American Becomes Laughingstock of Canada After Letter to Editor Lamenting Lack of Handgun During Mild Confrontation

Walt Wawra, a police officer from Kalamazoo, Michigan, was vacationing in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife Debbie when he encountered a situation that made him reach for his off-duty handgun.

But the weapon wasn't there because he had been told he has "no need to carry one in Canada." So he fired a letter to the Calgary Herald instead to complain about his inability to protect his family from the city's riff raff.

Case in point: While strolling through Calgary's bucolic Nose Hill Park, Wawra and his wife were suddenly confronted by two men who stepped in their path and, "in a very aggressive tone," demanded to know if the couple had "been to the Stampede yet" (the city's annual rodeo, which celebrated its centennial this year).

"We ignored them," Wawra writes, but "the two moved closer, repeating: 'Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?'"

That's when the 20-year police force vet got angry and "quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, 'Gentle-men, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.'" Walt and Debbie then continued on their way, leaving the Stampede Brothers behind looking "bewildered."

But what if they had done more than simply ask the same question twice and then move on? What then? Wawra reflects and concludes:

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.

The Calgary Herald confirmed that Wawra's letter is not a hoax and was in fact written for real by "a real person."

Canadians have taken to responding directly to Wawra's concerns using the Twitter hashtag #NoseHillGentlemen.

"Hey Walt. The 2 men approached you because in #Canada we're friendly to each other," wrote one Twitter user. "Think about it: the #NoseHillGentlemen encounter could've ended with two dead young men because of a psychotically suspicious gun owner," wrote another.

For his part, Calgary's own Charles Bronson remains defiant.

"What concerned me is two young men just approached us and stopped us, stopping us by being in our path, and [began] talking to us without even being welcome to talk to us. They just took it upon themselves to yell at us," Wawra told CBC News, adding that "he should have the right to protect himself if things had escalated."

[photo via Getty]