An anniversary to remember, with a thumb to Harper’s eye

Today’s the 23rd anniversary of the Montréal Massacre, which has of late been a focus in Canadian politics with Harper having successfully destroyed the long gun registry.

Except, as it turns out, in Quebec. The provincial government kept their copy, with the help of a sympathetic judge, and plans on implementing their own registry, according to Stephane Bergeron in statements made marking the anniversary of the deadly shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique.

Bergeron also mentioned the deadly shooting at Dawson College in 2006, as well as the fatal shooting that disrupted Premier Pauline Marois’ victory speech on Sept. 4.

“Quebec believes in a system of firearms registration, essential to the administration of justice, to police work and to the safety of the population,” he said.

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Ending the Canadian long gun registry means more domestic murder

On December 6th, 1989, a virulent misogynist named Marc Lépine entered a school in Quebec and murdered fourteen women and wounded ten women and four men with a long gun — a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic .223 calibre rifle, which he obtained and owned legally. He hunted women explicitly, screaming “I hate feminists” as he mowed them down, separating men from women before shooting them en masse.

In 1991, in response to this massacre, a number of long guns became restricted weapons including semi-automatics and the class of gun called “sniper rifle”, generally any rifle built for accuracy over long range and/or fitted with scopes for precision firing. And in 1995, a federal long gun registry was established, so owners of any long gun would, like owners of handguns have had to do since the 1930s, register ownership of these longer guns. Any transfer of ownership would be recorded and kept in a database that law enforcement could use to trace the gun to its owner. In addition, to legally obtain the gun, a license proving your competence was required, and the gun registered on purchase.
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