Is it even possible to have personal liberty in Canada?
Mr.Nobody was kind enough to leave the following comment on my post about a day at the shooting range:
“A firearm (or many) is pretty much a prerequisite to self-reliance and personal liberty. Which is why you can’t and don’t really have either in Canada.”
So that brings up the question, is it even possible to have personal liberty in Canada? Can we really be free?
What does liberty mean to me?
Now I’m not a political scholar, and I’m not even interested in looking up definitions at this point. So I am sure that I will have many of you disagreeing with me about the semantics of word use. Not just in this post, but in the future on this blog too.
To me, liberty means being free to pursue your own life and dreams; without interference from the government, neighbours, corporations, or anybody else. That is freedom to earn as much or as little money as you wish, without excessive taxation to pay for social programs that you don’t want, need, or use anyways.
This includes the freedom to grow your own food, raise your own animals, catch fish, and sustainably harvest wild animals for your own needs. You should be free to provide for your family, without others interfering whether through bylaws, home owner associations, strata councils, or petitions.
It also means having the right to protect your life, your family, your home, and your property. To me, this is a combination of firearms, police force, close neighbour relationships, and a penal system that persuades would-be criminals that it isn’t worth the punishment.
Liberty does not mean anarchy or feudalism
Wanting personal liberty does not mean you want the absolute abolishment of all forms of government. That would not be a good situation. There are morally just functions that the government performs. This is where I think many Libertarians go a bit wrong, they preach for such drastic reforms that it seems as if they want anarchy; this is where they lose people (kinda like me) who just want a steady and continuous wind-down of the government’s involvement in our lives.
Governments, especially local ones, are better suited at providing policing, firefighting, road infrastructure, national defence, prisons, and possibly health care. I say possibly health care because I am not enamoured with our social health care system, and not really having private options available. People say that our health care is the best in the world, but this isn’t necessarily the case. We have long wait times for vital services, and the only private options are available by travelling to the USA, Thailand, India, or another country. Our health care system will be discussed at length on this website.
In my honest opinion, though, Governments have no place in running a liquor store, insurance corporation, ferry operator, power generator, or even a pension plan. This is especially true at the federal and provincial level. If a case can be honestly made for a city to operate a power distribution network, then it should only be done at that municipal level.
What do gun rights have to do with liberty?
Guns are useful tools for hunting AND protection. That means protection from wild animals OR people invading your home or threatening you or your family some other way.
It is nice to not have everyone armed on our streets, it is a peaceful feeling. But perhaps that is a false sense of security, because this effectively turns our entire nation into a gun-free zone, where the criminals can rampage without much worry of an armed citizen. I am undecided whether allowing concealed carry would be a good or bad thing. In the past it has worked out, but that is hard to tell in the future. As more people move to the cities, the criminal population is bound to increase. Add in economic upheaval and this is very fertile ground for criminal violence.
However, I am a VERY big proponent of having guns at home. Guns that are stored safely also accessible for home defence purposes. We need to protect the citizens who defend themselves, their families, and their communities using firearms; unfortunately we are currently better at protecting the criminals. I believe in the use of firearms to protect our homes. I believe in having rifles, shotguns, and handguns at home. And I believe we should be able to carry our handgun while on our own property.
If you are just now becoming interested in firearms, read about my first trip to the shooting range.
How to improve personal liberty in Canada?
Personal liberty in Canada can be increased by promoting self sufficiency in food production, income generation, and personal security.
We must promote gardening and backyard chickens if we are to increase the health and robustness of our future population. Due to rising fuel costs and general food cost inflation, being entirely dependent on the grocery stores and supermarkets is not advisable. But, if you grow many of your own basics, then you can afford to purchase quality,local items at the store to round out your diet. Watching your grocery bills increase much much faster than your income is not a comfortable position to be in.
We must promote the ownership of AND training with firearms. We should all purchase one or more gun for hunting and protecting our homes. When it comes to firearms, we have to have the “use it or lose it” mentality. If we are indifferent about owning them, then the government will just increase the difficulty of obtaining them.
Finally we must promote the independence of thought. You should think for yourself when it comes to financial matters, current affairs, politics, nutrition, and health. I have to emphasize the last two. You must think for yourself and take your own nutrition and health into your own hands. The agricultural industry is there to make a profit, not to promote your health. The pharmaceutical and medical industries are there to create customers of their products and services, not to find a cure. Home gardening is not profitable to the agricultural giants, and disease cures are not profitable to the pharmaceutical conglomerates. It is absolutely essential that you think for yourself on these matters.
What do you think? Do we have personal liberty in Canada? Are we free? Do firearms even have a place in the discussion about liberty?