Canada’s Castle Doctrine. Or Lack Thereof.

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Ian Thomson never meant to become a poster boy for the right to protect one’s home and property in Canada, but that is the role foisted upon him by a Canadian court case. Ian Thomson was arrested after he staved off a fire-bombing attack on his rural Ontario property. Thomson was faced with an attack by three masked intruders who lobbed Molotov cocktails at his house and responded with a few warning rounds fired at the lowlifes . . .

Thomson is a former firearms trainer who clearly understands the proper use of weapons in any given situation, so it would be safe to assume that he assessed his situation and fired off a few warning rounds instead of lethal rounds at his attackers. He was legally entitled to own his handguns in Canada, even though handguns are a restricted weapon in Canada that requires a very complicated registration process for a permit.

In short, the man was well-qualified to own a handgun in a country where it is tough to get a legal clearance. But his legal entitlement to actually use his weapons, even under an extreme threat was seriously questioned by Canadian prosecutors.

I have no idea what precipitated the confrontation between Thomson and the three masked stooges, but bottles of flaming gasoline thrown at his house made his response seem pretty reasonable to most observers. The big exception was the Canadian prosecutors who chose to pursue the matter in a criminal court case which had little hope for a successful prosecution, but would serve as a deterrent to like-minded Canadians who pursue a similar path in home defense.

Thomson lives on an isolated Ontario rural property that required 15 minutes or more for police to arrive at his home. By then he would likely have been able to toast marshmallows in the house bonfire had he not been able to use his firepower to defuse the situation quickly enough to extinguish the porch fire. This also leaves us with a big assumption that three masked men willing to burn Thomson out of his house would simply leave after a successful firebomb attempt and not kill the guy.

The case has boiled down to a careless storage charge after several more serious charges such as dangerous use of a firearm and pointing a firearm were dropped by the Crown. The police arrived and discovered that Thomson had not returned his weapons to their locked storage, then added the careless storage charge to the other ones. The other charges were withdrawn after Thomson’s video surveillance camera proved that he acted in a defensive manner with his handgun during the confrontation.

The case has been very expensive for Thomson and his experience is meant to send a strong message to other Canadians that they could face similar charges under similar extreme conditions as property owners under home attack.

I will be the first to suspect that the entire incident was probably part of a larger less defined problem between Thomson and his attackers that may have a bearing on the case. That said, I also believe that Thomson had every right to defend himself against attack, given the circumstances, and his reaction to the danger was more than justified—even in Canada.

comments

  1. avatar spymyeyes says:

    Wow!

    I have NEVER been more happy that I don’t live in Canada, an english colony that does not have the balls to throw off the yoke of england and become their own country.

    If this had been at my home I would have filled all 3 of them full of lead by the time the cops got there to arrest them! 15 minutes…..pfff

    1. avatar Gunuck says:

      As probably one of the few Canadians on this site, I feel obligated to state that, no, Canada is not in fact an English colony, er,sort of, and we are not under the yoke of brittish rule, er, sort of. We’re a mostly autonomous dominion, with ties to the constitutional monarchy of England. Really, we’re just too polite to tell the blighters to bugger off, and of course it would break poor Elizabeth’s heart, terribly rude that.
      By the way, any body happen to know any good Canadian gun blogs? I’m having a bit of trouble finding any, for, well, probably obvious reasons, really..

  2. avatar ST says:

    Those of the leftist thought process believe only the state has the right to employ lethal force, and as such will use any dirty trick available to send the message that self defense or not a private citizen should let the criminals plunder and murder at will.

    Those of us who know better do not live in such corrupt districts.

  3. avatar Tony Curtis says:

    Canada = America’s hat.

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    The pussification of Canada is complete. How ironic that criminals found another weapon to use instead of a gun. I guess a ban on gasoline, in small containers, with a rag in the end, will be on order.

    1. avatar ST says:

      What would Feinstein do?

