Sixteen Canadian student associations are demanding that the Trudeau government ban the sale of handguns and assault rifles, so that a tragedy like the one at École Polytechnique de Montréal does not happen again.
On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine shot and killed 14 women at the Polytechnique and wounded 14 others in less than 20 minutes before killing himself.
“For the events of the polytechnic are not in vain, we must continue the fight to secure campuses, even years later,” says the president of the Union of Students of Quebec, Guillaume Lecorps, on the phone.
As the 29th anniversary of the drama approaches, he joins the voices of 15 other Canadian student associations who are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to outlaw handguns and assault rifles. He says it’s a campus security issue.
Cities like Montreal and Toronto have also made the same request to the federal government in recent months.
The risk of a massacre on a campus in Quebec is very real, according to Mr. Lecorps, although this type of drama is rather rare.
“This is something that seems alarming to us and we are well aware that we are collectively not immune to that unless we take measures to reduce the risk,” he says.
This exit comes as the Senate will consider Bill C-71, which seeks to impose, among other things, new responsibilities on arms dealers, who will be required to maintain a register of their inventory, transactions and the identity of the buyers over a period of twenty years. The police will have access to this data with a warrant.
The student associations, who want to testify before the Senate committee, believe that this bill is not restrictive enough.
Associations are also calling for better control of risk factors, such as a history of violence or mental health issues, when it comes to licensing or selling a firearm.
“If someone is at risk of depression or other mental health issues, a firearm can really be a risk to their own lives or those around them,” says Wendy Vasquez, spokesperson for the Canadian Forces. student movement Not here, which advocates stricter gun control.
She is not against the idea of an audit in medical records, without having a specific plan on how that could work.