|Killer Goth on the
Rampage in Montreal
Self-proclaimed "Angel of Death" Kills 1 and Injures 19.
Killer loved guns, hated people - Web diary on Goth's website, photos show insight.
PHINJO GOMBU - September 14th, 2006.
The last online posting by Kimveer Gill on a website that is a popular gathering place for Goths is eerily time-stamped 10:41 a.m. yesterday — about two hours before Gill was shot dead by Montreal police officers at Dawson College.
In it, Gill describes little of how the events of the day are going to unfold — instead focusing on how whiskey tastes so good in the morning. There's a throwaway footnote that when he calls people "niggahs" in my journals ... it doesn't have to do anything with their skin colour.
"I call white people niggahs too, it's just fun," he writes.
But in a detailed user profile, asked how he wants to die, he wrote in prescient foreshadowing of yesterday's bloody events in Montreal: "Like Romeo and Juliet — or in a hail of gunfire."
The website www.vampirefreaks.com, which the Star found last night, reveals Gill as a lonely, conflicted, self-described 25-year-old Goth freak from Montreal who hated authority figures like police, principals and teachers and singled out "jocks" for high school bullying.
On the website's welcoming home page is a picture of the Laval resident, his eyes, shaded by his hands, staring intently into the camera.
Other pictures on another website show him wearing a black trench coat, holding a semi-automatic rifle with the caption "Ready for action," beneath it.
Other online postings showed that Gill, who described Natural Born Killers, as his favourite movie, was a fan of the Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun, lamenting that it was not legal in Canada.
Writing in the third person, Gill described himself to fellow Goths as someone "you will come to know as Trench," a chilling reference that was cited again and again by witnesses who described the man that shot at them yesterday.
"He is male. He is 25 years of age. He lives in Quebec. He finds that it is an okay place to live. He is not a people person. He has met a handful of people in his life who are decent.
But he finds the vast majority to be worthless, no good, conniving, betraying, lieing (sic), deceptive, mother-------.
"Work sucks ... school sucks ... life sucks ... what else can I say?
"Metal and Goth kick ass. Life is a video game, you've got to die sometime.''
A cached version of the webpage shows a tombstone with the name "Kimveer'' on it.
Below his name is the epitaph that goes: "Lived fast died young. Left a mangled corpse.''
In a detailed user profile that usually accompanies the web pages of various members, Gill revealed that he was born on July 9, 1981 in Montreal of Indian heritage with a weakness for laziness and a fear of nothing.
His goal for this year was to stay alive with a self-deprecating dig at his most overused phrase on instant messenger being "Heavy Metal Rulez."
He said he goes to bed whenever he's tired and his first thought upon waking is that he's tired, although he doesn't care much for coffee.
He wrote that he misses being young, hadn't gone out for a date in a month, wore combat boots that day and loved being covered in black clothing.
Gill's web handle, or the name by which he was known to other users of the website, is Fatality666.
A quick perusal of Gill's online diary shows that just hours before he posted his final entry, he was revealing very little of what he was going to be doing within the next hours to come.
At 3.33 a.m., he writes: "As you can tell, I got nothing of importrance (sic) to write about today. Poor me."
And then he goes on to describe his mundane pleasures such as eating freezies and flirting with girls — asking them if they are feeling down and want to play with him.
He expresses frustration at having to wait for his contact lenses to dry.
On Tuesday, a day earlier, at 5 a.m. Gill launched a tirade against authority figures.
"It's not only the bullies fault, but the principal's fault for turning a blind eye ... it's the police's fault for not doing anything when people complain (ooooops) my mistake, the cops are corrupt sons of whores, so it's not like they can do anything about it. F--- the police.
Gill then added that he was disgusted at society, which allowed people to behave like "assholes" to each other.
"Society disgusts me," he wrote.
Clearly Gill wasn't getting much sleep because only four hours earlier at 12.56 a.m., he posted the stark message: "F--- people, F--- Life."
His blog also reveals that Gill was a fan of the video game series Postal, a controversial and violent program in which the goal is to endure slights and insults without going beserk.
'Life sucks,' killer goth wrote on blog
BETSY POWELL - September 14th, 2006.
MONTREAL - "Work sucks ... School sucks ... Life sucks," wrote Dawson College shooter Kimveer Gill on his blog.
He might have hated the world, preferring the dark goth subculture, guns and violence, but Kimveer Gill, 25, drove a Pontiac Sunbird and lived with his parents and twin siblings in the kind of house you'd find in many tree-lined neighbourhoods.
