Keeping it Real…

Keeping it Real… header image 2

Fla Tragedy: One Continent, Two Countries … So Very, Very Different

February 19th, 2018 · 25 Comments

The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was far too close for comfort: less than a 15-minute drive from my winter place in Florida.

As we all reeled from the tragedy that saw 17 more young Americans slaughtered in yet another gun attack, I couldn’t help but ponder how DIFFERENT Canada truly is from the United States.

Yes, we could … and have …had school attacks by crazed gunmen in Canada or other countries as well. But what is most notable, this was the EIGHTEENTH school-related shooting in the US so far this year …and we’re only three weeks into February!!!!

EIGHTEEN shootings so far this year!!!  And those are only the school-related shootings.

In fact, 33,000 Americans now die each year from gun-related violence … and more than 100,000 are wounded.  Even given the disparity of comparative population sizes, these are murder/injury rates we could never even contemplate …or would tolerate …in Canada.

The differences between the US and Canada go FAR BEYOND guns.

The inscription on the Peace Arch Canada/U.S border monument reads “Children of a common mother” … but clearly these kids, brought up by different parents, have grown up and matured quite differently.

First, Canada is a democracy.   We may not always like the results of our elections, but at least the winner is the person who gets MORE votes than the opponent!

The US President himself has said the US electoral system is rigged … and who would better know that than a candidate “elected” with three million fewer votes than the opponent.  Not even trying to explain the convoluted American electoral college system can alter the fact that Canada is a better practitioner of a democratic system than the US.

And as we in Canada contemplate and debate the adoption of proportional voting to make our system even better and more representative, there is not a hint …or a possibility…that electoral change to achieve greater fairness is ANYWHERE on the US horizon.

And the disparities do not end there.

The gerrymandering of election boundaries in the US is still so widespread, so political and so prevalent in many states that the legitimacy of many elections (state and federal) can easily be challenged.  (We used to have this problem (remember Gracie’s finger!) in Canada…but we changed:  our electoral boundary commissions today are respected by most inside Canada and abroad, independent and non-partisan).

In some US states, even voting day arrangements are also politically polluted in many states by politicians and partisan appointed election officials who provide fewer voting stations and fewer personnel in areas where opponents are known to be stronger …forcing determined voters (again, more often  in black and poorer areas)  to wait up to 8 hours in the sun/heat just to  vote.  (Again, Canada’s non-partisan Election Office ensures much fairer procedures and polling station distribution.)

Then there’s the often-manipulated, often-targeted demands in the US for ‘proper identification” to vote.  Even though proven incidents of false voting have been miniscule, the difficult hoops that some states make some voters (again usually requirements more difficult for poor and thus black to meet) to go through to prove their identity seem more designed to prevent people from voting than encouraging them.

And in addition to hose VERY REMARKABLE differences from Canada, don’t forget election spending!

Thankfully, in Canada political donations and election campaign spending are carefully regulated, limited and controlled.  Makes it much more difficult (although never impossible) to legally “buy’ a candidate or campaign.

In the US … the Wild West still rules in political fundraising …  almost anyone who is an American citizen (hear that, Putin?) ….or any family or any group ….can spend as much as they want on individuals, campaigns or advertising…. even hundreds of millions of dollars!

Winning or holding on to a Congressional House or Senate seat can cost up to $25 million in the unfettered American campaign reality …. such a high price that many Americans now believe their politicians are actually bought and paid for by wealthy donors/sponsors/lobbyists and pressure groups.

“In the 2016 election, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support Donald Trump—and another $19,756,346 to oppose Hillary Clinton. That’s over $31 million spent on one presidential race,” reported Forbes Magazine this past week.

Senator John McCain has taken $7.74 Million in campaign contributions from the NRA; Sen Richard Burt $6.9 Million; Sen Marco Rubio (Florida!!) $3.3 Million. The list of NRA-gifted politicians … by far mostly Republicans … goes on and on.

