Americans and Guns: From a Canadian Perspective

I grew up around guns.  I was very young when I went hunting with my father.  I remember sitting on a moose as he gutted it, asking what parts we could eat and what parts the birdies will eat.  It was very natural and very normal.

My father actually became a firearms safety course teacher as well as a CORE course teacher (so you can get your hunting license) and I got my hunting license at a VERY young age.  Haven’t ever used it, but I still hope to one day.

I love shooting, it’s fun!  It’s just what I grew up doing, I’m good at it.

My early contact with guns taught me a lot.  I have great respect for them.  I am incredibly anal about gun safety just as my father was.  It didn’t matter if it were a cap gun, a fake gun, a BB gun or whatever….you always hold it pointed away from anyone and you never ever ever ever ever ever point it at a human being.  No matter what.  Even if it’s one of my father’s disabled teaching guns.  It never gets pointed at a person.  We respected those rules and we still do.

I actually worry about my children now, because they haven’t even been allowed toy guns nor have they been around real guns.  I would like them to learn gun safety…soon.  Very soon.

So now it sounds like I may be anti gun regulation.  I’m not.  I know my father didn’t like it but it was definitely safer having guns locked away, key locks in the triggers, magazines and ammunition stored in a separate area.  It’s better that way and no one can argue that.  I agree.  Needs to be done.

In Canada we aren’t allowed concealed weapons.  To a Canadian, it seems really strange that a person would feel SAFER with that being a “right”.  I guess I can only speak for myself but I would flip my shit if I saw a person packing a gun.  I don’t trust them to follow proper gun safety rules!  I guess that’s the purpose of them being concealed…but I wouldn’t trust anyone then.  People should have a heightened sense of awareness around guns.  It shouldn’t be “comfortable”, people SHOULD be alert and slightly uneasy…knowing the danger of the power of the weapon among them.  It shouldn’t be comfortable, it shouldn’t be an every day thing to just get used to and sort of numb and lazy about.  I would be uneasy all the time, I wouldn’t feel safe.

I don’t want to blame the Sandy Hook incident just on gun control being out of hand in the USA.  It IS out of hand.  The USA has an astronomical amount of gun-related deaths every year.  WAY more than Canada.  Yes it happens here, but not nearly as often.  It’s so sad.  There’s a problem.  It needs to be addressed.

I know in China there was also a man who went on a stabbing spree so some people are like “people kill people…not guns!!”.  Well, since I was last updated, none of those people that were stabbed actually died.  If Sandy Hook was taken over by a man with a knife, less people would have died and it would have been MUCH easier to stop the killer.  Put a semi automatic gun (or even just a regular gun) in the hands of the man in China…a lot of people would have died…and even more injured.  A gun is a more powerful and accurate killing machine, it takes less effort and time, it has a wider range, it makes it so it’s harder to stop the killer and it allows the killer an easy out – by taking the weapon to himself.  Guns DO kill more people, there’s no question.

I think American’s live in a lot more fear than Canadian’s do.  The media there, wow.  We get American stations and we have to turn the news off right away if it comes on.  We cannot BELIEVE how dramatic and scary American news is.  Komo comes on and I feel like the world is about to end.  It gives us terrible anxiety and we turn it off right away!  Death, dying, rape, etc etc etc.  Maybe there’s just more crime there…I dunno.  But if you have a chance to watch a Canadian newscast and you’re an American, I swear it will seem like a breath of fresh air.  I think because of that, we live in less fear, I would have a lot more anxiety if the only news I had to watch was American.

I remember watching this after Columbine and it really struck me.

I don’t know if they got it exactly right and, where I live, there are a lot more gun murders than the places he talked to.  Also, our slums are a lot more “slummy” that what he showed…at least in Vancouver.  Also, I do think Canada is almost or just as terrible at ignoring mental health issues.

I think what I’m trying to say, is that there IS something that can be done.  Two countries living side by side with drastic differences in murders per capita.  I think Canada and other more peaceful countries are great places to look for answers.  I don’t know exactly what is the answer but I know something has to change.

Think about it….less people get murdered by guns here in Canada and we don’t have a right to concealed weapons (I’m sure a few people still have them).  More guns is NOT the answer.

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