where the writers are

I love McDonald’s. Yep me, the one who is generally known to eat healthy. I only eat there 3 or 4 times a year, and usually it’s because I am on my way somewhere. I get pickup and eat in the car or on a park bench. But the other day I wanted to try the new egg biscuit breakfast, I was feeling lazy and I felt a need to get out. So I picked up my bacon biscuit, a hash brown (grin) and a tea and sat at a table near the regulars. You know, the ones who sit around all day and fix the world over coffee.

I wasn’t really listening but my ears perked up when one spoke loudly and clearly. “The trouble is,” he said, “ Canadians are too chicken to pick up rifles and start shooting.”

I turned my head and looked straight into the eyes of the perp and told him in no uncertain terms in that clear voice I find only very occasionally, that No, Canadians do not ever need to pick up a rifle, that’s why it is illegal to do so. He had the good grace to look shocked, then sheepish. The table became quiet. The room became quiet.

The encounter occupied my mind while I finished my meal and all the way home.

Ever since the Brits and French Colonials fought amongst themselves for the better part of a century for possession of a land neither had any right to claim as their own, there have been no wars fought on our soil in modern history. Canada knows little of war, but this is not to say we have not been there. For generations we have been the peacekeepers. We are willing to send our young to die for other causes, which themselves began with the firing of a rifle or two. We lost a heartbreaking number of promising young men fighting for the allies in The War to End all Wars, and were one of the first to join the fray after Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 and precipitated WWII. Many countries still have annual tributes to the Canadian soldiers who died for their freedom. Canada has always been the go-to country and was part of the impetus for setting up the UN Peacekeeping forces. Our Prime Minister Lester Pearson won the Nobel Peace prize in 1957 for his part in forming that pact, NATO and other efforts.  

Today we are in Afghanistan and seem to be providing more than just peacekeeping services. We have lost far too many young folk. And we sit around tables and shout out that the answer is to pick up rifles and shoot.  

Are we so immune to seeing violence every night on television after decades of journalism 101, which teaches that violence always sells? Is it that we don’t know how to tell a story without bombings and people being blown up willy nilly? Or am I in danger of becoming that little old lady who walks around hitting folks she doesn’t like with her umbrella? (I never think of myself as old but I am little and have outdoorsy wrinkles so I suppose to some I look old - the lady part is debatable)

The thing is, the thing that started this whole rant, was that one of the things I thought about and kicked myself for after the outburst was what I wish I had said. I wish I had said that the reason there is ever a need to pick up a rifle and shoot is because some idiot thought the answer was to pick up a rifle and shoot!

Oh, and vis a vis the healthy eating. Sugar is one of the main food groups, si?  

Sharon Tillotson, author of:
The Storyteller
Now Available on Kindle
The Storyteller   Website

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How true it is that brilliant thoughts about "what I should have said ..." so often come to us later as we replay the event in our heads. I concur that the exposure to all the violence and drama in entertainment and the media is bound to numb the senses which is one of the reasons that I exercise my freedom of choice. If we all made a conscious effort to choose thoughts, words and deeds with love in our hearts (Valentine's Day is just around the corner) then peace and joy could be more universal.