Well, if they’re not bought and paid for, I have no doubt in MY mind that politicians on the take to the extent that the NRA doles out are influenced by these (and other) high level donations … totally legal under the US political system, but NOT best for democracy.

It all adds up.

Who among us … in the midst of the ugliness of the Marjorie Stoneman tragedy … was not impressed by the beauty of America that also came out …. in the stories about the students/teachers victims, the determination of their schoolmates, friends and families vowing to bring about change and the widespread grief and support they received from across America.

Unfortunately, if the past is prelude, the surviving kids, the parents, the good, caring people of their community can cry, mourn, rally and demand change … just like those victims, families and friends of previous school shootings … but all they will get from their politicians are thoughts and prayers, calls for a conversation, pledges of  heartfelt support  … but NO CONCRETE ACTION TO CHANGE ANYTHING to do with guns.

Let’s keep it real: about all America COULD ever hope to see this generation would perhaps be some restrictions on assault weapons and bump stocks and background checks on all gun purchasers to determine criminal convictions or mental issues.  But even those limited controls …despite all the blood of innocents … still seem a long way away.

NOTHING will change, even in the short term, until the American people DEFEAT the NRA’s good and faithful elected servants. .

And, in the long term,  only if the US adopts a BETTER, more civilized, more honest and MORE DEMOCRATIC electoral/governing system … like we enjoy in Canada.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: International · National

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chuckstraight // Feb 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Agree- it has taken a long time to create a culture such as the USA. I sadly know people just like the NRA supporters here in Canada.

  • 2 G. Barry Stewart // Feb 19, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Well said, Harvey.

    As a soccer referee, I see the rules (or ‘Laws’) changing or being clarified almost every year. New ideas are tried, then pulled back or modified some more in following years if they don’t have the desired effect.

    It’s amazing to think that it wasn’t until 1863 that “Carrying the ball was banned, as were the practices of shin-kicking and tripping.” The laws have progressed continuously from there. (

    The U.S.A.’s Second Amendment was added because the founding fathers didn’t have guns on their minds when they drew up the original constitution. They even forgot to add freedom of speech (the First Amendment.)

    I hope the youth movement, that seeks sanity in gun ownership laws, will be able to
    spur some meaningful changes. It will take a big, sustained movement to make that happen.

    We won’t see Donald Trump leading the charge.

    I don’t know why this shooting would be the tipping point, though. Sandy Hook should have been — and now we have people denying that it ever happened.

    Maybe, like with the “Me Too” movement, the time is ripe.

    We’ll see…

  • 3 Gene the Bean // Feb 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Harvey, this really needs to be talked about and not swept under the rug again by the rabid right.

    I literally felt ill when I heard of this. I am lucky enough to spend most of the winter in a warm and sunny place with thankfully many more Canadians than Muricans. So many people here were talking of the absolute senselessness of yet another mass murder by some racist conservative nutjob.

    The more tRumpisms that come out and the more this happens makes my resolve even stronger to fight the Racist Right in everything they do. Once this generation of 15-18 year olds start to vote, conservatism will be thankfully dead. The selfish morally bankrupt racists will crawl back in their smelly little holes and wait for another turn, which hopefully will never happen.

    tRump is the best thing that ever happened to the progressive agenda.

    I can’t imagine how these hundreds of families cope with the senseless slaughter of their children. It must be virtually impossible to justify, even in a place so screwed up as Murica.

    If there is a god, I wish she (he) would do something for these families.

  • 4 Rocker Rich // Feb 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I would like to think that this school massacre is different. Thanks to the astonishingly articulate teen survivors. Thanks to that moment in the mass vigil when the “No more guns” chant broke out.

    Trouble is, the Newtown massacre of Grade 1 innocents and teachers also moved America, briefly, until the NRA, their talk-show shills persuaded most Republican lawmakers to do nothing.

    I guess jingoistic Yanks are right…their country is “exceptional”…but in the worst way possible. To channel the late Leonard Cohen: “I have seen the future, and it is murder.” I’ll be amazed if—perhaps sooner than later—America doesn’t descend into a new Civil War.

