As if the border was just a line on a map
By Paul Harris
Jun 29, 2005, 09:32
Canadians have always known we are not the same as Americans. We have the same basic historical and ethnic background; we have similar moral, religious, and ethical beliefs; Canadians say Americans are our best friends, Americans rarely have any idea who we are or where we live but we think that’s a good thing because it mostly keeps them there instead of here. We generally consider ourselves to be morally superior to Americans (but let’s face it, who isn’t) and we are determined to maintain ourselves separate from them in as many ways as possible. We are happy to cooperate where our mutual interests can be served but we are not keen on kissing up to their back ends, which is apparently what Washington thinks is appropriate.
But just yesterday, two news articles on our taxpayer-funded national news network (another difference between us) highlighted two things: the first points out that we clearly need remedial training in killing; the second, that we are all going to hell in a hand basket.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) wasn’t consumed with broadcasting President Bush at Ft. Bragg, droning on almost like he had a thought, so they had more time to actually report news last evening. The first piece that caught my eye was about a statistical release from our StatsCan agency that keeps track of the most picayune statistical crap imaginable. According to StatsCan, we are killing each other, and ourselves, in steadily decreasing numbers.
Our rate of death by gunshot has been cut in half over the past two decades. Now there are those who will say the gun control legislation we passed a couple of years ago can claim credit for that, but they would be wrong. StatsCan’s survey ends in 2002, just as the cost of the gun control legislation was hitting the fan, but before it had had any opportunity to have positive results. No, the only thing we can really blame for the reduction in gunshot deaths is a lack of guns. Even without the gun control legislation, it has always been tough to buy a gun here.
But, and here’s the part that many Americans don’t get, most of us actually don’t want to own guns. Oh sure, the hunters do, and farmers do, and target shooters do, and criminals do. But most of us don’t, and we continue to be amazed by our heavily armed neighbours and their love affair with lethal force in their pocket or purse.
According to StatsCan, the risk of death from gunshot was more than three times as great for American males as Canadian males, seven times as great for American females as Canadian females. And more US deaths are homicides (as opposed to suicide or accidental death), giving the US a rate of gun homicide nearly eight times Canada's. In Canada, 80% of gunshot deaths are suicides.
So while Canadians are not entirely opposed to killing themselves or each other, we don’t seem to have the love affair with it that consumes (literally) our friendly neighbours.
But while many Americans might shake their heads over our national obsession with peacefulness, last night’s other news story is going to drive them bonkers. We just made gay marriage legal.
Yep, two guys or two gals will now be able to tie the knot, just like normal folk and with the same rights and obligations under the law. We’re only the third country in the world to do this; but sitting right next door to the most rigidly uptight nation in the West, you know they are thinking we are going to be sent to a special kind of hell. [There is, I guess, no concern in the US about that photo of George Bush that you can find all over the Internet, the one with Georgie walking hand-in-hand with that Saudi Arabian fella. It looks to me like there’s a real glint the eyes of both of ‘em. But I digress.]
In the CBC’s coverage of the story, I was reminded that it was less than 40 years ago that homosexuality was still a crime in Canada. Not that anyone had been prosecuted since time out of mind, but it was still on the books that you could only diddle your partner if your partner wasn’t cut out of the same cloth as you. Our prime minister at the time that law was repealed was famous in Canada for saying that the state had no business in the bedrooms of the nation, and a majority of Canadians have long accepted that notion.
But the passage of the same-sex marriage act was not so easily won. There is fervent opposition and most of that opposition is for the most nauseating of reasons: large groups of opponents to the law say they don’t object to gay unions, or to granting them rights and obligations equal to traditional married couples … but they object to using the word ‘marriage’. They cry that ‘marriage’ is an institution sanctified by the church (‘the church’, in this case appears to an amalgam of all the religions combined), that the state has no business making laws to override the church authority in this issue. It apparently doesn’t matter that marriage has been a civil process for hundreds of years, with the rules being made at the civil level.
Read all here ...
http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publi ... 8848.shtml