Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Could Get a Gun

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) These...
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) These dogs are wearing H-back freight harnesses. Photo from 1957. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I could get a gun.

 
If I wanted to join a shooting club. 

I would have to apply for it, take a test, wait a while and there are stringent laws about storing weapons, but still, if I was so inclined, as a law abiding Canadian citizen, I could become a gun owner.

If I wasn't a law abiding Canadian, but  a member of the criminal world, I guess I could go downtown and buy a gun on the street.

 But, in general, Canadians don't want to be gun owners.

 So why the big difference between us and our BFF the Americans?

I mean we are small in population, sitting next to their massive, militaristic country that has invaded us once already. 

Why aren't we armed to the teeth?

 One explanation that has come up in my recent conversations with people, is that we always had the British army here keeping the peace in pre-Confederation days and behaving ourselves just became our norm.

Of course they weren't here to keep the peace, they were here protecting British interests, but law and order was a natural side bar activity.

And shortly after Confederation arrived in 1867 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (Northwest Mounted Police in those days), with their red jackets so reminiscent of the British army, was established by an act of parliament.

 And if you are in any doubt about how they affected our Canadian identity, you must read some of the stories about the Yukon Gold Rush in 1898. 

Like a lot of the American west, Alaska was a crime ridden, death zone for the gold seekers, but when they reached the Canadian border at the top of the Chilcoot Pass they were met by Sam Steele of the NWMP. 

He and his small band of Mounties ensured the law was obeyed on this side of the border.

 The upshot of this is that we never developed a fear of other Canadians,
the way the Americans seem to fear each other.

 
And apparently we don't fear them either,

although I must say,
shopping stateside has become less appealing recently.

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13 comments:

Introverted Art said...

I like it that Canada is this sort of neutral zone in the world. Massive in land but really not thought of so much, because in general, you mind your own business. Smaller countries, like some of the European nations, had more of the world domination mentality... I work for and with military and law enforcement. Although proud of what I do, I am so anti war... I am not even fighting in traffic as much ;-) I am not against people being able to defend themselves, but we have gotten so out of control and I truly believe power corrupts most.

The Episcopagan said...

Who is it that Americans feel they have to defend themselves against? I suspect it has to have some kind of historical root - Otherwise, unless there is gunfire on every corner everyday, it doesn't make sense.

Magaly Guerrero said...

You can control them if you can get them to fear each other. You can exterminate them (without raising a hand) if you supply them with the means to kill each other. Sad ;-(

The Episcopagan said...

Oh Magaly, that is so frightening...

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Good post, Francie. I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately...with all that has been happening. Yes, fear is probably part of it; we don't really fear one another. It's also a cultural thing, and guns are not part of ours.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've never fired a gun in my life and I got to thinking that perhaps I should experience it just once. There's a handgun shooting gallery at West Edmonton Mall (yes, the WEM really DOES have everything) and I thought I might go there one day, rent a gun and shoot at a target. Then I heard a news story about how some people occasionally go there to commit suicide. So now I won't go near the place.

CorvusCorax12 said...

I like shooting beer caps with a 22...good at it too. As for the rest, good post. I don't get it either, specially the need for assault rifles.

momto8 said...

there is so much in the news lately about gun control...I am not sure whee I stand on this issue....our presidents daughters school has 12 armed guards guarding their school in D.C...

The Episcopagan said...

It makes sense that the children of a head of state would need to be protected.

Pandorah's Box said...

Interesting info, once again Francie! I love (re) learning the stuff I have forgotten about the country that I love :)

Jane said...

I am thankful that I have never felt the need to arm myself. On the same hand, I firmly believe law-abiding citizens should be able to own firearms and defend themselves - if worst came to worst. I shudder to think how scary and dangerous our society would be if only the criminals had guns (& they would - even if guns were completely outlawed) and our society collapsed...

Jane said...

A very Happy Year to you, Francie!! May you and your family be blessed in 2013 :)

Adam said...

I think part of our (I'm American) problem is that we have too many people that "worship" guns. Instead of being a tool of defense, it's a weapon of glory to a lot of folks. The bigger, the faster, the more powerful, the better.

I think the NRA is a big reason why we have so many gun nuts in our country. They've been given a huge organization to amplify their love for firearms.

That and the big business who make a fortune off sales of guns. Peace hurts their profits. One of the reasons why (I suspect) the Iraq war got started. Private military contractors needed some demand.