    I can easily envision civil unrest if Democrats regain Congressional power and Trump is removed via impeachment or defeated soundly in 2020.

    Maybe geographically huge nation states have had their day. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of Cascadia—a coastal nation stretching from BC to Baja California.

    West Coasters tend to tilt way more progressive than so-called “heartlanders” in both the US and Canada. Citizens of Eastern states likely have more in common with eastern Canadians than Southern and Great Plains electors.

    Canadians shouldn’t be smug. We could well descend into a Canadian unity crisis if Horgan’s delay gambit on the Kinder Morgan pipeline upgrade works.

    If an oil-stranding delay results in Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives routing Rachel Notley’s NDP, I could easily see Alberta and possibly Saskatchewan holding separation referendums. The Supreme Court Of Canada laid out the referendum roadmap…and it isn’t Quebec specific!

    Like I say, maybe sprawling countries like the US and Canada are simply too big—and too riven by cultural and economic divisions—to survive intact.

    (Response: they ALL seem different …for a few weeks. Then people’s attention span, the media and certainly the politicians all move on to a new headline/issue. I thought Sand Hook would be different and lead to change …I was wrong; I thought the Las Vegas massacre would be different and lead to change… I was wrong. The truth is …as long as the politicians keep cashing the cheques from the NRA, the voices of victims’ friends, families and supporters will fade into memory with time. ho.)

  • 5 D. M. Johnston // Feb 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    It is time to be blunt, we, as a world, cannot treat the USA as anything else but a rogue state and it is my belief, Canada, in fact the world, must treat the USA in the same sort of fashion as the world treated South Africa with apartheid.

    The brutal slaying in the USA are nothing more than cheap American politics, combined with massive political corruption on a scale that is to be almost unbelievable.

    Corn pone politics, combined with a sinister cult “Evangelical” religion and a warped sense of history and now being lead, at best a world class grifter, or at worst, a treasonous lout who has sold his country down the river.

    If a country, after the slaughter of innocence at Sandy Hook, and absolutely no action taken, except tighter laws shielding gun manufactures, has no moral right to be even considered a world leader of anything.

    Fear and loathing has become the way of American life and the failure of American politicians and the American public to rectify the situation, makes them complicit in the mounting death toll.

    Their society is sick and getting sicker by the day.

  • 6 e.a.f. // Feb 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Great article! despite all the things we may not like about our politicians they are so much better than the americans, well a lot of them.

    There isn’t that much democracy in the U.S.A. having read American, their version of left, blogs over the years, the stories of gerrymandering boggle the mind. Veterans who fought in WW II and the Korean war, going to vote, being told their I.D. is no longer valid because they don’t have a driver’s license I.D. they have their American birth certificate, every thing except a driver’s license. But who would have one when they’re into their 80s. Oh, it was in a black neighbourhood in Texas.

    Alabama, decreed you needed picture I.D. and then closed all but 2 places in the state where you could obtain them, prior to the last federal election. (its wasn’t the Russians who did that, but republican officials)

    The shootings in the U.S.A. will continue until the American politicians are more afraid of the voters than the NRA. That could happen in the next federal election, given what has happened in Florida. Watching those who survived, they’re vocal. they will vote next time. If their message resonates with the other 20 million their age, they could make a huge change. It would appear American children are tired of being shot at, having to practise “shooter” drills, etc.

    Trump has been disgusting through this. He obviously doesn’t even know how the F.B.I. works. He suggests had they not been investigating him and his election, this shooting might not have happened. He doesn’t even understand these are different sections of the organization. the man is bad shit crazy. some commenters in the U.S.A suggested he might feel differently if it were his children being shot at, but it is doubtful. Anything which stands in the way of him and what he wants doesn’t count. They can die. Same goes for Ryan and the rest of the Republicans and some Dems..

