EDITORIAL: Taking aim at gun violence

Just going to school should never have to be considered an act of bravery.

The school shooting in Florida last week, which left at least 17 dead, is reportedly the 18th one so far this year in the United States. That’s right, this year.

Canada is not immune to school shootings. The 1989 killing of 14 female students at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal stands out, even 26 years later. Sadly, it’s not the only incident; there’s been at least a dozen since 1975.

That pales in comparison to 138 people killed in at least 239 school shootings in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. You can’t blame parents for worrying about the safety of their children as they see them off on the school bus.

There are no easy answers or simple solutions for these events. The reasons for each are as individual as the warped minds of the perpetrators.

Gun control is certainly the start of an answer, something that no U.S. government has yet to embrace, especially not the government of Donald Trump, who refused to address that aspect of the problem in a speech Thursday morning.

Opponents of stricter gun controls in the U.S. essentially claim the country’s mass shootings are the price of “freedom.” We’d just as soon be free from the likelihood of being shot while going about our day-to-day lives.

Canada might have better gun controls, but we also can’t sit back and say it can’t happen here — it clearly can. We need to be sure this is a problem that continues to be addressed, with continuing control of assault weapons like the AR-15, used by the Florida shooter and popular with others of his ilk.

But that’s only part of protecting our kids. We also need to support mental health programs, ensuring that people get the help they need before it’s too late. And we also need to fight back against the culture of hate — according to the Anti-Defamation League, the Florida shooter previously trained with a white nationalist militia — that also plays a part in so many of these shootings.

— Black Press

Just Posted

Five young goats go missing in Lantzville

Goats escape through hole in fence at property on Sywash Ridge Road

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Generals host camp in Parksville

Main camp attracts 45 players vying for sport in this season’s roster

Parksville-area watchdogs say drivers getting message on cell use

Other distracted driving habits still a problem

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read