I’m not going to repost this whole article, go read his. It’s very well written, or at least I think so.
See I’ve been having issues lately with how I feel about gun ownership.
On the one hand, I worked damned hard to get the PAL I carry, and I am considering getting the RPAL just because it’s a difference of $20 per year without any real downsides and it allows me the option of owning and practicing with some of the handguns and historical pieces I’ve thought fondly about over the years.
On the other hand, owning firearms on the whole, and specifically some of the more restricted options (ok, restricted in Canada) seems insane. I mean, what’s the point of having a gun that can carry 30 or 50 or 100 rounds in a magazine? And the AR-15 platform is just a glorified 22 cal system that is designed for only one thing, efficiently harming human beings. I get that people want their toys, and they don’t take well to limitations, but here in Canada we are severely limited already with what can be bought and by whom.
Guns exist, and as a tool for a specific objective they do fairly well. Do I feel the need to own more guns? Not really. I have a few my father left to me, and a couple more that I picked up from a cousin who’s PAL expired and he wasn’t in a place to renew it, (financially or family wise). Do I feel that my rights are being threatened by legislation to reasonably address gun control issues?
Here’s the kernel of the problem isn’t it. Let’s get real. I don’t live in the United States. I don’t want to. It’s scary down there. Here’s my two cents. I had to be 16 to even train and test to be qualified to drive a vehicle. 16 years old. Since I acquired my licensed privilege to drive they have made the qualification process even more stringent. I will neither support or object to such measures, that’s not the point of this. But my kids, when they take their qualifiers and eventually hopefully get their licenses to drive, I will know that they’ve been vetted and are not just piloting a 4000 pound projectile down the highway.
Alcohol, Prescription Medication, Narcotics (medical or otherwise), all are regulated to a greater or lesser degree in Canada, and it makes sense, much the way Anna details it all in her article (she’s referring to the US I would assume). In Canada we have a tiered system for gun ownership as well, which I am learning is absent in the USA.
To own a firearm here, you have to check a few boxes, the first is age. You have to be 18 to even start thinking of this. Before that you can test and be certified to borrow a firearm from a valid PAL holder for specific purposes. Even that doesn’t kick in until a person is 12, and presumably accompanied by a responsible PAL holder.
Second, as noted just now, you have to have qualified for and been issued a valid PAL, which is only good for 5 years (10 would be more useful and less onerous but it is what it is). At the end of 5 years, you need to reapply, at which time, if you’ve been good, and all the checks still clear your name (mental health, stable, etc, etc, no criminal issues arising), then you’ll be issued a permit for the next five years.
Third, did you catch the mentally stable psych check. You need at least three other (also stable and upstanding) people who are willing to vouch for you, as well as having no other issues on record with any of the agencies that would be involved ( Police, mental health agencies, watch lists of any type, etc.).
I gloss over this stuff and make it sound simple, but even for me, a CPA, married for over a decade, with five kids and a paid off home, it was a day or two’s work just to get the paperwork in order after passing all the mandatory training. I undertook this ordeal just so I could legally possess the firearms my father left me when he died, without that I’d be required to surrender them to the RCMP or sell them to a licensed PAL holder myself.
To go buy a new gun? A standard non-restricted hunting rifle, while expensive, is relatively simple if I have my PAL in good order. Guess, what, the guns you hear about on the news? The don’t fall into the category of non-restricted. There are two other classes of firearms in Canada, restricted and prohibited.
First, the prohibited, to simplify, you can’t buy Prohibited. Well, you probably can and I’m interested to see if it’s even possible, but I’d lay good money on the paperwork and red tape being insane.
Second, Restricted Firearms, or in other words, AR-15 style guns, shortened shotguns, and all types of handguns that don’t fall into the restricted category. You need an RPAL to get one of these types, and since I’m in the process of figuring out how to do that, I can’t really speak to it, but it’s possible, and I aim to figure out how, then I’ll come back and talk about it.