    Any country which demonstrates such low regard for its children, just isn’t going to survive. The U.S. is more willing to let their children die in gun violence than some of those “shit hole” countries Trump so dislikes.

    (Response: The Republicans may be on the take and have sold out to the NRA, Koch Bros, Sidney Adelman etc etc… but the Democrats have yet to find their own backbone! Wouldn’t it be interesting if the dems made gun CONTROLS and BACKGROUND checks a DEFINING CAMPAIGN issue/pledge ..vowing to take on the NRA: I’d bet they’d draw a lot more support than their current bland, principleless stands on so many issues. h.o)

  • 7 Oldislander // Feb 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I agree with every word of your post.

    I used to spend a lot of time working in the US before I retired, and one on one, my American friends were ‘salt of the earth’ – you couldn’t ask for nicer people. But politically, we may be seeing the end of the USA as we know it. Trump is likely a symptom of the pending failure of their democratic system.

    We were cruising for two weeks before their last election and for a week afterwards. Most of the Americans we met on the ship were staunch Republicans and in their view, if Hillary was elected, it would mean the end of their country. We learned to studiously avoid the topic of politics, unless our table mates brought it up, and were Democrats. The division and rancour and indeed — ‘hatred’ — of the US left and right for one another, is insane.

    Over 40 years ago, the US howled in laughter at Archie Bunker explaining how he’d end all the ‘sky-jacking’ taking place at the time. “Arm all your passengers…”, he explained.

    Now 40 years later, we have one of the most popular radio talk show hosts in the US, telling the country that the solution to the school massacres is to arm the students and teachers.

    This level of ignorance is almost beyond belief.

    The sad thing is, there is no end in sight. The Democrats had opportunity to inject some sanity into their gun laws, and were largely unsuccessful. The NRA’s funding and deep pockets are apparently irresistible to politicians of all political stripes.

    (Response: Amazing how many older, most of them white, Republicans you meet on cruise ships…esp longer off-season voyages. And how silly they sound telling you how bad things are compared to the good old days … and then boast they’re on their 30th cruise or more. Tough times for the privileged!! h.o.)

  • 8 Harry lawson // Feb 19, 2018 at 7:39 pm


    Another great post , yet how many more will have to be written.

    My hope is with the students themselves. Many have grown up with the threat of school shootings. Many are now in the position of direct political action, The youth vote is one that may truly influence the us mid term elections as well as the future presidential elections.

    Many will say The civil rights movement , the Vietnam war movement ,or any social justice movement was won on the street ,the reality is it was won at the ballot box.

    Are we finally witnessing the flicker of change ? For the sake of society I hope so.

    (Response: Every poll suggests the VAST majority of Americans SUPPORT background checks and restrictions on gun sizes etc …. so I hope it’s only a matter of time before ENOUGH younger citizens become old enough to vote and effect change. IF they can find enough politicians with the backbone to openly defy and denounce the NRA’s extremist agenda. h.o.)

  • 9 13 // Feb 19, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Interesting essay Harvey. I hope and pray that by some miracle this movement by the youth manages to actually make inroads towards solving the gun violence our neighbors are enduring.
    I am not comfortable with the comparisons of the two countries with an eye towards superiority . I am often thankful that I am a Canadian,but now and then I am thankful that our neighbor to the South is willing to step up on behalf of many countries that do not do their fare share , Canada included.

    (Response: It’s not about “superiority”. If someone else has a better way of doing something, that doesn’t make them better: it just means they have a better way of doing something. And when it comes to “responsible” government, our system in my view is better …even if not perfect. ho.)

  • 10 BMCQ // Feb 19, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I was raised in the City of Vancouver with four Pistols in the House, my Parents were Shooters, my Mother was a better Shot than my Father and she would be considered a Marksman today. For some reason my Father has a Carry and Conceal Permit when I was very young.

    I shot the ?Guns on two ocassions and for some reason it didn’t take, I had no interest.

    Ten years ago I was totally Anti Gun and I did not think there should be Guns of any type in the hands of Canadian Citizens in General, even for Hunting.

