Unimaginable

DATE: June 13

TITLE: Unimaginable

As a Canadian I find yesterday’s carnage at Pulse in Orlando impossible to comprehend. As a transwoman, I find it appalling that so many of my brothers and sisters were targeted by what appears to be a deranged young man. Apparently during the rampage inside Pulse, an LGBT friendly club, the gunman took the time to call 9 1 1 and profess his allegiance to Daesh. As a result, the authorities are calling this both a hate crime and terrorism.

Reports I’ve read on news sites state that within the past two weeks he was able to legally purchase the AR-15 assault rifle he used during his attack. This despite having been investigated by the FBI on suspicion of having terrorist sympathies. Why he was able to legally purchase the weapon isn’t my question though. My question is: Why does anyone other than the military or law enforcement need an assault weapon of any kind?

Don’t give me that line about how you need it to protect your family and property because I’m not going to buy it. You could do that with a .22. Yes, I know the AR-15 comes in .223 calibre, but your basic .22 isn’t as deadly as the AR. Hunting? Unless you get into a firefight with your prey, or you plan to turn that deer into hamburger right there in the forest, an ordinary deer rifle will do. No, the AR-15 and its cousin the Kalashnikov are designed for one thing only – killing humans.

The NRA’s oft repeated mantra about a “good guy with a gun” also doesn’t hold water. The military and FBI, for one, constantly take training and refresher courses on what to do when there is gunfire in their vicinity. The average gun owner doesn’t do that. They go out to the range and fire off a clip or two at a paper target and feel they can handle anything. Guess what? They can’t. They can’t because that paper target isn’t shooting back at them. Without constant training and reinforcement, when the bullets start flying, they’re going to freeze and their body will be found with the weapon still holstered. Should they actually manage to draw the weapon and let go a couple of rounds, chances are they’d hit innocent bystanders.

America, and there is no delicate way to put this, when it comes to your gun culture, you’re fucked in the head. For example, not that long ago in Michigan, two men got caught up in a road-rage incident. They both pulled into a parking lot and rather than settle the dispute with words or fists, they both pulled out weapons and shot each other. A woman somewhere else shot up a Walmart parking lot trying to stop a shoplifter. America, isn’t it about time you realized your love of firearms has turned your country back into the Wild West of the 1870’s. To put that in some historical perspective, the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place in 1881 and Wyatt Earp, who was in that gunfight, died in 1927 – less than 100 years ago.
So tell me America, isn’t it time to halt the sale of weapons intended solely for hunting other humans? Other than to satisfy some egotistical need, do you really need an assault weapon? When you purchase a weapon, training should consist of more than how to load the damn thing. That training should include identifying your target before you let loose.

How many times have we read or heard of some homeowner being awakened by a noise in the middle of the night, grabbing his weapon and then firing at an unidentified shadow figure only to discover he’s just killed his son or daughter?

Safe storage should also be a mandatory part of that training. I can’t count the number of stories I’ve read about a toddler finding daddy’s gun and killing or injuring that toddler’s playmate or sibling. Which brings up another question: What’s the trigger tension like when a four-year-old can fire the weapon? Second question: What the hell is daddy doing leaving his handgun lying around with the safety off and one up the spout?

America, let’s be honest, you don’t really need an assault rifle, but since you’ve got one, let me as this: what’s next on your wishlist – a Barrett .50?

Cat.

Are you sure?

Caught an item on the late CTV news tonight that what is described as “quite a few” Americans are considering moving to Canada since Obama won the election.

You may think that’s a great idea – after all we’re just like you except we talk funny eh.  Well, yes and no.  Because Canada is inundated with American entertainment, you’re not going to miss your favourite television shows – we’ll have them somewhere on the dial.  And you can be reasonably assured of better weather on Thanksgiving since ours is in early October, not late November. And there’s still football on Thanksgiving, although it may be the Canadian Football League (which supporters claim is superior to the American game – at least the field is larger). Those are a couple of the good things.

But, are you aware Canada has had socialized medicare since sometime in the last century?  And did you know that same-sex marriage has been legal federally for at least the past five years?  Oh yes, and gay rights are enshrined in our Bill of Rights.  I understand Republicans have been opposed to these, so before you move here, you’d have to consider whether those could be deal-breakers or not.  You’d also have to learn to put the “u” in words like neighbour and colour – that’s the law.  No, seriously. Our first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald, managed to get an act through Parliament that made the inclusion of the “u” the only legal spelling.  One final thing – you’d have to leave your guns south of the border. Not allowed in Canada.   And, if you’re from Washington or Colorado, sorry, but weed is not legal in Canada either.

We won’t get into the economics of your move to Canada other than to say you will pay more for the identical products.

So, given all this, are you sure you want to move to Canada?

Think about it and if you decide you can live with these differences, welcome eh.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.