I’ve been reflecting a lot about the events of 6 December 1989 in Montreal. Many of the victims of the Ecole Polytechnique shooting were born around the same time as me, but their lives were abruptly cut short by a man with a grudge against feminists (or his distorted idea of what a feminist is) and a history of domestic violence (frequently the case with the perpetrators of mass shootings). The 14 women were engineering students, or worked in the school of engineering. I am a woman and a feminist and I work in IT, part of the STEM field. That could’ve been me. So this feels personal in the same way that the Pulse nightclub shooting felt personal because I am bisexual and genderqueer, and the victims were LGBTQIA.
I don’t know how to write this in a way that will convince you if you’re an opponent of gun control. But I have to write something.
There have been eighteen mass shootings in the USA this year already, and it’s only February.
Whenever there’s a particularly awful mass shooting, I post about gun control on Facebook, and someone is sure to comment that it’s too soon to talk about gun control, or that I am politicising a tragedy, or I don’t understand because I’m British.
Yes, I do not understand the American obsession with the second amendment. I don’t understand why the right to own a gun is more important than the lives of the hundreds of thousands of victims of gun violence.