One of the most common questions I am asked after people hear my British accent is "was it a big change to move to the United States"
Well after 10 years and a couple of trips back to England, I thought now would be a good time to write down my perceptions and changes to my life. The first thing to remember and possibly the most important in how my life has changed is by all accounts I was a city boy in England and here we live amongst farmers, crops and wildlife, so these changes reflect city to country and England to the United States
Where do I start ?
I will start with one of the most controversial of subjects and perceptions by Brits of Americans ( Gun Ownership ), prior to living here I like many others thought all Americans were gun toting crazies because in general Brits do not have guns and often British Media will show the worst of gun ownership with murders and mass killing without showing the other side of Gun Ownership.
After 10 years my views have changed drastically because of a number of reasons .
1. Hunting is a way of life in the States that has no cultural or demographic boundries, it is cheap and wildlife is plentifull and varied, it allows hunters to spend time experiencing the vast countryside and to commune with nature as Americans have been doing since they first settled this vast country.
2. Even in our semi countryside lifestyle we see a wide range of wildlife including Possums, Skunks, Deer, Coyotes plus we have been visited by a big cat ( Never saw it but we did see it's tracks in the morning ) and a number of accounts of horses being taken down in the vicinity, in the last few years even bears have started to appear not that far away, so if Callie wanted to sit out there one night and bag herself a coyote to protect her girls ( Kola and Misty )I would quite understand.
3. Crime in the nearest city ( Milwaukee ) is based around guns and if we were to live there I believe we would carry a weapon for protection.
4. Gun Ownership and the American Constitution, difficult to describe but the best I can come up with as a Brit is how America is so different from England, Unlike Britain where the laws of the country are countrywide, Each State in the Union has it's own laws and to a certain point is self governing and because of that have the right to bear arms to protect their State from Big Government. Sorry not that well explained although I do understand the concept.
Do I personally want to hunt or carry a gun after 10 years NO, but I suspect that is as much do with my previous life, I supsect if I had been born in the States and my dad had taken me hunting as a teenager my views might be very different.
As you can see after ten years my views have changed on Gun Ownership, I do still have problems with the concept of assault type gun ownership where guns are capable of firing 30 or 40 times as I struggle with how they can be justified, but I think I understand why some Americans fight for the right to buy them as they are concerned that the Federal Government could chip away at the basic right to Carry Guns.
Thoughts and Reflections a Brit on the American Way of life.