The Solicitor General of British Columbia, John Van Dongen, will travel to Ottawa tomorrow to discuss among other things, changes to legislation regarding bulletproof vests. The argument is that because of the recent explosion of gang violence in BC, where some gang members wear bulletproof vests and drive armored vehicles, that some sort of legislation is required to protect us.
Obviously this is a public relations stunt that will have no impact on public safety or gang crime. Laws against drugs and automatic weapons obviously don’t work, and neither will laws against body armor. Only law abiding citizens will be affected by laws against body armor.
A ban won’t work because:
It won’t reduce the number of gangsters wearing body armor
It won’t reduce the supply of drugs
It won’t reduce the demand for drugs
It won’t reduce the supply of guns and automatic weapons
It won’t stop our youth from joining gangs
Law enforcement is both public and private. Security guards in BC, are trained through the Justice Institute. As a security guard, I sometimes find myself in dangerous situations in the highest crime neighborhoods in the greater Vancouver area. I have been in an alley in the Downtown Eastside alone all night guarding thousands of dollars worth of copper wire. I should have the right to purchase and wear protection against stabbing, beating, or bullets without restriction.
As citizens, we all have the right to wear any protective equipment we deem necessary, whether it is a helmet, knee pads, or body armor. Imagine if you, or someone you loved were threatened with violence. Shouldn’t you have the right to wear protective body armor? If a woman fears harm from an ex-partner, shouldn’t she be allowed to protect herself with a purely defensive item? Should a previous unrelated criminal record exclude her from wearing a protective vest?
So far no details of proposed changes have been released, but there is a chance that as politicians climb over each other to appear more anti-gang that some very poorly thought out changes to the criminal code that could restrict the availability of body armor for Canadian citizens and even licensed security guards. Because licensing for security is a provincial issue, drafting a federal law that would still allow security officers to wear body armor is problematic.
I am attempting to get ahold of the Solicitor General and Attorney General of BC to ensure that ay legislation are properly aimed at gangs and violent criminals. If you are concerned with changes or would like to help in my efforts to protect those in the security industry, contact myself at email@example.com
Please call or write our provincial and federal politicians with your concerns:
BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Hon. John van Dongen
Phone: 250 356-7717
Phone: 604 870-5945
Fax: 250 356-8270
BC Attorney General
Hon. Wally Oppal, Q.C.
Phone: 250 387-1866
Phone: 604 775-2246
Fax: 250 387-6411
Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada
Hon. Rob Nicholson
House of Commons
Telephone: (613) 995-1547
Fax: (613) 992-7910
Minister of Public Safety
Hon. Peter Van Loan
House of Commons
Telephone: (613) 996-7752
Fax: (613) 992-8351