COLUMN: Time to adopt the ‘Castle Doctrine’

Abbotsford Police Department has just launched a crime map of our community, detailing where break-ins, thefts and other bad things happen in our neighbourhoods. Accessible online at abbypd.ca, by clicking on Reports & Stats then Abbotsford Crime Mapping, one of the purposes of the map is to let you know when crime is increasing in your area.

COLUMN: Time to adopt the ‘Castle Doctrine’

Abbotsford Police Department has just launched a crime map of our community, detailing where break-ins, thefts and other bad things happen in our neighbourhoods. Accessible online at abbypd.ca, by clicking on Reports & Stats then Abbotsford Crime Mapping, one of the purposes of the map is to let you know when crime is increasing in your area.

Which I say is all well and good. But what can you do when the bad guys with nefarious intent are marching ever closer to your block and your house?

Short of surrounding your property with an electrified chain link fence, topped with razor wire (good luck meeting city bylaws on those), and putting bars on all the doors and windows, there isn’t much you are allowed to do to protect yourself. Because the police and the courts take a dim view of you actually protecting yourself, your family and your property.

Just recently in Maple Ridge, five punks attacked a kids’ camp ranch, bent on stealing (apparently for the second time) tools and stuff. A responsible ranch hand, knowing that by the time he’d called 911 and the police showed up, the guys and goods would be long gone, took defensive action. He cooked off a round and one of the baddies took a shotgun pellet or two.

And who faces criminal charges for careless use of a firearm? The guy protecting his (or his employer’s) property!

Despite what the police and the courts currently believe, I am convinced that somewhere deep in a dusty archive there rests a law in this land that gives people the right to take whatever measures are appropriate to protect life, limb and property.

And if I am ever charged with using a firearm to defend what I hold dear, then I’ll be willing to spend what it takes to unearth that law, vindicate myself and change the way we live in Canada.

Because I firmly believe that we have every right to protect ourselves, and if it means big attack dogs (apparently legal in junkyards but not in our backyards) or firearms or whatever else is necessary, then we should, and must, be able to use those tools if we wish.

There is a principle, called the Castle Doctrine, which essentially says your home is your castle and that it is fully within your right to protect it and all that is within it.

My guess is that the “fathers” who created confederation, who wrote the constitution of our nation, understood and believed that its lawful citizens had the right to take whatever measures were appropriate to maintain what they worked so hard to achieve, acquire, accumulate and love.

But we have somehow allowed governments and their agencies to override the principles of individual rights and freedom for what has been assumed the ‘greater good.’ While in a respectful society that assumption is acceptable, it is not when there are those who disregard for whatever reasons the rights of others.

Criminals, petty or otherwise, don’t care about anything other than their immediate gratification, and they are willing to use any measure they deem fit, to take from you whatever they wish.

And as supportive as I am of our police, I am also aware that it is impossible for them to be there for you 24/7. There simply isn’t enough manpower, and too much criminal activity going on.

Which makes me wonder why the police and courts, rather than charging someone with a criminal office, don’t praise people for essentially helping them by protecting their own property.

Let’s be clear, defending one’s life and home isn’t vigilantism. The crooks were uninvited, and a host has the right of refusal, by whatever means it takes.

If you don’t agree, then explain why an innocent victim of crime in Maple Ridge faces a criminal record, and five guys will continue to plague the community?

 

markrushton@abbynews.com