Saturday, June 29, 2013

Maintain the RIGHT - sieze those guns.

It seems as though everyone from High River residents to the Federal Government is irate at the RCMP. With the mandate to try and preserve and protect life, the RCMP are searching houses in the High River area, a natural disaster flood zone, searching for both survivors and corpses.

With fears of potential looting, the RCMP are also siezing any unsecured firearms that they come across.

Let's get a few things straight. Police see infractions and offenses every day, from not signalling to make a lane change - to damaging property, minor thefts, drunk and disorderly, and any number of illegal activities. If the police were to charge for every offense or infraction they investigated, got reported, or came across, they would need quadruple the resources just to deal with the paperwork.

Police are trained to be afraid of firearms. They are dangerous and they kill people. They need to be respected and treated with extreme caution. As such, firearms, if in the house, should be secured. Ideally, both a trigger lock and a gun safe for double protection. They should definitely not be loaded inside the house and ammunition should be kept separately from the firearm.

Police don't have the authority to enter any house, unless exigent circumstances exist.

In the case of the High River Flood. Residents were given a mandatory evacuation order.

Houses had to be searched in order to determine if the people were safe. Police entered houses for the purpose of welfare checks. Shockingly, some people did not leave!

Police, risking their own safety, working in humid and horrific circumstances, trudged through raw sewage and filthy polluted waters inside houses. Police may come across rotting, stinking, drowned corpses.

Police also came across unsecured firearms, and as their training dictates, seized those firearms. They did so for two reasons. One - the houses they entered were no longer secure and the firearms needed to be secured from looters. Two - it is illegal to not safely store a firearm and they had the lawful authority to seize unsecured firearms they found in plain view.

The police don't have the time or the authority to search every nook and cranny of a house for unsecured firearms. They didn't go through drawers, cupboards, etc. They didn't toss houses looking for illegal things, as they would do in the case of a search warrant. They walked through houses doing a search for corpses, people not complying with the evacuation order, or people in distress who needed medical attention.

If they didn't find anyone, they moved onto the next non-compliant house. If they saw something illegal and dangerous, they secured it, then moved onto the next house in order to try and save lives.

An important part of protecting and preserving life is trying to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of dangerous people - like those who would loot a flood ravaged town.

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