The process is the punishment


Gun-grabbers cost big money without even laying charges


Responsible firearms owners do not want to see irresponsible people owning firearms. But, potential gun owners should not be screened out based on whimsy.

Let’s turn our attention to University of Ottawa student Boris Vardomskiy, 24, who had all of his firearms taken away for writing some cryptic comments on a 2011 test paper. (Could it be mere coincidence that U of O’s president is self-avowed gun-hater and gun registry draftsman Allan Rock?)

Boris Vardomskiy is the guy who decided to scribble his opinion of a woman sitting nearby on his test paper, describing her as “behaving in a wanton manner almost slut/whore like.” He also wrote the words, “TAP, RACK, BANG” on the same ecotoxicology exam. A teacher’s assistant marking the test passed it upstream through the university brain trust until the cops were called.

Boris is a target shooter and gun collector, so they showed up at his door, impounded his $15,000 firearm collection and had him checked out for mental stability. He was never charged with breaking the law, because it’s legal to pass judgment on a person’s perceived virtues. (But, it’s probably why some parents suggest, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone…”)

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In 2012, Ontario Court Justice Dianne Nicholas was advised by a forensic psychiatrist that Boris did not pose a threat to himself or others. Even Judge Nicholas suggested Boris was a “conscientious, safe and responsible target shooter and gun collector,” yet she refused to believe the shrink. She decided Boris was so insincere that the Crown wouldn’t even have to prove Boris is a threat – he would instead have to convince her that he deserved to own guns. She reversed the onus and deemed that this young man’s shooting days were over.

The Ottawa Citizen ran a story this month that notes Superior Court Justice Brian Abrams concluded Judge Nicholas made “serious errors” in her legal analysis. He wants a new hearing in front of a different judge. Judge Abrams simply didn’t buy the reverse onus and said the Crown must prove Boris is a threat. It is worth noting that Boris was never charged, was properly licensed and stored his firearms in a manner that exceeded legal requirements. Oh, and he has apologized for his inane remarks, according to an Ottawa Sun report.

Not good enough for the publicly-funded-by-taxpayers Crown. It is appealing Judge Abrams’ decision that Boris’ hearing was botched. The Crown claims that Judge Abrams failed to interpret the Criminal Code section that deals with firearms seizure for public safety. A traditional search warrant requires proof that a crime has taken place and a search of the suspect’s home could produce evidence of that crime. But, the Crown says Boris couldn’t stop himself from writing gun-related remarks, and therefore, can’t be trusted with a gun.

Boris Vardomskiy’s lawyer, Solomon Friedman, says Boris wants to keep the case alive as a matter of principle. He says it has nothing to do getting his guns back because the guns are no longer his. Boris had to sell them to pay his legal costs. And there’s the intimidation-based lesson that the police and the government want to teach gun owners. Win or lose in court, the outcome will deplete your savings big time. Boris had to sell his $15,000 gun collection, but has never even been charged for anything save bad penmanship. And that’s why anyone who legally owns a firearm can be subjected to the legal system’s anti-gun bias. The process is the punishment.

Time to insure yourself against expensive legal fees, perhaps?

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