Thursday, June 30, 2005

Warriors Want Rifles Back

According to the Vancouver Sun, the RCMP's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team seized 14 Norinco M305 rifles and 10,400 rounds of ammunition from a van occupied by members of an aboriginal warrior society today. The "dramatic police takedown" happened right on the Burrard Street bridge.

The self-described "warriors" said they've been unfairly targeted by police, who have incorrectly labelled them "radicals" and "extremists". The Sun quoted warrior David Dennis as saying "[The RCMP] want to undermine our credibility and create an image in the minds of the public that we are gangsters."

Well, let's take a look at the weapon. The Norinco M305 is a cheap Chinese-made M14 clone. It's a semi-automatic sniper rifle with detachable magazine. Anyone capable of changing magazines efficiently can "throw a lot of brass." Although the M305 is revered by hard-core gun enthusiasts, some think it causes its owners to adopt a lazy "spray and pray" mentality. That's why the warriors had over 10,000 rounds of ammunition for 14 rifles.

Norinco, the company that manufactures the M305, also produces anti-missile systems, tanks, and night vision gear. The Bush administration has banned the importation of all Norinco products into the US. The Norinco M305 might sometimes be used by hunters but it was designed to kill people.

Thank God the cops confiscated these weapons. I hope they don't ever give them back!


Anonymous Kevin Wood said...

hmmm lets see. do you know why they purchased the rifles? obviously not. they where asked to set up a outdoor training program for kids in the Tsawataineuk First Nation community, so they could learn how to hunt and live of the land, instead of huffing gas and doing drugs. as for the rifles themselves, there is nothing evil about the Norinco M305. it is a basic 5 shot semi automatic .308 rifle. it is not an assualt weapon or a sniper rifle. most people seem to think that any firearm with a scope or capable of long range accuracy is instantly a sniper's rifle. there original intention was to purchase Remington M700's, a bolt action hunting rifle, which by the way is also popular around the world with various military and law enforcment groups as a sniper rifle. they choose the M305 because it is a robust reliable firearm, does not require a scope, and is chambered in a popular caliber that is adequete for hunting most any game animal in the country and is low in cost. i myself hunt with a firearm originally "designed to kill people" but have never had the urge, nor will i ever have that desire, just because something can be used for wrong, doesn't mean that it will. the old adage is true, guns don't kill people, people kill people. like the majority of hunters and sport shooters, i obey the law, no matter if i disagree with it or not, and wish to beleft to pursue my chosen hobby in peace, thats all. i would assume it is safe to say that you are not a hunter or have any interest in the shooting sports, so there for you are judging something without trying it. not a very good way to go through life.

to native people the term "warrior" has a different meaning then it does to non native's. i guess the best way to explain it is to say that in an aboriginal community a warrior is a person who is held in high regard. i'm not native so i can't properly explain this, but you can't assume that our definition and thiers are one and the same. you'd be painting a lot of folks with the same brush if you did for example, you wouldn't consider anyone who rode a motorcycle a Hells Angel, would you?

Kevin Wood

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this classic racism?

You're entire article is assuming that the natives were purchasing the firearms to kill people.

You try using incorrect technical jargon to put fear into anyone reading this silly article.

The M305 is not a sniper rifle; the M305 is not any more dangerous than the 'insert rifle name here'.

Canadian firearm laws are some of the strictest in the world; Canadians have spent in excess of 2 billion dollars on a system which doesn't even begin to deal with the real problem:

Illegal usage of firearms!

Most "Gun stories" you read about in the news are committed by criminals with illegally obtained firearms.

Lay off legit gun owners and begin looking at criminals (young offenders?) and the punishments being handed out for crimes committed with firearms... this is where the real scary stories are.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If these people had done something wrong, why where they allowed to carry through the purchase? Why did the police, who obviouisly knew about the purchase not meet the natives at the store or proir to them going to the store and discuss the problem?

