A Canadian Camping Trip for 4th of July

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Just returned from Glacier Campground and Kalispel, Montana.  It is my wife and my annual trip to camp either right before or right after the American holiday of July 4.  This year fell on weekend with the 4th of July on the Friday.  My second in the country and my first in a state that allows anyone to purchase and set off fireworks.  Previously I had enjoy the fireworks show at Pearl Harbour, a great show but really nothing beats the redneck patriotism of Montana and a bunch of indiscriminate pyrotechnic experts.

We decided to make a good old American weekend out of the whole thing.  Bought ourselves some hotdogs and some American flag napkins to start out.  Added an American flag coloured stuffed toy (of course with stars on it) for the dogs and we were ready.

Our camping trips always have a great assortment of dinners.  This years fantastic meals included the hot dogs of course, country ribs with beans, camp fire pizza and the amazing Camp Fire Mac and Cheese (with some Famous Dave’s BBQ ribs and pork mixed in, as pictured).  All great meals.  The chef is my wife who plans each meal.  While others often are forced to suffer through a strict diet of hot dogs over their camp trips, Tiana will rarely even allow this to constitute a true camping dinner.  Rarely does she allow herself to even use the camping stove, instead she nurses a fire until its ready for cooking.

On July 3 we took our dogs to a local Dog daycare in Kalispel, Pawsitively Purrfect.  I like tricky names.  The people there would look after our dogs while we did our shopping and playing.  The day for our dogs included a paid for nail trimming, and a on the house bath as one of our dogs apparently found a lovely mud puddle.  They met a pug that had spent time on TV on a show on animal planet when it was a puppy.  Our dogs seemed to have pick up little of the obedience of a good show dog.

While the dogs got autographs Tiana and I hit the necessary shopping.  Wal-Mart and Target as well as a Cabela’s.  The first two locations are all about the soda collection.  Loading up with Wild Cherry Pepsi, Cherry Coke and Cherry Seven Up.  All in an embarrassing amount, far too many boxes to admit to on here.  Add on a great deal of oreos, including the amazing watermelon flavoured Oreo. Cabela’s gave us a chance to look for some camping supplies.  We also wondered into the firearms section, an area filled with signs declaring, “Grip It, Love It, Get It.”  The lady behind the counter explained how they didn’t need to bother with any of those silly waiting periods, after all it was everyone’s right.  She then pitched us a line that 75% of the people around us in town were carrying a concealed weapon.  I have to say, it is tough to conceal a weapon on a very hot day.  Not buying her numbers.  She also told us they had to carry weapons because “if we don’t use our rights, then they take them away.”   My guess is the “they” she referred to is those pesky democrats and their liberal president.

Having now realized firearms were way to easy to get your hands on, my wife and I headed over to an indoor shooting range.  We had a real great guy there who was entertaining, a great shot and really helped us learn a lot.  We fired off 450 rounds that day and had a lot of fun.  While we don’t believe everyone should have a right to guns, we have enjoyed the target shooting we have done. At one point Tiana went out to purchase more ammunition, she then was led down an interesting discussion path.  While the young man who helped us at the beginning continued to be a lot of fun, one of his coworkers, an older guy with a ponytail, had some opinions to share.  He explained to Tiana how firearms deaths aren’t an issue and how important it was he have a gun at home.  After all, you would rather have one and never need it then need it and not have it.  Crazy statement.  He also explained how he could have single handedly ended multiple public mass shootings with his quick reactions.  He continued into his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories.  Led us to some research, there are some crazy conspiracy theories but this one is pretty bad.  It has led to the harassment of victim families.  Scary thinking from someone who chooses to ignore reality and refuses to educate himself.

The following day was the 4th.  Big deal apparently.  However we were really disappointed.  There wasn’t really anything to go to, no special events or big deals during the day.  However apparently firework sales were going crazy.  Whitefish and Riverside (or something like that) offered fireworks displays.  Pretty long drive from our campsite so we decided to skip.  But returning back from Kalispel at 9PM we drove through Hungry Horse.  There along the highway they were starting to setup for a large amateur fireworks show.  The practice fireworks were going off as we went through.  Our camping neighbours went at 11 to watch and said it was awesome.  Funny this group of amateurs put on a good show and we heard that Whitefish had to put out a fire put on by professionals.  Fireworks went of late into the night.  On our way back to Canada, on Sunday, we drove by an Inn in the idle of nowhere.  Along the side of the road was a young child, maybe 8, he was setting up and launching fireworks angled  towards the highway, with no supervision.

