I've never been able to understand America's fascination with guns. Yesterday's report in the Globe and Mail explored this in some detail with an article entitled "America's Obsession with Guns."
I think about this whenever I watch any dramatic entertainment out of the US. It's completely permissable to show a mass murder as part of some TV show but show a nipple and the entire nation goes batshit. Accidently drop an F-bomb on live TV and the country melts down.
And then there's Wal-Mart. American Wal-Marts sell assault weapons yet won't stock any albums that contain swear words.
So let me get this straight:
1. Swear words in music are legal and presumably protected under the First Amendment as free speech. Yet Wal-Mart infringes this right by refusing to stock any uncensored album or record that might require a parental advisory label. They're worried that shoppers might find such material objectionable.
2. Guns are legal under the Second Amendment. Wal-Mart wouldn't think of not selling assault weapns, including large magazine semi-automatics that can fire several bullets a second. Check out this sweet Sig Sauer M400 that's "Designed for use in law enforcement, military operations, the sporting field and competitive shooting."
So profanity is more objectionable than a weapon that's designed to cauase maximum damage?
I grew up in a rural area of the Prairies where guns were part of everyday life. They were used for protecting livestock, hunting and the occassional bit of sport shooting. My uncle used to send me down to Sylvestor's General Store to buy boxes of bullets and shells. But we were able to get by with standard-issue .22s and shotguns. Handguns? Assault weapons? Unthinkable. Why would you need one?
And this isn't America-bashing. I have great respect for our neighbours. I visit often. If I were offered a job in the US, I'd take it and I'd have a great time.
But the gun thing? I just don't get it. I never will.
(This rant was inspired by this rant on Business Insider.)