I've just read the front page piece by my Star colleague Catherine Porter, the one commemorating the Ecole Polytechnique massacre of Dec. 6, 1989.
She interviews Nathalie Provost, who was shot four times and survived, when a gunman burst into that engineering school 20 years ago. (I won't name him because I prefer to remember his victims.) Here's a snip:
"We are not feminists."
A young, incredulous Nathalie Provost said those words to Marc Lépine 20 years ago Sunday. It was a bid to save her and her fellow students' lives – the women Lépine had isolated in a university classroom before opening fire on them with a semi-automatic hunting rifle.
Provost was one of the lucky four who survived. "At the time, I thought to be a feminist meant you had to be militant," says Provost, who today is overworked and feeling skittish as the anniversary approaches. She was the young woman who, from her hospital bed a couple days later, urged Canadian girls to not be frightened by the event and to pursue engineering careers. She was also my introduction to feminism in life, not just theory. And to the concept that the personal is political.
"I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist. I was a woman studying engineering and I held my head up."
If you go through the comments section, which seems to have been invaded by the gun nuts and some of the angrier men's rights activists, you'll see:
1. That there's a lot of denial that the long-gun registry, which Parliament is set on eliminating, has anything to do with preventing violence against women.
Can it be a coincidence that, since the registry was established, the number of femicides by rifles -- which the preferred method of shooting one's spouse to death -- has declined drastically? Fact is, having a gun in the home will make somebody more likely to use it.
True, the numbers were already on a downward trend but, research shows, much of that can probably be explained by the fact that, thanks to the feminist movement, women were becoming more economically independent and a network of shelters and other services was being built. Women who have the means to get out will more likely get out -- although, sadly, that's when they are at the most vulnerable to being stalked and killed.
Just read men's rights activist regular Keith in the comments in my previous post on this subject where he attempts to justify these murders by writing:
''How many women who are the ultimate victim of violence, were killed by a gun due to social policies which enslave men to pay the female victim money, in the form of so called child support, to make the women independant while making the man destitude?''
Charming. The system sucks so you shoot the mother of your children. Poor victimized men's rights activist.
But I digress.
Eliminating the gun registry is not only a slap in the face to the Dec. 6 victims and their families, it's also another insult to women by the Conservatives. But they don't get it, as The Star's Susan Delacourt reports today:
The potential demise of Canada's long-gun registry cast a shadow Friday over any attempts by federal politicians to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 14 women at Montreal's l'École Polytechnique.
In the Commons, Bloc Québécois MP Thierry St-Cyr (Jeanne-Le Ber) said the survivors of the tragedy have been let down by the "hypocrisy" of a government that helped usher in recent private member's legislation to wind down the gun registry.
Quoting Heidi Rathjen, one of those survivors, St-Cyr said: "It is a slap in the face of the victims of Polytechnique, as well as of all other victims of firearms."
But Conservative MP Sylvie Boucher, parliamentary secretary for the status of women, said the Bloc should be ashamed to be playing political games on the backs of women's deaths. Conservatives are proud of all the law-and-order measures they've introduced to combat violence against women and punish those responsible, noted Boucher.
Oh please. Many men who shoot their wives have no criminal records. You can't preemptively lock them up. But the gun registry allowed the police to take away the rifles of men who did have priors.
However, one thing they often do have is personality disorders, such as depression. Well, let me tell you, if a guy does go around acting suicidal and has guns, he won't get to keep those guns if the police hear about it.
The gun nuts say that the gun registry was too costly -- although the money has mostly been spent. Throwing out the billions spent is like saying ''Oh, the house cost two billion to build, which is too much, so let's blow it up.''
Operating the gun registry now only accounts for some $8 million a year, chump change for the government, especially considering the cost of domestic violence. How much does it cost to try and incarcerate a killer? How much does it cost to place the children under the care of social services?
What's the worth of a woman?
If the gun registry costs $8 million a year, which is the most oft-cited figure, and 16 women are killed by rifles per year, that's $500,000 per woman. Speaking for myself, I think that a woman's life is worth at least that much.
Do you Keith?
2. That, despite all the evidence, there are still people out there who claim that the Dec. 6 shooter was just a lone madman -- who had a violent father, by the way -- and that the massacre had nothing to do with feminism.
Give me a break.
Not only did he deliberately separate men from women, he also wrote this before he packed up his arsenal and shot up the school. Some excerpts:
Would you note that if I commit suicide today 89-12-06 it is not for economic reasons (for I have waited until I exhausted all my financial means, even refusing jobs) but for political reasons. Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker.
Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men.
Happy St. Marc's Day
December 6 is celebrated around the world in English speaking countries as
International Marc Lepine Day
It seem that almost every week some distraught suicidal young man takes a rifle or pistol and shoots people at a school, a shopping mall, or a city. These are called horrible events by our media, and invariably used as reasons to hate men by the feminists, their blue gun thug Gestapo, and their talking head lackeys. The young men are almost always emotionally distraught, driven to desperation by a feminazi society that has tried to trample him into dust.
Every year, every month, every day, every hour, men are driven to suicide by the evil feminazi hate machine...
Marc Lepine tells women and feminists YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE MONTERS ANYMORE. He tells these thousands of women and feminists who have stolen their partner's house, their car, their money, he tells those who have stolen their ex-husband's children, their jobs and drove them to suicide: STOP TO BE MONSTERS, stop to secretly dream of killing men and planning gendercide, and we will perhaps begin again to love you some day. This is a powerful message, A MESSAGE OF LOVE, worthy of a new Christ.
I guess the Dec. 6 shooter was not such a loner, hunh?I wonder if those guys have guns.
One more thing: Here's some mealy-mouthed memorializing on the part of Helena Guergis, the Minister of State for the Status of Women, in today's National Post. It's almost all about what those foreigners do. Nothing about what good old boy Canadians with their guns do.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Judy Rebick adds this:
I am writing this from Montreal where I am attending a colloquium to examine the massacre twenty years later. Journalist Francine Pelletier, who was one of the women on the hit list found in his suicide note, told the hundreds of women attending that she now believes this was a political act, an anti-feminist act, different than the every day incidents of violence against women. “If he had wanted to target women, he would have gone to a nursing school,’ she said. “He was targeting women who had the audacity to want to do a man’s job.” Dominique Payette of Laval University agreed calling it a classical act of terrorism designed to strike fear in the hearts of women not so different than the Taliban throwing acid in the faces of little girls who want to go school.I think it was both an act of terrorism and an extreme form of the violence women face every day. As one participant said in the discussion, male violence in intimate relationships increases when the woman tries to become more independent. It is used to keep women in their place through fear.
Please read the whole thing.
An extract from his suicide note:
"Even if the Mad Killer epithet will be attributed to me by the media, I consider myself a rational erudite that only the arrival of the Grim Reaper has forced to take extreme acts. For why persevere to exist if it is only to please the government. Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men."
Sounds like any number of Feminist-hating pundits these days to me.
Er, except for that Grim Reaper bit, of course. That's pretty out there.