A lot of questions here and I am disappointed that a intelligent person like yourself, try to think through the Issue rather then react without thinking!!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weapon? It is a firearm just like any other firearm. The M305 is being used to hunt with and has found a following amongst target shooters as a reliable, reasonably priced rifle to take to competitions.

I own one of these rifles and I KNOW I will not be getting into any trouble with it. I also own a couple of military surplus rifles and I never "throw a lot of brass" or "spray and pray". Your words, and pretty juvenile at that. I resent that you would insinuate all owners of this particular firearm are murderers and criminals.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Ken Gardner said...

OK, point taken everyone. I wasn't as objective as I could have been. For example, I failed to mention the fact that most gun owners are responsible and law obeying people. Although I've owned a few firearms of my own in the past, I'm definitely not a rifle expert.

I really resent being referred to as racist. I don't think that's fair at all. The facts are, as I understand them, that some people with somewhat militant beliefs were transporting an unusually large shipment of rifles and ammunition. Isn't that at least enough to cause a little concern?

Anyway, I might be completely wrong. It's possible that they had entirely innocent uses in mind. If so, I apologize.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"some people with somewhat militant beliefs were transporting an unusually large shipment of rifles and ammunition. Isn't that at least enough to cause a little concern?"

If there was "concern", why did our benevolent Federal Government allow the transaction to take place? You do know that *every* purchase of a firearm must be approved of by the CFC, don't you?

There is nothing that I can think of that is as strictly controlled as the legal sale and ownership of firearms. This, of course, does nothing to address the *illegal* sales...

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"OK, point taken everyone. I wasn't as objective as I could have been." - Kevin Wood

I just started reading this blog and I have to say that I applaud your willingness to learn from your mistakes instead of just getting defensive. Canadians have a tendancy to believe that everything in the media is true. My own eyes were recently opened to how the media deliberately spins stories to either play up the dramatic or to serve their own political perspectives and now I'm wary of everything they say or print.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moron who wrote this should be brutally made fun of until he's to the point where leaving his house is an embarrassment to himself.

You racist ignorant hog.
Get a life.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous John said...

"Norinco, the company that manufactures the M305, also produces anti-missile systems, tanks, and night vision gear. The Bush administration has banned the importation of all Norinco products into the US. The Norinco M305 might sometimes be used by hunters but it was designed to kill people.

Thank God the cops confiscated these weapons. I hope they don't ever give them back!" are a classic un-informed anti-gun idiot. These guns are are a lot of things but sniper rifles they are not. These rifles are cheap & reliable - just what you would want for training.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say you have in the past owned firearms. Why then do you write this kind of missleading trash (the only word I can think of that fits). As a past firearms owner you would know that what you said was simply inflammitory rhetoric. Do you spout your anti-gun sentiments just to show how pollitically correct you are or what a hypocrite you are?
As you say most gun owners(99.9%) are responsible and law abiding people yet by writing this drivel you paint us all as a bunch of potential psychopaths ("spray and pray").
By putting the word warriors in quotation marks shows that you are a racist as you do not understand the facts or anything about the First Nations culture. Ignorance of another persons culture does not excuse rasism.
Warriors do not just go out and kill the enemy, they are responsible for the well being of the tribe which includes finding food and shelter. To be a good warrior it is not just how many "scalps" you collect but how good of a hunter you are and how well you look after your family. This group of people was asked to buy some hunting rifles and teach young natives how to hunt period, nothing more. Obviously they would need more than one rifle. To become proficient in their use takes practice hence the amount of ammunition they had. Nothing unusual at all about this. As a past gun owner you should be aware of this. More overstatment?

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken wrote "Although I've owned a few firearms of my own in the past, I'm definitely not a rifle expert."
And probably not in the recent past since if you were you would know as others have mentioned that ALL purchases/transfers of firearms have to be individually approved by both the Federal Registry AND the Provicial Firearms Office. If it really was an issue why was it approved?

Also Ken wrote, "were transporting an unusually large shipment of rifles and ammunition. " Actually this is NOT unusually large. Most private transports of firearms and ammunition are "unusually SMALL" since true SHIPMENTS are business related most times and will consist of large quantities.

