What’s with the War on Guns?

Birthdays shouldn't be grounds for discrimination

I asked myself that question because the initial response is straight forward. What war on guns?

If there was such a thing, it would be doomed to fail. The same thinking applies to the war on drugs. Doomed from the start. But why? I’m glad you asked.

The two examples of drugs and guns are targeting inanimate objects. How can you wage war against some metal that has been manufactured into a shape that kills? It is very difficult or impossible.

So what could we do differently? Let’s take the gun example in Canada. Our society seems safer than countries without gun restrictions. We targeted human behaviour around guns. Behaviour is something we can change in multiple ways.

For example, we can and use legislation, education and social norms to change behaviour towards the goal of a safer society with guns.

We can do the same with the issue of ageism. Ageism is prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.

My Dad retired on his 65th birthday. No option. Fortunately, he had the time of his life. He was a new man, all for the better. I hit my 65th birthday a few years ago. I was enjoying my work, making a contribution and financially it helped in my retirement. Thankfully I had a choice, and it now seems mundane to have to make the decision to continue working or not.

What sort of behaviours could be targeted for change? Well, the compulsory departure of a person from the workforce at age 65 has already occurred. Let’s put that in the win column.

We joke about the driver in front with his turning indicator light blinking for kilometres. Must be an old person. It might not be but often appears that way. Our hearing isn’t what it used to be, especially with the high notes. Why not change the behaviour of car designers to include a two-tone clicker with a higher and a lower note? That would reduce the jokes about old people on that issue because it wouldn’t be funny anymore.

Let’s see what other behaviours we could change. Many of us have RRSPs saved up. We haven’t paid tax on the dollars. The intent was to help us save money for or senior years so we would be less likely to require government support. We are living longer and we need that money to last longer. Why, as we age, do we need to gradually close out the RRSPs? I personally can guarantee the government that I will eventually die. Can’t they wait for their money? We can change the behaviour of our politicians to review the implications and consider changes.

I’m only one person. What prejudicial and discriminatory experiences have you experienced? What behaviours would you like to see changed?

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley