View Full Version : Plastic People

05-06-2009, 7:00 PM

‘plas•tic’: . . . 5: capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture" ~ mirriam.webster.com

Pierre Lemieux, a French Canadian, economist, professor, author, libertarian thorn in the flesh of the Canadian Leviathan, and a friend, has become a felon. Pierre refused to answer one of the questions on his application to renew his firearms license, and the licensing center refused to renew his license. He now faces the prospect of 10 years in prison for keeping firearms without a license.

I will tell you some of his story. At this stage you may be thinking that it’s going to be about gun control but, rest assured, it’s not. Too many see trees, only trees, everywhere they look, and never a forest. Every abuse, every injustice is singular, isolate, one more thing to be addressed, corrected or reformed – unfortunate, deplorable really, but circumscribed, in an arena separate from the rest of life, someone else’s problem, and someone else’s cause.

No, Pierre’s story is about what it means to be ruled, what it means to need permission from the state. And if you stop looking at trees and see the forest, then Pierre’s refusal to follow orders may pose a question for you: How far will you accommodate the state before you resist? Is there some limit to your ability to mold yourself to the state’s designs? At what point will the state cross a line within you, when what you are ordered to do is more than you will accept or bear, when you will say, "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise"?

Or does no such line exist? Are you that final object of all the state’s labors, that Quintessential Being that the state expects, demands and needs you to be: a plastic person?

In 1995 Canada passed an "Act Respecting Firearms and Other Weapons," generally referred to simply as the "Firearms Act" or by its original bill number, C-68. At the time, Canada already had handgun registration. The Firearms Act created a long gun registry and a new firearm licensing authority, and required citizens to possess licenses to own firearms. The licenses are good for five years. Pierre registered his firearms, and submitted his first application for a firearms license in 1996, which was granted, his first application for renewal in 2001, which was granted, and his second request for renewal in 2007, which was denied.

Pierre believes that Canadians have the right to own firearms without government approval. In fact, he has written extensively on the subject to educate his fellow Canadians and to peaceably restore respect for this right. Nevertheless, like most people, Pierre complied with the registration and licensing scheme in order to keep what he loves and to live a "quiet life." Unfortunately, despite his best efforts to comply, Pierre ran into his own personal limit with an impertinence in the license application that he simply could not abide, viz., question 6(d) of the license application, which asks:

"During the past two (2) years, have you experienced a divorce, a separation, a breakdown of a significant relationship, job loss or bankruptcy?"

The instructions to the application state that all personal history questions must be answered, and that "[I]f you answer YES to any of the questions . . . you MUST provide details on a second page. . . . If details are not provided, your application cannot be processed. A YES answer does not mean your application will be refused but it may lead to further examination."

In each of 1996, 2001 and 2007, Pierre, waging what he describes as "a dignity battle" against the law, refused to answer this question, instead responding that "My love affairs are none of your business / Ça ne vous regarde pas." In 2007, Pierre took the additional step of sending, by registered mail, a copy of his application, a cover letter and three pages of his book, Confessions d'un coureur des bois hors-la-loi, which chronicles his resistance against Canadian gun control laws, to the Prime Minister of Canada.

Two months after his license expired, having heard nothing from the licensing center, Pierre made a freedom of information request to find out the status of his application. Eventually, he received word that his license renewal was denied by reason of his failure to answer question 6(d). Pierre now owns firearms – registered firearms – in violation of the law, a crime punishable by 10 years in prison. On the webpage where he chronicles his resistance to the Canadian license law, Pierre wonders: " Will I be the first Canadian to be jailed for refusing to tell the state about his love life? Not the last one, I fear."

You can read the rest at the link provided.