Ask the Hammer

I’ll be honest. About the only thing I think should be banned are assault rifles – automatic/semi -automatic/non-automatic – all of them.

I’ll also confess that many years ago (many) in the country, I’d shoot my grandfather’s beebee gun and the 22 caliber rifle at targets off the dock. I preferred the former as the noise level when shooting was minimal compared to the 22 – but I did once fire the 22 straight up in the air to get the attention of the neighbors who were blaring their car radio while working outside (why people cancel out the sounds of nature, has always eluded me).

Many, many years later, I learned from an episode of CSI-Miami, that even if one fires a gun straight up in the air, eventually that bullet will come back to earth and can have a fatal outcome blocks or even miles away. I never fired like that again!

To be clear, I am not against hunters having rifles, but no one needs to own several (read dozens) to go out and kill wildlife.

So back to the topic of bans. Now Premier François Legault intends to introduce (and pass given his majority electoral win) legislation that would prohibit public servants, such as himself, from wearing religious symbols on the job.

We won’t know the specifics until the proposed Bill is tabled; will only those symbols that show religion overtly on an employee be banned or will there be body scans set up at public service job entrances to check that no such accoutrement is worn under the clothing?

Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women and

Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

have been challenged for philosophy and language…

You may sneer or laugh at this question, but once a ban is put into place, how far will the “interpretations” by authorities charged with enforcing the ban, go?  We should not only fear the legislation itself but also the far reaching effects any ban can have subsequent to its’ enactment.

Take books for example. In the USA, public libraries and schools have the ability to limit children’s choice of books. There are also “challenges” to books which ultimately can lead to a book being banned. Books by Chaucer, Voltaire and Hemingway have been banned. Text books in school rooms are ultimately approved (or not) by each state. Huck Finn by Mark Twain was listed in 2007 by the American Library Association as the 5th most commonly banned book in the USA due to supposed ‘racism’.  In 2007!

Even Harry Potter could not escape OPMs (other people’s morality) and the series was the most frequently challenged book in 2001 and 2002 because of alleged anti-family, occult, religious view points, and violence.  Heck – whoever challenges books based on violence should then start with the Bible!

In 2017, US libraries, schools and universities have challenged or banned books, including To Kill A Mockingbird, for discussing race, suicide, transgender identity and of course, sex.

While back in Canada the practice of challenging and banning books is not common practice.  This is not to say we are free from censorship.

Such books as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been challenged for violence, language, sex (the usual), and Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women for philosophy and language; and let’s not forget Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz for the same reasons.

Personally, while I may choose not to read certain books for various reasons, I rail against such censorship as it is a slippery slope that once trodden can lead to very negative results. And I feel the same way about Mr. Legault’s proposed law.

Me. Hammerschmid has practiced Family Law since 1982; Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates; founding & current member of Family Law Association of Quebec (past Secretary for 28 years). Inquiries treated confidentially: 514-846-1013 or hammerschmid@vif.com © 2016 Linda Hammerschmid 

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