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“But it’s not like that in Canada. Canada restricts firearms. They don’t worship guns like they do in the U.S.”

 

Mounties

Perhaps the only country in the world (aside from the Vatican) where the cops are a tourist attraction.

 

The thing to remember about the US vs. Canada: Canada has a day they celebrate called “Constitution Day.” It’s the day when the Queen gave them their constitution — in 1982, I believe. It was all very orderly and civilized, and the event marked Canada’s exit from the parliamentary links to the British Commonwealth, leaving Queen Elizabeth II the Head of State for ceremonial reasons.

That’s not how the U.S. got its constitution.

The U.S. got it with guns, first.

About 80 years later we killed about a million of each other — with guns — to settle some outstanding issues not fully addressed by the first Constitution. When it was over, some important parts of the original Constitution had been re-interpreted and amended, but the right to own guns remained enshrined almost at the top of the Bill of Rights: The list of the people’s demands that allowed the Constitution to become law in the first place.

We used our guns again to settle the rest of the continent, dispersing and killing the original residents as needed. Then we used them to conquer an old empire and take it over–extending our reach around the globe and turning America into a real world power.

Then, through the 20th century we used our guns to defeat various baddies in the name of good and democracy. When the last big war was over, we continued to make guns — bigger, badder ones — out of the trillions of dollars in tax revenue. We did this to ensure world peace because we were told the bad guys had even bigger ones than we did. We finally spent so much on guns that we bankrupted the only competition we had for top-gun. They couldn’t keep up.

Today, most Americans own guns. Our per-capita gun ownership is over 90. That’s a higher rate than car ownership. And you know how much we love cars.

The gun is so wrapped up in American culture and history that the two are almost inseparable. The gun is so much part of America and so enshrined that it really can’t be taken away, even if it seems logical that it should be. The US isn’t Canada. Nor is it the UK.

We are America. We are the gun.