was opening his gun safe to withdraw his guns represented an acceptable explanation, according to the Ontario judge who heard the case.

The judge ruled that details relating to where or how the ammunition was stored was irrelevant; the law exacts no stickling proximity of firearms and ammunition.  And Mr. Thomson was acquitted of all charges brought against him.  Canadians do, after all, have the right to use whatever means including firearms, to defend themselves and their homes.  Lawfully.

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