06 December 2009

20 years, and what's changed?

It's been 20 years. 20 years since Marc Lepine walked into Ecole Polytechnique and blew away
  • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
  • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
  • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
  • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
I won't speculate as to what drove him to kill these women - all I know is from the media, and I don't trust them to have it right.  What is clear, is that he hated women and blamed feminism for his problems.

The deaths of these women sparked a lot of debate and some changes in the gun laws. Of course, I am utterly disgusted by the repeal of the gun registry. I know, I know, that it has been expensive and stupidly managed. And I know that criminals don't register their guns. But here's why the gun registry is important: "Domestic disputes". When a report comes to the police of a domestic dispute, the police automatically check the gun registry to see if there are guns in the home. This protects the police, in that they know to expect a gun. This also protects the women in the home. If the police come in and find guns, when no gun is registered, they can arrest the abuser on grounds of having an unregistered gun, getting him out of the house.

I KNOW. I know that it's poorly managed. I know that it's expensive. I also know that it's worth it to save every one of those women. I don't know that it would have saved any of the women in Montreal. It probably wouldn't have. But if some good can come out of such a tragedy, it seems all the more the tragedy to destroy that good.

So what else has changed? Not much. Women-haters still hate (just read the comments at Broadsides sometime). They still abuse. They still kill. Women still get blamed for being victims.

So many bloggers have put it better than I can today. Go read them.