American off-duty cop complains he couldn't pack heat in Canada, worries about guys who talked to him and then went away

Jesse sez, "This letter to the editor for a Kalamazoo police officer to the Calgary Herald has been floating around Twitter and the internet today, mostly for the purposes of mocking it. The officer describes an incedent that he feels is a good example of why Canada should allow concealed firearms. Two men came up to him and his wife to ask if they had been to the Calgary Stampede, and...that's all. The newspaper has already released an editorial explaining that it's a real letter they received from a real police officer, and that it isn't a hoax. I thought it might be right up Boingboing's alley. It really does illustrate a cultural divide between Canadian and (some) Americans' views on gun control. It has also sparked the Twitter hashtag #NoseHillGentleman."

Even with the newspaper's reassurance, I find it hard not to believe that this guy isn't trolling -- the cliche is too perfect.

Recently, while out for a walk in Nose Hill Park, in broad daylight on a paved trail, two young men approached my wife and me. The men stepped in front of us, then said in a very aggressive tone: "Been to the Stampede yet?"

We ignored them. The two moved closer, repeating: "Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?"

I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, "Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye." They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.

I speculate they did not have good intentions when they approached in such an aggressive, disrespectful and menacing manner. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort, but rather concluded it was in their best interest to leave us alone.

Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another? Why then should the expectation be lower for a citizen of Canada or a visitor? Wait, I know - it's because in Canada, only the criminals and the police carry handguns.

Nose Hill Park confrontation makes visitors feel unsafe (Thanks, Jesse!)

(Image: ALBERTA 1954 auto license plate CALGARY front plate, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from woodysworld1778's photostream)


  1. Even the official twitter account of the Calgary Stampede, the event this gentleman was attending last month, has poked fun at the letter, and the question he found so threatening.

  2. I love the internet age – I’m sure in a day we’ll hear the other side of the story from the miscreant youths.

    Gun control does little. It’s all about the attitude behind the gun, as evidenced so clearly here.

      1.  I dunno, but it does seem like this guy has a psychology unfit for the use of armed force.  We should probably screen for something like that. 

        Like– this would NOT be an appropriate occasion to brandish your firearm, officer! 

        1. “We should probably screen for something like that. ”

          I think they do, but not the way you’re intending.

    1.  Who the fuck told you I was paranoid? It was Steve, wasn’t? I just knew that motherfucker was talking about me behind my back! Or was it Tim? I’ll just bet it was Tim. It could have been Paul, that bastard has had it out for me forever! Goddamit, I need to go buy some more ammo!

      1. I appreciate your sarcasm; however in light of the recent mass shootings in the US, your comment  “I need to go buy some more ammo!” is in poor taste.

        1.  Not sure if serious, but: There are 6 billion plus people on the planet (million million if you’re British) and every day pretty much every awful act you could dream up happens to some or many of them. Given a global perspective it is always “too soon”. So I’m gonna’ keep crackin’ wise.

          /unless it only counts if fucked up stuff happens in the U.S. which is kinda’ bullshit if you ask me.

          1. Exactly this.  Today, monstrous things happened to innocents.  It will happen again tomorrow.

            We must learn to do better.

          2. Think you’ve got something backwards, a million million should be a billion, but yanks can’t count, so it’s a thousand million, and unfortunately the rest of the world has followed them. So is the population in proper billions, or the US version?

            edit: I’m from England, and old enough to remember the original billions (although I never realised it changed that long ago)

          3. I dunno which benighted country you’re from, Nick, but here in the UK a billion is ten to the power nine and has been for decades, and I think the same is true for most of the English-speaking world.

        2. I appreciate your concern trolling; however in light of the recent humorous comments on the Internet, your comment “poor taste.” is in poor taste.

    2. I have taken the liberty to visualize the situation, so all of you can get an idea of the menace this good man was experiencing …

      1.  Well, once you’ve all but dismantled any semblance of the concept of a civil society and the social contract (which the right has religiously worked to do over the past several decades) and replaced it with the “I got mine, fuck the rest of you” and “fear the other” mindset, I think it follows that people would begin to feel cut-free and left adrift alone. Paranoia follows.

      2. Because the institution he works for fosters and encourages such paranoia.

        Also, the NRA is taken seriously by the media.