Today, the raised white brick bungalow on a corner lot in Laval is ringed with reporters and photographers. A lone police cruiser sits in the driveway behind a red minivan.
Just 24 hours earlier, Gill apparently filed his last blog posting, then headed out the door to make the roughly 20-minute drive to downtown Montreal and Dawson College.
In the compact car were three firearms.
Property records show that Gurinder Gill and Parvinder Sandhu bought the house for 136,000 in 1988. Louise Leykuf, who lives across the street, remembers them moving in.
She didn't know a lot about the family, not even the parents names.
"They seemed to be ordinary people who did their own thing." But she formed an impression of the young man, whom she would occassionally see raking leaves.
"He looked a little strange," she said from her doorstep. "But then, there are a lot of strange people."
Montreal gunman identified
Kimveer Gill stormed into the school with a scowl on his face and an automatic weapon in his hands.
Rosy Diamann - September 14th, 2006.
The crack of gunfire from an assault weapon, a stalker in a long black trench coat, students fleeing in terror, blood splatter on the sidewalk and cafeteria floor.
We've been here before. And couldn't stop it from happening again.
Mayhem and murder on a Canadian campus. A lone gunman, random rat-a-tat blasting, scores of potential victims in the shooter's crosshairs.
The gunman stormed into the school over the lunch hour, with a scowl on his face and an automatic weapon in his hands.
Yet there was somewhat of a miracle in Montreal yesterday too: From the spray of lead, just one person slain and the gunman himself, stopped dead in his tracks apparently by a police officer who was among the first to arrive at the chaotic scene at Dawson College.
La Presse last night identified the gunman as Kimveer Gill, 25, of Laval.
The slain woman was identified as Anastacia DeSousa, 22.
Earlier in the day, DeSousa's panicked aunt arrived at the emergency department of Montreal General Hospital, pleading for help from the media in finding her niece, a first-year student at Dawson.
"She was put in an ambulance, now she can't be found," said Natalia Hevey.
She said her mother saw her niece being loaded on an ambulance on television, reportedly having been shot in the arm. "That's the last we saw of her."
Late last night, Montreal police searched the Laval family home of Gill, whose black Pontiac Sunfire was found parked near the school.
The Star found a website last night for a 25-year-old Goth freak who identified by the single name "Kimveer" in which he muses — shadows of the Columbine high school shootings — with banal disaffectedness.
"Work sucks ... school sucks ... life sucks ... what else can I say?
"Metal and Goth kick ass. Life is a video game, you've got to die sometime."
What numerous witnesses saw yesterday was a shootout in front of the cafeteria vending machine, bullets that missed, petrified students in the line of fire and, finally, one mortally wounded menace.
There were 19 injured, at least eight critically, five rushed into surgery at Montreal General Hospital with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and the chest. Of the 11 injured victims taken to Montreal General, six are women and five are men. Other injured were taken to two other hospitals. Some of the injured were hit in the limbs, untold more psychologically traumatized by the violence that exploded without warning shortly before 1 p.m.
Bystanders, over and over, described seeing a man wearing a Goth-style overcoat, combat boots, with a Mohawk haircut, studded with body-piercings — walking purposefully toward the school as students milled about outside, carrying what seemed to be an automatic rifle, and abruptly opening fire before continuing, barely breaking stride, into the second-floor atrium cafeteria, ordering those inside to get down on the floor, and then shooting upon them without mercy.
He had, La Presse reports, parked his car close to the college, opened the trunk and removed: a 9-mm semi-automatic rifle, a .45 pistol and a bag containing a 12-calibre gun that can shoot four bullets per shot.
What happened next was so eerily reminiscent of that shocking episode in Montreal 17 years ago when 14 women were slaughtered at L'École Polytechnique by Marc Lépine, who then turned the gun on himself. If this assailant intended the same thing, to take his own life after the horrific deed, it seems he never got the chance — brought down, witnesses say, even as he wielded his weapon and shouted at cops with guns drawn to stay back, stay away.
Yelling at them, according to student witness Nikola Guidi, as reported by the Montreal Gazette: "Get the fuck away from here!"
It is not definitive, and won't be until an autopsy and forensic tests are conducted, that an officer's gun extinguished the murderer's life. But it was this body that was later dragged from the building, leaving a trail of blood. From across the road, office workers reported a limp man, dressed in black, being pulled across the pavement. Police slapped handcuffs on him, but the man never moved. A yellow tarp was later thrown over the body and it remained there for a long time.
Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme told a news conference late last night that a change in tactics probably helped avert more injuries.
A few years ago, the first police on the scene would have set up a perimeter and awaited the arrival of the SWAT team. Now they are trained to go in and deal with the problem themselves, Delorme said.
The officers who first arrived at the scene heard gunshots, saw the suspect and followed him into the school, he said. There was a confrontation in the atrium and a Montreal officer shot the gunman.
"Today, the policemen on the scene took the right decision," said Delorme, of officers who acted without waiting for the SWAT team to arrive. "The way they acted saved lives."
Police say the first officers involved had actually been on the scene already, two of them writing up notes about a small drug seizure.
There does not appear to be any connecting thread, any common denominator among those shot, save for their fateful presence at a sprawling downtown post-secondary school when a man — purportedly young and cold-faced — with motives as yet unknown, decided to embark on a rampage. There is no evidence, authorities were quick to emphasize, that the shootings were racially or ethnically inspired. The act bore no terrorist imprint.
One man with an undetermined rage and three lethal weapons. He never reloaded.
"Based on current information, the suspect was killed by the police," said Delorme, who would provide no further details, including whether the shooter was a student at the school, although it was palpably obvious police knew precious little themselves.
Even as officials insisted there were no other suspects, heavily armed SWAT teams continued combing through the school for hours afterward, looking not just for students still cowering in classrooms — some, reportedly, were trapped in the basement when doors automatically locked after the alarm was raised — but also, obviously, any lingering threat. Initially, police were looking for up to three suspects.
"I can confirm that there are no other suspects," another police spokesperson told reporters in late afternoon. "We don't know anything about the motive of the suspect."
SWAT teams began pulling out around 7:30 p.m., but the building was still in lockdown and residents from the area were only beginning to be allowed through to their homes.
So this would be the diabolical handiwork of just one individual, perhaps a misfit or isolated social incompetent, based on investigations of past school shooting incidents, which have become a modern phenomenon in North America.
Zach Boucher, 17, was hanging out with some friends outside the Maisonneuve St. entrance to Dawson College — which has an enrolment of 7,500, an estimated 3,000 of whom were present yesterday — when he heard a gunshot and saw a young male with what he described as a Mohawk hairdo, black trench coat and combat boots walk toward the school firing a gun.
"Shot after shot after shot," Boucher, who attends a nearby colleague and was visiting Dawson friends, told the Star. "Once one went, then another one went and another one went."
He saw another girl get shot in the arm.
Boucher ran behind a police cruiser for cover.
From there, he saw the gunman walk into the school and three police officers follow him with their guns drawn, telling him to drop his weapon.
One officer, standing by the scout car, told Boucher to get as far away from there as he could. Boucher ran to a shopping mall across the street.
Kenny Roljeha was on lunch break in the mall when he heard shots being fired.
"I looked across the street and I saw someone who was on the ground outside and was bleeding from the arm or chest and then I saw the shooter run into the college," he told the Star.
Inside, the shooter ran through the college's second-floor atrium, an area of tables and chairs where students congregate during breaks.
A school janitor said he saw a police officer on the third floor being fired at from the second floor. Police had arrived at 12:44, three minutes after the shooting outside was first reported.
An 18-year-old student said his friend had been shot by the gunman.
"I turn around and my friend is shot," said the student, who did not want to give his name.
With his friend shot in the shoulder and leaning against a wall, this student called for an ambulance.
"He was leaning and wobbling; he was falling down, so I'm like `forget it, I'm going to go get him.'"
That victim was, last night, listed in critical condition.
Ali Aline, 21, recounted to the Star that she and a friend were sitting on a bench outside, smoking, when they were suddenly shot at.
"We didn't see the gunman," said Aline.
One of her friends, whose name she wouldn't provide, was hit in the stomach and the other in the leg. One of them, Aline reported shortly before 7 p.m., was already out of surgery.
"I was terrified and scared. It reminded me of the previous death of a friend six months ago."
During the shooting, students hid behind furniture and held on to each other. Many tried to make cellphone calls but cellular traffic was so heavy by then that little was getting through. Parents, unable to reach their kids as news of the shooting erupted, flooded police for information and descended with dread upon hospital emergency rooms.
One distraught witness told the CBC she, too, was outside smoking when she saw a tall white man wearing a long trenchcoat walk down the street carrying a large gun. He was, the young woman said, in the company of several other young people. She described him as about 19 years of age, with body piercings and studded clothing. He fired a number of times before going inside the school. "He shot the people right next to us. We were hiding in the bushes and there was debris flying ..."