    I was eventually convinced that I was over the top with that belief and I have modified that stance somewhat. I have evolved one might say.

    It is long past time for the U.S. to totally overhaul their Gun Control and there needs to be change to the Second Ammendment thst better Suits the changes in Society while at the same time taking into account the Technological changes that have Made Weapons/Guns literally Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    How can any of us justify making Semi Automatic Guns or Rifles or Bump Stocks or some of the other Military Type Weaponry available to anyone other than Military or Law Enforcement?

    Contrary to what many in Media attempt to portray there are many Federal Politicians both Democratic and Republicans that are resistent to change and bringing Gun Legislation into the 21st Century. Again, it is long past time.

    All Western Societies especially Parents also need to look at things like Violent Video Games, Rapp and other Music, Internet Violence/Porn, Movies, and the “Deep Web” along with other Cultural Destroyimg Influences destroying the lives of many of our very young People, mostly White Males.

    We seem to have desensitized many of our younger people and we must somehow reverse that behavior.

    Think of how Rapp Culture encourages the abuse of Women and Law Enforcement, how can Parents, Government, or Educators condone that Cultural Cancer?

    Where the Hell are the very Vocal Activist Feminists On the Rapp Cultures Endorsement and in fact Encorsgement On Abuse of Young Women?

    The dangers I have just mentioned are perhaps the biggest threat to our society and in fact the above mentioned are contributing to the Opioid/DrugDeath Epidemic.

    Much of the Fentynal comes in through Mexico, that is why a Wall is needed.

    Western Society is in grave danger and we cannot afford to stand back and allow our young people to become victims of any dangers out there today.
    The Danger is not always another Teen with a Gun.

    After reading the first several Posts on this Blog I find it very disturbing that on average there is more hate for Trump, Americans In General and the U.S. itself than there ever is for ISIS, Iranian Leadership, North Korea, Myanmar, Castro’s Cuba with believers of Democracy in Prison, Middle Eastern Countries that oppress, imprison, torture, or kill Gays, Women, Minorities or or even the Shooters themselves.

    You would think POTUS Trump savagely Killed the Florida Students/Children.

    Obama had control of the Senate, the House, and the White House, he was surrounded by Shootings and he DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    Where was Pelosi, Booker, Schumer, Bernie, Mad Maxine, Gerry Brown, and the rest of the Majority Dems On Gun Control then?

    Where were ANY or ALL of YOU Hollier Than Now Social Justice Warriors then?


    What is it about so many Canadians that makes it so easy and gives them so much satisfaction in branding White American People mostly Male as Morally Bankrupt, Ignorant, Uneducated, Bigotted, Criminal, People of Hate?

    Just what is it that makes Canadians so sure they are superior, wiser, better educated, and people of much better character than their U.S. Neighbours?

    The attitude displayed in much of the Posts above frankly sickens me.

    I will Post something regarding the Shooting and Guns later but before I go I have one question I would like to ask any or all of you.

    Just when was the last time any of you saw a Group of Legal Refugees/Immigrants with no Felony Convictions in America from Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mexico, France, China, or any Country run down to the Beach in Miami cobble together a Raft out of Old Cigar Boxes and Row off to Cuba to seek Asylum and Flee the Oppression of the U.S.?

  • 11 D. M. Johnston // Feb 20, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Just to remind everyone, the new St. Valentines Day massacre in Florida, was not the first school shooting in 2018; it was the 18th!

    This is the 18th school shooting so far in America in 2018.

    Now, one does not need be a rabid anti American to deduce that there is a huge gun problem in the USA. Again, one is not anti American to point out that the politicians have done absolutely nothing to prevent this.

    If I had my way, I would post a large billboard at each boarder crossing telling Canadians, you are entering a lawless state, with a long history of mass shootings and list the top 10, frequently updated.

    All empires collapse; most imploding on the rigid belief that they and their country can do no wrong; they are omnipotent, thus change is not needed.