      “Any bottle made out of glass ,with a prohibited feature such as a cloth or rag located in the same area as a container of flammable liquid is considered an ‘Assault Bottle’ and is a felony to possess. 40 oz bottles are considered High Capacity Bottles and are specified for Law Enforcement Use Only.”

  5. avatar Matt Gregg says:

    I don’t know how many rounds of 12 ga buckshot it would take to stop them but I can tell you how much I’d use, 25.

    1. avatar Montesa_VR says:

      Or how about a flashlight that converts to a 9mm machine gun?
      http://videos2view.net/texas-light.htm

  6. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

    Talk about a slow straight one right down the middle. Sorry, this story is too easy to comment on. This story requires the same amount of reflection and contemplation as simple math. Baby food. C’mon, speed up the ball a little.

  7. avatar Zealot says:

    Perhaps its indicative of nothing, but what I found most striking was how calmly and deliberately those three moved about while conducting the assault. They just seemed so comfortable doing it.

    As far as the sole remaining charge being levied against Thomson, CLEARLY he should have fully secured his weapon behind lock and key (or whatever “common sense” restrictions are in place in Canada) BEFORE extinguishing his burning home. And CLEARLY men who made the trek to his remote home to burn it down would pose no additional threat after the initial salvo so he’d be perfectly safe dousing the flames without fear of a second attack. I mean the police were only fifteen minutes away.

    1. avatar Splashman says:

      They just seemed so comfortable doing it.

      Yep, they knew they weren’t in any danger. Compare that to video we’ve all seen of DGUs here in the USA. At the first shot, the bad guys are crapping their pants as they do their best imitation of the Road Runner. They do that because they have no doubt of the consequences of sticking around.

      I hadn’t thought much about what it would be like in a place like Canada or the UK, where one isn’t free to defend oneself. After watching the bad guys in this video, walking around the property so casually as they toss the firebombs — even after warning shots fired!? — I now clearly realize what I take for granted.

      It’s hard to understand how Canadians put up with it. Decades of government conditioning in the fine art of being a quivering, spineless wuss?

  8. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Canadian pussification aside, it is a pretty important thing to consider if you live in the sticks with regard to protecting your home: What if a bunch of bad guys show up?

    Certainly a strong argument to have at least one battle rifle. It’s also a pretty strong argument for security cameras– I can see this have gone much worse in the court of public opinion without that video.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      If you are that far out in the woods, you need pre-dug holes in the woods.
      “Have you seen Jethro around here, bothering you?”
      “Nope.”

  9. avatar Josh says:

    Sounds like more than basic gun politics here. Guy defends his house with justifiable force using a legally owned firearm… gets charged anyways?!
    I’m betting that the prosecution has a personal axe to grind against this guy, or that he is in some way a community pariah, so they are trying to hound him using anyway they can, including selectively enforcing stringent laws.

  10. avatar Todd S says:

    Is there a website where we can donate for his defense? I’ll throw some bills his way.

    1. avatar Frank says:

      Not a website per se, but the instruction for donations can be found here:
      http://www.gunownersresource.com/blog/admin/ian-needs-your-help

      Mr. Thompson needs all the help he can get. He is not wealthy at all, being back to school after a serious injury forced him out of his previous employment.

  11. avatar Mark N. says:

    This is a symptom of the belief system held in England that one should not have the right to use force to defnd oneself or one’s home. There have been too many cases reported from their about homeowner’s being prosecuted and facing greater sentences than the hoodlums who invaded their homes. In England, the defender is limited to “reasonable” force, which I have seen as defined as no more force than is being used in the attack. So if the intruder only has a crowbar, use of a firearm is almost unreasonable per se. This of course allows the foxes to run the hen house, but the Brits don’t seem to mind one bit, and that’s the part I just cannot comprehend. Now its spreading to Canada as well, a country that seems hell-bent on banning firearms, albeit at great expense and with little success (so far).

    1. avatar Schisms says:

      Oh the Brits are just about as ticked off as we would be, but the British government simply doesn’t care. The “Iron Law” of bureaucracy has had an extra couple or three centuries to insulate the elites from the general public there. Nobody outside of government believes in the anti-violence laws there, but the public has no immediate recourse to change things. They have to depend on electing the right guys to parliament…and we know how well that works…

      1. avatar JuanCudz says:

        +1, we all know over here that the only thing that our gun laws protect is our self-electing overlords.

  12. avatar caffeinated says:

    They are screwed if that is the mentality up north. What are they going to do when Obama ruins the US and we all jump the border north with our guns?

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Canada, New York and New Jersey should form their own country. The three seem to have a lot in common.

  14. avatar Luc says:

    You guys are assuming too much. Also some of you for some reason think we’re just like the British just because we’re associated with them in some way or another. We are not limey. Canadians have always been different. In many ways Canadians are like Americans. There’s a lot of political diversity when it comes to guns in Canada, just like in America. The problem is that the current extreme firearms regulation here were built at the federal level, where as in America (after the AWB) it’s been up to individual states to make up their own restrictions.

    Mr. Thomson does live in a rural farming area of Port Colborne. Not way out in the forest but still a ways drive for the Niagara Regional Police.

    Mr. Thomson did not have a problem with prosecutors prior to the incident. The charges laid against him were predictable. The Crown will lay on as many charges as it possibly can hoping a few will stick.

    The person who Thomson did have a problem with was his neighbor. The 3 people who fire bombed Mr. Thomson’s home were associated with his neighbor.

    What this case (& many others) makes painfully clear (as if it wasn’t already) is that the Crown & police will go all trying to prosecute people who defend themselves.

    It was theorized that Mr. Thomson did not store his pistols unloaded (which is a crime) because of the speed in which he was able to react to the fire bombing. To challenge that theory a video reenactment was made showing that Mr. Thomson could unlock his safe, unlock his revolver, unlock his ammo, load his revolver & face his assailants within the time frame given.

    When the Crown dropped the charges for pointing a firearm & discharging a firearm, it admitted to being too zealous. However Mr. Thomson could still be hit with 2 years imprisonment for not having two of his pistols unloaded & locked up when police arrived.

    Self defence is one of the 3 “absolute rights” (the other two being personal liberty & private property) that Canadians kept after Confederation in 1876. Those rights haven’t been taken away, they have however since been buried under all sorts of other laws touching the same subjects. What we have today in Canada is a very slippery slope with lots of grey zones when it comes to personal defence, especially when a firearm is introduced.

    Fighting back against restriction & other areas where the law neuters people is a long hard battle with lots of good people falling victim to the courts. We’re ALL familiar with this in one way or another.

  15. avatar Some Canadian says:

    As Luc pointed out, there is clearly some backstory here. As well, for what its worth, you can hear the assailants calling him a “fucking goof”, which is Canadian slang for a pedophile (not sure if it is the same in the states).

    Regardless of the backstory though, the guy had every right to defend himself, and trying to nail him on improper storage is total BS.

  16. avatar Luc says:

    Never knew that in some parts goof meant pedophile. My friends & I call each other goofs all the time, I hope we’re not pedophiles. I’m located in the niagara region.

  17. avatar Bill Gibbons says:

    If you think Canada’s gun laws are bad, just consider Britain’s gun madness.
    As many people here know, banning guns does not stop the criminals from carrying them. So how has Britain fared since former prime minister Tony Blair’s all out macho “total ban” on handguns in 1996? Before Blair decided to disarm millions of law abiding citizens, the country had three mass shooting that unarmed police officers could not stop. In April 2010, in picturesque Cumbria, a popular tourist destination in northern England, a cab driver by the name of Derrick Bird drove around for 35 miles, casually gunning people down with his 12 gauge shotgun and .22 rifle. He managed to kill 12 innocent people and wound 25 others.

