The topic of ATC (Authorization To Carry) permits has recently begun to rise in popularity among legal firearm owners here in Canada. Contrary to the popular belief of many Canadians, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, there is in fact a permit available to the general public allowing them to carry a concealed firearm for the purpose of self-defense.
The reason you don’t see this happening in Canada is that the government has given the authority to issue these permits at the discretion of the Provincial CFOs. (Chief Firearms Officer) So, not only does the criteria need to be met, the CFO must also feel that it is in your best interest to have such a permit. Suffice it to say, the CFOs have gotten together and agreed to not issue these permits if at all possible.
Recently, an FOI (Freedom Of Information) request was issued to the Government of Ontario to request the number of ATCs that have been issued in that province. With a population just shy of 13 million people, and grand total of 13 ATCs have been issued. You can probably bet that these people are not ordinary Joe Blow citizens whose lives are in danger, rather these are more than likely high ranking government officials who have enough influence to determine the career path of the CFO to which the application was presented.
Lets look at the three general criteria that have been put in place:
-the life of the applicant must be in imminent danger
-police protection is not sufficient in the circumstances
-the individual has successfully completed training in firearms proficiency
Well right away there is a problem. What exactly does in mean to be in “imminent danger”? By definition, “imminent” means “ready to take place”. So must we then wait until we are being chased down a dark alley by a group of thugs intent on beating us to death before we submit our application? I offer this thought; we are all in constant imminent danger as we will never know when we are about to be attacked until it is too late. The CFO does not see it this way however and will use this as his first excuse not to issue the permit.
Lets move on to the second requirement: police protection is not sufficient. Well that’s an understatement in itself. There is no possible way that the police can protect us at all times. The government would have you believe that they can and, more importantly, that they do, but the reality is that they cannot and they certainly do not.
Take a home invasion as an example. A crack-head thug has broken into your home just after you have gone to bed. You call 911 as soon as you hear the front door splinter. Now, what I’d like you to do, is go to your front door and pretend that you are the thug. (extra points for screaming like a lunatic and scaring your cat into a fuzzball) Time yourself as you run up the stairs, or down the hall or to where it is that your bedroom is located, pretend to bust down the door and then pretend to stab the stuffing out of your pillow. The pillow in this case is actually you seeing as you probably can’t play both roles without some sort of clone. Your wife or roommate would also make a good stand in, but they might move out if you don’t give them advance warning. :-)
So, how did you do? I’m guessing you accomplished this in less than a minute. Now imagine calling 911. You relay what is happening to the operator, they call the local police for you and they dispatch a car. How long do you figure that it going to take? Probably a lot longer than a minute. Of course, with this scenario, you are at home and hopefully you have fairly quick access to some sort of improvised weapon, better yet a firearm (that is legally stored of course) that you can use to defend your life and the lives of your family. Just imagine that you are walking back to your car with your significant other in the middle of the almost deserted movie theatre parking long after the sun has set. You are approached by three or four scary looking guys who are intent on a little action. What do you do then? Well, since you live in Canada, all you can do is call 911 on your cell and hope for the best. Chances are though, you’ll end up as a chalk outline and the headline in the next day’s paper.
The last criteria seems to be the easiest to comply with: successfully complete training in firearms proficiency. Actually, this is easier said than done. As far as I can tell, with the exception of armoured car services, no one offers this sort of training in Canada and there isn’t really even an outline that is to be followed.
So, what can you as a concerned citizen do about this? Well for starters, you can join the Canadian Association for Self Defense at casd.ca. You can write your Member of Parliament to convey your displeasure in the fact that the CFOs have the authority to issue these permits at their discretion. You can get your friends and family involved and spread the word that we are no longer going to let the government decide who or what is more valuable. As it stands right now, your money is more valuable than your life. Why else do Armoured guards get to carry guns? Let’s band together and tell our government to get their priorities straight.