07.08.2016 06:28 AM

Calgary with guns

My family has lived in both Dallas and Calgary. Whenever people would ask me what the difference was between the two places, I’d usually say: “Dallas is Calgary with lots of guns.”

Thus the photo of the guy above, walking near last night’s Dallas protest. He was initially “a person of interest.” But let me stress that what he’s doing – walking around with an assault weapon – is totally legal down there. 

Every decent person deplores the terrible losses of life in Louisiana, Minnesota and now Texas. Everyone wants to stop this madness. 

But one thing should be very clear: guns are too readily available in the United States. And not every American understands that. 


  1. Eric Weiss says:

    And the answer from the NRA will be… “Wouldn’t have happened if more good guys had guns!”. And congress will still do nothing because they’re moral cowards. Hick will buy more of their dick replacements because they’re afraid someone’s going to take their guns away.

    God Bless ‘Murica

  2. Steve T says:

    Exactly. I hope (fruitlessly, I suspect) that the conversation will focus on that, rather than the cops-vs-blacks debate.

    I’ve already heard idiots on the radio, in response to the Dallas slaughter, saying things like “well, after Baton Rouge and St. Paul, what do you expect?”. Moronic and immoral, but still getting airplay. By that same logic, all those in demographics that have been killed by Muslim terrorists would be justified to start randomly shooting Muslims (in other North American cities), because they look like those who committed crimes elsewhere.

    • Kevin says:

      Well, I don’t think any sensible person feels this was justified, but every sensible person could see this coming.

    • Kelly says:

      Those statements clearly don’t justify the shootings (and I doubt they were meant to in an ethical sense), but one could argue they go some way to explaining them. People are angry and vengeance is a real force and when there are millions of guns around and a population in which literally millions of people have military training and who have been trained that war is a legitimate way of solving problems, we’ll, you’re going to get situations like this. Personally I don’t see this ending soon. This is just the start. This could quickly spin widely out of control.

      • nobonusfornonis says:

        Why is anyone surprised. The second amendment is clear. the right to bear arms in resistance to oppression. If American blacks aren’t oppressed and poor, homeless, castigated and literally hunted down then who is? Their ball, their rules.

        Oh, and stay tuned for the world’s largest and longest state funeral while the shooters are torn to pieces on talk radio.

        The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.

  3. This is very very true. When I visited Texas (roughly ten years ago) the suburban corporate HQ building had a prominent “no guns beyond this point” sign on the front door. My work colleagues – all WASPs btw – were blown away that I didn’t own a gun, and had no weapons to shoo away people who might come right up to my door, on my property, without an invitation. They have a mindset that holds that a responsible adult has a gun handy, in the glove compartment, near the front door, under a pillow, or somewhere nearby; because they just assume all their neighbors do the same, and they don’t feel safe otherwise.

    I hope we can maintain this collegiate culture, of trusting our neighbours in general – especially that they are NOT packing – here.

  4. Manuel says:

    Before we trot out the tired and predictable “guns are too readily available in the United States” can we please wait to find out if the 4 killers passed and FBI background check when they obtained their rifles first? And if not can we wait to find out where/how they obtained them?

  5. nobonusfornonis says:

    richie havens. who will take away his license to kill. written forty years ago by Bob Dylan. The more things change… God help us all cause I believe we’ve hit the tipping point.


  6. Patrick says:

    I just want some one to provide me with a good reason for walking down the street with that gun. Not for being allowed since the american constitution has become a religious relic and the minions burst veins parsing every word to justify whatever needs to be justified at the moment. Really one good reason.

    • yoyo says:

      Because he’s proud that it’s his right to do so and he wants to make sure that people don’t try to take that right away? I can understand this even though I don’t even want that right as a Canadian.

      Seriously, the reasons behind showing up with an AR-15 on your back in public is pretty similar to the reasons that you see PDAs in the pride parade. A lot of people in this world don’t like it when people exercise their rights, and the point of the public exercise of those rights is to normalize the right and ensure that people continue to be able to publicly exercise those rights.

      • patrick says:

        Like I said, constitutional dogma aside, please give me a good reason for walking around with that slung over your shoulder in a public place.

  7. yoyo says:

    Did you see the interview with this guy, Warren?

    The tl;dr is that when the ambush was activated and the shooting started, this guy’s brother told him the cops had plastered his face all over social media because he was open carrying. So naturally, he found a cop to surrender his (unloaded) gun to make sure he didn’t get accidentally shot. Then they took him in, and he had to endure 30 minutes of interrogation with cops telling him they had video and witnesses of him shooting and that if he confessed they would take it easy on him prior to his lawyer showing up and kiboshing that bullshit. Obviously this guy is a bright and culturally engaged citizen so he didn’t get tricked into “confessing”, but you know damn well that the less bright and less culturally integrated (yes, I’m going there) folks in the world trust the cops, “confess” and have their life ruined on a daily basis when it’s not so clear that they are completely innocent.

    The whole police process is totally fucked up, and we need more people like the guy in that picture who are willing to hold police accountable, not fewer.

  8. Francis says:

    So, America has an existential crisis on their hands:

    1) Either there are too many guns and its priming a relationship of conflict between law enforcement and citizens, or;
    2) White police officers are overwhelming racist and are shooting black men because of their skin colour and not because of their second amendment rights.

