A Shifting Opinion

It’s no secret I have strong opinions regarding America’s constitutional right to bear arms My Canadian heart and soul lacks any point of reference to allow understanding of the NRA or gun lobbies. My stance is unlikely to budge when it comes to unelected, non-profit basking bullies being allowed to call the shots. Likewise fanatics like George Zimmerman, or the lust some Americans have for semi-automatic weapons. My tendency has always been to dismiss legal gun ownership outright. As a Canadian; our system seems to work just fine – hunting rifles yes, anything else and you have some explaining to do.

At least that was the case before an innocent response by wordpresser xbox2121 got me pondering.

http://xbox2121.wordpress.com/

Last night I wrote about the crash of Canadian cell phones for a number of nail biting hours from coast to coast. Pondering what we would do if an actual disaster took place and how it would be coped with. xbox2121 commented on his ability to survive at his rural property, and all else failing his ability to defend himself using his guns and ammunition. At that moment – a holy crap light bulb went off – I knew he was right.

My family has an emergency plan of sorts; actually more than one but in case of a true breakdown, our destination would be the homes of my brother and/or father 250 miles away. Why? They have guns – even if they are only hunting rifles – they have weapons, ammunition and mad skills on matters of survival without everything I take for granted. The truth is, the average Canadian city dweller wouldn’t last five minutes if bat shit actually hit the fan. Truth be told; if  finding myself in that situation, I would wish we had a gun for protection on that 250 mile march.

This unexpected shift of opinion is a double edged sword. For the first time in my life a small part of me “gets it”, while my head screams in outrage at a perceived questioning of  fundamental core beliefs. I loathe guns, abhor gun violence, detest the NRA and believe America’s gun obsession is out of control – at the same time I really want a rifle at my side if the unthinkable were to happen.

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22 thoughts on “A Shifting Opinion

  1. That vicious, murderous threat to your persons and families is already on the march as the Muslim brotherhood. I keep wondering when the moderate Muslim voice will sound. Truth is there is no moderate Muslim voice.

    • This is what is so perplexing. I never said vicious or murderous threat – although depending on the circumstances things could get nasty. Not once did the threat of a Muslim brotherhood cross my mind, and I must disagree, I believe their are millions of moderate Muslims just as their are millions of moderate Christians. I was honestly pondering the threat of the break down in society in the event of an extended power outage.

      As I said – perplexing response, one that I’m going to have to mull over for a few hours.

    • The interesting thing about writing is that we always expose more about ourselves and our fears than we ever think. And what we take from the writings of others is often more about who WE are than who THE Writer IS.

      • Our Country is only a little over 200 years old, very young when compared to others in the world. Our founding fathers put in a fifth amendment to our constitution that gave us all the right to bear arms. This was originally put into place in case the government got out of control, it would allow militias to form and take back the government. The majority of gun owners in this country are hunters, a sport I find repulsive but in this country it is legal. The programs to regulate ownership as I see them are broke or patched to say the least. There are no standard background checks,each state does its own thing. We also have a concealed carry law that over half the states now have and is regulated by the state. This one has a huge whole in it, I am board certified crazy yet I have a carry permit because states are not allowed to check mental health records during a background check. The other big one is gun shows. The vendors in these shows are required to do the back ground checks with the usual three day waiting period. The problem is a non vendor like myself can carry in a full automatic combat rifle and sell it on the side for cash to the highest bidder. I may be called a gun nut in some circles but even I am uncomfortable with these loop wholes.

        I believe your post will cause some controversy, something a lot of my post do. I am going to re blog this on my site, something I never do, and watch the fireworks !

  2. Notes, Very interesting ponder here. Your pondering of wanting a gun brought to mind the story “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. A story i read and passed on to my brother-in-law a prolific reader. He told my wife that if i had not given him the book he would not have finished it, it was just too depressing for him. Personally i really liked the book in spite of it’s depressing mode. But back to my original thought, in the book the man had a gun but only two bullets. Survival of the armed?
    One bullet was used for survival the other was saved for possible suicide? Something else to ponder.

  3. Well, Ponder my friend, you give me something to ponder but I’m not sure I’m yet ready to abandon my hatred of guns and violence and come over to the other side. Like that last sentence of yours: I loathe guns, abhor gun violence, detest the NRA and believe America’s gun obsession is out of control – at the same time I really want a rifle at my side if the unthinkable were to happen. — doesn’t mean for me that I’m actually going to GET one.

    This is something that has come more to the fore in our life of late. A lot of RV’ers carry. I can perhaps see some of their paranoia if they are strong boondockers and spend lots of time in areas where there is no law enforcement presence. But a good many of them spend their time in RV parks and State parks and idiot that I am I have a hard time seeing a formal campground devolving into mass hysteria… but then I’ve never been in a major earthquake nor a political riot.

