Dawson College Shooting

As I write this (3:30pm) most of the questions about the Dawson College shooting remain unanswered.  How many are injured (perhaps 12) and how seriously (perhaps three)?  is the shooter dead or alive?  what was his motive?  was there more than one shooter? Where did the shooter get his weapon?

    This last question should interest the Conservative government in Ottawa.  Stephen Harper and his buddies want to scrap the gun registry.  Maybe they should think again about this step which is so opposed by Quebeckers.



  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    I understand that the arm being used was a machine gun. I doubt the gun registry would have stopped anything.

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    Not having a gun registry certainly didn’t stop it either. It made it easier, perhaps. Why should we make things easier for those poor souls who are so anxiety-ridden that they turn to using weapons?
    Our young people are under stress and a number of them are deeply troubled. I only hope they don’t come back to the cegep where I teach and write their anxiety out in bullets and blood.

  3. 3
    John Says:

    There are many sad and disturbing things about this tragedy. One of them is that this is exactly what the gunman wanted….to go down in a blaze of bullets. That one’s life and the life of those around them should mean so little is so frightening.

    As a longtime high school principal one of the best lessons I learned didn’t come from a book, or a course, or a conference or a consultant. It came from a young student dressed in black with heavy eye make-up sitting alone in the corner of the cafeteria who in her rather simplistic (and perhaps stereotypical outlook on life) explained to me that all schools were made up of 3 groups (the preps/the jocks/and those that are neither). She pointed out that each had its own look, its own language, its own values etc., but that schools were designed for and dominated by the first two. I said ours wasn’t. She said take a look, sir.

    So I did and it scared me.
    When I looked at our school, and schools in general, through the lens of the third group (spirit days/dances/athletics/pep rallies/honour roll/scholarships etc.etc.) I began to understand just a bit of where she was coming from.

    The fact that the central figure in this sad, sad story felt bullied by what he called high school jocks and hated authority figures – police/teachers etc – (for seemingly to do nothing about it) is an all too common complaint.

    The real scary part is that while we spend millions and millions and millions of dollars in education to drive the test scores of the first two groups up, we spend very little to help us deal effectively with the alienation of the third group.
    Until we do……..

  4. 4
    SUZANNE Says:

    Alienation of the third group? Maybe the third group doesn’t have a valid point of view to begin with! These are often depressed youths, or people with a very dark and unrealistic view of life.

    The guy is twenty-five years old. He dresses like a GOTH? He wants to shoot people and wants to die in a hail of bullets?

    This sounds like immaturity, whatever label you give it.

    I used to hang around allpoetry.com I’ve seen enough goth-y type angst to know it’s just that- angst. Maturity is not hanging on to this « woe-is-me, my life sucks » attitude. I realize that many of these people have serious background issues and live through social toxicity– drug addiction, family break-up that sort of thing. But it’s precisely because their worldview is so jaded that perhaps they are not the ones who would know best on how to relieve that alienation. If all they know is that level of social toxicity, if that’s what fills their heads, then they don’t have the knowledge to overcome that alienation, and it’s up to people who do know to tell them how to get over their alienation– for one thing, get over the pity party, make plans, rely on your talents, accomplish things, tell them they are capable and don’t need that whole goth identity to feel like they’re worth something.

    I’m not trying to say all goths are like that, but there’s definitively a negative subculture of darkness that is dragging people down. For some kids it’s a phase. For some kids, it’s the projection of bona fide mental illness. And for some kids it’s just being a spoiled brat. From the looks of things, the Dawson College killer did not lack opportunity. All he lacked was the willingness to do positive things in his life. Maybe he was mentally ill. Who knows. He certainly wasn’t the best judge of how to improve his own alienation, he messed himself up pretty bad. He needed help.

  5. 5
    John Says:

    I wasn’t suggesting that the gunman in the Dawson College tragedy was anything but a very sick individual.

    What I was pointing out was the fact that this 25 year old deranged individual could have chosen to play out his deadly scenario anywhere….a subway, a shopping mall, a soccer field etc., but he chose a school! He chose a school, folks, and that fact is absolutely critical here as it was in Taber, Alberta and in Littleton, Colorado, but we haven’t learned. We still spend all our time talking about internet sites and tougher laws. Doesn’t anyone want to talk about schools…..before it happens again!

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