    The 2nd amendment has been so misconstrued by the NRA/gun lobby to suit their ends of unlimited gun sales and they well pay politicians to do this.

    The history of the USA, has been so “Hollywood” now, that the USA’s much vaunted history is nothing more than hackneyed myth.

    Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
    H. L. Mencken

    And this is where the 2nd amendment comes in, as it has been so perverted by the NRA and the gun lobby, the vast majority of American do not know what it is about.

    2nd Amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” from 1776 or there about.

    The US “political Supreme Court” and indeed, the American legal system is made up of political judges, who view the law through their political view point and not what is legal or the law, has allowed the 2nd amendment to become the instrument of death.

    The 2nd amendment does not cover assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, etc., thus they could be outlawed in the USA, without contravening the 2nd amendment.

    Not going to happen, under the present geriatric lot that have been elected to both the senate and congress.

    So, the mass shootings in the USA will continue, like a hypnotic swinging of a pendulum clock.

    This is why, I think we should treat the USA as we did with South Africa, international sanctions.

    As for American politicians, shun them until the country does something positive to change their gun laws.

    How many dead children does it take?

  • 12 Gene the Bean // Feb 20, 2018 at 8:16 am

    The first eight posts here give me hope that people do care and people want change.

    When you are in a discussion about children being slaughtered and you bring up a litany of excuses, red herrings and diversionary “ angles”, to support ‘your side’, well folks, that is the truest example of the moral failings of individuals I have ever seen. It explains perfectly why these things occur.


    Children being slaughtered “ ya, whatever, but stop picking on white males and conservatives”…..

    Let that sink in…..

  • 13 ellbee // Feb 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Sadly, this will not change. Trump has signaled that he is “open” to some reforms. That’s code talk for doing nothing. The comparison to Obama doing nothing is disingenuous. He tried, but was blocked at every turn by the NRA and those beholden to it. The first rumblings from the Repub talking heads that the students are being hijacked by the left is starting. It will get louder. We can count on Fox news to make sure. I have a bias against most things American, but I was so impressed by the students speaking out that I believe there is still a glimmer of hope that the US can get back to being a leader instead of a laughing stock.

  • 14 jay // Feb 20, 2018 at 10:59 am

    children killed yearly in gun related incidents in US – approx 1300 per CNN

    Number of abortions yearly – approximately 650,000.

    Our society seems to have forgotten that children are our future.

  • 15 Diverdarren // Feb 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Harvey, it’s misguided to say that the system is broken based on the fact that one personally disagrees with the decisions the system arrives at.

    Without going into a tedious civics lecture pitting republic style democracy against parliamentary style democracy, the United States is working as the Founding Fathers designed it. It’s a system that places power in opposition to each other forcing conflict and compromise. It was their vision that has kept the US democracy alive.

    Has the US system arrived at decisions I don’t agree with? Absolutely! But, the decision has always been formed inside the protections of
    what is collectively called “checks and balances”. A decision is not unjust simply because I don’t agree with it. A decision is unjust if it usurped the machinery of the decision making process.

    My take on the mindset of the US Founders would be aghast at Canadian parliamentary democracy. They knew that any society can create order if the society was willing to give up liberty. China is a very orderly society. But order without liberty is oppression.

    The United States was established to create a more perfect Union, and secure the blessings of liberty, not create an orderly tyranny. Compare that to the Charter; “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”.

    We could go back and forth with examples of undemocratic machinery in both the Canadian and US systems.

    But, let’s keep it real. Harvey should Americans be allowed to write a blog that is critical of anything and anyone, including the government? Of course they should. That’s liberty. And it’s rightly protected.

    Do Americans have the right to keep and bear arms? The Founders thought it as important to liberty as a free Press and protected it as such.

    I’d expect you’d agree with how the Free Press has been interpreted and applied in the American society, and it would seem you disagree with how the 2nd amendment has been applied. But remember, because one personally disagrees with a decision doesn’t make it unjust.