    1. Whenever strangers approach me asking about local events, I try to imagine how I might go about murdering them. It makes me feel very confident and self-assured. My woman is weak and has a vagina, so I need to protect her. Also, I have property that I need to protect too. It is important that I be ready to murder, because that is what protection means.

    1. Wow. As a fellow Michigander, I would like to apologize for Officer Bubbaray Holyroller here. There’s just no excuse for that level of persecutory paranoia. 

    2. *facepalm*

      For the record, not everyone who lives in K-Zoo (or Michigan, for that matter) is an ignorant fuckstick. 

  3. The other place I saw this discussed, everyone wondered how on Earth these two Americans had managed to make it all the way to Calgary, only to not know what the Stampede was.

    1. Why do we figure they didn’t know what the Stampede was?  They might have reacted exactly the same if they’d been asked if they’d been to the zoo yet, or the theatre.

  4. I gotta admit, a stampede does sound kind of intimidating. Buffalo Bill Cody sure wouldn’t have been caught in the middle of one without a firearm or two.

  5. Reminds me of the old Peter Ustinov novel “Krumnagel”, which is about a US police officer who visits the UK and ends up fatally shooting a guy at a pub who he thinks is threatening him (he brought his pistol to the UK not realizing that it was illegal, and this was before metal detectors and the like). Needless to say, he is arrested for murder and is shocked that his claims that he felt threatened aren’t seen as a valid excuse.

    1. I had no idea Ustinov was also a writer – thanks for making me wiki him; what a fascinating individual.

  6. This guy probably doesn’t realize how obviously American some American tourists can be. Naturally these two Canadians were concerned that these two Americans were wandering through a park getting spooked at everything that moved and wanted to set them at ease, perhaps re-direct them to the more populated areas before they had a heart attack at the sudden appearance of the next jackdaw bursting forth from the bushes.

    Or they were seeing if they could bum a smoke.

      1. After they’ve attracted an unsuspecting tourist with their handsome plumage, especially so.

    1. There were actually other letters in local papers about young men approaching tourists, asking them if they’d been to the Stampede, and offering them free tickets (provided by the oil companies they worked for) as just a neighbourly thing to do.  And yes, that’s “neighbourly” with a “u” in it.  

      I just have to say that that the officer’s letter sounds like a police report; full of misperceptions and questionable value judgements (menacing?) designed to cover his butt in the event of a shooting.  Sad, really.

      1. At the start of your comment I assumed you were starting to describe some sort of scam. Should get my Canada-meter realigned I guess.

      2. Dangerous, really. Very dangerous, really. 

        I just read the “our Lord, Jesus Christ”-inflected letter linked above. And it’s plain from his selective take on history  and his woeful ignorance of easily-researched facts, that Officer Paranoia Triple-Holster is also a racist.

        And probably a pretty virulent one when he’s not trying to be Christ-like and political for the newspapers. For example, when he’s patrolling and looking for suspects who match the description “tall male in hooded sweatshirt.”

        I do agree with you: it is tragic.

  7. Aw come on, what’s with the nationalism here? I’m sure we can find some Canadians that are afraid of major American inner cities or the South.

      1. Nah you still have a long way to go on geopolitical fuckpiggery, doublespeak and just general racism.

          1.  The last Canuck I hung out with had a fixation on those pickles you can buy in the individually-sealed baggies. He said he couldn’t find them in his neighborhood, so while he was in Gary (which is where we were at the time), he was loading up. Given the choice, I think I’ll hang on to my grits and sweet tea for awhile yet.

          2. Oh great I am going to have end up individual pickle packages on the internet. (No, I have never seen them in Canada – maybe they have them at the stampede)

            Preliminary research shows they are a US thing. Also my searches have confused the google ad server – I am either looking for a single woman or looking for a pickle.

      2. No.  You guys eat Canadian bacon; we don’t.  We eat bacon strips.  Ironic I know but I never saw Canadian bacon til I went to the States.  Bacon strips are so much better.  

        1.  We do eat back bacon, which is delicious.  American “Canadian bacon” is, as far as I can tell, a very sad imitation of, or perhaps snide reference to, back bacon.

    1. Yes, you’re absolutely right. But here are the key differences that make that irrelevant: a/ we are not lamenting the fact that we can’t wave guns in your face, b/ the crime rates there are actually pretty high, c/ your fellow country men (I’m assuming you’re American) are also afraid of these places.

