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School Shootings


Riverwind

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Well Quebec realize, though, how far below the radar any of this is in Ontario ? I mean, Ontario is barely aware of anything that happens in Quebec these days. I'm not even sure that a 'yes' vote on separation would stir much interest these days.
Michael, the original article was written by a Toronto journalist and published in a Toronto newspaper so I have to assume there is some interest for Quebec in Ontario. OTOH, the letters below seem a tad over the top and intended for local consumption.

Harper to the G & M:

Globe and Mail

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir/Madam

A recent column brought to my attention (‘Get under the desk, Sept. 16) in essence suggests that the Dawson College shootings should be blamed on Quebec francophone society.

While the writer is entitled to her point of view, the argument is patently absurd and without foundation. It is not only grossly irresponsible on her part, it is also completely prejudiced to lay blame on Quebec society in this manner.

Quebeckers from all walks of life, both French speaking and English speaking, were horrified by the events that took place at Dawson College. The same way that Canadians from all walks of life were stunned by this savage, senseless attack on innocent students from one deranged individual.

It should be obvious that the actions of one individual do not reflect on the public mindset of an entire community or an entire class of people. Be it Marc Lepine’s murderous rampage at l’Ecole Polytechnique in 1989, or Kimveer Gill’s shooting spree at Dawson, the event was the evil action of one unstable person. These actions deserve our unqualified moral condemnation, not an excuse for printing prejudices masked in the language of social theory.

Sincerely,

Stephen Harper,

Prime Minister of Canada

Charest to the G & M:

Mr. Edward Greenspon

Editor-in-chief

The Globe and Mail

444 Front Street

Toronto, Ontario

M5V 2S9

Dear Sir:

Last Wednesday, Montréal was the site of a tragic event that has deeply troubled all Quebecers. On Monday, students courageously returned to Dawson in the hope that their hospitalized schoolmates would soon join them. We share their pain and sadness.

The recent events at Dawson College seem to defy all logic. These events have brought back painful memories-for all of us in Québec, as well as people in the US, France, Ireland, Russia and to all other nations-who have experienced similar tragedies in recent years. This tragedy is certainly reminiscent of the shootings that took place in downtown Toronto on December 26, 2005.

In this kind of situation, anyone who ventures to put forward explanations or comparisons at the very least risks making a fool of himself. Jan Wong has certainly discredited herself with her gamble.

I was shocked and disappointed by the narrow-minded analysis published in the Saturday, September 16 edition, in which Ms Wong sought to identify the affirmation of French culture in Québec as the deeper cause of the Dawson College shootings and the killings at the Polytechnique in 1989.

Quebecers make up less than 3% of the North American population. Over the centuries, through the vicissitudes of history, we have managed to preserve our language and culture, and in so doing, cherished the highest democratic ideals. Every year, we welcome tens of thousands of individuals from the four corners of the earth, people who contribute to building a free society in Québec, a society that is proud of its difference.

Our common language-far from a blemish on our city, as Ms Wong incorrectly asserts-represents a vital part of Montréal’s cosmopolitan character, and is what makes Québec unique in North America.

Because we speak French, because we are proud of our language, and because it is the first instrument of our freedom, we have reached out across oceans, built ties with the other nations, in particular with the global French-speaking community, and thereby contributed to Canadian diversity.

Ms Wong’s article is a disgrace. It betrays an ignorance of Canadian values and a profound misunderstanding of Québec. She should have the decency to apologize to all Quebecers.

Jean Charest

Premier of Québec

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This story is still going...

Aparently, there was an editorial cartoon published in Quebec of Wong opening a fortune cookie; the fortune read 'Bill 101'. In the Globe, Wong referred to this piece as 'exhibit A' in the case for Quebec's intolerance of other cultures...

I really can't remember last time there was a culture clash between 'French' Canada and 'English' Canada. Funny. Reading those terms - they already seem archaic in these times.

'English' Canada doesn't really exist any more and the Quebec press is not only showing its intolerance, but the irrelevance of its old grudges in this day and age.

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I did not respond to this topic right away simply because I just got sick and tired of it.....after what seemed like an endless coverage! CTV and CBC are the worse! Talk about dragging it...even the going-back-to-school ordeal!

The last tidbit detail (after almost a full week) was that the victim and the perpetrator were having a funeral on the same day! Whoopie!

Then, just when you thought enough is enough....life was breathed into this going-stale news by reporting about a "copy-cat!"

You ask: is school shooting becoming the norm?

By the looks of it, I'd say YES!

NOT BECAUSE of any gun registry....or lack of supervision....or influence of a cult. But more so perhaps because of the publicity and attention the media...and society is devoting to this "phenomenon."

True, the perps of such killing spree are unstable.....but we also have to consider what they seem to all have in common: their ages and their desire for attention....the wish to go down in blazing glory! The more heinous the better! Because the more shocking it is...the more coverage they get.

If the media could just treat this like any ordinary crime...no fanfare...no excited, hyperventilating interviewees scared out of their wits....maybe, there will be no more copy-cats wishing to equal, or surpass the notoriety of Columbine.

