Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Day After

Yesterday the unthinkable happened: a disillusioned, radicalized young man with a grudge and a rifle walked into Parliament in Ottawa.  He killed a reserve soldier who was guarding the National War Memorial before engaging in a firefight with security forces, during which he was shot dead.

Chaos reigned in downtown Ottawa as the city was locked down and authorities hunted for another possible shooter and/or the driver of the car that the gunman had used.  As of this time, he hasn't been found.

All of the government officials have made comments on the matter but Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party, said it best:

"So, while it is too early to jump to conclusions, I intend to hold fast to the following: we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify a disproportionate response.  We must not resort to hyperbolic rhetoric.  We need to determine if these actions are coordinated to any larger group or are the actions of one or two deranged individuals.  If it is the latter, we must develop tools and a systematic approach to dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any kind. We need to protect our rights and liberties in a democracy.

"We do know that through history these kinds of events open the door to a loss of democracy. [...]  The shootings on Parliament Hill do not change everything.  It is up to all of us to ensure that, to the extent we encounter demands for change, we keep in the forefront of our minds that once we surrender any rights it is very difficult to restore them. Let's demand answers, sensible policies, and proportionate responses."

Also, too many people have put up pictures of the shooter.  I feel sorry for his family, too, but if you are going to remember the dead, repeat the names of the victims and show their pictures.  These are the people whose images and names should be enshrined in our memories.


  1. It's just awful. I like the point you make about teaching our youth to not be attracted to extremist groups and remember the victims instead of the shooter.

  2. It's definitely important to keep perspective (which I think overall as Canadians we have) and to remember the victim. I was really moved by the strength and determination and unity expressed in Parliament this morning.

  3. I just saw this on the news. I think it's such a tragedy with everything happening in the world like this. My heart really goes out to the families effected by this.