The Montreal Massacre
Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action On Violence Against Women.On December 6, 1989, in Montreal at Ècole Polytechnique a lone gunman entered the engineering school separated out some young women from their class mates and proceeded to shot them. He killed 14 before he killed himself.. His motive?. He hated women. I leave him nameless as a symbol of his unworthiness at a human being.
The young engineering women students deserve to be remembered today, by name. Their lives were very precious and accomplished until the day they died. We can still grieve the loss of their future. We can wonder how wonderful their lives could have been as young women beginning a profession in which women were not well represented. They were trail blazers and might have gone on in careers of creation within our society. No doubt they would have gone on to be lovers, wives, mothers, and possibly even grandmothers by now. Sadly, death prematurely cost them, and us, their future.
As a tribute to these students, Canada created the Long Gun Registry. Sadly, this year, our Conservative Government eliminated the Registry and will destroy all the records in accumulated. It may or may not have been a useful registry. I have no way of knowing. I do know all the police organizations supported it's retention and tried to have it saved. Police departments used it to help identify who might own a long gun before they approached someone they considered dangerous. I would have preferred it if the government has erred on the side of those who used the Registry. It is the nature of our Conservative government to make decisions on the basis of ideology rather than factual evaluations. This is just another example of their anti-intellectual approach to decision making..
The Quebec government announced today that they will go ahead and maintain a Long Gun Registry in their province. They are using the courts to help them force the Federal government to turn over to them that part of the Registry that covers that province. They at least will continue to honour the 24 women massacred that fateful day . I only wish more provinces had joined them in maintaining a regional Registry after forcing the federal government to give up the data from their province.