Citizen’s arrest not vigilante justice

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: I felt the need to respond to the editorial published in the January 13 edition of The Guardian entitled: “Unlawful action or citizen’s right? A very tough call.” In writing this response, no disrespect is aimed toward the editorial staff at the Garden of the Gulf’s historic newspaper, though I couldn’t help but observe (at least in my opinion) that the piece smacked slightly of the bleeding heart liberalism that has been permeating every aspect of Canadian life since old Pierre Elliott Trudeau took the reins of power in 1968.

In what would appear to be sign of a society turned completely onto its head, a working man tired of getting ripped off by young men decides to actually make sure they learn their lesson this time. They’ve already robbed him and now commit assault. Afterward, in an occurrence proving just how twisted modern Canadian society has become regarding basic morals and the difference between right and wrong, the police deliberate charging the victim with forcible confinement.

The editorial then goes on to state: “Citizens taking the law into their own hands is the start of a slippery slope” and that only the police should have the power to make arrests. Up until about 180 years ago, there were no organized police forces in much of the western world. Under the Statute of Winchester (1285) citizens who witnessed crimes were obligated to summon bystanders to apprehend the suspect in a process known as a “hue and cry.” Upon capture, the nearest law enforcement officer would then charge the suspect.

Owing to this country’s traditional low crime rate, many Canadians have become complacent with regards to safety and personal protection. Sadly, the country my parents and grandparents grew up in no longer exists.

Laying frivolous charges against citizens for merely protecting their property, families or livelihoods has to stop. Every man, woman and child on this planet is born with the natural right to life, liberty and security of the person as outlined in Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Chris McGarry,

Belfast, RR #3

Organizations: The Guardian, Canadian Charter, Rights

Geographic location: Belfast

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