      1. Crime and people being afraid of new environments is universal. The story is better off being a funny insight on gun control but became a nationalistic piece. Just look at the comments.  :/

    2. Not so much South, but I am slightly afraid to travel to Madison, Wisconsin this fall.  Not because I’m afraid of being spoken to in an aggressive tone, but of being accidentally shot by people “defending themselves”.

      Seriously, though, should I be worried?

        1.  My kids can misbehave, but I don’t generally think of them as brats.  Is this some sort of subjective thing, eat the unruly children?  Jeepers you Americans are scary.  I thought the guns and executing people was bad enough.

          1.  If you’re disconcerted about our brat-eating tendencies, wait until you find out what we do to overheated dogs and people from Hamburg…

      1. Visiting downtown is *encouraged*.   It’s a couple orders of magnitude safer than downtown Detroit.  And I say that as someone who isn’t afraid to go downtown Detroit. 

        1. Have you been to Canada?  My experience is that they are VERY friendly and respectful.  My experiences in the South were not as nice and plan to not visit again. 

          1. That’s funny; I remember taking the Greyhound from SW Ontario most of the way to the North Carolina border. I could almost graph the politeness level: It took a nosedive once we crossed the border, then slowly crept back up as we moved farther south.

    3. The thing is the Canadians don’t then write in to the local newspaper thanking the Lord that the Americans didn’t become polite and this is why everyday citizens should be able to carry concealed politeness.

    4. I’m a Canadian who lives in an inner city in the South.  No worries for me but I’ve got to admit, some of the people who have moved here from Alberta have been scared to death of black people. It’s really weird and unexpected to see.

    5. Christopher Lunsford: “I’m sure we can find some Canadians that are afraid of major American inner cities or the South.”

      Yup, plus I’ve come across many small town or rural Canadians who were even afraid of major Canadian cities. That they are horrible places filled with crime & violence (because that’s mostly what they hear about of the major cities in the news).

    1. That’s some very aggressive doubting there, stranger. I suggest that you post with more respect next time.

    2. They didn’t say “sore-ee” first. When accosted by a Canadian who does not express regret at having interrupted you, it’s best to have your wits about you.

  8. Huh… he didn’t think his Savior would keep him safe?

    And the much scarier thought, this man is allowed to carry a gun and make life or death decisions in his daily work, and he is unable to handle simple questions without mentally turning them into ninjas flying down from the sky to rape and pillage he and his wife.

    Having never been to the Stampede, has anyone who has ever encountered evil Canadians trying to get tourists to head to the Stampede?  You know like advertising or stuff?  Or, gasp, being pleasant and striking up conversations with strangers?

    Hopefully they will flag him at the border to try to avoid further incidents.

    1. Stampede turns Calgary into one huge party, and everyone is in high spirits, so the cop probably encountered some drunken revellers who immediately flagged him as a tourist and were trying to help him out.

      1. and, they thought maybe he didn’t speak English, so they repeated the question a second time, louder…

    2.  I’m more concerned about somebody who believes in a heavenly reward in the afterlife actually carrying a deadly weapon.

      1. He’s graciously trying to send someone to be judged ASAP, like all the other fundamentalists moving to put us closer to the rapture.

    3. Nobody tries to strongarm people into coming to the Stampede.  It’s okay if you don’t wear a cowboy hat.  Us Canadians, we apologize if you step on our feet. :D

      1. I didn’t think it was strong arming so much as trying to start a conversation where they could then list some highlights they liked.

        I have seen businesses in the past use methods like this to lure people in, but having never been there was unsure they would bother with that during Stampede.

        I’ve found most Canadians tolerant and polite, which is why this fool making a huge issue out of a single encounter trying to make it seem like a gun is the solution to all problems disturbs me.

        Please don’t think we are all like this, some of us still need to pretend we are from Canada when we travel abroad.

      2. We all do that? I thought I was the only one that apologized to people who stepped on my feet. Especially if they’re barefoot and hurt themselves on my toenails…

    1. That was my first thought when reading about it in the Metro paper this morning.  What’s the worst thing that could’ve happen to this guy in the middle of Nose Hill Park on a sunny day?  If anything, he should’ve been afraid of aggressive coyotes.

