Tuesday, July 1, 2008

True North Strong & Free

I am fiercely proud of our little Dominion and I am particularly proud on Canada Day since it affords me the opportunity to reflect on our great nation and what being a citizen of this country means. Despite the myriad of troubles facing us today, my reflections invariably leave me with the absolute conviction that I live in one of the greatest countries on Earth. Our commitment to the protection of individual rights is indelibly etched into the books of history. Canada’s story is one of fortitude in the defense of liberty and, on this holiest of statutory holidays, I am happy to say without a moment’s hesitation that I am proud to be Canadian.

And so is everybody else, it seems. An Ipsos Reid poll has revealed that a majority of Canadians count themselves proud of our flag and our military, both manifest symbols of our country’s values and history.

So Canadians are proud to be Canadian. But the question remains: What does being Canadian mean?

Certainly not this:

It may soon be time for gun owners to bid their weapons adieu if the federal government takes heed of mounting public opinion that favours a firearms ban.

According to a poll conducted last month by Angus Reid Strategies, half of Ontarians surveyed think gun bans are justified, and 9-in-10 think mandatory jail terms will reduce gun-related crimes.

Though handguns are already banned -- except for police and security officers, target shooters and collectors -- gun clubs like the CNRA Handgun Club and the Scarborough Rifle Club were the target of Mayor David Miller's new bylaw which evicts gun clubs from city property.

For most of us, pride in being Canadian means pride in our place of birth, in our unique nation which is home to a way of life worth defending with our last breath. To many immigrants and refugees, it means a haven of freedom in a world overrun by tyranny. Regardless of your story, however, being Canadian signifies a ruthless commitment to freedom and democracy.

On Canada Day, all Canadian citizens should take the opportunity to reflect on why we love our country. It isn’t an arbitrary love for the geographic region in which we chanced to have been birthed. It isn’t an altruistic love for a nation of people with which we happen to coexist. It’s a perfectly selfish love for the values our country embraces and extols.

David Miller’s crusade against private citizens’ rights to purchase and enjoy the use of firearms has no place in Canada.

Sorry, Mr. Miller. We’re proud to be Canadian and, unfortunately for you, we know what that means.

Happy Canada Day!

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