“I wonder when the shooting will stop” is what I really meant, though saying if is perhaps slightly more appropriate in the long run. I am, after all, in America where a tattooed, leather-laden fellow shopper was packing a handgun in the grocery store. Yup, America. When will the shooting stop? Perhaps by nightfall or, at the very least, the end of hunting season. Wait, hunting season hasn’t officially even begun yet. It’s bow hunting right now. So what are all these gun shots? Maybe Wednesdays are practice days at the hunting lodge down through the woods towards the lake. Maybe the neighbours are doing whatever they please despite November 1st not yet having been passed by on the calendar. I wear bright orange when I go out. Even if it’s just to the garden. A few years ago a woman went out to hang laundry in her yard with white gloves on. Her children are now motherless and the guy got off. America.
There’s something different about being in a country that “gained” its freedom via revolution. I have images in my mind of a video I saw in High School Social Studies: Trudeau sitting peacefully yet appropriately aloofly with the Queen, signing some document that officially made Canada a country in a way we hadn’t been before. Trudeau with his teenager-like charm, suddenly off the hook from mum (avec hat), ready to grow up and be on his own. This image is startlingly different than the one I have in my mind of Americans fighting off Brits to defend their right to live in a country thousands of miles away from where it was being governed from.
What this is bound to mean for the average American is that war and violence is a little closer to home than what I’m used to. It’s hard to conceptualize a country founded on violence that continues to perpetrate said violence into the world. Then again it’s hard to listen to gun shots all day. I know they’re just doing target practice and I know my orange toque or vest will protect me, but I still hope that we’ll figure it out enough one day to not need guns around.