COMMENTARY – Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year!
Twenty Fifteen is almost in our rear view mirror, and it's been a wild year. We've seen the passage of Bill C-42 and its complete implementation, a radical shift in Canada's political spectrum and unprecedented growth for the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA).
I am very proud of the work the CSSA has done for its members. We have kept our nose to the grindstone, our target in the sight – and the results have been truly gratifying.
As we close the books on 2015 and enter a new year, I would like to express some recognition and gratitude to those that have worked so hard for our members.
Thank you to our wonderful staff – Heather, Brianna, Louise, Christine, Elaine, Sam, Ed and Christopher. You are the best! We appreciate your dedication, hard work and commitment to our members more than words can say.
To our Board of Directors – Steve, Diane, Terry, Mike, Ken, Dr. Mike, Gerry, Judith, Jocelyn, John, Jack, Herb, Garry, Greg, and Norm. You folks are a veritable “who's who” in Canada's firearm community. You perform your volunteer tasks days, nights and weekends with little recognition and zero remuneration. You steer the CSSA ship through every kind of weather and few recognize the countless hours you put into the task. Thank you so much for all you do! You are appreciated.
The CSSA's instructor corps represents the association every week, conducting training courses all over the map. These folks are unpaid volunteers, and we are very grateful they choose to share their wisdom with our association and with the firearm community of Canada. These individuals not only make our ranges safer, but they make training standards uniform and sensible. Special thanks this year to Murray, Jaya, Bob, Joel and Richard for all their toil over the last twelve months. You folks are amazing!
Last, but by no means least, thank you to our regional directors and other field volunteers. Thank you for the countless hours you spend manning gun shows and other public venues – for reaching out to retailers and gun clubs all across Canada on behalf of the CSSA. You are the real face of the CSSA, and we appreciate your talent and dedication. Special thanks to Joel, Pat and Rob for their efforts this year.
I apologize to anyone I may have missed but please know that your efforts are appreciated.
Twenty Sixteen will be a challenging year for firearm owners. We will face a renewed attack on our community. However, our biggest hurdles will be the same ones our community experiences year after year: memberships, money and manpower.
We respectfully ask that you help out where you can. Sign up a member or talk to your gun club about becoming a CSSA affiliate. Do a fundraiser for us, make a donation or volunteer your time.
All of us at the CSSA wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or simply a wonderful holiday season full of peace and happiness. Please take a moment to think of our soldiers as they carry out their duties around the globe far away from those they love.
Thank you for your continued support.
- Tony Bernardo
PS: Please note that there will be no E-News next week and our office will be closed until January 4, 2016. We will be monitoring our emails in case of emergencies.
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
WHY WE HUNT (By Keith Beasley | Canada in the Rough | December 22, 2015)
My brothers and I are feeling very blessed to be doing what we do. As hunters, we are very grateful for what it has and does bring to our lives. We hope you enjoy will enjoy this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnOFquWJPMw
NOMINATIONS FOR THE CSSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS must be submitted by January 15, 2016. A nomination must be made and seconded by CSSA members and submitted in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org - or to the address at the bottom of this E-news by post.
MASSIVE GUN-BUST CASE TOSSED DUE TO NUMEROUS MISTAKES BY KAMLOOPS MOUNTIES (By Glynn Brothen | December 17, 2015)
KAMLOOPS - After RCMP raided a Kamloops trailer filled with guns and ammunition in December 2013, they displayed their haul at the RCMP detachment where the city’s top cop posed for pictures and told reporters about the dangers of illegal firearms.
They got multiple weapons including shotguns and chopped up, rebuilt long guns, ammunition, drugs and a number of suspected stolen items off the street — but that was all they got. The man they arrested and charged walked away after a Kamloops judge excoriated investigators for sloppy paperwork, multiple rights violations and failure to adhere or even understand well-established case law that defines search and seizure.
The accused, Charles Patrick, was acquitted just a few weeks ago, but we didn't know why until the decision by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop became available this week. A judge may find the public interest in major crimes outweighs minor charter breaches, but Hyslop ruled the failure was so complete, she agreed with his lawyer, Ken Tessovitch that the case against Patrick couldn't survive.
“I am aware that firearms are involved and this is a serious concern for society,” she wrote. “However, the conduct of the police seriously undermined Mr. Patrick’s Charter rights. This court must disassociate itself from this behaviour.”
She ruled that officers didn’t follow the law when they searched Patrick, failed their obligations again when they detained him and he sought counsel, used unreliable information and sloppy paperwork to obtain a warrant to search his home, then left a key part of the warrant in a photocopier at the detachment and didn’t even bother retrieving it.
