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Old 01-05-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
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Man charged for defending his home with a firearm

In case there are some gun owners here, this should make you think twice before using you firearm to defend your family...as sad and ridiculous the story is.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews...xmZfQ.like%22}


"Protecting home and family with force is a risky move in Canada, the good guys are just as likely to be charged as the thugs.

Ian Thomson was finally acquitted this week, after the judge ruled the former firearms instructor had no choice but to defend himself when attackers firebombed his rural Ontario home. Thomson has spent thousands defending himself.

"I frankly don't know how I am going to come up with the rest of the money," Thomson told Sun News Network's Brian Lilley on Byline.

Canada's justice system has a knack for punishing people for defending themselves and their property, often called "castle law."

MORE: Court drops final charge against Ontario man who fired shots to protect his home under attack by firebombers

Joseph and Marilyn Singleton of Taber, Alberta spent $30,000 in court. When the couple returned home in May 2010, thieves that had ransacked their house tried to drive through their garage door. Joe hit one of the thugs with an axe handle to keep him from running over Marilyn. The homeowner was charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

Lawrence Manzer from Burton, New Brunswick was dragged through court after he was charged with possessing a weapon for a purpose dangerous to public peace. The former Canadian Forces soldier had carried an unloaded shot gun onto his neighbour's yard to help protect his property from vandals. The case was eventually thrown out on a technicality.

And Toronto police famously charged shopkeeper David Chen and restaurant owner Naveen Polapady after they defended their properties from thieves.

Chen was found not guilty and was the catalyst for the federal government to change Citizen Arrest laws. The Prime Minister is also awarding him the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The feds say they are trying to keep Canadians who defend themselves out of courts.

"This is why we introduced and passed the Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act," Sean Phelan, spokesman for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement to QMI. "This legislation provides clear direction on the use of citizen's arrest, self-defence and the defence of property. The fact is Canadians who have been the victim of a crime should not be re-victimized by the criminal justice system."

The law allows Canadians to use "reasonable" force to make a citizen's arrest or defend themselves - but charges can still be laid and it's up to judges to decide what "reasonable" means."
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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sun news network.... the fox news of canada... i dont know how that things able to exist in canada

and he was acquitted how odd to be discussing the charge now instead of concentrating on his acquittal

im more interested in the story of why was his house firebombed...
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Good on him for doing that and I would do the exact same thing. I would do anything to protect my house and family and if I have to make the decision between them or the other guy I wouldn't think twice with what I would have to do
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #4
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Meanwhile in America someone shoots a salesperson in the head because they "trespassed" and doesn't get charged or anything
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Good on him for doing that and I would do the exact same thing. I would do anything to protect my house and family and if I have to make the decision between them or the other guy I wouldn't think twice with what I would have to do
Same here

There's a saying: "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

If someone comes into my home and poses a threat to my family, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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Good on him for doing that and I would do the exact same thing. I would do anything to protect my house and family and if I have to make the decision between them or the other guy I wouldn't think twice with what I would have to do
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Same here

There's a saying: "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

If someone comes into my home and poses a threat to my family, I wouldn't hesitate.
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You two are missing the point.

Thomson was charged for mishandling a firearm, not defending his home and family. If the firearm had been handled more responsibly, none of this would have happened. Why would you repeat the errors of Thompson, when a preferable alternative exists?

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im more interested in the story of why was his house firebombed...
Thompson had a pre-existing dispute with a neighbor, somewhat ironically escalated by him shooting their chickens for wandering into his yard.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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From the St. Catharine Standard, quite a different spin on it. Charges for careless discharge were dropped relatively quickly, but he had charges of 'unsafe storage of weapon and ammunition'. Timeline at the bottom for those who're interested.

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WELLAND - Canadians’ right to protect themselves and their property was upheld in a Welland courtroom on Thursday, as Ian Thomson was acquitted of all charges against him in a case dating back more than two years.

“I’m somewhat relieved, but it still hasn’t sunk in,” said Thomson late Thursday afternoon.

The Port Colborne man had been facing a count of careless use of a firearm and one count of pointing a firearm from an incident on Aug. 22, 2010, when he fired shots to ward off three men who were attempting to firebomb his home.

While those charges were dismissed early on, Niagara Regional Police charged him with two counts of careless storage of firearms, charges which could have seen him sent to prison for a few years if convicted.

In an interview with Sun News Network, Thomson said he had no option but to protect himself when the men, who were sentenced to prison in early December, threw a number of Molotov cocktails at his Snider Rd. home.

