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OP/ED: Guns can kill us, but losing our national identity is a choice. No gun can do that.

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 22nd, 2014

A guy with a gun.

That seems to be how it always starts.

World War 1, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Lennon. Just a guy with a gun.

God knows, it’s what’s torn our little valley apart this week, and is tearing our country apart today. That’s no comment on Peter DeGroot, it’s just how it is. We all need to wait for the investigation to learn what happened in Slocan. But people aren’t, and it’s hurting our community. We stopped treating each other like human beings. The comments on my own site have left me ashamed and despairing, comments against both DeGroot and police. Name-calling and judgments without any factual underpinning whatsoever. Assumptions and sometimes flat-out lies. How very sad.

As for today – It’s heartbreaking – and it makes me wonder about people who hate our gun laws and restrictions. I don’t think this would be such big news, in the States. I think it’s more common there than any Canadian can honestly fathom.

I didn’t know DeGroot, but based on what his family has said of him, I think he would want his legacy to be one of caring and community and coming together – fixing what’s broken in our system, not breaking it farther. I didn’t know this guy on Parliament Hill, either, but if his agenda was division, then we serve him very well if we buy into the idea that Canada is different today than it was yesterday.

I am proudly Canadian – because of the welcoming, caring, open-hearted values that did (and DO, still, I think) drive our country.

If we allow suspicion and fear to infect us the way they have our southern neighbours, then we lose our very identity, and every shot fired was a successful body blow to Canada.

So I’m calling everyone out and demanding we don’t fall for such obvious ploys.

We stand for something, we believe in something – sharing, caring, community, acceptance, diversity.

It doesn’t mean very much if one guy, with one gun, can destroy that.

I believe the Canadian legacy is stronger than that, built on a foundation of love, acceptance, cultural diversity, and it just being too cold to be mean to anyone if you don’t have to because it burns calories wantonly.

Our cultural identity should not be at stake… not today.

This was just a guy with a gun.

He doesn’t get to dictate our future.

Does he?

Categories: GeneralOp/Ed

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