22 years ago today it happened.
Classes had ended for the semester the day before. I had stopped at the university briefly on my way to a meeting of the IVCF executive. AS I walked around the Fine Arts building I could tell something big had happened. But, not having listened to or watched the news that day (remember those days when we didn't have a webpage open giving us news items 24/7?) I had no idea what.
Later that night I heard. THIS had happened.
It was a shock to Canadian culture. Many of us, especially those of us who had grown up after the FLQ crisis, with no memory of it, honestly believed such a thing couldn't happen here. 15 people dead, 14 wounded, dozens more traumatized by being witnesses or family members.
It was a wake-up call about gender-based violence (sort of, there was still [is still] a major amount of denial about the amount and nature of gender-based violence in our society). It pushed the nation to examine the attitude towards guns. It sparked discussion about men's role in ending violence against women.
WE shouldn't forget MArc Lepine or his actions. WE still need to ask questions about gender-based violence and antipathy (which includes a whole range of stuff once you add in issues of orientation and gender-identity [issues which were not really being touched on 22 years ago]). We still have to address how we help those who have been wounded find healthy ways out of the wilderness (I still say this is the under-discussed part of the Polytechnique shooting story). And we still have to wrestle with what weapons are appropriate in our society and how they are regulated.
22 years later, we still have a long way to go.