Richard Lorne Eedy: Canadian difference
April 10, 2013
My ski bucket list has included Steamboat for more than 25 years. My wife and I have manifested our desires with our first stop here in Steamboat Springs.
Part of the attraction was coming from a beautiful heritage town of 6,300 people in southwestern Ontario, Canada. We are the fifth generation living in our 1849 house, now retired as the fourth-generation publisher of the local newspaper. May I digress for the moment and compliment the Steamboat Pilot & Today on its community coverage and lovely layout from page to page?
Further, I wish to shine the light of praise on your letter-writers as compassionate, thoughtful and, dare I say, erudite.
Let me step back with the Canadian perspective. This is my quote on the difference between the U.S. and Canada: "Americans consider health care a privilege and gun ownership a right while Canadians consider health care a right and gun ownership a privilege." In my life, I never have met a private citizen in Canada who owns a pistol or an automatic rifle.
What confuses me on the gun control issue is the stand, by Second Amendment logic, on the right to bear arms in the 21st century. This is fundamentally different from the 1770s amendment that enabled citizens to bear arms against foreign invasion. Is that not true?
What further confuses me in the "protect my family and home" logic is why an automatic or assault weapon is needed. Why would a pump shotgun not do the job?
Further cultural perspective differences come unfortunately with mass killings in the U.S., where there have been 62 in the past 30 years while in Canada, there have been two. There was one smaller incident and one terrible incident in which 14 female engineering students were killed in the so-called "Montreal Massacre" in 1989. Canadians recognize this one event nationwide annually on Dec. 6. May I underline the 31-to-1 ratio in the past 30 years?
One change that I suggest should occur — do not publish the name of mass shooters. Western thought has problems with the concept of a Muslim seeking paradise and a multitude of virgins for wearing a bomb jacket, but Americans do not see a conceptual problem with a mass murderer getting on the Time magazine cover or making CNN. These American assailants want the notoriety — take it away from them.
Thank you for your time and space as a foreign visitor who loves the American people.
Richard Lorne Eedy