Sehr Marous said he and his friend Marie were just coming out of the college when they noticed a man holding a gun with both hands.
"He opened fire — pap! pap! pap! He ran after us, he was metres behind us. There was chaos. Everybody was running and screaming."
At first, Marous said, he thought the weapon was merely a paint gun and hadn't panicked. "I wouldn't have run if my friend wasn't beside me. I thought she was overreacting. Now I feel like an idiot."
Ali Hussein told CTV that one bullet struck the wall close to where he was standing. "He shot right at us. And when he shot at us, we jumped and ran the other way."
Another student told Montreal radio station 940 News that she practically ran straight into the gunman after — while on the phone — hearing five shots and then the sound of glass breaking. Confused, she walked into the hallway. "All of a sudden I turned around and saw a man dressed in black with a huge assault rifle. People didn't know what was going on. ... They thought it was a joke."
The man then ran into the corner of the cafeteria to hide from police, she added.
Nineteen-year-old Razvan, who didn't want to give his last name, told the Star that he and three friends were sitting in the cafeteria on the second floor — but not at their usual table by the door because it was already full.
About 1 p.m., he said, a white male with spiky blond hair, wearing a long black trench coat, quickly walked into the cafeteria and reached into his jacket for what looked like a shotgun.
That's when the gunman opened fire.
"I thought they were fireworks or something," Razvan said.
The gunman shot a male at Razvan's usual table — hitting him in the stomach and leg — before Razvan and his friends scrambled behind a wall with about 50 others, waiting there for between 20 and 30 minutes.
"I was lucky because that's the table where we usually sit at," he said. "We were praying he didn't come for us."
Ben Croll, a 19-year-old student at the English-language college, said he was sitting in art history class on the third floor, the classroom's windows overlooking the entrance where the shooter went into the school.
"We could hear the gunshot and immediately raced to the window," Croll told the Star.
Nobody was sure of what exactly had happened, so Croll's teacher told the students to take a 15-minute break.
"We thought the coast was clear and started walking out of the classroom and as we were in the hallway we heard gunshots — from within the school," Croll said, adding the sound travelled up from the second floor through the stairwell.
He and his classmates spent about eight minutes on the stairwell between the third and fourth floors and then were ushered into a large art studio, which had a window overlooking the scene from the street, where shooting victims were being loaded into ambulances.
One girl recognized a friend among the victims, Croll said, but was relieved to see the white bandage around his head did not have any blood on it. The young man was talking with emergency medical personnel.
"That was some silver living on a very grey cloud," said Croll.
Tensions soared, though, when a teacher entered the studio and told everyone to get away from the window and down on the floor, underneath the desks. "That was the one thing — moreso than the shots, more than anything else, actually trying proactively to stop yourself from being seen," said Croll of those helpless feelings. "That really freaked a lot of people out."
In the havoc outside, a teenage girl fell weeping into her mother's arms, just beyond the cordon tape. "He was going to shoot me," the girl sobbed. I was the closest to him, Mom. People were pushing me and he wouldn't stop shooting at us."
More than 2 1/2 hours after the shooting began, Andrew Galle was finally able to leave the building. He'd been locked up with five other students in the radio station, located on the second floor, just down the hall from where some of the shooting occurred.
"I was just down the hallway from the atrium,'' Galle, 19, told the Star. "I heard three or four shots and people running down the hallway yelling, `gun.' We heard a teacher say to close the door and not to get out."
English teacher Linda Dydyk and her colleague Matthew Taylor waited for 45 minutes in her third-floor office with a student who'd been slightly injured in the shooting. She said the student told her that the shooter had pointed the gun directly at him.
"Apparently, the police told him to run and he ducked," said Dydyk, speculating that the student had been grazed by a bullet.
"His arm had like a flesh wound that didn't stop bleeding and he had something in his face," she said. "Since his injury was not serious, we waited there. We called 9-1-1 and reported we had an injury. They came and got us when it was safe."
Some 400 students were taken to Concordia University's Hall building, a few blocks east, where they were assessed by grief counsellors, given food and warm blankets, while arrangements were made to get them home.
Much of the downtown core of Montreal had been cordoned off and the subway's green line closed. It reopened late in the afternoon but subway cars did not stop at the Atwater Station, which is connected to the college.
Dawson police say the school will be closed until at least Monday so that evidence can be gathered.
Shooter's final day: Timeline
Anastacia DeSousa, who died in Wednesday's shootings at Dawson College in Montreal, is shown here in a photo from the 2004 Grade 10 Royal Vale School year book.
