Harper government resists power-hungry police
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) is not anti-police.
On the contrary, many CSSA members proudly serve in provincial, municipal and national police forces. Theirs is the difficult task of standing in harm’s way and bringing repeat offenders and hardened criminals to justice. A modern society without police intervention would be a horror show. Perhaps the danger that police officers face daily is the reason some are resorting to bullying black-ops tactics more and more. But here’s the clinker – violent crime is going down, not up.
The play for political power is shifting, too. RCMP brass seems to have created its own federal “Canadian Police Party” to dictate public policy. Even though the Canadian Police Party will never elect a bona fide legislator, it hasn’t hesitated to oppose, contradict and browbeat the current government. In doing so, the top-coppers are trying to juice anti-gun public opinion. Police chiefs associations rallied around the anti-gun flag during the long-gun registry debate, and the RCMP adds more and more guns to restricted and prohibited status under the ruse of public safety. The only “evidence” that anti-gun politicians ever present, in fact, is the disdain of police when the Harper government wants to lighten the load for gun owners.
Small wonder, then, that the Canadian Police Party has made political enemies of many Conservative MPs. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s announcement of the new Firearms Records Regulation (Classification) on August 15 may be evidence of a new day. The decision to strip the RCMP of its ability to whimsically reclassify guns must have originated from deep within the Prime Minister’s Office. There is reason to hope that the Harper government’s gradual reclamation of fair laws for gun owners will escalate into a legislative steamroller.
Police forces in Canada and elsewhere are twisting their “serve and protect” mantra into sad irony. While many good community policing programs do still exist, the flash-bang grenade mindset is becoming the norm. The August 16 issue of The Globe and Mail ran a piece on the SWAT response in Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of Michael Brown. The G&M and CBC both chimed in that even small town police departments are snatching up armoured vehicles across the U.S. It seems John Q. Citizen is now officially the enemy, as SWAT teams routinely serve simple warrants and look for small drug stashes. Even the infamous Kent State University campus cops just bought a 20-ton armoured vehicle to keep all those nasty students in line.
For several years running, the wonderful annual SHOT Shows in Las Vegas features entire rooms packed with lethal weaponry for police. It appears, at least in the United States, that the state is arming for war against the citizenry and in response, the citizenry is arming for war against the state. This is guaranteed not to end well, no matter its outcome.
Canada’s hands are not clean, either – witness the 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto. Could it be that SWAT tactics actually taunt the public to misbehave? Inquiring minds want to know. And, the door-kickers in High River astounded the entire country by using banana-republic gun-grab tactics. Buddy Tavares? Ian Thompson? Bruce Montague? Robert Dziekański? Sammy Yatim? So many more it is hard to keep track of the injustice.
Note to the RCMP brass who just had the gun reclassification rug pulled out from under them: The first step in the militarization of police is trying to tell the government what to do. Is this perhaps a lesson learned?