With the recent gun mishap involving a nine-year-old girl accidentally killing a gun instructor in Arizona with an Uzi, some Canadians are becoming a bit too sanctimonious about the matter of gun control.
I'm sure you've heard the comments: "Those Americans are crazy", "That would never happen in Canada" and "What's an Uzi?" But I think those comments are getting out of hand and I'm not just saying that because I often visit the U. S. and don't want to incite any Americans I might encounter who happen to be packing heat.
Like the U.S. Supreme Court, I, too, have jettisoned the silly view that the right to bear arms was somehow connected to the necessity of a well regulated militia. As far as I'm concerned, if five out of nine Supreme Court justices say there's an individual right to possess and carry firearms then who am I to say differently? Especially if those five now see fit to carry concealed weapons under their judicial robes.
I think it makes perfect sense to allow folks to carry loaded guns around with them wherever they might be even if it's in a bar, a restaurant or a church. You just don't know when some nut with a gun is going to start firing and you don't want to be caught unarmed when it happens.
Canadians can seem awfully smug about this matter especially when we say that we generally don't allow folks to walk around with loaded weapons which we then claim explains the much lower murder rate in our country. Balderdash, I say. As far as I'm concerned, that lower murder rate is just pure, dumb luck and once it becomes common knowledge that most Canadians are unarmed, you can bet your last dollar that criminals with guns are going to take advantage of that situation.
Now that I know how things work in the U. S., I'm happy to patronize public establishments frequented by customers and staffed by workers who have loaded weaponry on them. Wouldn't you feel safer sitting down to a nice steak dinner knowing that all the servers and probably half the customers have got your back? I think Canadians have just been extremely lucky so far to have made it through years of fine dining with only the occasional death from inadvertent choking or food poisoning.
In fact, I wholeheartedly support any measures that expand and clarify the right to bear arms. Until the entire citizenry is armed 24/7, I don't see how anyone can feel safe. I don't think this necessarily entails giving everyone an Uzi but surely it's not a big deal to ensure that everyone has at least a handgun or even a stylish little purse-size Derringer.
So don't listen to those holier-than-thou Canadians who deride America's national obsession with firearms. Let's face it; when six months out of our year is winter and we're bogged down with parkas, scarves and mitts, there aren't going to be a lot of shootings anyway so what do we know about needing guns?
Who are we to say the U. S. has got it wrong? If you've got a gun, strap it on and, if you don't, shame on you. Maybe it's even time for a new version of the Second Amendment saying that it's not only one's right to bear arms but also one's responsibility and if you choose not to do so you could be the criminal. I'm not saying it would then be open season on such folks. I leave that decision up to our southern neighbours and the U. S. Supreme Court.
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