I’m going to marry an American in two months.
Yesterday, there was a shooting right outside of her work.
She’s okay. As far as we know, nobody was hurt.
Her coworkers called the police. They didn’t show up until that evening, once everyone had gone home for the night.
She works in the middle of a major city, in an area that mixes residences and businesses.
And the police didn’t show up until hours after being told around eight shots had been fired.
I was going to write a full article on it, and on gun control, and on the absolute absurdity of what’s going on every day in that country. I was going to talk about how I have a slight feeling of unease in the back of my mind whenever I cross the border to visit her. I was going to talk about the jarring sensation of seeing rows of weapons for sale at Walmart, with only exercise equipment separating their section from the toys.
But what can I say that hasn’t been tirelessly said already? I’d just be another Canadian shouting from the sidelines, giving one of the world’s most powerful countries a solution that’s obvious to everyone else, a solution that’s obvious to millions of people within that country.
My fiancée and I have discussed for years where we’ll live once we’re married, where we’ll raise our family at some point down the road. She’s moving up to Canada first, but with the understanding that we’ll live down there in the future for some time before we decide where to settle.
As statistically improbable as anything happening is, it’s hard to imagine raising my future children in a place where school shootings are a regular, multiple-times-a-week occurrence. And if not a school, then a movie theatre. A church. A mall. It’s improbable, yeah, but it’s a whole lot less probable here.
If a few things had gone differently, my whole life, my entire future, could have changed yesterday. All because a bunch of people believe they might need guns to overthrow a government that doesn’t serve its people (which they’re clearly in no hurry to do).
I couldn’t find a news article about the shooting yesterday. There was one about a gun murder, but that happened in a different part of town. There were three threats of shootings in her city’s schools that day. And one about shots fired at high school very nearby, a few days before. But why would the news cover a shooting that wasn’t even important enough for the police to show up to until hours later?
It wasn’t significant.
Someone shooting a gun eight times in a populated place wasn’t significant.
I’m glad yesterday didn’t play out a little differently, in the way it has so many times across that country.
I’m glad I’m still going to be able to marry an American in a two months.
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