“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Ben Franklin
Canada did NOT lose its innocence last week.
We carried the democratic cross through the fires of Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge, to the shores of Dieppe and Juno, onto the fields of Kapyong, through every other hostile land on this planet until most recently, through the sands of Afghanistan.
The actions of two deranged, weak-minded, maladjusted murderers achieved nothing.
We’ve been through far worse trials and tribulations. We will pull through this one. Our nation’s soul and spine remain intact.
The weeks and months ahead will determine if our collective brain is also still functioning.
By virtue of my citizenship, I am a free man. I along with every other person lucky enough to be born in this magnificent country or who make their way to our shores inherits a freedom legacy from those who went before us.
Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo are the latest of our soldiers to be crucified so the rest of us can live in peace.
If we want to honour their sacrifice, we must remain a free, open and tolerant society where reason prevails and justice rules.
I was born free. I intend to die free.
I will not yield any of my civil liberties to either the primitive terrorist savages who seek to frighten us or to the wimps and cowards who would trade their blood-bought gift of freedom for the illusion of security in the face of such belligerence.
I’m also not going to live my life paranoid, constantly fearing that every bump in the night is one of ‘them.’
I’m going to carry on.
Our nation must carry on and shake off the blow we were dealt.
It is not only the best way to honour the fallen, it is the only way to deny the terrorists their victory.
Our elites will naturally try to take full advantage of this situation to ram through dumb laws that will do nothing but expand the state’s ability to intrude on our personal lives.
Our CF-18s have already been deployed to Iraq in a campaign that is destined to take its place in the tragic annals of futile conflicts along with Vietnam and - in the mother of ironies - the current Iraq war which has left the Middle East enfeebled and vulnerable to thugs like ISIS who thrive in atmospheres of death and carnage.
None of this will make us safer.
None of this would have prevented the brutal acts of savagery last Monday in Quebec and Wednesday in Ottawa. It will not prevent such acts in the future.
There’s a difference between organized acts of terrorism like what we saw on September 11, 2001, the risk of which can be mitigated, and acts of terrorism perpetuated by lone losers who break with reality like what we saw last week. We can pass all the insane laws we want, chase windmills through Iraq and Syria, burn billions of dollars on war and surveillance and there will still be a small risk to us from an isolated madman in our midst.
So, here are a few observations. Take them or leave them.
Freedom of speech, thought, religion, expression and assembly are sacrosanct. Tolerate zero infringements by the state regardless of the justifications it offers.
If we truly love our soldiers half as much as we claim to on Twitter and Facebook pressure our politicians to adequately fund and staff Veterans Affairs. Reopening the VA offices would be a good start. Twenty years of cutbacks in this area are a national disgrace.
The War on Terrorism is a war of shadows not battlefields. It will be won through intelligence gathering, infiltration and use of our special forces. It will not be won through invading and occupying other countries and bombing them into the Stone Age. Case in point – the West invaded Iraq and Afghanistan only to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Resist racism everywhere. Both of last week’s murderers were white boys born and raised in Canada. They would have snuck through any racial profiling system devised.
Also, don’t blame this on immigration. Like I said, these cowards were homegrown.
Carry on! Live, laugh and love to the fullest. We’ve been hit before and we will suffer tragedy again in the future. You can choose to cower or you can choose to stand. I’m going to stand. I hope you’ll stand with me.
Ethan Rabidoux was a broadcast journalist for six years and is now an author. More information about his work can be found at www.ethanrabidoux.com.