In the moments after hearing the news that another black man had been shot by police … the 2nd in as many days and then the targeted mass shooting of police officers in Dallas, Texas, I honestly felt shock. Then sadness and anger. I just can’t believe it. Americans are at war with themselves!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … and again … and again. It’s their gun laws! Yes, racial discrimination plays a big role – a huge role (that’s a whole other issue). But this is different than that. Allowing people to walk around everyday places with a loaded gun … are you kidding me? As far as I’m concerned that’s INSANE!
And no – I’m not kidding about walking around – legally – with a loaded gun! Take the laws in Texas and Louisiana – while you must be licenced to carry a concealed weapon in both states, you need only be 17 years old and eligible to purchase a firearm to openly carry long guns and handguns. That’s right … openly carry a loaded firearm! Now … just to be clear … a long gun is defined as any type of firearm that has a long barrel and is designed to be fired when braced against the shoulder. This includes assault rifles – just like the one in the photo on the left. Yup. It’s legal to walk around carrying a loaded one of those!
Ok, ok …on that note, just imagine this… walking around downtown Any City, Any Province, Canada only to come across a person (that’s ANY person other than a police tactical team member or a soldier of the Canadian Military) carrying a loaded assault rifle? The police would there in a flash. The person would be arrested on the spot and that would be the end of that! Not in Louisiana or Texas! You can actually carry an assault rifle openly in both states!
Now, here’s an example of Texas law … during the Dallas protest march on July 8, 2016, a man who happened to be black and who was apparently “exercising his 2nd Amendment rights”, was arrested when the mass shooting began. He was openly carrying an assault rifle so was naturally treated as a suspect. Once it was confirmed that he had nothing to do with the mass killing, he was released without charges. After all, he was in legal possession of the assault rifle and hadn’t broken any laws. Why though? Why in the world would anyone want to walk around in a crowd (or in any public place) with one of those killing machines? For what purpose? And why … why do Americans just accept this. I don’t get it! I think that’s what most Canucks don’t get.
Americans are so culturally different than we are when it comes to guns. Every time a mass shooting occurs, people jump on the “this has gotta stop” bus. They’ve never managed though to get that bus on a effective, long term roll to change. The pro-gun lobby down there is very powerful and strong. They’ve been able to continually thwart meaningful gun law reform. I suspect it will be the same in this case as it always is … it’ll all die down. This tragedy will be replaced with other news so won’t be “front page” for long. And the status quo will again be the norm.
It’s too bad. Americans just can’t seem to make the shift. Society in both Canada and the US has made such strides in changing the way we think about drinking and driving. Why can’t Americans do it with guns? Why can’t the anti-gun lobby down there convince the majority?
I send prayers for peace and love to the families of the two men killed by police in the 2 days before the Dallas mass shooting. I send prayers for peace and love to the families of the 5 police officers gunned down during a lawful, peaceful protest. I send prayers for speedy recoveries to those police officers who were injured in the mass shooting. And finally, in the wake of these sad, sad events, I send prayers for peace and love to all Americans.