VampireFreaks.com had this to say:
"so yes there's been a lot of press lately regarding a shooting in montreal, where the person involved was a member of this site."
"i offer my condolences to the victims and their families, it really is a tragic event. however we do not condone or influence this type of behavior in any way. just because someone goes around shooting people and happens to be a member of vampirefreaks, doesn't mean that this website has influenced him to do such a horrible thing. the goth scene is a very friendly, nurturing, non-violent community and we are very supportive of our users and do not condone any illegal activities. we have an excellent team of administrators who moderate the site, and a useful system which allows all users to report illegal and suspicious activity. thank you to all the users who continue to help us moderate the site."
"i do think this event is a tragedy, but i feel that this site is wrongly being associated with the shooting. i'm sure this kid also had accounts on various other sites, but the media likes to associate crimes with gothic culture because it makes a better story for them."
"so, i just want to ask our members to really try to set a good example to the world, to show that we really are caring, responsible, non-violent people. in fact i believe we are more mature and responsible than other scenes, in that we value intelligence, part of goth culture is thinking for yourself and being more aware of the world, rather than just following the mainstream trends. don't let a few bad seeds ruin our reputation, we are a great community."
Dawson College joins list of schools hit by violence.
Some major violent incidents at North American schools:
Rampage victims critical
Eleven wounded patients - aged 17 to 48 - being treated
September 14th, 2006.
MONTREAL — Police were still trying to determine Thursday what prompted a gunman to enter a downtown college and start firing indiscriminately at people in an attack that eventually claimed his life and that of a young woman.
Six people remained in critical condition as police tried to piece together the events of the previous day.
Eleven victims — six men and five women aged 17 to 48 — remained in Montreal General Hospital.
“Six of these patients remain in critical condition — two extremely critical in the intensive care unit,” Tarek Razek, the hospital’s trauma director, told a news conference. “Five patients are in less critical, more stable condition.”
Razek said one of the most critical patients had head injuries.
About 20 people in all were injured after a gunman identified by police as Kimveer Gill, 25, stormed into Dawson College over the lunch hour with a semi-automatic rifle and two other guns.
Quebec provincial police Lt. Francois Dore said police met with Gill’s parents Wednesday night in Laval, north of Montreal, where he apparently lived.
An online image gallery on Gill’s blog contains more than 50 photos depicting the young man in various poses holding a Baretta CX4 Storm semi-automatic rifle and donning a long black trenchcoat and combat boots.
“His name is Trench,” he wrote on his vampirefreaks.com profile. “You will come to know him as the Angel of Death.”
The gunman walked into Dawson armed with an automatic rifle and two other guns, dressed head to toe in black.
A woman who died in the shooting was identified as Anastasia DeSousa, 18, of Montreal.
Matthew Wall, 18, went to the hospital on Thursday morning because one of his friends was shot twice, including once in the pelvis.
“Both bullets entered and exited, so she’s going to be fine,” Wall said. “She was shot outside.
“I felt OK at home before but . . . it’s a little nerve-racking. You’re on edge a lot. It’s pretty heavy . . . because it’s not anything that anyone would have suspected or anything that anyone saw coming.”
There have been conflicting reports about how the gunman was shot and killed.
Police Chief Yvan Delorme said officers killed him but witnesses told Montreal La Presse he shot himself in the head after a police bullet struck him in the leg.
Dore said an autopsy was planned Thursday to determine the exact cause of death.
“The body bears many wounds,” he said. “During the autopsy we will try to figure out which wounds were caused by police guns, what is self-inflicted. That we don’t know.”
The gunman had at least two wounds.
Police have found no suicide note or other indication of why he carried out the rampage.
Dore said he was not known to police.
As for what prompted his armed assault on the Montreal college, that is a question that looms large in their investigation.
“He was not a student at Dawson,” Dore said.
“Apparently, he was never a student at Dawson but that has to be confirmed.”
Ian Lafreniere, a Montreal police spokesman, said the officers involved in the shooting are on administrative duty until the investigation concludes.
“The whole investigation of the suspect has been transferred to the Surete Quebec (provincial police) because a police officer was involved in the shooting,” Lafreniere said.
Flanked by several members of the legislature, Quebec Premier Jean Charest visited the scene Thursday and spoke to school officials and student reps before meeting with his caucus.
Outside the party meeting, several members called the shootings tragic and isolated.
The 17-year-old son of Liberal member Russell Copeman was in the college when gunfire erupted.