The former firearms instructor told Sun News’s Brian Lilley that all of his guns were legally-owned.

“I wasn’t surprised … I knew as soon as I used a firearm to protect my life that charges would be laid,” he told Lilley on Friday morning. “The Crown seemed to have an agenda to make an example of me and to put the fear into every firearms owner in Canada that you’re not allowed to defend your life in circumstances like I faced.”

Thomson wanted to thank supporters who showed up for his trial and those who have contributed to his legal defence fund.

“There were people from all over Niagara and Canada that came to court,” he told The Tribune.

Though acquitted by Judge Tory Colvin, whose judgment was rendered in a half-hour-long decision, Thomson and his lawyer Ed Burlew, Canada’s top gun speciality lawyer, both said the Crown could appeal the decision.

“The Crown will look it over and figure out what its next step will be,” said Burlew on Friday.

“It was an excellent decision and I don’t think there were any errors in law … there’s nothing to me that I would see as constituting grounds to appeal,” the Thornhill-based lawyer said.

Burlew said the judge found Thomson had his guns safely stored in a steel locker and that the ammunition, which was stored in his bedroom, was not readily accessible to the guns.

Crown attorney Bob Mahler had made an issue of the ammunition and how accessible it and the gun was to Thomson during the final stages of the trial in March 2011.

Burlew said Thomson had to get the key to his gun safe from a hidden location, unlock the safe and get the gun: “It was never easily accessible.”

Colvin, the lawyer said, also relied heavily on video surveillance of the attack on Thomson’s home during his decision.

“The external video was a very important part of the acquittal,” said Burlew.

If an appeal is granted, Thomson told Sun News Network he’s not going to quit.

“I did not break the law, I did nothing wrong,” he said, adding the Crown misinterpreted the law.

Burlew said his client is looking forward to enjoying a normalized life in his home and is glad the ordeal is over.

“He was determined … he knew he was innocent and was steadfast in maintaining that. We were confident this (the acquittal) would occur. The law was clear.”

As for Thomson’s guns, seized by police when he was charged, Burlew said if there is no appeal then the firearms and other items taken will be returned.



Timeline

Aug. 22, 2010: Thomson’s Port Colborne home is attacked by four assailants launching Molotov cocktails and uttering death threats. Inside the home at the time, Thomson fires three shots to ward off the attackers.

Aug. 23, 2010: Niagara Regional Police charge Thomson with careless use of a firearm.

November 2010: Niagara Regional Police and the Crown attorney’s office lay three additional firearms charges against Thomson relating to the August incident.

December 2010: Two men are arrested in connection with the incident. Randy Weaver, of Port Colborne, and Justin Lee, of Welland, were each charged with arson disregard for human life. Two additional men are later charged in relation to the incident — Richard Coulthearst, of Welland, and Michael Theberge, of Port Colborne.

March 2, 2011: A peaceful protest is held outside of the Welland courthouse in support of Thomson as he returns to court.

March 2, 2011: Two charges against Thomson are dropped by the Crown.

Jan. 30, 2012: Thomson’s trial for the remaining firearms charges begins in a Welland courtroom. After two days, the trial is adjourned to May and then again adjourned to October.

Oct. 25, 2012: Judge Tory Colvin requires more time to review submissions on the case and adjourns to Jan. 3, 2013.

Dec. 3, 2012: The four accused in the firebombing of Thomson’s home are sentenced in St. Catharines court.

Jan. 3, 2013: Thomson acquitted on all four counts, which include the two previously dropped charges. The Crown has 30 days to appeal.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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But guys everyone with a gun wants to kill everyone all the time everywhere. Thats why they bought the gun
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:22 PM   #10
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@Mindbomber His charge for mishandling (storage of) a firearm was from setting it down on a table while waiting for authorities wasn't it? Or was there something else?

I will admit that I am not super familiar with the event but everything I've read so far doesn't say how he was careless in using it. He did put it down with it loaded when he was waiting for authorities. But that would probably be the last thing on my mind when it's come to a point where I've had to discharge my firearm.

Not trolling/ arguing. Just trying to get more info.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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@Mindbomber His charge for mishandling (storage of) a firearm was from setting it down on a table while waiting for authorities wasn't it? Or was there something else?

I will admit that I am not super familiar with the event but everything I've read so far doesn't say how he was careless in using it. He did put it down with it loaded when he was waiting for authorities. But that would probably be the last thing on my mind when it's come to a point where I've had to discharge my firearm.

