Mindset


News of the Louisiana theatre shooting ignited a ponder. What makes the U.S. and Canada so different? I came across this excerpt from Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine – Moore speculates the biggest difference is fear. The clip is a little long at 10 minutes – try to spare as much time as you can, it’s worth pondering.

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.

A Little More Gun Talk


Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, over 1000 Americans have been killed by guns. Think about that for a moment. Most of these deaths nothing more than a passing story on the local news. It hasn’t even been two months since America’s latest horrific headliner, yet 1000 people have been wiped from the face of the earth.

According to a report by Christiane Amanpour;  13,186 people were killed worldwide in 2010 by terrorist attacks. In the same year 31,672 Americans fell victim to gun violence. Her source for this data was a report by Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Centre.

On average the number of people killed by guns in Canada is 600 – 1000 annually. Of those 80% are suicide deaths. Canada doesn’t escape gun nonsense; just last week a stray bullet came through a townhouse wall in Brampton, Ontario – killing a nine year old boy.

I’m tired of debating America’s “right to bear arms”, the NRA, and gun control. Likewise defending my perspective as a Canadian. I accept that arguing gun issues with America is like trying to reason with evangelical Christians. I realize my broad generalization of America doesn’t apply to all. Hopefully my exasperation will be recognized for what it is by those enlightened few who understand my ponder.

My hope is that; if only for a brief moment – people will grasp the magnitude of far too many gun deaths.

http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/15/more-americans-killed-by-guns-than-by-terrorists/

Photo – Jessica Hill. The Associated Press, post Media News

Dear America,


Dear America,

I am writing to inform you of a grave situation requiring immediate attention Your stubborn refusal to let go of an antiquated  constitutional “right to bear arms” has directly impacted your bottom line. In order to stay competitive it is imperative that you take  action. Only those willing to adapt and make sacrifices will succeed in today’s world.

Tough choices need to be made for the good of the country. Ask yourselves this; did the Constitution intend that an automatic weapon be placed in the hands of every citizen, or was it written in colonial times to readily raise a militia in defence of the country? Ask yourselves why you allow the NRA and powerful gun lobbies to call the shots. Ask yourselves why you are so afraid of amending the constitution.

It doesn’t take a single visionary, it takes millions of concerned voices. It takes common sense, conviction, and determination. Remember the courageous people who fought to abolish slavery, demanded  women had a right to vote, or marched to end segregation. Speak up and let your voices be heard.

America – you do not have the right to blindly ignore your out of control gun laws. You have a duty to address your shortcomings and take action. You owe it to yourselves to recognize your mistakes; you owe it to the victims of gun violence to take your heads out of the sand.

Sincerely,

notestoponder

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