My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jeremy Swanson - Father, Citizen, and Victim....

Barbara Kay has an excellent column in today's National Post about gun owners. Jeremy Swanson's story needs to be widely disseminated...oh, and he's a good friend of mine...
Jeremy Swanson is a poster boy for this phenomenon. A knowledgeable South African-born amateur war historian and ballistics expert, he worked as a civil servant for the War Museum in Ottawa, whose rigorous background checks he successfully passed. (In 1997, he was named the museum's top employee).

Owner of a small antique firearms collection (please don't call them "weapons," he insists), Swanson has never broken the law in his life. He passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Test in 1999 with a 98% score. Even throughout a bitter divorce process, Swanson's ex-wife never alleged domestic or child abuse. Swanson's collection was safety trigger-locked, and stored in a firearm safe, with ammunition stored separately. His wife retained possession of the only two keys, and Swanson had never attempted to re-enter his home after being asked to leave it.

Six months after their separation, in October, 2001, Swanson's wife, who was legally authorized to store the collection elsewhere if she didn't want guns in the house, instead asked the Ottawa police to take the collection -- principally four antique rifles, two non-firing BB guns (falsely recorded as rifles), a toy Luger replica (falsely recorded as real) and some jokey paperweight dummy grenades (all together ominously labelled by the police as a "mini-arsenal")-- into "safekeeping."

Then his real troubles began. Swanson was never informed by the police of the seizure (he found out six months later by chance). From that day to this, he has never been interviewed by the police, let alone arrested or charged with any crime, nor has either a past or present chief of police ever responded to his pleas for a meeting. Although police attempts to declare him a "danger to himself and others" have come to naught, they have entailed several humiliating summons to criminal court.

Swanson remains in the Kafkaesque limbo of a man with no criminal record who for six years has been treated like a criminal, not to mention a social leper, on the basis of nothing. Sadly, I am told by insiders versed in firearms-related law, the injustices Swanson has suffered are in no way unique.


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