With North America still reeling from the Virginia Tech shootings, what I want to know is why everybody assumes it's impossible to separate the Yanks from their guns.
That question seems especially apt considering how much success we've had lately changing the landscape on issues we always thought were completely overwhelming. Let's start with cigarettes. Think back to 50 years ago, when the Marlboro Man was an iconic image and smoking was among the sexiest signifiers in medialand.
If you'd suggested to someone then that in 2007 you would not be able to smoke in New York bars and restaurants - and that a ban in all public spaces including city streets would be on the horizon - the mockery would have been mammoth.
Now think decades ahead. Right at this moment, as all things green are taking over our collective consciousness, we're imagining solutions that will take 50 years to take effect. There's no fantasy that we'll clean up the planet in a year.
Why can't we do the same with gun culture? Why can't we create a future where firearms have lost their psychic hold on the American identity, and on our own Canuck self-concept?
Why not do for guns what the anti-smoking movement did for cigarettes - make them uncool and give right-thinking families and lovers of gun-holders societal backup for a campaign of disdain.
Politicians lack the will to act on gun control in the U.S. because they know that anti-gun Americans will not cast their vote solely on that issue while the National Rifle Association runs the most effective lobby currently operating stateside.
But don't tell me that because there are so many firearms in the U.S., they, and we, can't do anything about it. A gun in every household? So what? Every household uses energy, and we're asking - no, expecting - everyone to work at changing every single light bulb in their personal domain.
In Canada we have our own headaches with the Tories' Bill C-21, which aims to abolish the long gun registry. And we're dealing with a cunning attempt at a cultural remake: check out the new recruitment ads for the Canadian armed forces. Soldiers aren't carrying many babies in these come-hither posters. They're carrying guns and wearing flak jackets, and the message is Get Out and Fight.
The gun control lobby may not have cute pictures of polar bears. But we do have blood on the pavement at Dawson College and 33 dead in Virginia.