Back in 1970 my ex and I were living in San Antonio, and I remember one Sunday morning while we were having our coffee, and reading the paper , the radio announcer proclaimed “folks great news, last night was the first night in 8 months that no body was shot, stabbed , robbed or raped in San Antone”. This, it seemed was earth shattering news and to be honest a bit weird to us. Being Canadians the opposite would be earth shattering as crime was not that prevalent in Toronto in those days.
As for guns, the only people who had guns were the police, the army, farmers and hunters. I cannot remember anyone I knew or grew up with having a gun let alone a handgun. There were gun clubs that some belonged to and would indulge in target shooting but the guns had to stay in the club under lock and key. They could not be transported home without a special permit. Which by the way was hard to come by. I never held a pistol in my hand until I joined the Army. As a kid my dads’uncle let me hold his hunting rifle and my Mom freaked. Guns were just not part of Canadian society back then.
In my family all the men and some of the women had served at one time or another in the military and had fought in just about every war of the early 20th century. You see to them guns were killing machines and the only time you killed was in War. Like all the kids on my street I had a cap gun and played Cowboys and Indians but if I ever pointed it at someone and my folks were around I usually got clouted. Now I did have one dangerous weapon, a Bow which my Dad bought for me when we lived way out in the country. I mean way out as the closest habitation was about a 5 mile walk (we didn’t have a car) and that consisted of a gas station/store where the concession crossed Highway 7. I was about 6 years old when Dad gave me the bow and 4 arrows. This wasn’t some toy as it had about a 25 or 30 pound pull and I didn’t have it long as it was packed away after Dad accidentally shot my Mom in the foot. It actually penetrate and pinned her foot to the ground. Boy was she pissed. Good thing she was in such pain or she would have beat the crap out of Dad. About 3 or 4 years later after we moved to Toronto the bow disappeared. More than likely burnt in the old coal furnace.
I served in the U/S. Army and fought in Viet Nam and was armed with an M16 which if I may say so was quite proficient with and used it for what it was intended for Killing. I left the army and the U.S 40 years ago to come home to Canada and I have never held a weapon since except for one time. Two years ago I found an old single barrel 20 gauge shotgun in the buildings’ dumpster. I retrieved it, broke it down and immediately drove to the Police Station. and turned it in.
Like the vast majority of my country people guns don’t play a part in our lives. and it annoys the hell out of us that they have become more prevalent in some of our big cities. 90% of the handguns used in crime are smuggled in from the U.S. by young thugs and drug dealers.
There has been a rash of shooting and killings over the past week and I think now our gun laws will be come even stricter and it will not be long before handguns are banned with penalties for possessing one longer. This is not the United States and it is not an individuals right to own a weapon.