  9. Imagine a middle aged white male American, with a gun, a badge, god and ideology on his side and confronted with  something that frightens him (just about everything).  Can you think of anything more dangerous in the world??  Of course here in the US, using deadly force when you are scared is becoming legal in more and more states. And since our culture screams at you daily to be scared of just about everything and also insists you arm yourself to assert your freedom, we are bound to commit national suicide within the next decade.

    1. You have to look at the big picture.  We are paranoid and armed to the teeth, who else is going to be more prepared for the coming zombie apocalypse?
      The one that will be started by our own government.

          1.  I’ll give you colour, humour, and other British spellings, but i draw a line at calling  “Z”  ‘zed’…

            “World War Zed”  sounds like some garage bad rather than a serious global catastrophe!

  10. “Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another?” No it is what we have come to accept. The officer as occupier, the civilian, the captive.  
    Sad to see a nation so mired in violence .  

    1. I, myself, thank the good Lord Jesus Christ for this first hand account of the end times prophecies fulfilled.

    2. As someone above pointed out, he has written similar letters to the editor before, with the typical patronizing tone and opinions gleaned directly from Bill O’Reilly’s frontal lobe (or perhaps “lizard brain.”)

  11. Americans in general are afraid of everything. Motorcycles are seen as unsafe and are thus relegated to leisure. This results in excess noise pollution and smelly biker bars. Cars, guns, airplanes, garbage disposals, toilets, sinks, clothes that have been worn more than one day without being washed, bathtubs, working an honest day, and power tools are all seen as unsafe and are thus frequently kept out of the home. Honestly the best thing we could do is just stop being so afraid of everything get our faces unglued from the TVs and computers and play a nice round of lawn darts, or climb a tree, or cross the street.

      1. Oh yes. Yes we are. So many people I know are afraid to do anything. I find it incredibly depressing. I once offered a friend of mine an axe to help chop up a small limb that had fallen on our property. He just looked at me like I was crazy so I took the axe and smashed it into trashcan sized pieces and that was the end of it.

    1. Don’t forget the most horrifying thing to American’s, bare nipples.  They can watch a gruesome massacre of women and children by a psycho axe murderer, but the momment a bare nipple hits the screen, OMG, think of the children, even if it’s only for about 3 seconds.  Unless the child was raised strictly on the bottle, they’ve already seen nipples and probably have 2 of them themselves :)

  12. He should have at least been carrying a few 12-packs of lager to fling at miscreants and ne’er-do-wells, like that shopkeeper in Britain – or at least to hand out as a distraction. I know from having Watched ‘Strange Brew’ several times that Canadians are crazy for beer.

  13. I can’t believe he’s allowed to have a special badge, along with his boom stick. I live here, and can imagine how this went down. Paranoid almost to death. So glad he didn’t have the chance to shoot those cats. I am hoping the two young one contact the Herald for a response.

  14. If Canadian border control has any sense, he’s on a list and won’t be visiting again.

    1.  My experience of Canadian border control at the US border is something on the level of a vague wave at the car as I stopped, then proceeded.  Going the other way, now that was a different experience every time.

      1. Canadian border control are assholes too. They really don’t like US passports. Last time I flew into Vancouver, it was non-stop rudeness and interrogation, until the nice man from the government finally read the bit that said I was born in Canada.

        The Americans on the other hand welcomed me back home with a smile. I doubt I’d go back to Canada now, even if it’s for a funeral.

        1. in 2002 a couple of friends and I took a road trip from Winnipeg to Grand Forks. Going into the states they asked us our purpose and welcomed us in without even looking at our ID’s. Coming back home to Canada was completely different story. We were intensely interrogated, treated very rudely, and had our car searched. 

          It was like night and day. Of course I have been through both sides with and without issue. It really comes down to the specific agent you are dealing with and the mood they are in.

      2. Anecdotes from both sides of the equation have already been provided, but, as someone who grew up in a border town (Buffalo, NY) I have a lot of experience. 

        Both sides are assholes these days (not just because 9/11; it took a little longer for Canada to catch up). You will never just get waved through like you sometimes did in the past.

        In general, as a US citizen, going into Canada is always a lot more pleasant and the border guards are a lot more professional. Still assholes sometimes, but within reason. I dread the return every time.