    You got me pondering…. but I’m not moving yet. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

    • This has proved to be a most interesting ponder judging by the spectrum of responses.It came unexpectedly – my initial thought being the expression “three days to anarchy”describing the break down of society after a major disaster without any government help.

      The last place on earth I would want to be is in a city, or anywhere for that matter surrounded by a bunch of gun toting citizens who felt scared or threatened.Hence the plan to get as far away as possible.

      I like to believe in the decency of people. In a perfect world, neighbour would help neighbour – people would pool resources and work together.In my heart I believe for the most part that is how the gunless Canadian society would behave.

      Ultimately the tone taken in my post stemmed from the fact my plan would be to make it to a rural location with people who were able to hunt for food if needed, survive without all we take for granted, and yes – defend us if things turned ugly.It surprised me when realizing for the first time the place this gun loathing idealist would make a bee line for – a place with guns.

      I haven’t crossed over to the dark side:) It has proven to be an interesting ponder 🙂

  4. There are disasters; and then there are disasters.

    As teenage boys growing up on the Canadian prairie before the end of the Cold War, we knew that if the US and the USSR got to a place where they were trading nukes, our area wouldn’t be too safe. There were US Air Force bases strung across the border states, and in some places, ICBM silo farms. They would probably be targeted, and all it would take is one stray nuke landing in a Canadian wheat field to spoil everyone’s day.

    We made plans. We’d grab guns [they were plentiful in small Canadian farming communities] and head for the hills in pickup trucks. No one wanted it; but the prospect of becoming armed foragers in a time without law held just a little bit of attraction to a seventeen year old with no serious responsibilities.

    We didn’t really think about how it would be six months in, or about what a nuclear winter would mean. No fun in those thoughts.

    There are disasters like the Northridge earthquake, or Hurricane Andrew, or even Katrina, where things break down; but it’s local, and the world outside still exists to provide aid, even if it takes some time in getting organized.

    I hope I wouldn’t need a gun for a local emergency. I’d hope that people could keep it together long enough for help to arrive.

    Then there are global disasters: a comet strike, a nuclear war, the eruption of a super-volcano. A disaster where help won’t be arriving, because everyone everywhere is in the same boat. A disaster where the breakdown could last years, or much longer.

    Would I want a gun for that sort of disaster? I’m not a teenager looking for adventure anymore; I have a family, children to look after. I suppose a gun might help us survive a bit longer, but then what? Will crops still be growing? Will there be plagues? Exactly what will I be surviving myself and my family into?

    My answer is to get prepared for a local emergency: an earthquake, hurricane etc. Survive, and get back to normal life. My answer for the other kind of emergency is to hope that it doesn’t happen.

  5. I would like to weigh in here…on this “right to bear arms”…

    I most certainly understand objections and interactions posted. A gun is only as powerful as the hand it sits in.

    That being said, I am a gun owner. I say it with confidence knowing that a registered sex offender/pedofile lives behind my home. I would never hope to shoot this gun but when it comes to sheidling my innocent children from such atrocity, I wouldnt trust me with this gun.
    Dont touch my home nor my children.

  6. Speaking as an American, I’m not bothered by guns in the hands of people in rural North America, who have grown up with guns, understand gun safety (i.e., never let your gun point at anything you don’t intend to kill) and handle guns responsibly.

    I believe that self-protection is a basic human right, and I am not too bothered by people who think they need a gun in their home or store for self-protection, although I don’t do this myself.

    I am bothered a great deal by people who think they have a right to carry a concealed weapon on a crowded city street.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more if I tried. I’ve come to terms with Canadian/American perspectives, that said – I will never make peace with the idea of a concealed or semi-automatic weapon. Using the example of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman – I find it beyond comprehension that a private citizen is able to pack a weapon while prowling neighbourhood streets – acting as judge, jury, and executioner.

    • While I worked as a Home Health nurse, I would have loved to carry a pistol for my safety. I had a stranger on the street aim his rifle at me; a woman with long-handled pruning shears threaten me; and an elderly man threaten me with gang rape if I didn’t cooperate. Some of the homes I went to were in unsafe areas, or it was the middle of the night. I doubt that I would have had to shoot anyone, but it sure would have been nice to be on equal ground.
      As a teen, I stepped off the bus into a crowd of people. I heard one man ask another, “Why’d you stab her?” The other replied, “Because I could.” In the crowd I could not tell who said what. Why they discussed that in a mob of people has always left me curious.
      Bad things happen anywhere and to anyone. I trust God, others trust a gun.

      • I withdraw my comment, Self-protection is a basic human right, and everybody has a right to make their own decision on what they need to do to protect themselves, short of harming others.

  7. Sometimes it not a threat, but a perceived threat that can be enough to change a person’s mind about their safety and what they want to do about it. I believe in God and trust Him to keep me safe, but I also will do what I can to help Him.

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