Photo by John Bakator on Unsplash

America, I Love You, But You Can Do Better

I’m completing what will be my longest stay in the United States, a 3-week wonderful experience at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Southern California where I have been composing new music.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people. Having great interactions is not unprecedented or surprising. In my previous trips to the US, I have always found many Americans to be so outgoing and friendly. It is a special skill as a human being to make another human feel like you are old friends even though you’ve just met. I find many Americans to have that special skill. I have experienced this more often here than in other country I have visited and have experienced it more here than my own country of Canada. And this observation BTW has been with Americans on both sides of the political divide.

In a country filled with so many wonderful, kind-hearted and highly-intelligent individuals, why can’t they change their constitution and/or laws to turn around this gun violence issue? In my short time on this current trip, no less than 12 mass shootings have taken place in the US. The amount of mass shootings and victims in 2019 alone is staggering.

So what can be done? Well, the smart thing would be to repeal/update/modify the 2nd Amendment. I know many say that changing the constitution is a tricky thing. But it has been done before. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. American friends, please elect candidates who would support such an initiative.

This being said, I do understand how steeped in American culture and history gun ownership is. In my dream world, no one should have a gun. But I realize most people don’t think like I do. So if changes to the 2nd Amendment are not realistic, at least reinstate a ban on assault weapons, limit high-capacity magazines and pass universal background checks. These are practical easy measures that I’m sure would help the situation and make mass shootings less common.

Idealistically, I can see how the right to bear arms is a fundamental right in your constitution. But life cannot be lived on ideals alone. We have to be practical. No average citizen needs an assault weapon in everyday life. When this type of weapon gets into the wrong hands we have seen what happens countless times. People used to argue that it was against their fundamental human right to wear a seat belt in a car but we all have laws making that compulsory today. For me this is a public welfare issue and government has a duty to take necessary steps to protect the public.

You’re probably wondering what right a musician from Canada has to meddle in US affairs? Well this post and plea comes from a place of love. I love the US. I love you, American people. As much as you have accomplished and contributed to our planet, you deserve more.

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