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.

What Are We Afraid Of?


As a little girl I remember chanting “eeny meeny miney mo, catch a n****r by the toe”, it was the early sixties, I was 3 or 4 and hadn’t the slightest concept of what it meant. Somewhere along the way the “N” word became “Tiger” – I can’t recall an explanation, all I knew was we had to decide whose turn it was to go first, so tiger it was. There wasn’t a hateful bone in my body; my family – decent hard working people who never spoke ill of anyone. It wasn’t the deep south, this was rural Canada  in 1963 – parents passing along rhymes  they learned as children – nary a thought to meaning.

I believe that “Tiger” was Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty years ago today, close to a quarter of a million people marched on Washington, D.C. Gathered at the Washington Monument, Martin Luther King spoke for nearly 20 minutes, delivering his iconic I Have a Dream speech. Powerful, articulate, compelling – I can’t think of words that do justice to this moment in history.

MLK was a proud American; a man who asked only that people uphold the American constitution, the promise of emancipation, the pursuit of life, liberty and freedom for all citizens. He calls for tolerance, understanding, and peace. He asks that the black community forgive white America and proceed in a spirit of understanding. If you do nothing else today – take 5 minutes out of your life –  click below and listen to the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFcbpGK9_aw

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Listen then ask yourself what it is you’re afraid of. Ask yourself what good it does to sabotage every move the Obama administration makes. Ask yourself if a “tiger” is just as capable of settling things as any other animal you could name. Ask yourself why you’re filled with contempt, ask yourself to snap out of the past and think for yourselves. Stop being afraid and ask yourself if America is worth fighting for. One of the greatest Americans in history answered that question 50 years ago today – to think his life was in vain breaks my heart.