One of the things I love about Guelph is the safety. While it’s true that the city does have a meth problem, it remains a place where I feel comfortable more often than not. However, I was a bit unsettled to learn that a murder had taken place in Guelph this week.
While unquestionably a tragedy, it is one that we should not blow out of proportion. We are more than halfway through 2017 and this is the first (and hopefully, only) murder of the year.
How one feels about safety is often dictated by where you live. There was a fatal shooting at Guelph General Hospital in 2015 and it captured headlines because that sort of thing just doesn’t happen here. The police in this city almost never draw their guns, let alone fire them. On the rare occasions that they do, they are almost never pointed at human beings.
When I mentioned that to a friend who lives in New York City, he just laughed. While the Big Apple is much safer now than it was, the idea that only one or two people might be murdered there per year seemed like a fairy-tale to him.
Of course, that is the United States and this is Canada. That same friend owns a gun. During a visit, I saw him take something out of a bedroom drawer and there it was. He noticed the look on my face, laughed, and said, “Have you ever held one of these before?” I hadn’t. In fact, I had never even seen a gun up close.
It was a strange feeling to know that I had a friend who owned a handgun. Few people in America would think that way, but I’ll bet many Canadians would be just as spooked as I was. I’m glad I live where I do and try to keep that in mind during those inevitable times when Guelph experiences a tragedy.