How dare this man come to my country as a tourist, & behave in that manner!!!!! Guns before questions is a lot of the damn problem with people, & frankly I'm bloody sick of it!!! Then he has to bring up his 'lawd jeezuzz cryst' in his letter as if that makes a difference to what wanted to do!!!!!

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American police officer bemoans lack of guns in Canada

by Sameer Vasta

A police officer from Michigan was tempted to pull out his handgun after a seemingly-friendly encounter in a Calgary park. I, for one, am glad he wasn't allowed to have one with him.

If Walt Wawra had his way, a simple and friendly meeting with a couple of Calgarians could have ended in injury, or even death. Thankfully, in Canada, people like Wawra don't have easy access to handguns like they do in Kalamazoo.
Yesterday, the Calgary Herald ran a letter by Wawra, a police officer from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he bemoaned the fact that he was not allowed to carry his handgun into the country with him on his recent trip to Calgary.
According to Wawra, while he and his wife were strolling through Nose Hill Park during their recent trip up north, they were confronted by two young men who asked if they had gone to the Stampede. When Wawra and his wife didn't answer, the men asked again — Wawra then said that they had nothing to say to the men, and walked away as the friendly Calgarians watched them, bewildered.
Wawra decried the fact that he wasn't able to reach for his handgun during the confrontation. His letter made it clear that he would have felt safer if he were able to brandish his firearm instead of walking away politely.
Here's what I have to say to Walt Wawra: you are ridiculous.The men who approached you and asked if you had gone to the Stampede did so not because they wanted to harm you, but because they were friendly. In Canada, it's not abnormal to be cordial to the people that share the park with you and make conversation; it's especially normal to be asked about the Stampede while in Calgary during the Stampede. The bewildered look you got from the men wasn't because they were threatening, but because they were confused why you wouldn't just say "yes" or "no" and respond to their friendly banter.
If you had pulled out your weapon, Mr. Wawra, I guarantee the situation would have got worse, not better. If you had access to a gun and had brandished it in this situation, all the friendliness would have disappeared from the confrontation and instead be replaced by threat, fear, and confusion.
Nothing good comes from fear: people make stupid mistakes, and those mistakes end with people getting hurt.Mr. Wawra — the reason we don't allow concealed handguns in our parks is to protect ourselves from people like you. The fact that your first instinct in an encounter, friendly or otherwise, was to reach for your weapon, shows that the people we have to fear most are not happy Stampede-goers, but overly-suspicious, gun-happy gun owners that think violence can act as security.
If you had your gun, Mr. Wawra, what was probably just a friendly encounter with two boisterous and happy well-wishers could have ended with the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of life. You may have felt unsafe without your gun here, but I feel safer knowing you don't have it.

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Just ignore the guy. They like to go around and tell people what to do.

This guy is too gun-happy to be trusted, even in law enforcement, so hopefully he stays away from here.

I am liking Canada more and more and liking the US less and less.

Not that we don't have issues here, but the gun first BS is just not us, & we generally don't go to another's country as a visitor with that attitude either.

I was born in Calgary Mathew, but moved to BC when I was 3 years old & don't have much memory of the city.

I found this to be SO messed up when I read it. 

The Canadians did not act in a threatening manner, they were unarmed, and they simply asked a friendly question.  I have lived in Alberta (though I am an Ontario born-and-raised gal).  The people there are so genuinely friendly and always talkative.  I remember being quite confused when strangers would approach me while I was on a walk and just start chatting.  It is not common here in ON, but I just found it refreshingly strange, not threatening.

How dare this visitor insist that because he has the right to be a douchebag in his own country, that we should allow such offensive behavior here!

I live in BC, but was born in Calgary, & have never seen anything like this from anyone, resident or tourist....ever..... cop or not!!! Pleasantries are exchanged here all the time & I have never been around anything which made me feel threatened. If something has made me a little uncomfortable, I change direction to avoid.....simple. I hope the border bars him from here should he ever try another.....visit!!!!

All these nuts in the US are gun crazy.  It's the fucking NRA, who cooks their member numbers by the way, that cause all of this crap that over 90% of us americans DON'T want.  Ninety % is the number of us that want stricter gun control.  The lobbyist in DC, who work for the NRA, are dead set against it.  Fucking politicans.

Horrible pun intended!

I think you should put yourself in Wawra's place a bit.

Wawra said the guys got in front of him, blocking his path, and got too close for comfort.  In some places, this would likely be the start of a mugging or being surrounded by a gang. 

I would feel threatened by that, as a woman going around alone.  If it were in an isolated area I would feel very threatened and perhaps take off at a run. 

I don't know about in Canada, but here in the USA people offering stuff don't normally block your path.  And they would say they are offering free tickets, not "start a conversation". 

Partly because people with benign intentions wouldn't want to seem possibly dangerous. 

You don't know what those guys' intentions actually were.  Nose Hill does look like an isolated area, I saw a picture of it. 

As police officer, Wawra is probably often in dangerous situations, and he's developed split-second judgements about what is dangerous.

That doesn't mean he should be allowed to carry a gun in Canada, where he might act on his split-second judgements in a different culture. 

But the Canadians who are mocking him for it, are ignoring both Wawra's probable background and the actual situation that they don't know. 

The guy was on ''vacation'' in another country! If he's trained to react that quickly by grabbing for a gun first, then he doesn't belong here! The US is plenty big enough for him to ''vacation'' somewhere & he can keep his bloody precious gun!

However, you weren't there.  He described the two guys as quite aggressive. 

An attack could easily start by approaching someone with a seemingly harmless question, to disarm their suspicions. 

Again, I'm not saying that he should be allowed to carry a gun in Canada - but rather that a lot of people are casting judgement when they weren't there.

Many women are raped in places where they feel safe.  Just because people think of the park as a safe place doesn't mean an attack can't happen there. 

ps I note the person in the picture of Nose Hill Park has a dog with them, so they are walking around with protection.  A tourist likely wouldn't have a dog with them. 

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