"Firearms, especially long guns, occupy a noble place in Canadian history since they are no doubt responsible for the exploitation of a vast and wild territory that had long remained untouched. From 1534 until 1979 (!), the importance of firearms remained uncontested. More than a simple tool of everyday life, they became truly a phenomenon of civilization. At all times and whoever he was, the Canadian was directly in contact with firearms, and he cannot be imagined otherwise. Even today, this symbol of liberty remains intimately related to wide, open spaces, and to a tolerant society. It is the distinctive mark of today's and yesterday's America. Here, in New France, let's repeat it, it is not only soldiers and nobles who have the possibility or privilege to bear arms. Century-old Canadian customs recognize equally to everybody the legal and moral right to acquire a firearm and to use it freely and noncoercively."
Les armes à feu en Nouvelle-France (Montréal: Éditions du Septentrion, 1999), p. 11.