I talked about guns on my blog a couple of days ago.
I thought, with it being such a contentious issue, that there might be some disagreements with my perspective. And I was fine with that. For the most part, the comments section was left very cordial and very respectful. Emails that I got on the other hand… that’s a whole different story.
Part of me thinks these emails that I did receive were sent to me via email rather than the person leaving a comment on my page because keyboard warriors much prefer the art of anonymity rather than allowing me to know what their blog link is.
I could be wrong. And by all means, if you are reading this and you’re the person that wrote me the nasty emails, feel free to share your blog link with me. I’d love to read more of your perspective that isn’t in the form of nasty emails.
For the purpose of this post, though, I’d like to clarify that my perspectives about guns, gun violence and the bad people in this world that commit violent acts towards others, they do not come from an uninformed place. I am not naive with respect to the subject, or the world that we live in for that matter.
I don’t talk a lot of specifics about the people in my life. That’s for a reason. Sure, I mention their existence, but I respect their privacy and I know that they haven’t agreed to me talking about them all over the internet, so I try to not mention anything too personal about any of them. That being said, here’s some personal info:
A member of my immediate family served as a police officer for 26 year in several Canadian cities. A member of my extended family presently serves as a Police Detective in a major American city that’s population has very deep trust issues with the police. I also once dated someone who’s father was the Chief of Police.
I’ve heard stories that the general public would never be privy to, ever. Horrifying, terrifying stories about what goes on behind the scenes. Things that police officers deal with that never make it to the five-o-clock news.
I’ve sat at the side of a hospital bed to hold the hand of someone recovering from surgery and a bullet wound.
I’ve hugged someone just seconds after they learned their loved one had been shot and killed, feeling their tears running down my shoulder as I held them tightly, trying to give them some comfort in what can, at times, be an extraordinarily cruel world.
In early 2019 I briefly had a roommate who was in the process of applying for his firearms license. This was a deeply distressed man with a very expensive cocaine addiction who Knight and I often considered might even be bipolar. As we watched him go through the process of obtaining his firearm license because, and I quote directly ‘guns are fun and shit’, I was reminded that it’s a lot easier to get a firearm license in this country than it is to get a driver’s license. And that scared me. It scared me a lot. Watching him go through the process to obtain his firearm license brought back a lot of bad memories for me.
It’s easier to get a firearms license than it is to get a drivers license. And why? Because ‘guns are fun and shit’ is not a reasonable answer.
Okay, to touch on another piece to this topic that I think often gets overlooked…. when someone obtains a firearms license, they’re subject to a background check before they’re able to get the license. Thing is, a background check doesn’t tell whether or not you’ve committed a crime, it merely tells where you’ve been convicted of a crime. I think people often use the passing of this background check as a means to proclaim someone a ‘law abiding citizen’ when the truth is, passing a background check does not make you law abiding, it just means that you’ve never been charged or convicted for the things that you’ve done. And there are A LOT of people in this world who have no criminal record who commit heinous acts both with and without guns on a daily basis. So when people throw around the term ‘law abiding citizen’ that’s a red flag for me. This roommate that Knight and I briefly lived with in 2019, he was in no way, shape or form a law abiding citizen (on several fronts, not just related to his affection for possessing and distributing illegal substances) and he passed his background check.
Nevertheless, this post isn’t about him. This post is about the fact that, if you want to call me naive, idiotic or tell me that I’m misinformed about guns, you’re severely mistaken. I’d be happy to have an open and respectful conversation about where our differences lie, but if your first inclination is to hurl insults my direction because you’re unhappy with my perspective, I suspect that conversation likely won’t go very far.
I don’t like guns.
I don’t say that haphazardly, or from an uninformed perspective. I’m not a ‘stupid leftist’. I’m not naive with respect to the subject. I just don’t like guns.
Also, to clarify, in no way, shape or form in that post that I made did I state that guns should be banned all together. There are times and places where guns are important. I simply said that I agreed with the Prime Minister, that in Canadian society, there’s no need for every day citizens to possess assault rifles.
22 people lost their lives in Nova Scotia in April. The announcement the Prime Minister made banning these guns from being legally owned in Canada is the first step in what I’m sure will be a multi-layered plan to clean these weapons from our society as I agree with him, they’re not necessary for every day people to possess. I didn’t say that was the only step. I also said that any plans in place by law enforcement and the federal and provincial governments to stop the flow of weapons being illegally transported into Canada would NEVER be publicized. People who use this talking point that ‘Canada needs to focus on stopping weapons illegally transported into the country’ are doing nothing more than deflecting. They know enough to know that information would never be made public knowledge. It’s just easier to look outraged than it is to suggest that there might be more than one solution to fixing this problem.
Also, to the people who left comments on that post suggesting that mental health services could play an integral piece to the puzzle, I agree. But I would like it noted that it’s not the only piece to the puzzle. Easier access to mental health resources for any and all citizens is a great benefit and could probably play an important impact. But it’s not the fix it solution. It’s a piece. Because there will always be people who fall through the cracks. There will always be people who avoid help or distrust help or just flat out are too stubborn to ask for help. And those people, those people are still legally allowed to obtain firearm licenses in this country and it’s easier for them to do so than it is for them to get a drivers license. Thaaaaaat is why legally banning assault rifles and semi-automatic/fully-automatic weapons is also an integral piece to the puzzle.