        1.  I find the same kinda thing to.  Both can be reasonable (I won’t say pleasant), or can be assholes.  I’m from Canada and I find that going into the US is easier these days, though sometimes I have issues because I’m traveling for work.  They want to make sure I’m not “stealing jobs”….. The worst crossings I’ve had have been coming back into Canada.  They find it hard to believe that a Canadian would go to the states and not buy their maximum allowance of merchandise before returning…. So when I say I have nothing to claim, they really start questioning.

        2. Your bad experience with returning to the US is almost certainly a result of 9/11.  The US gov’t may have blamed Canadian border practices for allowing the terrorists into the country, but your border agents know that to go from Canada to the US, you go through US customs, therefore they feel a bit guilty.

  15. I had a similar experience here on campus, some dude ranting about Cantor’s diagonal argument.

    1.  Did you say, “Sir, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye” to him?

      More importantly, did you thank your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (may Allah bless his name) for delivering you from his secular “Set Theory”?

      Perhaps you should transfer to a school that teaches true Biblical mathematics instead of the junk science of infinite sets?

      1. I quickly moved between him and my partner, replying, “Sir, I have a general solution to the Entscheidungsproblem, goodbye.” He looked bewildered, and we then walked past him without halting.

  16. wouldn’t it be awesome. if the internet. threw this guy a party. maybe at the station or something?

    1. Would the theme of the party be sending him hundreds of pizzas that he didn’t order?

      1. Not just pizzas. /Vegetarian/ pizzas! I bet those would scare the heck outta him, though, so best be fittin the delivery person with some body armor. Just in case.

  17. Living in a world of fear:  that is the world that this police officer and many others live in.  It is an intentional world brought to you by people who want to control you, use you and ultimately make more money because they do control you.  

    If you don’t want to live in their artificial world of fear, stop listening and reading at the places where they lie to you.  You think you need them; but to the contrary, they need you.  Without your cooperation they have no power.

    1. I keeping seeing this talk of fear. What if he’s lying? I have worked construction and had shooting as a hobby, so I have had lots of opportunities to interact with right-wing gun-lovers. Many times they talk about being “scared” to justify outrage at the other. And there’s a lot of talk about how to talk to justify shooting someone. So what he calls fear I suspect is just outrage and that what people are calling paranoia is just the radical individualist version of good old US exceptionalist imperialism, a failure to distinguish between self and world.

      1. “I keeping seeing this talk of fear. What if he’s lying?”

        Fight or flight, the emotion is the same. I don’t think he’s lying exactly, but he’s definitely got a hard-on for appearing the hero.

        1. Fight or flight, the emotion is the same.

          No. The emotion for fight is anger; the emotion for flight is fear.

  18. “Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.”

    This is the tell.  Nobody in the United States, especially a “2nd Amendment Activist” who is supposedly a police officer would ever talk like this.  It is so far from common usage that I have absolutely no doubt.  It’s exactly the kind of line someone inventing a scenario to support his agenda would produce.

    I’ve spent more than 25 years of my career as a literary theorist, analyzing texts for voice, subtext, locale.

    I’d bet the farm that this letter is a fabrication. 

    Remember, there is a rapidly growing industry of “New Media Strategies” who hire folks for low-paying jobs in activist movements.  Forums are full of these types and most of the time they’re as obvious as a naked man in a nunnery.  I’ve even spoken to a couple of “media associates” or “media specialists” who work for this type of company, doing everything from calling talk radio to posting on Slashdot.

    This letter fits the profile.

    1. > “Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.”

      Strained and artificial sounding, but not necessarily fake. I see people talking like this on the net when they’re in a huff and trying to maintain the moral high ground. Seems to be a characteristic of older males and perhaps to be more likely with science fiction fans of a certain type. Think “comic shop guy” on The Simpsons for a media example.

      > I’ve spent more than 25 years of my career as a literary theorist, analyzing texts for voice, subtext, locale.

      I’ve spent even longer than that sitting around scratching myself and staring idly off into the distance, so bow down to my superior qualifications.

      > Remember, there is a rapidly growing industry of “New Media Strategies” who hire folks for low-paying jobs in activist movements…

      I wouldn’t rule it out, but I find that line of text, ungainly as it is, completely plausible for a certain personalty type.

