Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Real Wake-Up Call

As we all struggle to comprehend yesterday's horrible events at Dawson College, I can't help reflecting on how fragile life is, and that we should never take it for granted.

When you get that next flat tire, or are stuck in a traffic jam, or your computer dies, try to remember what is important in life. Hug your kids each morning before sending them off to school. You might not get another opportunity.

Great editorial in today's Toronto Sun. Let's reflect and pray. Lots of time for the blame game later.


Sara said...

BIG HUGS JO!!!!!!!

jeff davidson said...

i agree with the sentiment expressed in your post joanne.
i wonder why more people don't feel the same way when african babies are dying daily from the complications of aids, when images of lebanese, iraqi, afghani,and israeli children grieving dead parents are everywhere in the media?
i hate to be cynical in the face of yesterday's sadness but it's a fair question.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jeff, I guess it's because it hits so close to home. When you send your child off to school in Canada, you expect them to come home safely at the end of the day.

liberal supporter said...

Yes, it's because it hits close to home. People closer to our own personal experience. First, the killer is a lot like ourselves demographically, probably born and raised here. Could be any of the neighbours' kids. And the victims could be any of the neighbours' kids.

It is easy to see things elsewhere and rationalize why it wouldn't happen here. And we see numerous examples daily in our own experience that confirms it doesn't happen here. But when something does happen here, all those rationalizations don't work. So it affects us much more. Because we believe it is not normal for here. And because we fear it may become the norm here.

I did see something in the linked article, the police procedure was changed since 1989. Now they go in right away, instead of setting up a perimeter and waiting for the swat team. Probably saved a lot of lives.

Steph said...

I know that your post was not about politics and I don't want to take away anything from the sentiment of reflection on the importance and fragile nature of life. However, I heard something on the radio this morning that made me shake my head.

I heard that people are going to protest against Stephen Harper because he wants to do away with the gun registry. The weapon used in this shooting was a *registered* weapon! If anything, this tragic incident proves how completely ineffective the gun registry is! I am glad that the Conservatives have already realized this and are looking at alternatives instead.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I totally agree, Steph. The Gun Registry only protects union jobs; not lives (IMHO).

liberal supporter said...

I heard somewhere that at first the police thought there was more than one shooter (up to four), and it might be a terrorist attack. Had it been so, the new policy of going in immediately instead of waiting for the swat team might not have been a good idea.

Since there have been no terrorist or multiple shooter operations, they went with the assumtion it was a Lepine type situation, so the cops that happened to be there called for backup and went right in.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - That's interesting. I think I heard something about that too. The police seemed organized, that's for sure. Otherwise, it could have been even worse.

Mac said...

Let's register nutbars instead of guns!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

How about we register violent video games like Columbine massacre?

Mac said...

To what end? Like the gun registry, it would serve no purpose except to grow the bureaucracy of government.

liberal supporter said...

Mike Strobel in the Sun was alluding to controlling violent video games, saying somthing like "they are appearing more and more in murder scenes". So are guns.

I did read that some in the government are now wanting to look at why the kinds of weapons used are available. The killer lamented that automatics are illegal, though the weapons he did have were deadly enough. He wasn't using the proverbial "my grandfather's shotgun on the farm" which is usually trotted out as an example of what is wrong with the gun registry. If he also drove to the campus, is that "proof" that the car registry is ineffective?

Getting ripped off by high priced computer consultants implementing the registry is a financial auditor's problem, and a reason to question who was watching the money, not a reason to scrap registering long guns.

It seems the argument revolves around stopping people from being crazy either by removing things that make them act crazy (steady diet of violence in games) or removing access to things they can use to act out that violence (weapons mainly useful for rapidly killing people).

In the US a lot of the argument is that private citizens need assault weapons in case the government becomes a police state one day.

Mac said...

How does registering guns stop people from being crazy? Try "not whatsoever" and you'll be close. As much as I dislike parroting such a cliché, guns don't kill people; people kill people.

