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My very first death threat


Last week I received what I considered to be a thinly-veiled threat on my life; my first death threat after over twenty years in broadcasting. It should have been a badge of honour. But I decided that it called for swift action by our boys and girls in camo pants.

It all started with my rather strong and emotional reaction to yet another shooting in the U.S., this one in South Carolina. It was an admittedly F-word-laden post aimed at Americans and their sick thing with guns, and how they can’t seem to go one day without a gun death.

There were those who agreed with me, and those who disagreed, including a man who, as it turns out, wasn’t even a Facebook friend. His initial reaction, on my Timeline, was a simple two-word response, one of them an F-word, followed by a private message: “I thought you were one of the best on CJAD,” he wrote, “but I see you are anti-gun. I’ve never shot anyone in 69 years, might change my mind about you” (punctuation added).

You see, he’s Canadian. He wasn’t running to the defense of the Second Amendment. Just guns in general.
As it turns out, his intention was not to threaten me with bodily harm or death. “Might change my mind about you” simply meant that in his eyes I was no longer one of the best on CJAD. He’d simply let bad syntax get the better of him, and later sent a second message apologizing. But by then it was too late, I’d already gone to the police. They paid my would-be assassin a visit. He won’t be bothering me again.

But there is a larger point to be made, here.
It’s been my experience that gun nuts – sorry, gun enthusiasts – tend to be on the defensive, regardless of nationality. In the case of Canadian gun nuts—er, uh, enthusiasts, it’s almost as if the American adherence to so-called “Second Amendment Rights” have bled over the 49th parallel and seeped into the fabric of our otherwise peaceful culture.

So what if I am anti-gun? Why would my views elicit such an emotional reaction? Indeed, there was a time, perhaps when the Second Amendment was framed, when this type of disagreement might indeed have come to blows, and escalated into a gunfight.

But here’s the thing – and this is what most American gun people forget – the Second Amendment was designed at a time when men were running around with muskets and blunderbusses, fighting for their newly-developed nation, defending their life, limb, and land from the likes of King George and his goons. If they still want to play cowboys-and-injuns down south, that’s their business; I’ll let Trump and Hillary deal with that as they see fit. But here in Canada, despite the apparent border-busting nature of things like Facebook, we are free to espouse whatever position we choose, and ought to be able to hold those positions without fear of death, Voltaire be damned. It’s not a question of gun control, but impulse control. If you cannot be trusted with a laptop or an iPhone, then you really shouldn’t be around firearms.

By: Dan Lazer – totimes.ca

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