But to summarize, I started out conflicted with ownership of firearms, especially in the wake of the recent tragedies experienced by our neighbor in the south here. But having thought about it, there are checks and balances in place.
1- it’s moderately difficult to actually clear the bar to ownership of regular simple hunting firearms.
2- to own anything like a handgun or an ‘assault rifle’ style gun, you have to clear a harder set of qualifiers, and prove you have a membership at a range to be able to play with said shiny toy.
3- the licensed privilege, like a driver’s license, expires periodically and you need to be re-cleared to keep playing the game.
4- notwithstanding the regulations surrounding owing and acquiring firearms, there are additional storage based regulations that must be followed (trigger locks, removed bolts or actions, secure safes and cabinets, separate storage for ammunition, etc, etc.)
5- we have a reasonably capable police force (they’re spread a little thin around these parts but that’s a geography issue rather than anything else) and don’t need to have our firearms to hand at all times, we lock them away until we’re going to the range to practice or going hunting. Hell, most issues are solved by talking, even when the police are involved.
So, do I worry about gun violence? Not here at home.
Do I have issues owning a firearm or five? No, because I have them stored securely and I am the only one at any given point who has access to the keys to even get to the dang things.
Does our system need fixed? That’s a topic for another post.
But as it stands, our system is a dang sight better than that of our neighbor to the south. I believe that this is so because of the mentality that this is a privilege, and one that responsible adults can be trusted with, without prejudice. (key note there, healthy responsible adults that are to be trusted with the privilege, just like driving a car is a privilege).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I like to say I have to go clean my guns, but it’s late, and I need to get a couple hours sleep before my kids get up for school.
via “Best Motivational Quotes” App.
Everybody says to just let it slide, hell I often tell my kids the same thing. Let go of the negative, don’t treasure the hurts close because the only one who stays hurt is you.
Now, how to take my own advice?
Not sure how this is going to work but pray for me will ya?
* note- today was a rough day, and the original post went all sour, so you get a poem. Good Luck.
The Demons are on the Hunt,
They’ve scented out their prey!
Panic smells and threat’ning sounds,
fringtened fearsome thoughts run foul;
Fleeing, running trying hard
To slip the bonds of thought.
Reason briefly tries afresh,
To stem the bursting dam.
The demons turn and point anew,
Their quarry briefly free!
His hope is tangible for now
But fleeting is the dream.
Their quarry flees yet once again,
Flitting thither and yon,
The demons note his fresh resolve,
And theirs to match his steel.
The truth is he cannot escape
These coursing hounds of hell.
They dog the victims every thought,
And taste his very soul;
These demons fair and strong of will
Are sons of man, ’tis true.
These demons hide within his thoughts,
And torture his mind, the pain!
I know this tale, ’tis true and sound.
The lies are plain to see.
For I am the man who runs and hides
And these demons, well, they are me.
Today is about why I’m not further ahead, a listing of all the things I am doing on a daily basis that keep me from getting the writing I want to do, done!
Yep, that’s it. I procrastinate, lots!
Here’s some of my favorite procrastination points.
Reading – Blogs, E-Mail, Books, etc, etc.
Cuddling – wife, kids, very rarely the cats…. (very rarely, cat’s and I don’t mix well)
Facebook – GAH! huge timewaster. Should name it http://www.timewaster.com
—-League of Heros 2 Beta
—-Dawn of the Dragons
—-Legacy of A Thousand Suns
—-I’m sure there’s more, but these are the three worst… really!
Oh and Writing.Com, that’s a good timesink as well, it’s just that I can justify it by saying I’m learning.
And one final point, I managed to procrastinate this week about writing, by hunting down more things to write about… go figure.
Cheers, gotta fly,
Afternoon, pull up a chair.
Today I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind, several of my minds.
Identity. Online Identity specifically. What is yours? Who am I? Why are we talking when we have little in common.
How far away from the “real” you is your online identity…. I’ll let you think about that while you watch this skit from YouTube.
