After Mass Shooting, Canadian Government Might Ban Assault Weapons Like A Competent Government
A gunman shot and killed at least 18 people in Nova Scotia over a two-day rampage this weekend. It was the deadliest shooting in Canada's history. That is a tragically quaint figure in comparison to the United States, where the current grim record is the 58 dead in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
America can usually only manage “thoughts and prayers" after these massacres, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already plans to move ahead on substantial gun control legislation. Trudeau promised last year that if his Liberal Party won re-election, it would ban assault rifles and even give municipalities the ability to restrict or outright ban handguns. He even cast shade on American politicians' “thoughts and prayers" tap dance on guns.
Gun violence in Canada is rising, and weâ��re doing something about it. Weâ��re taking concrete steps to strengthen gunâ�¦ https://t.co/Rdp9kVNckh— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau) 1568997846.0
Trudeau announced Monday during his coronavirus presser — the actually informative ones that stable world leaders have — that he'd been “on the verge" of introducing legislation to ban assault weapons but then COVID-19 put everything on pause ... except for the madness of people with access to guns. Not even a natural disaster could stop gun violence, and now, thanks to the coronavirus, the victims' loved ones can't gather for a proper funeral but will have to mourn virtually.
TRUDEAU: I want to ask the media to avoid mentioning the name and showing the picture of the person involved. Do not give him the gift of infamy. Let us instead focus all our intention and attention on the lives we lost and the families and friends who grieve.
The victims include Lisa McCully, a schoolteacher, and Constable Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She was also the mother of two kids who'll have to grieve for her in physical isolation. There's a photo of Stevenson in the Washington Post walking children across the street while wearing the uniform most Americans recognize from the Dudley Do-Right cartoons.
Aaron “Friar" Tuck, his wife, Jolene, and their 17-year-old daughter Emily were also brutally murdered this weekend. "Friar" Tuck had posted a Facebook video on March 26 of Emily playing a fiddle solo for the Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party.
Canada: Trudeau promises stricter gun control after Nova Scotia shooting that killed at least 18 www.youtube.com
The gunman, whom we won't bother naming, was killed in a confrontation with police. So far it seems like the victims were targeted randomly. The gunman was a denturist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who reportedly was “obsessed" with policing and law enforcement memorabilia. He'd once gifted dentures to a cancer survivor from Halifax. This isn't mentioned to humanize the murderer but just to demonstrate that there is no such thing as a “good guy with a gun." You never know what might cause someone to snap, and they don't always present like Travis Bickle, ranting about how a “real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets." Sometimes seemingly pleasant people from rural towns can suddenly choose to take 18 lives. The most effective protection against this violence is to keep weapons of death off the streets of bustling metropolises and sleepy communities.
Our “thoughts and prayers" are with the victims and their families, but we're glad that they also have a government willing to act and prevent further senseless death.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."