Not trolling/ arguing. Just trying to get more info.
oh sweet. my neighbours just tried to firebomb my house. luckily i had a gun to scare them off.

now that they're gone i should unload the gun, take the ammunition and store it back into its box and the gun back in the safe and then hide the key
again while i wait for authorities to arrive.

i'm sure my neighbours wont come back with more firebombs or possibly their own guns.






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Old 01-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #12
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@Mindbomber His charge for mishandling (storage of) a firearm was from setting it down on a table while waiting for authorities wasn't it? Or was there something else?

I will admit that I am not super familiar with the event but everything I've read so far doesn't say how he was careless in using it. He did put it down with it loaded when he was waiting for authorities. But that would probably be the last thing on my mind when it's come to a point where I've had to discharge my firearm.

Not trolling/ arguing. Just trying to get more info.

Most people think that they will know what to do, but they don't, and end up fucking up when the police arrive.

Do what you have to do, and then empty the gun and get it as far away from you as possible without throwing it in the trash, the police will need to seize it for evidence.

The worst thing you can do is leave your own weapon loaded, near you when the police arrive, they don't know who you are, and they will take the same steps that you just took to defend themselves.

Get out of your house and put your hands up, knees to the ground when the police come around.


Your gun license isn't a badge, make it obvious that you aren't a threat or it'll bite you in the ass.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #13
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But guys everyone with a gun wants to kill everyone all the time everywhere. Thats why they bought the gun
I'm not following, who has criticized all gun owners?

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Originally Posted by lungfish23 View Post
@Mindbomber His charge for mishandling (storage of) a firearm was from setting it down on a table while waiting for authorities wasn't it? Or was there something else?

I will admit that I am not super familiar with the event but everything I've read so far doesn't say how he was careless in using it. He did put it down with it loaded when he was waiting for authorities. But that would probably be the last thing on my mind when it's come to a point where I've had to discharge my firearm.

Not trolling/ arguing. Just trying to get more info.
No, not exactly. The Sun is a terrible source for information.

The charges were based on a belief Thompson improperly stored firearms leading up to the event; the location of the firearms and ammunition in the home, and chain of events, as described by Thompson, himself, were the basis of the charges. If you read Thompson's description of the events, it comes across as very unnatural. It's goes something like, he heard the people, woke up, unlocked the case and trigger locks for two handguns, loaded them in the bedroom, put one down on the bed, carried the other outside (all in under one minute), shot three times, went back inside, repeated the earlier unlocking and loading in the kitchen, went outside, went back inside and put it down, put the first gun in his underwear, and started putting out the fire. I might not have that exactly correct, but that's the general idea. The Investigating Officer believed the series of events unfolded too quickly for Thompson to not have the guns unlocked, loaded, and stored around the house. The prosecutor also held the contention, Thompson improperly stored ammunition by keeping 61 rounds in his bedside table.

The charges for discharging and pointing a firearm are standard, they have to do with use of force laws. In Canada, you're charged, and then prove to a Judge the force was within reasonable limits given the situation. Those charges were dropped quickly because they were deemed reasonable.

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oh sweet. my neighbours just tried to firebomb my house. luckily i had a gun to scare them off.

now that they're gone i should unload the gun, take the ammunition and store it back into its box and the gun back in the safe and then hide the key
again while i wait for authorities to arrive.

i'm sure my neighbours wont come back with more firebombs or possibly their own guns.
:
Thompson still had one gun in his underwear when the Police arrived, but I've seen no mention of that in the article posted by the OP.

If the charges were based on having a loaded gun on hand while waiting for the authorities, I would think, that would be a crux of the case, and included in the article.

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:13 PM   #14
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I'm not following, who has criticized all gun owners?

I'm just engaging in far, far left hyperbole to parody some of the attitudes I've seen towards gun ownership here on Revscene.
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[14-01, 13:15] GLOW older the chicken, sweeter the stirfry
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
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I'm just engaging in far, far left hyperbole to parody some of the attitudes I've seen towards gun ownership here on Revscene.
I see. The attitudes of firearms proponents on the far, far right are equally distasteful.

Hey, 2damaxMR2, miss your 'Fail' button?

Anyway, I see an apparent lesson in this case. One that is not firearms related.

Be a good neighbor.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:01 AM   #16
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Most people think that they will know what to do, but they don't, and end up fucking up when the police arrive.

Do what you have to do, and then empty the gun and get it as far away from you as possible without throwing it in the trash, the police will need to seize it for evidence.

The worst thing you can do is leave your own weapon loaded, near you when the police arrive, they don't know who you are, and they will take the same steps that you just took to defend themselves.