    Here in Canada, Parliament has banned lots of guns, and yes we have a more orderly society. But we gave up liberty for that order.
    But liberty should always be secured.

    What’s to stop Parliament from banning Harvey’s Blog with the intent to create more order?

    (Response: I agree with you when you write it would be wrong to say a system is broken “based on the fact that one personally disagrees with the decisions the system arrives at.” I say the US system is broken based on HOW it reaches decisions…HOW it often cannot reach decisions … HOW a few can control what decisions are made and HOW the will of the vast majority can be thwarted by MONEY/CORRUPTION and CONTROL. h.o)

  • 16 BMCQ // Feb 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I have not read the attached as yet but I was told it would be of great interest whatever one might think about the availability of Guns and Rifles Automatic or otherwise.

  • 17 e.a.f. // Feb 20, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    some of the commenters mention the lack of “back bone” on the part of the Democrats when they had control of Congress to make changes to gun laws. Its true.

    A few years ago Jon Stewart had a former Australian State Premier on his show to discuss how they went to a “no gun” policy. He advised he and others of his party would loose their seats, however, he stated that was what leadership was all about, doing the right thing and knowing you would loose your seat. He and many other politicians pushed through the legislation out lawing guns. He and others lost their seats but he was good with it. He advised they didn’t have mass shootings any more, fewer suicides, etc. This man demonstrated leadership at the expensive of his political career and he knew what he was doing. Perhaps it is time some American politicians took a look at what leadership looks like.

  • 18 Harry lawson // Feb 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    BCMQ 10

    You have very eloquently stated the facts of the Societal contributions towards youth violence, you are right on the money about the political hypocracy from all sides. You asked where the social justice Warriors were ? The true Warriors were trying to get change . Social justice should not be biased by politics that’s not social justice that is just hijacking for political gain.

    Canadians are blinded by our naivety , police in the lower mainland sieze guns every day many from school aged teens. Many teen gangster whose behaviour is condoned by family.

    Canadians are not superior, wiser , better educated or of better character,. We have just been luckier

  • 19 D. M. Johnston // Feb 21, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Quote: “The United States was established to create a more perfect Union, and secure the blessings of liberty, not create an orderly tyranny.”

    Actually, the United States was created by a band of elite people who did not want to pay taxes, fighting colonial wars of expansion.

    In fact, the Brits caved in on this in the end, but on they went.

    As the band of revolted Americans grew, they, eventually won what was a civil war, with French intervention.

    Those opposed to the revolted Americans had land confiscated, homes burnt and women and children raped.

    The American revolution was a sordid affair, om both sides and of course those who win, tend to write history.

    Fast forward to 1812, and the colonists in what was to be Canada did not want nor welcomed an American invasion and resisted American attempts to annex Canada. It was the colonial resolve that gave the Brits heart to fight on.

    We have to careful of Hollywood history, especially when it is taught in schools.

    it is the same with the second amendment and again I ask, how many dead children does it take to change or is the USA doing a Syria and its politicians just do not care?

  • 20 Anon. // Feb 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Post # 4: “Canadians shouldn’t be smug.”

    Personal knowledge;
    A Metro Vancouver suburb.
    A nuclear and extended family of seven.
    Four are being medicated and counseled for anxiety and depression.
    One of the four, for certain, has used the word suicide.
    Another of the four received a birthday rifle.
    One bought a rifle for another, who could not obtain a PAL.
    The household arsenal is displayed on Facebook, covering the bed of a pickup.
    “Someone should say something.”
    Someone did.

    Post # 12: “Let that sink in….”

  • 21 e.a.f. // Feb 21, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Having watched the young people who went to the school, speak regarding the issue and how they felt about what happened, gives me some hope. these young people are courageous and articulate, more so than the majority of politicians making the decisions which led to this act of terrorism.

    Many keep saying after a mass shooting, its not the time to talk about it. these young people have taken the position, if not now, when and have decided now is when to go for it. They’ve done an amazing job.

