Thursday, September 14, 2006

Terrible News from Montreal

This news is terrible: Shooting at Dawson College in downtown Montreal .

Jonathan has written well about it over on his blog. There are also first-hand accounts on Metroblog, and Pantagruelle posts on the subject, wisely pointing out the necessity of gun control. I was actually shocked to learn that Canada doesn't have tougher gun control.

It's pretty terrifying. Most of all because Montreal is supposed to be a safe place, and schools are supposed to be safer places inside a safe place.

Now maybe they'll have to install metal detectors and security guards and people will be scared going to school to teach and learn. And people will be scared walking the streets of Montreal.

One of the things I loved about living in Montreal was how much safer it was than big American cities.

I really hope it stays safe, despite this horrific incident. But once they add the necessary metal detectors and security guards, it certainly won't feel the same.

Nonetheless, life, and learning go on. Sometimes, as a close friend said in response to yesterday's trauma, you just have to open your books and keep teaching. And I do think that is perhaps the best thing to do.


Pantagruelle said...

What do you mean that Canada doesn't have gun control? We do, but it's in danger of being abolished. After the Montreal massacre at the École polytechnique on Dec. 7, 1989, the Liberal govt instituted a national firearms registry (amid much protest from sport hunters in rural regions). It cost millions, but the RCMP say they access it all the time and that it's really, really useful. Conservative PM Stephen Harper, aka mini-Bush, wants to abolish it because the rural rednecks in Alberta have always been against it, but it's been a good tool. And of course we have "gun control" in the sense that we do not have the "right to bear arms", hence possession in public is illegal, as is possession of any gun that hasn't been registered in the system. The only good thing about this whole terrible incident is that it lends weight to all the people campaigning against Harper to maintain the registry. What we really need now as a next step (and the NDP advocated this in their platform during the last election) is a crackdown on guns coming across the border from the US.

Pantagruelle said...

PS - Is your friend who made the comment about teaching our mutual friend who teaches there? Is he okay? I got word just now from WF that his wife who teaches there, and everyone he knows, is okay, but have no specific news of your friend yet.

Pantagruelle said...

PPS - There will *not* be metal detectors installed in the entrances to schools, and security guards will not be armed. That was discussed on the news last night and immediately discounted by almost everyone. We just don't do that here. It comes down the difference in the Canadian vs. US mentality. We just don't get as caught up in sensationalizing fear as the US media does and aren't as willing to give up civil liberties in the name of "security". Everyone pretty much acknowledges that it was a random incident and those kinds of security measures in schools wouldn't really make a difference anyway.

muse said...

Yes, he's fine.

Glad to hear W's wife is safe too.

And so sorry I misread your point about gun control. I guess canada still needs tougher laws. And needs to keep its gun control. Down with mini-Bush!

boisdejasmin said...

What an awful incident! My cousin went to that college, and he was actually nearby when the shooting took place. Just frightening.

On a lighter note, I see that you are now settled in NC, while I moved to PA. :) P. and I often visit Cafe Lutecia, and I think about you every time we go there.

muse said...

Aww, thanks V. It's good to be thought about! I hope they are still making that divine tomato-basil-goat cheese quiche at Lutecia. It really made my Saturdays. Funny that we switched places. If autumn comes to PA, can NC be far behind?