As a private shooter who competes in matches of several types I have to practice frequently and diligently to maintain my skil levels. I have friends and family who do the same. Just this small group of people uses well in excess of 10,000 rounds per person per year.

If instruction/training is the intent then 10,000 rounds is just enough to get them started. And with good training we can maintain the standard of safety in this country. For all that ammo being fired no one I know has ever had an unsafe discharge.

If you want to tar and feather whole groups of people perhaps you should reconsider your choice of career and join a Rwandan Hit squad and massacre 100,000's of people with machetes. Or a Nazi SS unit and make sure the Jews are disarmed and helpless for when they are to be rounded up and taken to concentration camps for execution.

My point here is not to suggest that you are that type of person, but rather point out that disarming does nothing to prevent killing victims, but that it does make it impossible for victims to avoid being killed. As long as people exist they will kill each other, firearms just give the minorities a chance to defend themselves.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Ken Gardner said...


You are right. A rifle is just a tool, like a knife or a hammer. Like other tools, a rifle is only dangerous if handled incorrectly. To you, and everyone else who objected to my post, I apologize. I was wrong. When I described the rifle, I did not consider the many sportsmen who use it in a safe manner.

I admit that I don’t know a lot about native culture. I assume, however, that the word “warrior” has a less negative connotation to natives than it does to me. I do understand English though. Here is the dictionary definition of the word “warrior”:

someone engaged in or experienced in warfare

It might be helpful to their image if this group referred to themselves in a friendlier way. A word like “brave” might seem less confrontational than “warrior.”

To the anonymous person who asked “Isn't this classic racism?,“

I don’t stereotype people by race, religion, or anything else. At least, I do my best not to. I try to base my opinion of individuals on their actions. Here are the facts, as I understand them.

The RCMP confiscated the firearms from David Dennis and James Ward, members of the BC Warriors’ Society. Dennis once led office occupations and road blockades over fishing rights. Ward played a very prominent role in the conflict over lobster fishing in Burnt Church, N.B., several years ago.

Dennis and Ward said the guns and ammunition were for use as part of an outdoor indigenous traditional training program on the Tsawataineuk First Nation. The Tsawataineuk First Nation was involved in a blockade to stop logging in the Holden Creek area earlier this year.

These facts don’t necessarily mean that the B.C Warriors’ Society wants to create a militia training camp. I can see why they caught the attention of the RCMP though. Dennis and Ward aren't well known because they are expert marksmen or deerhunters. They are political activists.

To the anonymous person who called me a “racist ignorant hog.”

I might be an ignorant hog but I ain’t racist.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The original post on this thread is truly distressing. To begin with, the author includes a dramatic description of an ordinary WW2 style rifle that is full of irrelevant, sensationalized comments. But assuming I accept the author's description at face value, the question remains: what law did these gun owners break in order to get their property confiscated? The answer is, "None." One of the hallmarks of a just legal system is that, as long as one practices the law, one's blood, property, and dignity are preserved. When police have the liberty of taking the law into their own hands, we no longer have a predictable legal system. What is the point of having laws if those who obey them are not safe at the hands of law-enforcement officers?

5:59 AM  
Blogger Ken Gardner said...

Good points. The Americans have recently illustrated how badly things can deteriorate as soon as laws are disregarded. Just look at the situations in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison.

On the other hand, I think this issue raises an interesting question. What if a group with terrorist intentions established an outdoor training camp? As long as they didn't break any laws, I guess they could openly train and organize. That would be a frustrating situation for the police.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Ken Gardner said...

The West Coast Warrior Society (BC Warrior Society) shut down today.

Warriors spokesperson Taiaiake Alfred said the group had lost community support in the Aboriginal community.

"What this has done is created a climate of fear among native people in the province and they've found that the widespread support that was existing for direct action and physical defence of territory is no longer there among native peoples."

Kudos to the native community in BC. The majority of natives know that they will not earn respect by wearing camouflage clothing, bearing arms, and blockading roads.

7:08 PM  

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