After a great weekend of camping we discovered that the 4th of July is a little overrated.  Really it seems to only be an excuse to acquire explosives and fire them off for a full evening.  Nothing else to let you know there was a holiday.  Really was disappointed, for a country that has given so many amazing patriotic rah-rah films, nothing special.

3 thoughts on “A Canadian Camping Trip for 4th of July

  1. I’m glad you enjoy your holiday and especially the shooting.

    I would be interested in your reasoning behind the thought:
    While we don’t believe everyone should have a right to guns,

    And while I wouldn’t say firearms deaths don’t matter; I would say the media completely blows every one out of proportion. There are an estimated 55,000,000 gun owners and less than 30,000 firearm related deaths each year. And over half of those (nearly 60% are suicides where I don’t think we could stop people from doing).

    Really it seems to only be an excuse to acquire explosives and fire them off for a full evening. Nothing else to let you know there was a holiday.

    This is true unfortunately. The current cultural ‘sensitivity’ toward others has many people down playing the significance of the holiday….any holiday really. Americans are supposed to be boastful any longer. We aren’t supposed to believe in American Exceptionalism. We aren’t supposed to be proud of the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for.

    But don’t confuse the outward display with the lack of belief; it’s still there. We just have to not express it or else the Politically Correct Police jumps on us.

    Bob S.

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    • If there was a way to limit accidents of anything else by regulation, everyone would do it. Only when you tell them it is a right do they fight it. We license people to drive cars. This is to teach them safe operation of a vehicle. Yes accidents still happen. But with gun licensing, that requires you to demonstrate safe operation and knowledge, you can start to reduce the accidental death by firearm. By taking away the right you can do this licensing. Now gun ownership is a privilege to be respected. Enforce background checks and waiting periods to help get guns out of the hands of people who may be likely to use them in a dangerous manner. While it won’t stop suicide and homicide by gun it will help. If you don’t consider driving a right why would you consider a gun a right. Based on old useless laws that no longer have need. In case most Americans haven’t noticed, the civil war is over. While using right to arms and militia to help defend from threat in a post civil war era, this is no longer a needed at all. Gun control is the wasted debate in a country with people who have it as a right. Nothing will change. Pro gun people won’t see what anyone says. I am not saying you can’t have guns, just there needs to be education and control. The same people could have guns. If it is so important to them, they should be prepared to go through licensing and background checks.

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      • We also let 16 year old kids drive cars. Our driver’s license is respected in all 50 states and many foreign countries.
        And not everyone needs a license to drive; I can own, operate, drive whatever car I want as long as I keep it on private property.

        http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2007/04/we-license-cars-yackyackyack.html

        This is to teach them safe operation of a vehicle

        Yet even with teaching them how to safely operate a vehicle we have more vehicle related deaths then firearm related deaths.

        But with gun licensing, that requires you to demonstrate safe operation and knowledge, you can start to reduce the accidental death by firearm.

        Accidental deaths due to firearms is very, very low. Less than 1,0000 Per year according to the Center for Disease Control. The firearm related deaths are mostly suicides (how do you stop people from killing themselves?) and homicides — how do you stop people from killing others?

        By taking away the right you can do this licensing. Now gun ownership is a privilege to be respected. Enforce background checks and waiting periods to help get guns out of the hands of people who may be likely to use them in a dangerous manner.

        I’ll refer back to the CDC
        The material in this report was prepared by the Epidemiology Program Office, Stephen B. Thacker, M.D., Director; Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods, Richard E. Dixon, M.D., Director.

        Summary

        During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.

        So, sorry but the evidence isn’t there that any gun control law would accomplish what you desire. And at what cost?
        It is a right…it is a right to keep and bear arms that predates the Constitution (as stated in the Heller decision 2008). Our issue isn’t ‘guns’ but the criminal thugs who wield them to break the law. Not one of your suggestions would change their behavior.

        While using right to arms and militia to help defend from threat in a post civil war era, this is no longer a needed at all.

        First off, the right to keep and bear arms predates the civil war. It was written not long after we had the Revolutionary War — where we rebelled against the tyrannical British government.
        And no, it isn’t ‘no longer needed’ — ask the people who suffered through the crimes after Hurricane Katrina or Rita. Ask the people who had their homes and businesses destroyed in the L.A. Rodney King Riots. Korean merchants protected their businesses and their lives. 53 people killed, over 2,000 injured. Billions in property damaged.

        I find it incomprehensible that anyone can look at the overreaching of the American government (killing american citizens abroad, legal indefinite detention in the states, the invasion of privacy, etc) and say we don’t have to fear a tyrannical government. Maybe it is different in Canada but here in the USA, we don’t see it as outdated.

        Bob S.

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