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And going back to media reporting: did you guys see how they grilled the surgeon of the hospital where the victims were taken?

Did you hear the kind of questions they were asking? Practically the same questions asked in various ways....trying to get the doctor to reveal more about the nature of injuries. The doctor had repeatedly declined due to patient confidentiality.

The way they were carrying on...they were like vultures hovering on the injured....avidly awaiting if there will be more deaths! That is sick!

And here we are thinking what a sick f*** the shooter was.

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Firstly I agree with everything Argus said so I will not repeat what his pts. were. But in regards to the media, I do not believe the media fans or incites of creates such people. The media reflects or mirrors what is already there. The fact is these idiots have always been there. The only difference is they are reported faster now. Because we have over-concentrated our populations into centres, mass slaughters as opposed to isolated murders happen.

These same lunatics in rural areas would simply kill someone in the bush or their families but be seperated from everyone else.

Modern urban societies means condensed populations and more people in one spot.

That said, do these idiot games on the computer create this. Sorry. They used to say that about comic books and Elvis Presely. It wasn't too long ago people were being told to burn and destroy Beetles records.

No I go back to what Argus said. This is all about nuclear family units and strong parental and authority figures being lacking in the formative years of a young man's life.

The time to teach children and especially young men about restraint and controlling their temper is when they are young. It has to be done by their fathers, their coachs, and their role models.

Today, kids are brought up in a vacum. Both parents work. They start in day care and are in a group. They do not learn as individuals anymore.

This group mentality has led to kids believing they must fight for what they want. It starts in day care with toys and one authority figure for too many children and lack of proper emotional nurturing and rearing of children. The parents are too tired when they come home. Children are bought up in group settings, then go home to junk food and junk t.v.

The media has an obligation to report what happens as responsibly as possible. Trying to hide from the truth or censor it is b.s. and to blame the media is b.s. They are doing their job. It is up to us as responsible adults to teach our children what to read, watch, and engage in. And it is also up to us, to turn off the movie or t.v. if we find it too violent.

Sorry but where were these parents of Mr. Gill when he brought home his guns. What the hell kind of parent allows an unemployed 25 year old son to sit around with guns and spend all his time on his computer-I will tell you-weak parents in denial.

If your grown child brings home a rifle and doesn't work, I think that is sufficient sign something is going wrong and needs to be addressed.

Sounds like this person did not have strong parents or other role models and a value system to gain strength and self-esteem from. Blaming society for this is b.s.

For every l Gill, are thousands of good kids from the exact same society and conditions.

This is an individual who has failed as an individual and a family unit that has seriously failed to function as a family unit. Overall social conditions may have had some role in that but certainly are not the cause of it.

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All kinds of people have all kinds of problems, and many suffer different kinds of abuse from various sources. Very few of them, take a gun or knife and kill or injure others, usually who have little connexion with any grievance. Those who do, usually turn out to be deranged one way or another.

Police may use one tactic or another, and may be more or less successful in dealing with the situation. Gun control measures, and parenting courses have little effect on the problem because madmen(and women) are not acting on a rational basis, or heeding warnings and hints as to acceptable behaviour.

On a practical level, we must deal with these rare occurrences as if there were no mitigating circumstances.

Sadly, this sort of thing will always be with us, it always has been. It seems unlikely that the societal factors mentioned have much to do with these occurrences, ordinary people just don't kill others in this way. Whatever effect societal factors have, it would seem likely that they affect the way the news is received by the public, but not the actual doing itself.

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Another crazy day for guns at schools.... 2 schools closed in vegas and reports of deaths at a school in pennsylvania....

What the hell is happening to a society where guns at schools issues are becoming multiple in the same day!? How many gun deaths at schools in North America have there been in the past month?...

Help me out... Montreal, the drifter who molested and shot a girl, some 15 year old who fatally wounded his principal, gunman spotted and two schools closed in Vegas, and now 6 reported dead in Pennsylvania...

Seems a bit crazy to me... glad I am not a student anymore!

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  • 7 months later...
I checked out a few articles in the Globe and Mail. There was an article about the theories of Mark Ames, who submits that the world is simply a crueller place, and seems to place blame on globalization et al. Jan Wong imlpies that Quebec language laws are a factor. Jeffrey Simpson's piece calls for calm, and quotes statistics (Ames' ideas would benefit from more evidence) to show that things aren't as bad as they seem.

The editorial states that the current legislation wouldn't have prevented the disaster, and asks for dialogue to come up with better gun control policies.

As I suspected, the paper tends to take a top-down view - ie. how policy changes can prevent these incidents - rather than dobbin and Argus' more ground-level view.

Press council raps Wong's report

She wrote Quebec is the only province where it is acceptable to talk about purity of race. The council sided with complaints filed by Marc Andre Dupont and the Societe St. Jean Baptiste. It said Wong was wrong to insert her opinion in a news article and that the opinion was based on erroneous facts. The council also said the paper's apology did not go far enough by merely saying the paper was wrong to have included opinion in a news report.

Media on the media.....everything takes longer than it takes.

So what does this do to Wong now?

Fines? Job loss? Slap on the wrist?

Or just -30-

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