  • 22 BMCQ // Feb 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I was very clear when I stated that I was until a few years ago totally for a Ban on ALL Guns.

    I have since evolved and now understand that Hunters, Sports Shooters, and Rural People should have access to Guns with certain conditions.

    It is absurd to suggest that I was disengenuous when I factually stated that the Impotent, Dirhering, Disengaged, and Inept Barack Obama HAD the Majorities he Required to enact Meaningful Gun Reform Legislation. Please Familiarize your self with the facts.

    In fact there are Scores of Democratic Members that have voted against many forms of Gun Reform Legislation.

    How can anyone with more than Room Temperature (C) IQ attempt to lay all of this at the Feet of Trump who has been in Office for one year?

    Let’s all hope that something meaningful gets done now. The U.S. needs to do more than simply tinkering with Registration and Licensing, there needs to be an Ammendment to the Second Ammendment.

    You may also like to consider the fact that Obama and the Dems lost over 1200 Legislators at various Levels of Government his last 2 years in Power. Just how popular was POTUS Obama really?

    There are those erroneous unreliable Polls again.

    If you do not believe me please simply ask President HR Clinton how reliable Polling is.

    You are certainly entitled to your own opinions but you ARE NOT entitled to your own set of facts!

    I direct you to the e.a.f. Post – 17.

    Again I stated that Canadians like some that Post on this Blog are being silly and juvenile when they criticize our American Neighbours.

    We are not better people, just because a handful of you have BEAN silly enough to state that it does not make it fact.

    “Superiority Complex” – perhaps that might clue
    you in.

    Wanting and Recommending Gun Reform Legislation for the U.S. is one thing but if you prefer the truth you should re read your Posts where you actually attacked the Mentality, Character, Integrity, and Morslity of ALL Americans and that is more than cheap and tawdry Politics. Come back and deny what I have just pointed out.

    I do not expect to hear anything from you D.M.

    Harry – 10

    It is always encouraging to hear from someone that is not “Bound By a Straight Jacket of Ideology”, you always see the Big Picture.

    One more thing Harry, I always wince when I hear PC Snow Flake Parents wonder what to do when their ?Children are Bullied or Intimated On Social Media.

    How about telling the Poor Little Souls to Turn the Damn Things Off!! How would that be for an Escape?

    All Children until they Graduate from High School should turn of Social Media, Comp and Smart Phines and hand over to their Parents at 8 PM every night until the next day at an appropriate time, those mentioned are a retraction and abuse can even end up being a threat to life and productive future.

    Thanks Harry, I do not have many friends here.

    Anon – w0

    Well said.

  • 23 BMCQ // Feb 22, 2018 at 6:50 am

    To Clarify


    Did any of the Anti American/U.S.A. Superior Posters on this Blog happen to have a Starring Roll in the Old Forgotten Film

    “The Mouse that Roared”?

    If not you may now have a second chance I understand Hollywood are considering a Sequel

  • 24 13 // Feb 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Sitting here watching the snow melt on a very peaceful Saturday in Chilliwack. I decided to go back over some of Harveys blogs. (Once again THANK YOU HARVEY for your time and effort). I see that the last few postings have come to their senses. We are not one iota better than our friends neighbors and relatives to the South. We are indeed luckier. Can you imagine the dithering idiot in Ottawa trying to govern in the USA. I wish I were more computer savvy because I could attach the picture from the local rag in Chilliwack. It has a picture and a story about the drug house that a local was SHOT and KILLED last week. They had photos of a small arsenal of illegal guns and rifles some looking very much like ARs. The lads mom was on the news lamenting the fact that if her son was in jail where he belonged he might still be alive.
    I wonder how many people in the neighboring cities of Sumas, Blaine and Bellingham are wondering what the hell is wrong with those uneducated gun loving whackos in Chilliwack.

  • 25 G. Barry Stewart // Mar 2, 2018 at 11:09 am

    13 at 24.

    I too was shocked to see the types of guns seized in that raid. Here’s a link to the front page of the Chilliwack Progress: