By DARREN HANDSCHUH
I saw a story about a rather strange car sales promotion - well, in Canada it would be strange anyway.
The story said a car dealership in the U.S. was offering a free handgun with the purchase of a new car.
“Buy the new 2009 SUXZ and get the latest in high-powered killing technology that is small enough to fit in the glove compartment of your new car. Hurry, you don’t want to have to settle for a substandard weapon. Ammo not included.”
The company was offering $250 toward a new pistol or a voucher that can be used to purchase gasoline.
According to the car dealership general manager, most people were opting for the gun, and he is recommending they choose one of the semi-automatic model “because it holds more rounds.” Really, that’s what he said, honest.
It is just another example of how much Americans love their weaponry.
In Canada, car promotions may include free gas, a chance to win a free vacation somewhere or cash back, but I have never heard of a car dealership offering an implement of death as a lure to get people to buy a car.
We don’t really do the handgun thing up here, so maybe a car dealership could offer a bag full of knives, or a perhaps a baseball bat with a nail in it if they really want to connect violence with the latest in motoring trends.
But south of the border, high-powered guns are as popular as hockey is up here.
Where else can you get a fully automatic machine gun for deer hunting?
“Hey Bob, how many deer did ya get on your last hunting trip?”
“I only got one, but I got it 137 times.”
Of course you can’t eat the deer because it has more lead in it than a toy from China.
I have a few relatives south of the border and it was always interesting to visit them when I was a kid. Crossing into Washington State was fun because it meant I was going to see some really cool guns because all of my relatives were packing heat.
Other than a pellet gun and a .22 calibre rifle, my childhood was relatively weapons free.
Not so for my Yankee cousins. Their home was like a miniature armory and they were just average citizens.
One of my cousins, who was a couple years older than I was and thus very cool, would always show me the arsenal stored in his parent’s home.
The shotgun was kind of neat, but what I really liked was the two handguns because it’s just not something I was exposed to in Canada.
They also had an assault rifle that my uncle said was for “home defense.”
Home defense? Was he worried about being attacked by a herd of rampaging elephants, because that rifle had enough fire power on its own to kill Dumbo and all of his big-eared cohorts – twice.
At my house we had a dog for home defense. When someone came to the house, the dog would bark and we would look to see who it was.
If it was at night, we would simply let the dog outside and it would either keep barking and growling, or it would shut up depending on the circumstances.
The situation was always resolved without the use of lethal force.
When my grandmother died a few years back, another cousin asked if she was allowed to bring her handgun into Canada.
She had a small, .9 millimetre semi-automatic gun that she carried in her purse “just in case.”
We explained Canadian officials frowned upon smuggling restricted weapons into the country, but she just could not grasp the situation.
“But, I take it everywhere,” was her matter-of-fact reply.
In the end, she made it to gramma’s funeral and she brought her little friend with her.
I felt much safer knowing she had a six-shot, clip-load .9 mm in her purse in case the funeral was attacked by a renegade horde of psychos similar to those found in post-apocalypse movies.
I know that has never happened, but if that were the moment is was to happen, at least we would be ready.
Or maybe an errant bear could have attacked the funeral procession and my cousin could have gone postal on the bruin and saved us all.
Maybe Canada should re-think its gun laws, because we also deserve to be safe from post-apocalyptic rampaging bears.