Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ecole Polytechnique Massacre

Ifpress.com reports on the rally held the other day to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Canada's most famous mass shooting.

On Dec. 6, 1989, 14 women were killed simply because they were women when a gunman attacked Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique. Several commemorative events were held yesterday to remember that sad day, including a private ceremony at the school for families of the victims and another featuring a huge human chain formed around a city park.

More than 500 people turned out for the solemn event at Place Emilie-Gamelin, which honoured the memory of those wounded and killed by Marc Lepine's 20-minute shooting spree, which has become known as the Ecole Polytechnique massacre. The ceremony was organized by a Quebec women's group as part of Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which was declared by the federal government in 1991.

I couldn't help but notice one of my favorite themes so well captured in this tragedy. But I guess you could say guys like Mr. Lepine are bad news for women, or guys like Mr. Lepine who have guns are bad news for women. It's not just the guns, right?

Several well-known political figures from the province, including Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe and head of the Parti Quebecois, Pauline Marois, were on hand for the ceremony.

Asked if the treatment of women has made any progress since Lepine's attack two decades ago, Marois said there is still work to be done.

"I think there has been progress, but not enough," she said. "Because as long as there will be victims of violence, the battle won't be won." Duceppe said he wanted to be on hand because, as he put it, "it's our duty to remember."

There may have been insufficient progress made in the problem of violence to women but sparked by this incident there was major progress made in the problem of gun availability in Canada. In fact theirs has been a model society as far as gun control laws go, at least until recently.

The violence 20 years ago helped garner support for tougher gun laws in Canada, leading to measures such as the controversial gun registry. In November, Parliament took the first steps to scrapping the long-gun registry for rifles, which would include the Ruger Mini 14 used by Lepine. The move, which provoked outrage in Quebec, would also strike about eight million records on hunting rifles from the registry.

Duceppe used the events yesterday to highlight what he said was the importance of maintaining the gun registry. "The registry is in danger of being abolished. The Conservatives are completely short-sighted.

What's your opinion? Could it be that, not unlike the United States, in Canada there's a very vocal minority effecting changes which the majority either oppose or are insufficiently passionate to resist? Is that what's happening with the famous long-gun registry in or northern neighbor?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Canada's long gun registry has been all but a complete failure to the tune of $3 million per year with a 50% compliance rate.


  2. Bad news for women, huh?


  3. And I can't help but wonder if one of my favorite themes has also been captured in this tragedy. Would Canada's gun registration, passed in the wake of the "Ecole Polytechnique Massacre," have prevented prevented it?

    There was another similar shooting in Canada just a year or two ago, so I would guess...no.

  4. Apparently MikeB doesn't realize that he and his fellow anti-gunners ARE the "vocal minority."

  5. Wouldn't it have been better if this had happened in a place where at least a few decent people could shoot back? If it were 3 minutes long instead of 20?

    How many mass shootings can you find where the shooter continued on to fresh victims after taking return fire? How many where having the capability of return fire was even legal?

  6. Yes, indeed, Sevesteen, it would have been better if one of those women had been able to shoot back. But by the time you arm enough people to improve the chances of that happening, you've greatly increased the downside of gun proliferation. Overall it's a losing deal.

  7. "But by the time you arm enough people to improve the chances of that happening, you've greatly increased the downside of gun proliferation. Overall it's a losing deal."

    You mean like Chicago where the chances of that happening are zero, yet the gun controllers constantly complain about the "downside of gun proliferation"?

    Or like in Kansas where not a single person has been criminally killed by a CCW holder, yet Josh Sugarmann is still complaining about the "downside of gun proliferation"?

    Something tells me that regardless of the outcome of arming people, you will always find a downside simply because guns are involved.

  8. I posted earlier: Would Canada's gun registration, passed in the wake of the "Ecole Polytechnique Massacre," have prevented prevented it?

    Canada's National Post has answered my question, and has commented on ths subject far better than I can:

    Laws make bad memorials
    National Post 12-9-2009


  9. MikeB - You mean like the "downside of gun proliferation" in "Gun-Free" Chicago, DC, or NYC?

    Hell, add Baltimore to that list too. Citizens can't carry, yet there's no shortage of gun-toting violent criminals.

    Sure sounds like all gun control is doing is ensuring that the gun proliferation seen in those places is limited only to the criminals and not to their victims.