The investigation didn't have the benefit of any planning. By some luck on Dec. 11, 2013 around 4 a.m., Cpl. Kelly Butler stopped a vehicle suspected of being fraudulently registered. Hyslop ruled the RCMP had no reason to suspect, search or question Patrick, the driver, for anything else but they did. Patrick divulged he was carrying a shotgun and that led to a further search where more weapons were found, though all was inadmissible in court. When he was arrested, Patrick demanded to speak to a lawyer. Officers on scene waited until they took him to the detachment before letting him speak to a lawyer, which Hyslop says is a clear violation of charter rights well established since 2004.
“Corporal Butler believed that she had to provide Mr. Patrick the right to counsel 'as soon as practicable'. That is not the law,” Hyslop said. “The law is that an accused is entitled to consult with counsel 'without delay after they [are] arrested.'”
Once he was in custody, police got to work on his home, a trailer in Westsyde. They set up surveillance while they established grounds to obtain a search warrant — the source of Hyslop’s greatest concerns. She pointed out several inconsistencies and errors in the paperwork, written by an officer only identified as Const. Baker and approved by a justice. Hyslop went on for pages about inaccuracies, missing details including an actual address, use of second-hand information, inconsistent information and just plain wrong information from police files, police informants and the investigating officers themselves.
The officer who wrote the paperwork even recognized the information was wrong, she said.
“During their surveillance, the police recognized (their informant) was neither reliable nor credible. They realized that (the informant) had identified the wrong trailer. No explanation was given as to why the surveillance was directed at (the trailer they raided),” she wrote. “This misled the (justice who issued the search warrant) and the police had to know this.”
“It was carelessly drafted, confusing, and contradictory. The police decided (which) trailer that was to be the subject matter of the search warrant. It was not (the police informant).”
The confusing information identified an entirely different trailer, later discovered to be owned and occupied by an elderly couple with no criminal record.
They used a “hard entry” to the trailer using a battering ram. Once inside Patrick’s trailer — later confirmed to be his by family photos on the walls — they searched the place and removed evidence. They left the warrant behind but missing a key portion that Baker left unsigned in the photocopier at the detachment.
“The (information to obtain) on which the warrant was based was contradictory, error ridden, and at times incomprehensible. A large part of it was based on unreliable informant information. This warrant was used to enter a residence, where Mr. Patrick’s expectations of privacy were high,” Hyslop said. "The infringement of Mr. Patrick’s Charter rights was serious. Failure to have a warrant when entering Mr. Patrick’s residence is also serious. A warrant serves to inform a home owner as to the authority of the police and what they are searching for.”
“Constable Baker was careless when he left (the second page) on the photocopier. He ignored (its) importance… and acknowledged that it could have been easily obtained before entry into (the trailer) or early into the search. This is also a serious breach.”
Attempts to reach Supt. Brad Mueller for comment were unsuccessful.
CHRIS SELLEY: THE NEW YORK TIMES DOESN’T GET GUN CONTROL (By Chris Selley | National Post | December 19, 2015)
Activists with the Virginia Gun Violence Prevention Coalition gather for their monthly demonstration in front of the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax, Va. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, calling for universal background checks and to mourn those killed in gun violence.
As someone with scores of unsigned editorials under my belt and considerable doubt about the medium’s utility in today’s national conversation, I will admit to rolling my eyes at the breathless headlines greeting The New York Times’ Dec. 5 call for more gun control after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. “New York Times runs first front-page editorial since 1920,” Slate announced. That’s “nearly 100 years,” NPR observed.
“Even in this digital age, the front page remains an incredibly strong and powerful way to surface issues that demand attention,” Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., told the journalism news site Poynter. “And, what issue is more important than our nation’s failure to protect its citizens?” The editorial sent “an incredibly strong and powerful” message, he insisted.
The grieving parents MADD puts in their commercials don’t badger you not to drink, after all. They exhort you to change your behaviour.
Even if editorials can still turn a national conversation on its ear, this one certainly did not. It was more performance than argument — a rote, perfunctory restatement of the American left’s preferences on gun control, which for some reason they cannot see are hopeless.
“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the Times harrumphs — by which they mean “the slightly modified combat rifles used in (San Bernardino).” Those weapons and others like them, along with “certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership,” the Times declares, stamping its feet.
But it’s a tricky business declaring something a moral outrage and a national disgrace when the majority of the nation likes it just fine. An ABC/Washington Post poll released Wednesday illustrates — not for the first time — the gun control movement’s comprehensive failure to sell its message to Americans. Over two decades of well-moneyed advocacy, encompassing Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora and so many other mass killings involving semi-automatic firearms, support for a ban on “assault weapons” dropped from 80 per cent to 45 per cent; opposition grew from 18 per cent to 53 per cent.
Indeed, it has become like stock theatre. Mass shooting occurs; demands for gun control proliferate; polling shows most Americans desire precisely the opposite. With 20 dead six- and seven-year-olds awaiting their funerals in Connecticut, the gun control movement was sure it finally had its moment. The polls proved them wrong. And still, inexplicably, they soldier on with the same message. The Times proposed no gun control measure except banning certain kinds of guns and ammunition outright.