    2. Remember, we’re reading his account of it, constructed to make him seem the superior one.

      None-the-less, it’s an entirely plausible phrase for the self-important to utter, probably used often.

    3.  yeh I have to admit  that cultural ‘astro-turf’ crossed my mind when I first read the letter. But then, I recalled many conversations I have had with individuals who held similar positions yet seemed unlikely to read or write much…


      Where is this farm at, and is it a livestock or grain farm?

    5. “It’s exactly the kind of line someone inventing a scenario to support his agenda would produce.”

      Or – call me crazy – it’s the kind of thing that an older, moderately educated guy would come up with after the fact to write in a letter to a newspaper because what he actually said at the time was stupid.

      In fact what he probably did was refuse to make eye contact and walk on by.  Because that’s actually a pretty typical response to people trying to randomly strike up a conversation with you in public.

      1. It probably wasn’t stupid, it was the sort of staircase conversation that occurred in his head after he sat stunned that someone had the GALL to talk to his FAMILY unprovoked!

    6. Have you analyzed the speech of a lot of cops?  Because some of them can come up with the most amazingly twisted formulations in an attempt to sound official.

      Think “The male individual proceeded on foot to his place of abode” when “He walked home” would do.  “Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye,”  sounds like credible enough police bafflegab to me.

      1.  Believe it or not, I did, some years ago, when I was editor on a novel.  Your example is of a policeman’s written language, in an official report.  They don’t speak like that, especially to a civilian, and more especially to someone they would perceive as a possible threat.

      1. You overestimate their creativity. He’s just someone with a personality disorder and a history of lying to reshape reality. 

        He doesn’t have to be more convincing because… why would a law enforcement officer lie?

    7. It’s a real letter from a Walter Mitty type. It reads fake because the conversation didn’t occur as he presented it. The incident likely occurred.

  19. The letter may or may not be genuine, but it is certainly the case in my experience that cops without guns feel naked and vulnerable. And act like it.

    1. I’m so glad I still live in a country where cops expect to be unarmed, and feel in charge when they are.

    1.  The comments there are pretty good. Especially, um, this one: “I have a great idea, If you Canadians don’t like our laws and officers stay home. Your not wanted anyway.”

  20. The best part of this story, for me, is that some commenters say they too were approached by two guys asking people if they’d been to the Stampede. The two guys were apparently in the park handing out free tickets on behalf of an oil company. I wonder if they were the same hooligans who accosted Mr. Wawra…

    1. An interesting sidenote, and I’d definitely feel the shill douche-chills, but my response would be a lot fucking different regardless.

  21. Skipped to the end of the comments, so mea culpa if I culpe.

    But, jeeze, this guy would have a really hard time as a woman….

    1. I know!  Scared of his own fucking shadow.  Maybe if he took some karate classes he could gain some self-confidence.

  22. In this guy’s world Zoo Story couldn’t happen.

    I’ve been to the zoo.

    Hey mister i’ve been to the zoo.

    I said I..


  23. It’s just an object lesson in what happens when an idiot strays too far from his village. The outside world is scary!

    Incidentally, the regional bickering in this thread is driven by the same mental machinations that the thread was originally mocking. The hypocrisy in this thread is lab quality.

      1. Dear God, I think this might be permanent: Chekov’s voice in my head doing an inverse Yakoff Smirnoff routine.

        Delightful, thank you.

  24. All this brings to mind is the time I was in Florida, at the beach, and a gentleman of the “beach pest” species was accosting people and trying to get them to take an interest in his time-share deal. I overheard him talking to some people about ten feet away from me. At one point he exclaimed, “You’re Canadians? We LOVE Canadians!”

    It was only later that I learned that many Floridians don’t like Canadian “snowbirds”, but it’s a little-known fact that, in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, the Canadians who spend the winter in Florida are the biggest group of blood donors.

  25. Clearly a misunderstanding. He probably didn’t know that Chad Kroeger and Nickelback were ambassadors for the Stampede.

  26. While the story is funny, I just want to say as a Canadian – both the US and Canada have a bunch of crazy assholes; neither country has a monopoly on crazy.

    1.  But in the US the crazy asshole is more likely to have a concealed carry permit and a gun strapped to his body.  Or stuffed down the front of his pants (sigh).