“I tried to reach him for 20 minutes but the cellphone lines were busy,” Copeman said. “We had some difficult moments.”
City police continue their investigation of the overall shooting.
About 300 police officers are involved. They’ve spoken to 100 witnesses so far and have more than 200 yet to speak with.
The shootings recalled Marc Lepine’s murderous rampage at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique school on Dec. 6, 1989, when he opened fire and ended up killing 14 women.
Delorme said the lessons learned from the Montreal Massacre about the need to co-ordinate emergency services and act promptly helped save lives.
“Before, our technique was to establish a perimeter around the place and wait for the SWAT team,” he said. “Now the first police officers go right inside. The way they acted saved lives.”
The Dawson student association, meanwhile, criticized school officials for not being there for students in the minutes and hours following the shooting spree.
“It was a difficult day for everyone, the students, the professors and administrators,” said association president Melanie Hotchkiss.
After fleeing the gunfire, students had to rely on the student association at nearby Concordia University to help them, she said. The university student association opened its doors to the students and sent representatives to the scene around the shooting to round them up.
Dawson director Richard Fillion said he believes Hotchkiss was being too critical and that the college did everything it could under the circumstances.
We’ll still scrap gun registry, Prime Miniter Stephen Harper says
September 14th, 2006.
OTTAWA — No law will ever entirely prevent tragedies like the shooting rampage at Montreal’s Dawson college, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today.
But he suggested his government remains committed to scrapping the controversial long gun registry and promised to look at “more effective” laws.
In a brief televised appearance before reporters, Harper said political debate over how the shootings might have been averted should wait until all the facts are in.
Still, he made a point of noting that existing gun laws didn’t stop a gunman from killing one student and wounding 19 others Wednesday.
“The laws we have didn’t prevent this tragedy, which is why our government will be in the future — because of this incident and many others — looking to make our laws more effective,” Harper said.
His Conservative government has already introduced legislation to scrap the gun registry and to increase sentences for gun crimes.
Jay Hill, the Conservative whip, told reporters the shooting will not prompt any second thoughts about elminating the registry. But at least one Tory MP, Garth Turner, predicted the government will have to adjust its thinking about gun control if it wants to retain any hope of making inroads in Quebec in the next election.
Quebecers have always been the most supportive of the federal gun registry, which was introduced in the wake of the 1989 massacre of 14 female students at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique.
“I would imagine that certainly sentiment in the province of Quebec will be extremely strong to reignite as much gun control as possible and that obviously will have national implications because Quebec is important in the Conservative plan at the moment,” Turner said.
Harper called the shootings “a shocking and appalling tragedy.” But he said such incidents are difficult to predict or understand.
“You know you really ask yourself how do you explain somebody who wants to end their life and wants to end it by killing other people, other people they don’t know just for the sake of killing them? It’s impossible to explain and comprehend.
“And I have no explanation for it and, in a sense, let’s hope none of us ever gets to the stage where we can understand it.”
Harper did not seem inclined to try to crack down on websites and computer games that glorify killing and which the Dawson shooter, Kimveer Gill, apparently enjoyed.
“We as a society have trouble squaring our outrage at some of the images we see, some of the messages that are communicated to people — young people, in particular — with our belief in freedom and our desire to avoid censorship,” he said.
“Whether there’s something we can do to control it, I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that nothing excuses what the killer did yesterday.”
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said just because no law can stop every gun crime, that’s no excuse for inaction. He said the gun registry should not be scrapped.
Duceppe also said police should monitor websites for signs of disturbed individuals who might go on killing sprees, in much the same way police monitor the internet for pedophiles.
NDP Leader Jack Layton offered his own prescription, saying the Dawson shooting “is another tragic reminder of why the federal government needs a more effective strategy to control the trade in illegal firearms.”
The three guns used in Wednesday’s rampage were legally registered.
Montreal Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, herself a graduate of Dawson college, predicted that Harper will court a backlash in Quebec if he scraps the registry. Nor will Quebecers buy other tough law and order measures as an alternative, she predicted.
Pollster Nik Nanos of SES Research said Harper might be able to sell elimination of the gun registry if he wraps it into a broader ``tough on crime agenda.” Such an agenda, while traditionally unpopular in Quebec, might have “more juice” in the wake of the latest rampage.
Harper also offered condolences to the family of the young woman killed in the shooting rampage and said his thoughts are with the victims still in hospital.
He said he spoke to Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay on Wednesday night and offered any help they might need.