Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Do You Protect Yourself?

Well, I'm finally going to tackle this topic. The question is "How do you protect yourself?"

Ask any Canuk this question and they'll require elaboration. The initial reaction will be, "protect myself from what?" I know this first hand. While abroad, I've responded this way many times myself.

We  Canadians try to think about what could be meant by this query. Protect myself from mosquito bites? Answer - Off spray with deet. Protect myself from flu, measles, chicken pox or shingles ? Answer - Immunization. Protect myself from fire, water damage, or accident? Answer - Insurance. Protect myself from STD'S? ....Well, you get the idea. I'm certain people can add to the list since all of these thoughts occur to us.

What we don't have is the American mindset and immediate response of  "I protect myself with a gun." No disrespect intended toward my U.S. family or friends. In fact, I'm not even suggesting that every one in the U.S. thinks that way or owns a weapon. However, I have run into more than my fair share of people who have asked. They seem surprised that I have lived to this ripe old age without protection. They are shocked that I'm not walking around toting a gun or keeping one within easy reach. This begs the question. Has everyone in the U.S.A. experienced break ins, stalkers, burglars, home invasions or dangerous offenders? Is the country rife with lunatics? Is it horribly dangerous to live there? If so, has it helped to have a gun? Or, is it possible that our American neighbours suffer from some type of paranoia? Perhaps they're trying to justify a constitutional amendment from hundreds of years ago. After all, their forefathers didn't have the luxury of Walmart groceries or protection from police forces. They hunted for food and guarded their ranches from coyotes and rustlers, while relying on the town's sheriff. At least that's what the Cartwright family did on the Ponderosa. So why are they clinging so desperately to this amendment especially given all the horrific gun related events which continue to occur?

 I guess I just don't understand the oft repeated mantra of "I have to protect myself and my property, therefore I have a gun...or several...or an arsenal."

Hence, my answer, "Protect yourself from what?"

Someone actually once said to me that if people found out that I didn't have a gun, I'd be in even bigger danger than I am now.  (Insert picture of me with sweat pouring from my brow. Either that, or a baffled looking scrunched up terrified face with a "Huh?" expression)

The other day, as I watched my second last episode of The View, I was surprised at the reaction of every woman on the panel. They talked about about "protecting" their children and how much safer they feel in possession of a weapon. Their rationale made no sense to me, but it did to them. Example, how does brandishing a gun when one or more people have broken into your house with guns, protect you?

So, that's all I have to say on the matter.

By the way, lest anyone get any ideas, we have a vicious guard dog, a high tech alarm system and I do have various types of maiming skills. I've had training. Did I mention I also have a marksman's badge in shooting? Oh well, that's a story for another time.

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