As most of you are aware (and if you’re not aware, you should stop reading now and go back and re-read all 66 of my articles . . . I’ll wait), I’m an expert in everything to do with rioting. Therefore, I know what Conservative MP Blake Richards is talking about in his new Bill, C-309, which would make it illegal for rioters to wear masks while rioting — offering up a penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted.
It turns out that it’s really hard for the police to identify and charge rioters if they’re wearing masks. Therefore they’d like to respectfully ask those rioters to not wear the masks while they’re breaking the law.
And I couldn’t agree more with Blakester! We need to know who these people are! Listen, every October 31st a whole bunch of unruly kids amble into my neighbourhood and start harrassing everyone for candy. And what are these kids wearing? That’s right: masks. And all I can do is run into my panic room and hide for the rest of the evening while they continue to ring my doorbell and egg my house. So I agree with Blakester — these kids need to be locked up for as long as possible. Or, perhaps, when it becomes illegal to wear those scary little masks of theirs, they’ll no longer come around.
Now, you may be wondering why any rioters (or pesky little candy fiends) would be willing to take their masks off and riot in the open. Why would people, who are already breaking the law by rioting, be so inclined to not break a secondary law?
Because they’re criminals, but they’re not dumb. You see, if you get caught for rioting you face up to two years in prison, but if you’re caught rioting while wearing a mask, you’re adding up to another 10 years. Now, I’m not mathematician, but my calculator tells me that would be a total of 12 years. Two seems a lot better than 12 (except for when it comes to beers, when 12 is always better than two . . . and Jim Beam is always better than beer).
But here’s where the law falls flat. They’re only outlawing the use of masks during riots, and for an incident to be considered a riot it has to be an unlawful assembly that incites fear in the neighbourhood. Which would be fine, because everything that happens in my neighbourhood incites fear in me (seriously, why are my neighbour’s blinds always closed? What are you hiding Tim? WHAT?!), but for an assembly to be considered unlawful, it has to involve three or more persons.
Only three or more? So, what you’re telling me is that if Bill C-309 is passed, I’m only protected if three or more people show up at my house wearing masks? That if two people show up and murder me, they’ll only be facing whatever slack murder laws Canada has, and not the extra 10 year mask-wearing sentence? Why do I even bother unlocking my door?
What I propose is that we make it illegal to wear any mask, ever. Doctors, with those little mouth masks, I don’t trust them. What are they trying to hide? Skiers, with their ski masks; not on my watch, off with those too! Riot police, with their riot masks . . . you’re in a riot zone! You’re definitely breaking the law!
Listen, I think we can all agree that the only way we’ll ever live in a truly free and safe society is when it’s entirely illegal for anyone to wear a mask at anytime.
. . . Masks and hoodies. (Geraldo, I’ve got your back.)
Nathaniel Moher is a television writer living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.