High River probe finally underway

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And about damn time, too

Dennis E. Florianby Dennis E. Florian
Gun Owners’ Resource

When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me that there were some people in the world that you could always count on to do the right thing; whenever they were cornered like a rat in a trap.  Those words have been coming back to me quite a bit lately.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last six months, you already know about the gross misconduct of the RCMP in High River, Alberta during this year’s spring floods – hundreds of doors kicked in, hundreds of guns stolen.

Now, months later, like that rat in the trap, the government is promising to probe itself.  An “expedited” probe, no less.  Pardon me if I’m not feeling inspired.

OTTAWA – The Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP is sending investigators to High River, Alta. as it looks into complaints that Mounties illegally seized firearms during June flooding there, QMI Agency has learned.

“Commission investigators will be in High River from December 9th to 13th to speak to persons who may have been impacted,” said Richard Evans, the commission’s senior director of operations, in an email to Sun Media.

The commission is conducting an “expedited” investigation after irate citizens spoke out at a public meeting over the summer, complaining about Mounties taking away rifles and shotguns after bursting into flood-abandoned homes to conduct searches.

Evans says anyone who wants to speak to investigators should call 1-800-267-6637 or send an email to reviews@cpc-cpp.gc.ca.

It’s not clear exactly when the commission’s report will be completed and made public.

The commission has said, however, that while investigations typically take up to a year, this one would be done “sometime in December.”

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Perhaps predictably, the damn thing wasn’t even announced yet before the RCMP and CBC conspired to dismiss the systemic thefts, burbling away that confiscating the firearms of flood victims is perfectly acceptable behaviour, and trying to paint the Harper government’s inquiries into the heavy-handed RCMP raid as “political interference.” Apparently, they expect the federal government to ignore police thuggery and theft, as long as it’s targeted at gun owners. Far better to just blame those nasty conservatives for stirring things up.

Documents obtained by CBC News show just how much pressure Conservative staffers exerted on the Mounties to justify why they seized hundreds of  firearms from evacuated homes at the height of the Alberta floods last spring.

The emails paint a picture of a police force trying to juggle political demands with the “basic police work” of ensuring the public’s safety in an emergency situation.

But of course, they were just trying to keep the sheeple safe, don’t you know.  It’s not like the cops left heaps of evidence that they targeted gun owners’ homes using government firearms records. It’s not like they even filmed themselves rooting through homes to swipe guns that were safely stored.And it’s not like they lied through their teeth trying to cover it up once they were caught.

Oh, wait; that’s exactly what it’s like.

An email from an unidentified RCMP special tactical operations (STO) member describes the operating procedures in place for those searches. “We did not search for firearms and only firearms that were in the open/in plain sight were to be noted and secured. The purpose of the searches were for people and animals in distress.”

Yeah.  With no stretchers, no first aid equipment, no pet carriers.  Right.

So who’s lying? The mounties or the 1,900 High River residents whose doors were (jack-)booted in? you can find the answer by asking another question: given the ludicrous amount damage done to so many homes, which of these two groups has a motive to play loose with the truth?  As the CSSA put it:

The RCMP have concocted some fabulous fiction through it’s willing media shill, the CBC. Had the Harper government not put the RCMP on notice early in this witch hunt, we can only shudder at the treatment High River residents might have been forced to endure. As it was, police busted down doors and dragged mud throughout many homes and severely damaged many homes. It is most unsettling that the RCMP and CBC insist that police took only “unsecured” firearms – the smash-and-grab tactics surely prove that most of the guns were secured.

Both the RCMP and CBC smugly note that a few High River residents volunteered to give police “109 firearms surrendered for safe-keeping.” There may well have been some residents who were worried that their firearms could be under water or vulnerable. The news report, however, suggests that a few surrendered guns justifies confiscating 542 others from absentee residents. High River RCMP said they received 94 guns for destruction, too. We wonder if they remembered to hand out cheap cameras in return.

A few police officers and a few CBC broadcasters believe they should be allowed to make the rules as they go. They are determined to make guns go away because they believe it’s the righteous road to public safety and national security.

How so many educated people can be so wrong is a puzzle for the ages.

But at least there’s going to be a probe.  Not the kind I think they deserve, but I guess it’ll do.

Oh, there should be a probe, alright...
Oh, there should be a probe, alright…

Dennis E. FlorianWhile his stuff does get syndicated every now and then, Dennis E. Florian only writes for Gun Owners’ Resource — which is probably just as well, because he isn’t all that good.

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