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Let’s get rid of guns.

Yes. An insane, impossible idea, and one which brings the trolls to this website, I’m sure.

Three very, very bad events have happened the last two weeks, in California, then in Moncton, New Brunswick (a place not even many Canadians take note of…our radio broadcasters in Edmonton got the capital city of New Brunswick wrong!), and another, just yesterday, in Seattle.

We Canadians take some rather misplaced pride in not having the level of gun violence the US does. I say misplaced because ANY is too much. Despite what this says.

While I was living in Scotland, a police officer was shot and killed in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. This was huge news, gigantic. I admitted to being surprised at how big the news was…a police officer was killed in the line duty – awful but true, that happens. NOT in the UK, ladies and gentlemen. Read this Guardian piece from the time…”more than 160 officers have been ‘killed in the line of duty by a criminal act’ in mainland Britain since 1900.” That was in 2005. Since 1900 ?? Know WHY that is?

Because in the UK, it’s almost impossible for even criminals to get guns. It’s all but impossible for anyone to get one.

So I have a preposterous idea. I’m writing to my (conservative) MP, and requesting that guns – whose purpose is too kill things – be subjected to the same restrictions as cars. Vehicles are recognized as useful, yet potentially dangerous items, and so the use of them is subject to the users proving they can use cars responsibly. THE SAME SHOULD GO FOR GUNS. Rifles of any kind, hunting, recreational in a gun range, doesn’t matter. Anyone who wants to buy a gun has to go through a GRADUATED licensing program. And, at certain periods, gun owners will be required to undergo a test to prove they are still sound and capable gun users. Part of that test will be proving you have done the utter utmost to make certain no one else can get your gun or its ammunition. IF THEY FAIL the test, THEY LOSE THEIR GUN. And, AND, the government could usefully track something: instead of eavesdropping on cellphones, why not use all the technology and manpower instead to track who is building and selling guns, and to WHO.

I’m sick of this argument, which shouldn’t even BE an argument. Guns are for killing – in the hands of responsible people, they kill animals for eating. And if someone breaks into a responsible gun owner’s house, that gun is then apt to get to someone who will kill people. I’m sick of guns getting into the hands of, and remaining with, people who shouldn’t have them, and I’m REALLY sick people being surprised when others are killed as a direct result of those people having guns.

Let’s prove that we are better than the US on this. PROVE IT.

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How DO you change the world?

It’s been a crappy couple of weeks in the world, what with this and this. But then it’s been a crappy few…years, in Syria and Bangladesh.

This photo made the rounds on Twitter shortly after the bombing in Boston.

Everyone agreed it was a beautiful thing to do.

Like everyone on earth, I was glued to the news for the entire week ending April 20. For almost two days, a major American city was in shutdown, while everyone there waited anxiously for it to be over, and then everyone was relieved and happy when it was over. Everyone knew it was going to end.

And I can’t be the only person who thought; for those guys in that photo from Syria, what happened in Boston for those two days happens every day. But it has no end.

Then this week, again, a horrible building collapse in Bangladesh. Hundreds of people killed because their bosses told them to keep working in an unsafe building to cheaply make clothes for…me. And it’s happened before. And it is happening every day in sweatshops — that’s what they are — in China, and Mexico, for example. There are too many more.

I had the notion to start an online petition, telling governments to stop selling weapons to other countries, since that’s partly what’s fuelling the war in Syria — and I found dozens of petitions asking for that already in progress, as well as others against landmines and the sale of assault weapons in the US. There are protests too, at every G8 summit, against the way our economy currently works — partly against sweatshops. But they continue to operate.

What to do? I’m trying to think.

I need to do spring cleaning–picking out the clothes I don’t / can’t wear anymore, washing and donating them, and bringing the things I wouldn’t foist on anyone for recycling. And then…there are some lovely-looking consignment shops on 124th Street I could check out. Re-using rather than buying cheaply-made clothes. If everyone did that, would it help?

And as for weapons…ugh. I’ve written before on what I think about firearms. I don’t know that there’s anything I can directly do about that. But I have an idea…which I’ve just tweeted about, if you’d care to have a look on the right.