God I love Monty Python. Classic Insanity. And a good point about identity. Who are we all underneath the sheen of civilization? If you were to remove all that is Civilized about a man, who is left? Will it be the thinker or the Brute?
Here’s another appropriate video…
Yep, and with the advent of the internet, we’re so far beyond that stage that I really don’t know where to begin in explaining what I’m trying to talk about.
Used to be that you could log into a BBS (Text based Bulletin Board System) heck I even ran one for a while called L-Space… and once you’d created an account of who you wanted to be, that person was who you were, period. Without video-blogging, mass-dissemination of video and pictorial information you were able to be this alternate person (or maybe be yourself, depends on how you were wired). Now, with Facebook, Photoshop, and VR Sessions that are approaching a level of reality that makes dreaming look redundant, who’s to say if the person you “meet” in an online or non-face to physical face situation is in fact the person they represent themselves to be.
Now, don’t get me wrong, most people are basically honest, most are just fine…
But some aren’t.
I’ll use me for an example. I’m a fairly average guy, six foot, brown hair, blue eyes, and about fifty pounds overweight (more or less, I think) with 2.5 kids and a wife, who also works full time…
But online I could be a (ok this is a stretch, but for the sake of the example I’ll use it) I could be a five foot three dirty blond from the Ukraine, who’s just escaped from an abusive husband who’s caused two of the last three miscarriages that I’d had. And with enough consistency and some minor facts (it’d help if I could use Photoshop, but I can’t, I really really can’t), I could have somebody believing that this six foot average Caucasian male was in fact a vulnerable somewhat diminutive member of the opposite sex… (granted, this was an extreme example, guy’s don’t make good women, menatally, usually)
*as an aside there’s lots of recent discussion about just this topic over at Mad Genius Club, start at the linked post, and then go back through Sarah Hoyt’s post HERE and Rowena’s post about females as leads just before that. It’s been an interesting week reading over there.* Back to topic.
So, do you see what I mean? Take away the requirement to be who you are supposed to be in this world (me, I was brainy smart so I was supposed to be a doctor or a lawyer, Yech!), even now I’m an accountant with leanings towards charting the stars and sailing the world, or maybe just writing about it… either way…
Once you’ve removed that requirement to be who you appear to be, who you’re supposed to be, then who are you really? Are you the same as that perpetual character you create for any and all games requiring a character build? Are you who you think you are, are you who other’s think you are, or are you somebody else entirely?
I’ll leave it there, I’ve got work to do, and another post to put together for the night. Let me know in the comments, what is your identity and how close to it do you live?
Hi everybody. First a quick explanation, then the picture I have for you.
I was heading out to the car this morning, and after starting the frigid lump of steel, hoping that it would warm up, I went back to put the garbage out for pickup. Not usually a bid deal, but it’s up the other side deck over the perpetual snow-drift we have here from Fall to Spring. My boys are kind enough to tramp a path back and forth to the side deck through/over/around this snowdrift, so it’s not too bad hiking through it.
But this morning I had to go back to that spot just off of said deck, because I realized there was something of note there. My youngest, Aidan, was playing outside last night when we got home (so was Connor), and in playing he had forgotten to put away his toys. Now, remember, he has no preset ideas about what is a proper winter toy, so here is what he was doing yesterday in the snow, in full snow-gear, in the dark, at minus 10 C.
Just because I can, none of you are in my Knights of Columbus Group, so here’s two of this month’s jokes.
Question: Why do we have to be quiet in church?
Answer: Because people are sleeping…
And the second one…
At the pearly gates a taxi driver and a preacher are waiting in line. St Peter consults his list and hands the taxi driver a silken robe and golden staff.
“You may enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The taxi driver proceeds through the gates while St. Peter consults his list again, and pulling out a cotton robe and wooden staff, presents them to the preacher.
“Just a minute!” says the preacher, “That man was a taxi driver, and he gets a silken robe while I, a man of God, get only a cotton robe and wooden staff. How can this be?”
St. Peter smiles understandingly, “Up here we work by results, while you preached people slept, while he drove, people prayed.”