If you were still wondering about the differences between Canada and the US, in terms of gun culture and other stuff, this might explain a few things…
According to his letter to the Calgary Herald, Walt Wawra, a Michigan police officer, was in Calgary, walking through a public park in the afternoon, when he was approached by two men. They asked if he had been to the Calgary Stampede yet. Walt felt so threatened by the encounter that he wrote the letter, complaining that he wasn’t allowed to carry a weapon in Canada.
Walt’s a 20-year veteran of his local police force. And he felt so threatened (“I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort…”) by the two men, who did nothing except ask him if he had been to the rodeo yet, that he felt he should have had a weapon to protect himself.
Walt’s letter [link]:
“I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, ‘Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.’ They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.”
The paper’s response [link]:
“Wawra’s mindset is what America’s gun mania has produced. How paranoid and how very sad.
“Americans argue that they need to carry guns, because having a concealed weapon makes them feel safe. Their thinking seems to be that at any given moment, they could be under attack from the very next person they meet on the street, and they’ll need to shoot in self-defence. Whereas, when you walk down a street in Canada, you don’t assume that you’re at risk of being suddenly assaulted or killed. You just see ordinary people going about their day and you give their motives no further thought.”
…someone pointed out in a comment thread that the murder rates (via guns) of Kalamazoo, Michigan (pop: 75,000) and Calgary (pop: 1.09 million) are very similar. Sad, sad, sad, sad… but mostly in a pathetic kind of way.
In 2009 there were 179 shooting related homicides in Canada, a country of 33 million people. According to the FBI, in 2010, 12,996 Americans were murdered by other Americans — 8,775 of them by other Americans using a gun.
Eventually someone is going to have to ask just how fucking retarded a people would have to be not to see a relation between the near total lack of oversight and regulation, and the number of people in America dying by gun.
Because, eventually, they’re going to have a country where frightened, paranoid people people draw their guns when approached by anyone who makes them even slightly nervous… oh, wait… right, ‘stand your ground’, ‘open carry’, ‘concealed weapons’.
Because, if it’s only for Walt’s peace of mind — and the peace of mind of thousands of other people just like Walt, we shouldn’t always have to be wondering how many guns there are in the room. Or laundromat. Or Starbucks. Or while we’re at the game. Or when we’re in traffic. Or walking down the street.
The rules of living in a civilized society should never include: never attempting small talk with an American. Or never buying Skittles and iced tea. Or never wearing a hoodie. Or never go to a theatre. Or never be Sikh. Or never go to an American university. Or never be a homeless Native artist in Seattle. Or… or.. or…