    The big problem here was, NOT ONE person could stop Derrick Bird. Not the police, not the public. Why? Because they were unarmed. Nobody had a gun or access to one that could be used to stop this slaughter. After Bird finished his shooting spree, he casually walked into a secluded area and shot himself. In one instance, Bird was in plain sight of two police officers who were scooting people out of the way and shouting at others to “take cover.” They could not stop him. Their batons and cans of pepper spray weren’t quite a match for Bird’s guns.

    So, just how many of the tens of thousands of UK citizens who owned handguns went on shooting sprees before they were stripped of their weapons in 1997? Only three. Yes, they were three too many, but enough for Tony Blair’s socialist government to disarm an entire nation of all handguns and rifles over .22 calibre. Ten years later in 2006, there were an estimated FOUR MIILION illegal guns circulating in the UK. Criminals between the ages of 15-24 can get access to Mac-10 sub-machine guns, Beretta pistols and replica weapons converted to fire live ammo. Also on the rise is the number of victims shot: By 2004, 440 people were seriously wounded by firearms, up five per cent from 2002. In the first six months of 2009, the number of shootings in London had almost doubled from 123 to 236 compared with the same period in 2008, a rise of 91.8%. Serious firearms offences have risen by 47% across London alone.

    Since 1996, gun crime has increased overall in the UK by 92%. Now we have huge areas of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool controlled by gangs armed with machine guns, fighting it out over turf and the drugs trade. Teenagers packing illegal handguns battle each other in “respect” shootings. You can buy a .38 revolver on the street in any big city for $775.00. A Glock will cost you $2,000 cash. Mac 10 machine guns and AK-47 rifles are also available for the right price.

    In the meantime, coppers walk the beat unarmed while the rest of the country is left to cower in homes behind locked doors, burglar alarms and barred windows. In 2011, there were 3,700 firearms offences commited in the UK, a country where the Olympic shooting team has to travel to France, Norway or Switzerland to practise, because the caliber of the guns they use in competition are banned for civilian ownership!

    For those “ban all guns” groupies who continue to believe that disarming law abiding citizens will somehow keep us all safe, they should listen to the number of 911 recording on YouTube by terrified women who were calling for help when stalkers, rapists and burglars were in the act of breaking into their homes. The police were too far away to get to the scene in time. All the women in question are all alive today because they had access to a gun in the house and were able to put a bullet in their attackers. In Canada, they would have been charged. Dead criminals are a much better solution, or rather criminals who are afraid to break into someone house, knowing that the owner coulder be armed and willing to shoot an intuder.

    When a citizenry is unarmed and therefore stripped of its ability to protect itself from violent criminals, then that citizenry is no longer free. Britons tofday are certainly not free, as the UK is now the most heavily watched country in the world with close circuit cctv cameras in every high street. Apparently its to keep us safe. I say its has a lot more to do with population control.

    In closing, here is a newspaper report from the UK (with photos) of an armoured car guard who was attacked and badly wounded by three hooded men armed with machetes. In the UK, armoured car personnel are not allowed to possess ANY KIND of defensive weapon, not even a baton or pepper spray. They get a crash helmet and a stab vest. That’s it.

    See here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-517540/Caught-camera-Dramatic-moment-security-guard-fought-machete-wielding-gang.html

    Don’t let Obama do this to America. Please.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Here is another incident in the UK where ONE man armed with a machete held THIRTY unarmed police officers at bay.

    Scroll down to watch the video.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388265/Police-tackle-machete-wielding-man-wheelie-bin.html#ixzz1MngUHci2

  18. avatar Stacks says:

    Cant believe this story. I live in Canada and am not a fan of a lot here. This is one. Damn. The only scary thing I can get out of this is if it was in a more rural area, you can’t have a shootout in front of your house. But I’m sure residents would call the Police. But in his situation, I agree with Thompson. No time to call police and he’s in open land. These guys looked fearless and were fearless as the laws are protecting the suspects. Change the laws to Castle Doctrine and people will be more scared. Check out the video. Also a string of knock knock robberies in the states are happening. Check those out. Im sure id blast someone who is in my house.

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