    If ever there was an opportunity to grab the gun lobby by the balls, its now. Being completely backed into a corner, the NRA is forced to either admit a gun problem in the USA or admit rampant racism. Seeing as how the NRA is predominantly composed of white Americans –I don’t see that sort of recognition being made. Effectively, this forces gun rights proponents into the daylight and confront logical fallacies in their rationale. If the argument is that every American should be armed, then we’re essentially seeing that argument come to fruition. However, its leading to violence in situations where –like in Minnesota– law abiding citizens are carrying concealed weapons with proper licensing and are still being shot for doing so. Lo and behold though, there is complete and utter silence of gun advocates due to the extremely uncomfortable question they’d have to answer — why?

    America is at a crossroads.

    • Manuel says:

      I’m not silent. You pose an argument with only 2 options. What if neither are correct? Despite incidents like this and what we seen in the news on an almost daily basis, gun violence including homicide is on the decline and is 50% what it was in the 90s. Sure, some people absolutely should not have guns. And yes some police are racists. The last two mass shootings were done by people who passed the background checks. The cop who shot the guy in Minnesota was Latino. Not everything, in fact most things don’t fit into your two options. Police forces need to weed out racism in their ranks, but they also need to train their officers not to resort to deadly force so quickly. We’ve seen that problem in Toronto. The Orlando and Dallas killers were motivated by bigotry and hate. Tackling bigotry and hate is way tougher than calls for “more gun control” (whatever that means) and holding sit-ins. Tackling bigotry and hate, ending poverty, improving education access. This is where the real work is and no one wants to do it. Well perhaps Bernie did. Too bad we’ll never know.

  9. KBab says:

    And to add to the offensiveness he’s wearing running shoes without socks. Pee Eww.

  10. Ron says:

    Bill’s take on open carry. Absolutely nails it.


  11. e.a.f. says:

    Black men in the U.S.A. get killed a lot by police officers. We now have live streaming and we can expect to see more of it. Previously, we heard about it but didn’t see it live.

    Police officers will continue to shoot and kill black men in the U.S.A. until they start being convicted in a court of law and sent to jail or the lawsuits settlements are so large cities can’t afford them.

    Fear and hatred run deep in the U.S.A. and it isn’t going to change in our life times. Open carry is meant for white people, not people of colour. we have yet to hear from the NRA about the men who were killed rights to carry weapons. I don’t wonder why they haven’t said anything, because the NRA is just another white persons group wanting to ensure white supremecy and of course their profit margins.

    As to the man in Dallas who killed the 5 police officers. it wasn’t right, but I do understand it. hE MIGHT have been suffering from PTSD. When there is no resolution to the problem, you do what you want. In the end I thought it was interesting what the governor said about the execution of the shooter, without a trial. But then again, he was black and it seems execution of black men with out a trial seems to be socially acceptable amongst the white society in the U.S.A.

    • The Doctor says:

      I’m sure that you would have been able to peacefully extricate that shooter from where he was holed up for hours in that parkade in Dallas, just by giving him hugs or something like that. Maybe we should have sent Justin Trudeau in instead of that robot.

      I mean it’s not like the Dallas Police Department tried negotiating with him or anything like that.

  12. Peter says:

    The gut-wrenching trauma of these mass-shootings and deaths-by-cops is understandable, but I’m seriously beginning to wonder whether Canadians preaching gun control to the Americans have any interest in saving lives as opposed to indulging in our national sport of America-bashing. The notion that the imposition of Canadian-style gun control (assuming such would be politically possible, which it isn’t) would result in Canadian-level gun homicide statistics is a fantasy. I neither admire nor envy their gun culture, but can we please take the time to inform ourselves of a few inconvenient facts that call our simplistic moralizing into question? They are all just a click away on the Net.

    A) Mass-shootings account for much less than 1% of all American gun deaths;

    B) The total number of gun deaths from all types of rifles (not just assault rifles and excluding shotguns) is less than the number of deaths from knives. The rate of rifle ownership in Canada and the States is comparable;

    C) By far, the largest number of gun deaths (well over 85%) are crime-related and caused by handguns, which aren’t generally used in mass shootings;

    D) Well over 50 % of gun homicide victims are black (12% of the population) and well over 90% of these are at the hands of other blacks.

    E) As we all know, comparing the States to Europe shows Europeans have tighter gun control, fewer legal guns and much lower gun homicide rates. The States is the outlier. All well and good, but if you compare statistics in the entire Western Hemisphere, most countries have tighter gun control, many fewer legal guns per capita and much higher gun homicide rates than the States, which has a significantly lower rate despite their obscene number of guns. The outlier is Canada. For those lefties who like to play the poverty card unthinkingly, that doesn’t work either. Plenty of poorer countries have lower gun homicide rates.

    F) The gun homicide rate in the States has been falling quite dramatically for two decades despite a huge growth in the rate of gun ownership.

    These facts are all our there and well known to the American public. Do we really think we’re helping the Americans get a handle on this issue by our “you need more Canada” chorus? Do we really believe the American public will support change based on the argument that the root of the problem is racist cops?

    The U.S. has and always has had a more violent culture and history than Canada, and this pre-dates modern gun control. If you totaled the number of political and social-related homicides ( i.e. non-crime, but including labour violence) in Canada since Confederation, you’d be hard-pressed to rival the total deaths in Bleeding Kansas. Crime-related comparisons are off the charts. So, let’s all give thanks for the peaceable kingdom, but can we please stop the preening and scolding? There’s more to the difference between Calgary and Dallas than guns.

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