Although forty-plus years an Australian, Canadian born and North American to the last so spent the first part of my life next to the US. And while one of those extremely nice Canadians, I have an enormous admiration for the US and its way of life. Been there often and always feel I am perfectly at home, no matter where I am. Once on the left – I actually attended the very first gay marriage in San Francisco sometime in 1972 – now on the other side but that is merely because the left has gone insane. I’m not sure that I have changed my political views on most things since JFK. I’m not even sure I was ever actually against the Vietnam War; I even remember mentioning to a draft dodger friend that if I had been an American I would have gone off and been drafted. And I remember the conversation so well because it astonished me when I realised that I had said just what I believed. But I was a Canadian so who really knows?
On guns, let me merely direct you to Kurt Slichter who says more or less what I think myself: Nothing Makes Liberals Angrier Than Us Normals Insisting On Our Rights. His opening, which leaves nothing to misunderstand:
I don’t agree with liberals often, because I’m not an idiot and because I love America, but when they once again say, “We must have a conversation about guns!” I still couldn’t agree more. And, since all we’ve heard is you leftists shrieking at us all week, I’ll start it off.
You don’t ever get to disarm us. Not ever.
And here is the thing. I have been to the US often, from when I was under ten and then again in July, and even spent much of the time in Las Vegas. It has never crossed my mind on any trip to the US that I was ever in the slightest danger of being shot. Didn’t like being in New York in the pre-Giuliani years, but that aside I have been in approximately 40 of the 50 states with never a thought on my mind about the American constitutional right to bear arms. It’s how they do things, and it is how the US is. And it is part of what has made the US the astonishingly great country that it is. Different from every other country on earth.
But this I do think about, and in the US more than anywhere, and that is the trouble and hassle it takes to get on an airplane. And why all this trouble and hassle? Because there are people in the world who would, for their own insane political ends, blow up any planes they could. I wish someone would do something about that, but even if they can’t, I wish they would put up in large print on every airport metal detector across the world, signs that explain just why it is being done. Never mind the American constitutional right to bear arms. How about the human right not to be blown up by religious fanatics?