Given that today is the anniversary, the Globe & Mail published a thoughtful article about the event from the perspective of the survivors and the families of the dead women. One of their victories after 1989 was the long gun registry, and they are naturally upset that parliament has recently voted in favor of scrapping it.
I am in favor of gun control and the gun registry. It doesn't demonize rural Canadians: it simply asserts that guns (like cars) should be licensed. It has been an expensive program largely because of a pro-gun campaign to make it so: first, by scuttling the procedure and later by the Harper government's removal of license fees. Canada's chiefs of police are overwhelmingly behind the registry. The gun registry has been used by Conservatives to make a wedge issue just as Republicans used abortion.
But that's not what interests me today...
What interests me is the comments to the Globe article. There is not just a majority of comments that express negativity towards the victims and their cause, but the agree/disagree rankings are overwhelmingly against women, as well. Here are some excerpts of comments with current rankings from the thumbs up/thumbs down vote next to each comment:
- "Women this and women that grows most nauseating. As a man, i am getting sick and tired of measures designed to protect women. Last time i checked, they were only half of the population." - 27 agree/4 disagree
- "Should we should be more concerned about the murder of one gender above another. That's what this article seems to imply." - 19 agree/3 disagree
- "Maybe feminists (or pseudofeminists) should stop being so inconsistent. Could that be part of what drove Lepine to kill? Trying to communicate with women who have only their needs in mind, regardless of whether what they say is nonsense or not, can be very trying." - 67 agree/19 disagree
- "Saying "if it saved just one life, it was worth it" is one of the most illogical, short-sighted, emotive arguments out there - that money could have saved many more lives elsewhere, or (if it hadn't been taken from Canadian taxpayers in the first place) WOULD have contributed to more jobs, better jobs, less financial stress... a better Canada." - 76 agree/16 disagree
- "The inconsistent, illogical, purely emotion-based approach of too many "feminists" alienates many men (and probably some women) from what should be an inclusive cause." - 58 agree/7 disagree
- "The Montreal Massacre was a tragedy, no one will argue that, but no tragedy is worth sacrificing democratic freedom over. I am sick and tired of hearing about special interest groups trying to infringe on our democratic freedoms forged through a history of tragedy and struggle. I am absolutely disgusted by the exploitation of this massacre by selfish politicians and special interest groups seeking political gain." - 78 agree/10 disagree
- "This is just another example of feminists taking something - anything - and making an issue about it... Marc Lepine had no resources with which to help him deal with the rejection and the unfairnes of it. Feminists had power. they had the journalists on their side, and politicians. No one wanted to tell them they were wrong. They were so angry they would have destroyed that person's career, in fact their entire life, if they could, just as they have mine, for talking out about it." - 24 agree/17 disagree
- "I am sick of seeing the women's movement use the act of one madman to tar all men and/or gun-owners with the same brush. It amazes me they can get away with it." - 19 agree/11 disagree
And there was strong disagreement with the pro-woman side:
- "I look to the people enforcing crime to get facts and evidence on the usefulness of the gun registry and police forces across the country tell us they use the registry and it's useful in their daily work. Unfortunately, the Conservative party held back RCMP's most recent report endorsing the registry until AFTER the House of Commons voted on canceling the registry. The Tories wouldn't want facts and information getting in the way of a purely political manoeuver. If we take the argument against registering our long to it's illogical conclusion then why do we register our vehicles? Cars don't kill people, drivers do. And is it really such a burden to go out and register a gun? The gun registry legislation isn't perfect, no legislation is. But when the police tell me they find it useful to do their daily jobs I'll believe them before a bunch of Tory hacks trying to solidify their rural voting base. " - 15 agree/16 disagree
- "Shame on these flunkies we keep paying our taxes to every year when they won't keep a Gun Registry open to protect women while they spend $20 billion on a War continents away. Rurar votes is the key on this and we should tell our yahoo gun-macho-politicos that they are going to lose thousands of votes from those who agree with our Police Forces throughout the nation! Enough carnage! Register these guntoting morons same way as pedophiles. They're both endangering our society. Enough!" - 12 agree/59 disagree
- "The purpose of the legislation was specifically directed at domestic violence issues and the protection of women. Long guns, not surprisingly because these are far more easy to obtain and far more likely to be around for non-criminal purposes, are a weapon of choice in domestic violence cases. A vocal minority overturned the long gun registry. They saved us a whopping 2 million dollars a year. Of course, that was after costing us that much because the CPC waived the fees. The long gun registry would otherwise have been a modest revenue-generating system." - 4 agree/3 disagree
Update: A more recent comment: "Don't confuse a revulsion of feminism with a dislike of women. They are not the same brand. Feminism is a Marxist based collective ideology..." - 5 agree/6 disagree