Gun control in spotlight after mass shooting

A nation is in mourning after a deadly shooting this past weekend – and hard questions are being asked about gun control in Canada. Residents in Nova Scotia felt sorrow after a mass killing that occurred Saturday in the community of Portapique.

A lone gunman, dressed in an official RCMP uniform, shot and killed at least 23 people, including veteran RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson, a mother of two. Fatalities were reported in at least four nearby communities, along with burned structures and vehicles. Another Mountie was left with non-life-threatening injuries. It is the worst mass shooting in this country’s history, and the death toll is expected to rise, authorities reorted earlier this week.

The culprit, identified as 51 year-old Gabriel Wortman, was killed during an encounter Constable Heidi Stevenson, as seen in an undated photo. (RCMP) with police. Flags were lowered to half-mast earlier this week, as authorities and residents struggled to understand the motive behind the attacks. The investigation seems to suggest that the shooter began his rampage at a neighbouring property, dragging two individuals (a man and a woman) out of the house and tying them to a tree before killing them.

The property was then burned down. Several more victims were later identified near and around the shooter’s property. The shooter made several stops in his vehicle, which resembled a police cruiser, and started targeting random civilians. At this point, Officer Heidi Stevenson responded to reports of a shooting situation and encountered the shooter,, who shot and killed her.

At some point, the shooter encountered fellow RCMP officer Chad Morrison and shot him. Morrison later recovered from non-life-threatening injuries. The shooter was later confronted and killed by police near a gas station. In the wake of the shooting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his administration would push ahead with stricter gun laws. “In regard to gun control, we took very serious commitments in the election campaign and have moved forward — and are moving forward on them — to ensure that we’re strengthening gun control in this country,” Trudeau said Monday. The question is, Was the gun legally owned? Would the fact that people having a gun have changed anything?

Would there have been more innocent deaths if people had guns? The whole purpose of gun laws is to reduce gun-related deaths. To have a population of people afraid of their own shadows with weapons designed to kill one another is not how you prevent gun violence. In Canada, there are so many cases where kids and family members were shot.

When everyone has a gun, everyone is armed, and you are scared because any one of these people in a crowd could pull out the weapon and start firing. A single false move could scare you into shooting an innocent. If someone has a gun and wants to kill you, they are going to kill you. Owning a gun isn’t likely to change that. No one is going to charge at you with a gun in broad daylight. They are going to come at you when you least expect it when you are vulnerable.

Owning a gun doesn’t change the fact that these attackers will get off the first shot. Before people go on a rampage hurting and killing others, they should take a moment to ask – what’s the point? How does this help me? How does this help others? Needless violence is never what we need. Another question is, if it’s a suicidal individual, why would someone who wants to die have to take others down too? The governments and health officials need to act quickly, before we lose more of our citizens to senseless violence.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
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