(Forgive any spelling or grammar errors in the below, it was hastily written).
I am a very proud Canadian. We enjoy the same, even more freedoms than the U.S. to our south. As a nation we have a better sense of humour about ourselves. We are generally much more respected around the world (especially as tourists). Our society is a mosaic rather than a melting pot, meaning that it is more acceptable for people from different countries to come to our shores and have the freedom to keep their own faith and, within reason, their own customs. We are vastly more sensible than our neighbours to the south on issues of health care, voting rights, abortion, same sex marriage, wages, banking and various other regulations. Above all, we are vastly more sensible about guns. Guns are dangerous weapons that should be kept out of the hands of most people, especially those who suffer from mental illness, or pose other dangers to society at large. I am extremely tired of the argument (espoused most vociferously by the NRA in the U.S.) that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Grow up, or grow some sense and realize that people kill people WITH GUNS! If that were not the case, then Cpl Nathan Cirillo would still be alive tonight.
As I posted on Twitter, I am completely disgusted by the shooting in Ottawa this morning, and am even more disgusted to learn of the shooting in Quebec earlier this week. I thought that Canadian’s were better than this, that we had more sense than to imitate the all too common actions of Americans. I thought that we had enough sense not to get involved with terrorists like ISIS. And above all, if we make allowances for a fringe part of society who does do these terrible things, I thought at least we could have the common decency to support our Prime Minister (regardless of whether we are a fan of his political positions) in a time like this. I am disgusted by the acts of the shooter (whose name I will not repeat here because it does not warrant repeating), but I am even more disgusted by some of the comments on Facebook that accompanied Prime Minister Harper’s statement.
I heartily agree with the PM (in a rare case) that we cannot take these attacks lying down, most especially if they are ISIS inspired. I am justifiably concerned that such acts could lead us into even more draconian national security or anti-terrorism laws that infringe on our rights. Justifiably concerned, yes, but not critical of the PM at this time. One comment on Facebook, in particular, about the facial expressions on the PM irked me. Yes he is the PM, and definitely must display a certain amount of strength in the face of such acts, but he is still human and was likely in shock as the rest of us are. I do not fault him for that.
It is far to easy to forget that the freedoms we enjoy in the country were hard fought. I do not wish to deny people their right to exorcise their freedom to express themselves, however some decorum in the wake of a tragedy would be nice.