Barbarians At the Gate: Got books? Guns?
Police say people must not lose focus on why Hamiltonians want to get rid of guns.
"The people of Hamilton have an intolerance for gun violence," [Deputy Chief] Leendertse said. "If we save one life, that's worth more than any history." Hamilton Spectator
The city of Hamilton, Ontario, like all good little McGuinty communities, had its own version of the now famous "Ontario Gun Amnesty" thoroughout the month of March. The amnesty programs held in Toronto, Ottawa, and now Hamilton, were "intended" to allow gang bangers and friends of gang bangers, to turn in street weapons with relative impunity.
Of course, as was predicted, the vast majority of firearms that were turned in were from ordinary citizens getting rid of an old military trophy or an unused gun belonging to a deceased or senior relative. Very few came from thugs, naturally.
The usual take in these amnesties is 300-500 firearms. Not to be undone by Toronto or Ottawa, the good gun-naive citizens of Hamilton turned in some 1200 firearms. Most, as expected, were old military rifles and the like, but there were also a fair number of valuable antiques and rare guns.
The police, bless their hearts, care not a wit for the history. A couple of the guns are exceedily rare, one or two century old historical weapons. One in particular, a Brown Bess, caught the attention of the Canadian War Museum.
"You just ruined my day," said special projects director Daniel Glenney. "How do I get that Brown Bess?"
Glenney said the British India Pattern musket was manufactured between 1797 and 1805 and used in Canada by the regular British troops in the War of 1812. It was then used by the Canadian militia in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837.
"Based on the picture, you only see ones in that nice a condition very rarely."
The firearms are slated to go to the steel smelter at the end of the month.
Police subtly softened their stance yesterday, after maintaining all through the amnesty that all weapons would be destroyed regardless of historic value.
The whole point of the gun amnesty is community safety, said Deputy Chief Ken Leendertse. Owners who turned in guns did so knowing they were entering into a contract with police.
"They signed a form that acknowledged they turned it over to the police service for destruction.
"Citizens had an opportunity to turn these weapons over to museums before they turned them over to us."
The story has attracted national attention, being carried by Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Sun, and by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
So, are the Liberals out to rewrite history in Canada, by denying its existence? As a government they had little use for veterans on Remembrance Day, barely acknowledging them in government departments throughout Canada.
Now, in the gun control zeal of Liberal dominated Ontario police forces, erasing the tangible evidence of Canadian history is just fine, apparently. After all, Deputy Chief Leendertse apparently believes gang-bangers are lining up to acquire muskets and antique firearms for their next drive-by pop. Therefore, Canada's heritage has to go.
I wonder if he understands hundreds of thousands of Canadians (and a few Dutch) died to prevent history from being rewritten. I might have a copy of Fahrenheit 451, he'd like to read ...
Send your thoughts to the Hamilton Police.
Update: The Hamilton Police Department apparently has got the message (well, sort of):
Hamilton police will now try to save a rare 200-year-old British musket from the War of 1812 after a plea from the Canadian War Museum not to melt it down.
But, warns Chief Brian Mullan, it will depend on the wishes of the owner who turned in the Brown Bess India Pattern musket during a month-long gun amnesty in Hamilton.
The owner gave the gun to police under a signed understanding it would be destroyed, Mullan said.
"It's our intention to contact the owner of the flintlock" to ask if they would consider donating it to the national war museum in Ottawa, he said.
"Ultimately, if an owner wants it destroyed, regardless of the historical value, we will be proceeding forward with their wishes for destruction," he said.
"That includes the Brown Bess."
Odd, how the police will trample all over your rights when it suits them (C-68) and respect them - when it suits them.