    2. Due to a lack of mental-health funding and support systems, along with our media endorsement of murder and other cultural context, our “crazies” act out markedly differently.

      I’m sure there are the same incidences of mental illness, but if they’re not murdering people, I’d rather be around the Canadians thank you very much.

  27. Needs a better example if he wants to convince ppl that defensive guns are necessary. This isn’t even a dude getting assaulted and speculating that he could have successfully defended himself with a gun (like Dark Knight fans could have done in NRA fantasies). Just a dude feeling threatened.

    1. Don’t you understand?  He felt THREATENED.  And he’s a white police officer!  He’s a precious, precious snowflake whose feelings are more important than ANYTHING and he should NEVER be in a situation where he even FEELS the slightest bit threatened.  If he had had his gun strapped to his side, well, then he wouldn’t have felt scared.  And his feelings are the most important thing in the world.

      I’ll bet the gun industry has made a crapload of money off this guy and his cowardice over the years.

      1. Plus, when police officers get the vapors – not just white officers – all of ’em – it’s not at all pleasant for any living creature, human or otherwise. 

        That and the explosive flammability potential… 

      2. To me, his letter *is* a damn good reason for people to carry guns. Because, crazies like him can and often will carry, whether the law permits it or not.

        If the crazies can and do carry guns, and there are more guns than could ever be removed from them, and guns are now a printable resource… then buying a gun, training to use it safely for defense, and carrying it with care, seems like a sane option to me.

         At least, it seemed so in gun-banning London, with its higher gun crime and violent crime rates than New York, where within the space of a couple of years, people were variously carjacked at shotgun point, robbed at gunpoint, and shot dead, all within about 200 yards of my home.

        Now I live in Texas, and the violent crime rate in this city is about 1/25th that of similarly sized UK cities. My odds of being a victim of a violent crime here are only maybe 10% over a lifetime, and most of those aren’t gun-worthy, so I’ve more important things to buy than a gun and training: but I hold no animosity for those that decide otherwise, as I reckon crime’s so low here *because* of those people.

      3. So the solution is some kind of Dumbo magic feather. “Here, scared person. This magic feather will ward off anybody who might attack you. It will make you feel as safe and confident as if you were carrying a concealed firearm.”

        On the downside, they might stop believing the efficacy of the magic feather of protection +1 if they see it disproved, if somebody attacks them or makes them feel threatened. But reality hasn’t changed their beliefs that cut taxes on rich people will make things better for all people, or snake-handling claims in the bible, so might as well go ahead with the magic feather concealed firearm.

      4. And this is why castle laws and such need to be written such that you can only fire when the other person is preparing to use or actively using deadly force against a human, not when you “feel threatened” by the other person. Because “feel threatened” is way, WAY too low of a standard, due to fucksticks like this.

        I’d also like to see a camera clause in castle laws –  if you draw a weapon on a person, you need to be recording, and prepared to submit that video to the courts, else, your protection under a castle law is significantly diminished. Call it the, “vids or it (the bad guy pulling a firearm) didn’t happen” clause.

  28. The scuttlebutt at my (Canadian and very near to Calgary) office this morning is that the Nose Hill Gentlemen in question have come forward to local media as of last night, and their side of the story is that they were offering free tickets to the Stampede. 

    I’m searching for an article to support this… nothing yet, but the day (in this time zone anyway) is young.

    Edit: Aaaaaand I see I’m slower than others in noting this information. Damn my time zone!

  29. Funny thing; in several places I’ve lived, random jackasses approaching you on the street would be the prelude to a hustle or beatdown. Perhaps Boing Boing readers move in more refined circles and have avoided gaining the perspective that comes from a couple of good stompings. If some random guys rolled up on me and my girl in the park, I’d be thinking about how I’d handle them too.

    1. Sounds like you’ve never lived in Alberta, then. You should consider trying it. Don’t worry about the weather; just wait a week and it’ll be something totally different.

    2. Sure, but do you shoot them, or did you learn other strategies? For those of us not able to carry a piece whenever we want, we deal with the prelude to a hustle without anyone’s life being endangered.

