Thursday, September 1, 2022


 Let's see now: Smoking, Homosexuals, Voting Rights for women, Newfoundlanders, Pakistanis, Blacks, Indians (native Canadians), Marijuana, DPs (displaced persons i.e. immigrants), Unions, Crazy people (mental illness), Germany, Japan, Firearms, Abortion, Uniroyal Chemical... are we seeing a pattern here? Has there been a major change in public attitude towards all of these and many other matters in the last fifty years or more in Canada? Of course there have been. 

Let's just mention a couple: Firearms-did you know that our local school boards here in Waterloo Region promoted firearms training when I was a teenager? Many, many local high schools had their own firearms ranges built. I shot old converted Lee Enfield rifles in the range at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate on Kings St. in Kitchener. Here in Elmira, the Elmira District Secondary School on Arthur St. had their own basement shooting range. And on and on. Can you imagine a school board building a firing range today whereas after the Second World War they were nearly mandatory. 

Smoking- I have asthma and I have never smoked. How much fun do you think it was doing office work in the 1970s & 80s with everyone around me smoking constantly? Not bloody much yet it was a matter of freedom for my fellow employees to smoke all they wanted and to hell with their and everybody else's health. 

Go through the list above carefully. How many people have been harassed, discriminated against and even criminalized by our judicial system for behaviour (homosexuality, abortion, marijuana use, union organizing, voting rights) that today is normal, accepted and legal? Similarly how many people have been harassed, discriminated against and criminalized for things over which they have no control (skin colour and racial profiling, place of birth, ethnic background, religious beliefs)? 

What is my point? Simple: from year to year or decade to decade public opinion shifts. Public attitudes shift. Our governments try earnestly to shift them for us. Some of these shifts are good and for the better and others a lot less so. Do not abandon your own personal beliefs solely based upon public opinion. Sometimes public opinion is intelligent and reasoned and often times it is unreasonable and stupid. Inform yourself, do your own personal due diligence on issues. LISTEN to opinions that you do not like. There may be kernels of fact and truth in them that you did not know.  

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