Thursday, 14 September 2017

Becoming Routine

An armed young man with issues walks into a school...

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

A rural high school in Washington state is mourning the loss of one of its students after another student allegedly stole his father's guns out of a safe, marched into the school and opened fire.  The suspect was known to have had troubles with bullying, and earlier had passed around notes to some of his friends which read that he was about to "do something stupid" and that he wanted to "teach everyone a lesson about what happens when you bully others".

Former U.S. President Obama said in October 2015 after a massacre at an Oregon community college: "Somehow this has become routine.  The reporting is routine.  My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it ... We have become numb to this."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Does anyone remember when a school shooting would be live breaking news and we all sat glued to our TVs?  Now it's like, "Oh, was there another one yesterday?"  Way to go, America, making shooting school children not a big deal.

A big part of the problem is that the United States now has a different mentality.  Kids having guns is no issue to the average American.  Programs exist to market firearms to teenagers.  To us Canadians this is unbelievably irresponsible.

A friend of a friend is desperately trying to get her American boyfriend to move up to Canada with her because she fears that either of them might be shot, particularly because the state where he currently lives supports open carry.  "Me being Canadian and always having the freedom to speak my mind will get me shot there," she wrote recently.  "There's irony in that, isn't it, in the land of the free."

Another friend of a friend died in 1989 because someone decided that he hated female engineers and went to their school to kill fourteen of them.  It was mainly because of that incident that Canada has some of the strictest gun laws of any country.  Those laws have been proven to work.

I do not plan to visit the U.S. any time soon.  I don't want to be having to constantly censor what I say or be suspicious of everyone because they just might be carrying a firearm and might use it at the slightest provocation.

And I don't think I would be surprised if, at some point in the future, the entirety of the adult population of the U.S. would be armed.  Someone shoots a gun for a stupid reason... then will come the inevitable carnage.  But who will care, right?  It's routine.

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