      1. Yeah, theoretically LEOs are taught how to use their brains, not their dicks/guns in every possible case.

    3. Same here: I’ve been mugged at knifepoint by a guy asking for the time, while vacationing in Amsterdam. A policeman, having to deal with the darker side of life on a daily basis, will be trained to have that defensive reflex. A foreign place, where you don’t know the dangerous streets, and where foreigners are likely to be seen as targets, is a riskier place, too.

      I made the same mistake these guys did, once, when I was new to city life: I went up to someone to ask for directions, and politely said “excuse me!” to get his attention. He looked at me, looked away, carried on walking. I repeated “Excuse me!” then “Sir! Excuse me!” – he just walked away quicker. I probably scared the crap out of him.

      So I thought about why he’d done that, and for the next person, I called to them quickly, from a greater distance, explaining why I was talking to them right up front: “Excuse me, do you know the way to the university?” – that was way less weird than a random person approaching, repeatedly demanding they excuse him, so they were glad to help.

      But even so: most of us who got creeped by two guys approaching, would just say their piece to make them back off (“Gentlemen, I’ve no need to talk with you, goodbye,” seems fine to me for that purpose) and walked on: we wouldn’t then use it as a pro-gun-control argument to write to the newspaper.

    4. I’ve lived in several places where this is the case as well.

      This wasn’t the case, and the officer knew that this wasn’t the case, and yet still masturbated furiously over his Walter Mitty fantasy where he wasn’t somehow an ignorant psychopathic yokel.

  30. If you give out sweets children will eat them (some too much); if you give out cars people will drive them (some badly); if you give out guns people will fire them (some into other people). When the consequences are so dire gun control IS the answer. I’m glad I’m from Blighty with our drab weather and restrictive firearm laws.

  31. Two officers were recognized for lifesaving efforts during an Oct. 17 2009 fire at 535 Portage Road. Officers Jason Colyer and Craig Johnson received the Distinguished Service Medal for rescuing officer Walt Wawra, who became trapped on the second floor of the building while fighting the rapidly spreading fire.

    During what were described as “extreme fire conditions,” Colyer and Johnson saw that Wawra was trapped with no means of escape. They used a ground ladder to get to a second-story window, from which Colyer was able to pull Wawra safely out of the burning building.

    “Were it not for the observations and actions of officers Colyer and Johnson, officer Wawra would have perished in this fire,” KDPS said in a news release.

  32. The tone of this letter sounds exactly like the way my elderly cousin in Texas speaks.  In fact, it sounds a lot like many people I know here in Texas.  Just recently, a guy I knew pulled a gun on the “menacing” looking person who knocked on his front door during an odd hour (5am).  It turned out to be his neighbor who leaves early for work.  The neighbor had noticed my friend had left the lights on in his car and thought the neighborly thing to do was tell my friend so he wouldn’t wake up to a dead car battery despite the odd hour.  Almost got shot for it.

    My friend actually told me the story as a cautionary tale of why I too should keep a gun in the house…”A weirdo showed up on my front porch in the middle of the night, good thing I had a gone,” sort of story.  All I could think was, “You almost shot a guy who was trying to help you!”

  33. My cousin is a cop and this reads very familiar to me. Once a guy had the nerve to walk his dog in the same park where my cousin and his family were picnicking. My cousin ran over to him shoving his finger in the guys face and chest screaming about how walking his dog was risking his child’s life and he’d better get the hell out of there unless he wants a beat down and he’s a cop so he can do it and there’s nothing the guy can do to stop him etc etc.

    The guy ran and we were all wondering what the hell just happened.

  34. Only shows how delusional US law enforcement has become!
     YES VIRGINIA(and Texas and Arizona) US law DOES end at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel.  You go to another country you ARE expected to obey THEIR laws.

    I have NEVER ONCE  had problems getting bear spray into Canada. Bringing it back is a bigger problem.  Several times bear spray I bought in the US, I could take to Canada but couldn’t bring BACK. Even though it was purchased  legally IN THE US!!

  35. this story is bogus. There are zero google results for “Walt Wawra” that do not have to do with this story. If he is/was a cop there would be hundreds of results from public records on police reports. Trolled by the damn Canadians again

  36. This thread needs to take a step BACK! *brandishes magnum* and lay down with it’s hands on it’s head.
    There’s only one thing more dangerous than facts and that’s WURDS, wurds being spoken at ye!

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