2/06 Defeated Politician Assaulted; No Bodyguards

Defeated Politician Assaulted; No Bodyguards

by Pierre Lemieux

In a Dec. 31 page-one title, Montreal daily La Presse asked: “Was Pettigrew Careless?” For the Foreign Affairs minister did not have a bodyguard with him when, like a humble and disarmed citizen, he was assaulted in a Montreal subway station. Although not much is known about the double aggression (a Good Samaritan coming to the minister’s rescue was also assaulted), it appears that it was not politically motivated. The alleged aggressor is a 24-year-old black man who has no criminal record, but is not Einstein either: he told the judge he agreed with submitting to a psychiatric evaluation if it was “for the good of society.”

Don’t count on me to shed tears on a minister downgraded to a simple victimized citizen, after being an accomplice to a state that has spent a few decades crushing the individual’s right of self-defence, humiliating us, and erasing the sentiment of individual sovereignty up to the point where most people can’t even imagine that they could protect themselves.

As for the Good Samaritan threatened species, its members are, like the victims of crime, forbidden to carry any means of self-defence, and are thus unequal in a confrontation with thugs. We hear stories of witnesses to gang crimes being afraid to talk to the police.

The wicked 1977 Bill C-51 made carrying a handgun almost legally impossible (except for state agents). And the very first government Order on prohibited weapons, issued as early as 1978, banned carrying Mace against human aggressors. Obviously, the statocrats’ target was self-defence itself.

In Canada like in England, the message is received loud and clear by all thugs and bullies: individuals are defenceless. After decades of an increasingly severe regime, peaceful citizens have become defenceless in their minds too. When somebody is killed by a bear in a forest or by a thug in Toronto, nobody can imagine that a life could have been saved if the victim, a friend, or a passerby had been armed. American economists John Lott and Gill Landes estimate that, from 1977 to 1999, deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent when state governments decriminalized concealed carry of handguns.

Politicians should not have armed bodyguards. In case of danger, they should behave like us, their supposed masters: call the police or, if the police can’t be there, exert the same right of self-defence as belongs to any individual. The praetorian units assigned to the politicos’ protection could then be disbanded. If this idea had been implemented before June 23, 2001, it would have saved at least one life.

On that day, a perilous car chase occurred on a Montreal’s expressway. Driving the pursuing car was Jocelyn Hotte, an RCMP cop who worked as a politicians’ and foreign dignitaries’ bodyguard, the same sort of praetorian La Presse wants to see behind Pierre Pettigrew everywhere. The pursued car was driven by Hotte’s former girlfriend, Lucie Gelinas, who was riding with three male friends. Shooting his RCMP issued pistol from his moving car, Hotte pumped some 15 bullets into Ms. Gelinas’s car.

The jury later heard the 911 recording of Lucie Gelinas screaming for help as Hotte was ramming her car and shooting. The three passengers could not return fire because, of course, they were not armed, which would have been a Criminal Code offence liable to several years in jail. Lucie Gelinas was hit and killed. Her three passengers sustained serious bullet wounds. Four years later, Pierre Mainville, one of the passengers, says about Hotte, “He got 25 years in prison and I got life in a wheelchair.”

I bet that if the politicians were totally downgraded to the rank of ordinary citizens facing violence, they would very quickly change the “laws” (so-called) that prevent us from defending ourselves.

Besides disarming their bodyguards and not allowing the statocrats’ any special right or tool of self-defence, I would make another proposal, along the lines of the old Venetian custom: as explains economist Mancur Olson, “the doges were followed in official processions by a sword-bearing symbolic executioner as a reminder of the punishment intended for any leader who attempted to assume dictatorial power.”