My terrorism is bigger than your terrorism

I’m a bit of a news junkie. When a story interests me I want to read everything. Op Eds, Twitter feeds, you name it. I want to eat it up. Unfortunately, there are some stories I wish I never had to read. One such story is the shooting on Parliament Hill on October 22, 2014 when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down by a radicalized home-soil terrorist.

As I sift through the articles today, I’ve been reading accounts from the woman who ran toward the sound of bullets to give CPR to the fallen soldier, I’ve read comments from the shooter’s mother expressing her sorrow and apologizing for her son’s actions. I even opened up an article on what the hosts of The View had to say about the shooting. Yup…I said everything.

Unfortunately, in that article I came across the following comment by Rosie O’Donnell:

“I’m an American, I live here. I see two people shot this week in Canada and the entire country of Canada is in mourning. However, in America this happens on a daily day basis and we don’t even pay attention anymore.” And further “I get it. But 86 people a day are killed in America with guns, and you know what? That is terrorism here.” 

To Ms. O’Donnell I say: Is that how you’re going to play this? You’re an American, so your terrorism is bigger than ours? Gross.

There is no comparison between daily gun violence and an act of terror. Yes, the gun violence in the United States is terrifying, I will not downplay that in any way, but Ms. O’Donnell, you can be damn sure that if a man wielding a rifle ran through the doors of the White House and a soldier lost his life in the process, your country would be in mourning too.

This is not gang violence. This is not a domestic dispute. This act has nothing to do with lax gun laws because as you know, we take that fairly seriously in Canada. A misguided Canadian boy, (because I can’t bring myself to call him a man) who identified closer to ISIS radicals than he did with the citizens of his own strong and free country, gunned down an unarmed reservist soldier who was carrying out a virtually ceremonial service. And then that same boy made it through the doors of our parliament to hunt our top federal leaders. Do not downplay this as mere gun violence, Ms. O’Donnell.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He is not one of “two people shot this week in Canada.” He was murdered on the steps of a war memorial meant to honour those who have fought and died for our country. The other man who was murdered earlier this week, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, was struck in a targeted hit and run. A terrorist ran him over with a car, Ms. O’Donnell.

You are not allowed to belittle this country’s grief over losing these soldiers. We are sorry your country experiences high crime and frequent violence. Canada is not immune to that same type of violence, but terrorism? No, that is as unusual, unexpected and devastating as it is in your country.

On September 11, 2001 your country lost nearly 3,000 people in an act of terrorism. Our hearts broke for you. Our hearts still break for you. I would ask that you respect our need to mourn the two men we lost this week on the same scale. Whether it is 3,000 people, or 2, our feelings of grief and despair are valid. We are mourning the murder of two men whose lives were snuffed out by people who have turned on their own country.

Please don’t make light of what happened here because it’s 84 people less than you lost on that same day in the United States. Your dog may be bigger than our dog, but we have been bitten and as a nation we are wounded.