Get out of your house and put your hands up, knees to the ground when the police come around.


Your gun license isn't a badge, make it obvious that you aren't a threat or it'll bite you in the ass.
dude, you're an idiot. What kind of idiot would be so retarded to remove the ammunition from his gun while he is waiting for help.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:09 AM   #17
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dude, you're an idiot. What kind of idiot would be so retarded to remove the ammunition from his gun while he is waiting for help.
Someone who doesn't want to get shot by an officer? You sound like your ideal guy still has his gun on him.

There have been more incidents involving what I just mentioned than you might have imagined possible.


Ask an officer, any officer, what he or she would do if they saw a man with a gun (or a gun near him) when they answer a call regarding violent intrusion/assault.

Best not to take the chance.




If you're talking about leaving your firearm loaded, but away from you, then you run the risk of being accused of improper handling. Go for it if that's your thing.

---

I fail to see why you had to be so rude, this topic is up for discussion, but not for slander. If you want to talk about the merits and demerits of laying down your arms after an incident, I'll entertain it, but don't go calling people idiots for starting a valid (and rather serious) branch of discussion.

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Old 01-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #18
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Oh god...I hate gun laws. Just a very ugly area of the law.

On one hand, you have: The United States Do not want anything like their obsession with being able to blow the masses away with a single pull of the trigger, sleeping with an uzi.

On the other hand, you have Canada: The bad guys have guns...we have trigger locks and gun safes and bullets all locked so if you wake up to someone in your home, you are a good couple of minutes before you can go and defend it, and yourself.

I've had people break into our house when we were asleep. And I'm going to tell you, I felt better when I heard the pump of my father's shot gun coming down the stairs.

Then a little worry as I realized he'd be the type to shoot them.

I like the freedom that guns entail, but not the issues of a gun friendly culture. I hate that guns are treated worse than crimes in Canada. But I don't know that I'd want to risk changing it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:26 AM   #19
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"the judge ruled the former firearms instructor had no choice but to defend himself when attackers firebombed his rural Ontario home. Thomson has spent thousands defending himself."

So, based on what I have read, the judge said he was justified in what he did. The "unsafe storage" charges were not proven.

"He was acquitted of the remaining improper storage charge after Justice Tory Colvin ruled Thomson kept his guns safely stored in a steel locker and that the ammunition, which was stored in his bedroom, was not readily accessible to the guns."

His actions in getting hold of the guns wold not be difficult to do for a firearms instructor who is fully experienced in the handling of the guns. The crown did not prove he had broken any laws in the 'storage". Even if he had, the judge said he had no choice but to defend himself in the way he did.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #20
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Thompson had a pre-existing dispute with a neighbor, somewhat ironically escalated by him shooting their chickens for wandering into his yard.
If you have chickens, keep them in your own yard.
I don't want them on my property sticking up the place or causing a raucous.

If you see me eating some fried chicken, you know you dun-goofed and didn't keep what is yours under control.



Seriously though.
I WILL EAT YOUR CHICKENS.

This is not a threat.
It is a FACT.

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Hey, 2damaxMR2, miss your 'Fail' button?
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:55 PM   #22
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If you have chickens, keep them in your own yard
I don't want them on my property sticking up the place or causing a raucous.

If you see me eating some fried chicken, you know you dun-goofed and didn't keep what is yours under control.



Seriously though.
I WILL EAT YOUR CHICKENS.

This is not a threat.
It is a
Life in the Country is very different from the City.

A few chickens wandering over the property line is a normal event, and certainly nothing to be concerned by happening. The neighbors dogs wander over to visit us all the time, and a few times their cows have gone wandering past our windows after breaking out.

Thompson lived in the Country, but maybe he should have stayed in the City where big fences are the norm and livestock is not.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #23
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if people get that upset about chickens crossing into your property imagine how upset natives were when the british came into north america.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:28 PM   #24
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if people get that upset about chickens crossing into your property imagine how upset natives were when the british came into north america.
Funny, though. If some RS member created a thread asking what to do about their neighbours chickens walking onto their backyard, I bet at least one of the first few posts would be about shooting them.

Now we know what the outcome would be.

You reading this apple guy?
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:48 PM   #25
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I see. The attitudes of firearms proponents on the far, far right are equally distasteful.

Hey, 2damaxMR2, miss your 'Fail' button?

Anyway, I see an apparent lesson in this case. One that is not firearms related.

Be a good neighbor.
Go fuck yourself.
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