In the wake of the horrific event of September 13th - the shooting rampage undertaken by the 25 year old Kimveer Gill in Dawson College's second floor atrium - there has been more speculation about his motivations and the ramifications of his actions on the ever-sensitive issue of gun-control than there has been in nearly fifteen years. It is obvious that the gun-registry did nothing to prevent this tragedy - it has never had such high ambitions as to control what people do with their guns, it is simply a law-enforcement tool, that police may know, when detaining or searching someone's abode, whether there are any legal firearms on the premesis to endanger their lives - and people are now calling either for its abolition or an all-out gun ban.
Neither is a good idea. As stated, the gun-registry is a useful law-enforcement tool that probably saves more police lives every year than bulletproof vests - other than increasing its efficiency, not much should be done to change the registry. It would be irresponsible, now that the data is collected and the registry infrastructure is in place, to deprive our police forces of this vital resource. As far as an all-out gun-ban is concerned, this is a matter of principle rather than practicality and the source of the first social predilection which I find myself railing against. The Government of Canada exists to serve our interests, and it is obviously in our interest for people not to kill each other, however, it is also in our interests to maintain a certain amout of liberty which has, up until now, elevated our nation to the level of the most prosperous nations of the earth. The knee-jerk responses which have come to typify North American policy-making cannot continue. We cannot and should not ban every single thing that is used malisciously or otherwise hurts individual citizens; every time we give in to that politically correct temptation (the above-mentionned predilection), we surrender more and more freedoms to our Government and we foster lawmaking that assumes the average citizen of being criminally incapable of containing himself.
The second, and more worrying, unpleasant predilection of our society is that governing how we view the motivations of monsters such as Kimveer Gill or Marc Lépine or Valery Fabrikant. With dangerously increasing frequency, we have begun to view these criminals - these murderers - as victims of society's horrible perversions, or some failure on our part to protect them from abuse, or violent video-games and movies, or mommies who don't change their diapers just fucking right.
They are not victims. Society does not pull the trigger and these people play the same videogames and watch the same movies and read the same books and listen to the same music as everyone else. Were any of these the cause of their insane, sociopathic activities, we would be a society unchained, with rampant murder and anarchic (as opposed to anarchistic) conditions so bad we'd fear for our lives even in our own homes. The most that can be said in the defense of these evil men is that they were sick, mentally-ill, and that their symptoms went unnoticed for too long. It is not the duty of society to watch after the wayward sociopaths who infiltrate it - the kind of monitoring that would entail goes back to my point about surrendering freedoms. Rather, it would behove all of us if, when we heard people speaking of "dying in a hail of bullets" or some other such nonsense, that we turn to them and let them know how ridiculous and senseless such statements are.
It is unfortunate, but we cannot - morally - put into place any sort of monitoring agency or system aimed at finding and removing such people from the street as - violation of rights to privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of association aside - until they demonstrate dangerous attitudes or illness, they have done nothing illegal and need to have their rights respected as much as anyone. A society that values rights, freedoms and liberty as much as that which we, in the west, have admirably accomplished for ourselves, cannot allow itself to go against those values, not can it allow itself to treat criminals as victims and society as a whole as criminal.
We are better than these immoral, sociopathic murderers and it's okay to admit it to ourselves.