It’s plumb weird, because there is much more support for other useful measures. Support for “more strict” firearms laws is way down from near 70 per cent in the 1990s, Gallup’s polling shows, but it still bloops above 50 per cent every now and again. In July, the Pew Research Center found huge continued support for background checks (85 per cent) and screening for mental illness (79 per cent), each of which could potentially save a number of lives equivalent to many mass shootings.
In any event, from a death-prevention standpoint, the sort of rifle we associate with Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino shooters, is a silly place to fixate. In 2014, of firearm homicides where the type of weapon was known, FBI data shows 90 per cent were committed with handguns and just four per cent with rifles.
As alarming as America’s gun homicide figures are, though —11,208 in 2013, according to CDC data — the number of non-homicide gun deaths has always struck me as far more hideous. Murders tend to be more explicable, at least, than suicides. And in 2013, 21,175 Americans committed suicide with a firearm. Another 505 Americans died by “accidental discharge of firearms,” 69 of them under 15 and three not having reached their first birthday. Some states’ children suffer from a rate of accidental gun-related death comparable to Canadian children’s total risk of accidental death. It’s a gun rights issue, sure; but it’s also a public health emergency.
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY'S 'CHAMPIONS FOR CHRIST' PRAISE GUNS IN DORMS (By Matt Kwong | CBC News | December 21, 2015)
Gospel and guns intersect at world's largest Christian college
At Liberty University, where college life follows a "Christ-like" code and students feel free to carry concealed guns to class, no place better reflects attitudes about campus safety than the dining hall.
Among the prayer groups reciting grace, hungry young evangelicals, looking to save their seats while they go get food, observe a curious ritual: They pull out their wallets and phones, leave their valuables on a table, then walk away.
Call it an act of faith.
"Oh yeah, we do that all the time," says Grayson Guffey, a 22-year-old senior at the conservative college set beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains of Lynchburg, Va. "It's like, yeah, let me throw my wallet with this $100 bill down to save this seat."
Theft is evidently not a big concern here at Liberty, the world's largest Christian university with some 14,000 undergraduates.
But terrorism and campus shootings are.
University President Jerry Falwell Jr., who commands a rock-star status here, made that clear on Dec. 4 when he vowed to end the ban on keeping firearms in dorms as a red-blooded stand against would-be terrorists.
"Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here," Falwell told a cheering audience of thousands during a spiritual mega-gathering of students.
His address in the Vines Centre called attention to the San Bernardino shootings this month, in which 14 people were murdered in an ISIS-inspired massacre. Falwell, the son of the late televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr., then invoked the "good guys with guns" scenario of heroic self-defence.
Liberty's firearms policy permits properly licensed students and faculty to carry concealed weapons in university buildings. They can also store their guns in their cars.
If "more good people" arm themselves with "what I've got in my back pocket right now," Falwell suggested, "then we could end those Muslims" before a possible terrorist attack.
Supporters in the cavernous venue chanted "Jerry," and some stood to applaud the reference to his concealed firearm.
"Is it illegal to pull it out?" Falwell teased.
Among the young conservatives hooting in the audience was Terrance Polk, a 19-year-old sophomore living in The Hill, a student residence where Lamborghini and Bob Marley posters share wall-space with Ben Carson swag and inspirational Bible verses.
The aviation student is still two years shy of being old enough to carry a concealed firearm, but he's eager to exercise his Second Amendment rights.
"I'm definitely supportive of Jerry's decision. Because anything can happen," Polk said, picking at an acoustic guitar in his fifth-floor room.
"Knowing that we can have concealed-carry even in the dorms, on campus and even in the classrooms, it makes you feel safer in case anybody comes in to attack the school," he said.
Around campus, with its pastoral lawns and Christmas carols piped out from loudspeakers along University Boulevard, talk of guns in dorms was met with wide support. About 200 people reportedly attended Liberty's largest-ever gun safety class last week, following Falwell's call for more people to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Gioanni Galan, a 19-year-old nursing student, is considering signing up for free firearms training through the Liberty University Police Department. But her roommate disagrees with the dorm proposal, worrying that tempers could flare in some suites and end in gunfire.
See the rest of the story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/liberty-university-guns-in-dorms-students-christian-college-1.3371321
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – POST RUT WHITETAILS
This week on Canada in the Rough, Kevin is in his home province of Ontario pursuing mature whitetails. This hunt takes place in late November and early December when the whitetail rut has subsided. Kevin hunts long and hard and after a few encounters and some heartbreak, he is finally rewarded for his efforts.
See the teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Ijy398EYk
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
LOOKING FOR UPCOMING GUN SHOWS AND MATCHES? Visit our website at: http://cssa-cila.org/upcoming-events-matches/
A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Trooper, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,"
Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died in Europe on a day in December."
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red and the white ... A Canadian flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "Harbour no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
SEASON’S GREETNGS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competitions, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor youth programs and competitions that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
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