What's next? Registering knives? We've already prohibited certain types of knifes (switchblades & 'butterfly' knives) so we're already on the right track. Once we ban all the guns and knives, then we can start banning forks, pointed sticks, rocks and fists. The biggest problem will be finding a replacement for shaking hands as a greeting or to confirm a deal. Too much potential for aggression in a gesture which is so fist-like.

How about answering this for me, liberal supporter: why do liberal governments want to ban guns? Anywhere in the world where guns are banned, the crime rate goes up, (drat those criminals!) so crime reduction can't have anything to do with it. I have my pet theory...

Anonymous said...

According to Olivia Chow on todays QP at CTV , she blames Males as the problem and threw in a Miller campaign plug by mentioning how well Toronto is doing with spending money in youth programs
and anti-gun teachings.
Marlene Jennings also agreed and they believe more money and more layers of Government workers to prevent the creation of criminals
in sensitive areas of low income families.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

According to Olivia Chow on todays QP at CTV , she blames Males as the problem

O.K. Then, let's register males.

Sorry, Mac, just kidding about that and the video games. I agree with you. - Where would it end?

Marlene Jennings also agreed and they believe more money and more layers of Government workers to prevent the creation of criminals
in sensitive areas of low income families.
AKA big unions, and big government. Pull-eeze!

You can't protect against evil. It happens. Horrible, but true.

Mac said...

The ironic part is Scotland is currently pursuing legislation to ban carrying knifes so I wasn't being entirely facetious.

We can't prevent people from doing evil things but we can protect ourselves by refusing to be victims and being ready to defend ourselves as necessary.

liberal supporter said...

Olivia must be in the pay of the gun lobby, to make statements so obviously intended to discredit gun control.

"How does registering guns stop people from being crazy? Try "not whatsoever" and you'll be close. As much as I dislike parroting such a cliché, guns don't kill people; people kill people."

Of course people kill people. But it is a lot harder without firearms. Pull a knife on me? I'll run away, and even if you can run as fast, you will find it difficult to stab me while running. But even with a 100 foot head start you can put a bullet in me if you're able to aim the gun at all. If it is a shotgun, you just have to point it in my general direction.

Think you can throw a knife at me and hit something vital? You belong in the circus sideshow if you can throw a knife that well. They do outlaw the knifes with long blades if they have the groove that allows you to quickly withdraw it to stab some more. But a bread knife is ok, because it would not be very effective to do multiple stab wounds.

Yes, "not whatsoever" is close, but not zero. If the killer's weapons were unregistered, we would hear parroting "criminals don't register their guns", but since he did register them it's "registering did not stop this". He probably drove a registered car, but we aren't scrapping the car registry.

How many crimes does the car registry prevent? Are we getting value for the money? To me the real question in the gun registry is "why does this cost many times more than the car registry?" It is simply inexcusable that we are bickering over scrapping it instead of getting the costs in line with the car registry.

Then the gun registry would not be required to "perform" as strongly as it is now. Unless you can prove that the gun registry somehow caused this tragedy, how does scrapping it help? Get the cost overrun fixed.

I think the gun registry should have had grandfathering provisions when it was introduced, so registration is required upon sale of a firearm. It was a lack of thinking that ended up pissing off every farmer in the country.

We often hear the story about how police don't need the registry to tell them someone has registered guns in a home where they are required to attend. The argument is "well should they be less careful because the registry says no guns here? Because the criminals don't register their guns".

The police are equally careful, whether the registry says there are guns or not. But if they approach a home where there are supposedly no guns, and they see someone with one, they should feel more free to shoot that person, since they are either someplace they shouldn't be, or they have unregistered weapons. So the registry should allow them to shoot anyone with firearms, unless the registry says "there are guns here". Then the owner might not realize it's the police and they have to handle the possibility that there are legal firearms present.

liberal supporter said...

I think that was the logic behind the total handgun ban. If nobody is supposed to have a handgun, the police don't have to worry about maybe you have a permit, because they get accused of racial profiling or whatever if they check your permit every time they see you.

If you can't have a permit, then if you are caught with a handgun you're busted. And they are completely covered in using extreme force to arrest you with one.