On Dawson College
We certainly all have heard about the shootings at Dawson College in Montreal by now. A lot of things can be said, especially sympathy for the young woman who was killed and her family, congratulations for the MUC for going in quickly (rather unlike Columbine) and ending it.
But now is the time for listening, not for talking.
We need to listen to the witnesses and survivors and hear their stories. We need to listen to the evidence - all the evidence - about this incident. Over the days and weeks to come, we need to listen to the background story of the shooter, no matter how unpleasant, ordinary or disgusting. We need to find out the facts surrounding this tragedy.
We do not need to knee-jerk react and take advantage of this incident to further our own partisan political agendas. Therefore you will not hear me argue that this shooting shows that the gun registry is either ineffective or needs to be tightened. You will not hear me call for more gun control or say that gun control doesn't work because of this. You will not hear me slam or defend the "Goth" lifestyle. You will not hear me advocate or decry more surveillance in our schools or on our streets.
You will hear none of that. When the facts have been established in the next few weeks is when we can start having these kinds of discussions. Right now we need to be patient and wait because having such discussions without facts is simply hollow argument that uses tragedy to further a pre-established political agenda, and that will neither serve to help the victims nor to make us safer in the long term.
We need to have those discussions, but they should be based on facts, not innuendo, rumour or prejudice, in order for us to learn from this, so to try to prevent it (or mitigate the effects) in the future. That means listening to the police, the coroner, the witnesses, the physical evidence and the words and story of the perpetrator.
So lets listen and comfort right now. We can argue later.