Walt Wawra is a police officer from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Walt and his wife were in Calgary, Alberta, Canada when he and his wife were spoken to by two Canadians wondering if they had been to the Stampede yet (big rodeo). Walt’s first instinct? To look for his gun.
AMERICANS, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
I live in a city of 7.5 million. We are currently hosting the Olympics, but we often play host to huge annual events such as Notting Hill Carnival, or more local events like World Cup parties being hosted by groups of pubs, or even micro-level groups, like the restaurants in our area who are on the pavement at sundown during Ramadan offering treats for all who pass by. People talk to each other (I know, I know, northerners, southerners don’t talk as much as you like), so I have had to learn how to negotiate groups of people on whatever level they are at. The group of rugby players dressed as Austin Powers at 9.30 in the morning running to the bus do not need to be handled like a guy who steps out of the shadows at 3 am asking for a smoke. I’ve never been stabbed/murdered/beaten up/raped/mugged/stolen from or even bothered. I find a little courtesy goes a long way. Yet this guy’s first instinct was to find menace where there was no indication that there would be, and to use a gun over his brains. As he says in his letter to the local paper, he played white knight and the potential offenders looked ‘bewlidered’. Note to Walt: Muggers and rapists don’t generally look bewildered when you talk to them – they are a bit too busy mugging and raping you. However, normal people who asked a normal question (as the Stampede is a massive deal) *do* tend to look at you like you are cuckoo if you act that way. I would too if I asked a simple question and some yahoo played Yosemite Sam with me.
This is why the rest of the world shakes their heads in disbelief as we shoot our own up week after week. This is why I get tired of trying to defend my home land, and get sick of saying “But, we aren’t all like that, there’s just a lot of morons…”. This is why a massive change needs to occur before the US sinks like Rome did oh so many years ago – when our first instinct at someone speaking to us is to draw a deadly weapon, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.