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dawson college

The gunman who opened fire at Virginia Tech in a massacre that killed 32 people, including Montrealer Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, has been identified as 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui. Dawson College and other schools across Montreal lowered their flags to half-mast today in solidarity.

Of course, this has been the headline news of the last couple of days, so there is no shortage of reaction, finger-pointing, and laying blame.

…in my view, the problem with responding to news of tragedy with policy ideas right away is that we tend not to realize in such situations how often our “proposals” are really expressions of psychological need. It’s human nature to respond to tragedy by fitting it into our preexisting worldviews; we instinctively restore order by construing the tragic event as a confirmation of our sense of the world rather than a threat to it.

This means that often we won’t pay a lot of attention to the details of tragedies and what caused them. We’ll just know deep down inside what happened, and what caused it, and how to stop it next time. Take [yesterday’s] tragic events at VA Tech. If you’re committed to gun control, the tragedy probably proves to you that there are too many guns; if you’re against gun control, the tragedy probably proves the exact opposite. Given that people will tend to see in events what they want to see, turning to policy right away will come off as rudely “playing politics” to those who don’t share your worldview. And obviously this doesn’t foster a helpful environment for policymaking, either.

(Via Damian P., who points out that “the responsibility rests with one man”).

This pretty much echoes what I wrote after the shooting at Dawson last September. It’s tragic enough as-is; the finger-pointing and agenda pushing only makes it worse.

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I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day.

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Wiki-concision

09.14.2006

Of all the descriptions I’ve seen of Kimveer Gill, the asshole who shot up Dawson College yesterday, the most concise and to-the-point comes courtesy of Wikipedia. Here’s a screen shot of the page, because I suspect it won’t be like this for long: And that pretty much says it all. Update – 3:45pm: It’s gone […]

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Dawson tragedy: Overnight update

09.14.2006

By now, most people will have heard the latest developments. The young woman who succumbed to her injuries has been identified as Anastasia DeSousa. She was only 18 years old. Six more people are still in critical condition this morning, and hospital sources say that two of them are still “fighting for their lives”. My […]

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Dawson shooting summary

09.13.2006

If you’ve arrived here via Instapundit, looking for info about the school shootings in Montreal, welcome, and scroll down to here for the live-blogging coverage from this afternoon. But I must say I’m a little uncomfortable with the trauma-induced traffic spike thing. I know it’s a fact of life on the blogosphere, but I sort […]

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To the speculators, politicizers and agenda-pushers

09.13.2006

I’ve been surfing some of the other blogs to see what’s up there about today’s shootings at Dawson, and the comments sections are making my head spin. I realize some of you may be first-time visitors, and I’m sorry for doing this, but I need to rant: To everyone out there trying to use today’s […]

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Dear Dawson Students… from a Marianopolis alumna

09.13.2006

Nearly a decade ago, when I was in my final year of high school, the big question was “where are you going to cegep?” For students of my English-language, Jewish school, there were essentially four choices: Marianopolis, Dawson, Vanier or John Abbott. The relative popularities and reputations of the schools tend to go in cycles, […]

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Shooting at Dawson

09.13.2006

I was driving home from a trip to the Fine Arts Museum and saw massive commotion downtown near Alexis-Nihon Plaza and Dawson College. Dozens of police cars, thousands of people on the streets, sirens everywhere. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what happened, so I turned on the radio. Apparently, there’s been a […]

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