Thursday, 23 October 2014

Reflections on Ottawa's 22/10/14 "Terrorist Attack"

We have been here before.

I lived in Montreal in 69-70. A bomb went off down the block from my apartment building. The military roamed the streets of Montreal when the police went on strike. The bank where I worked closed. Sir George Williams (now Concordia) shut down, so my class was cancelled,

I was in Ottawa when the War Measures Act went into effect and the hysteria was ridiculous. I remember sitting with a girlfriend in a bar talking about how "stupid" the Act was (& unnecessary). She was freaking out because we could be "arrested" or something because of my non-supportive position. We all should have some idea about the re-evalution of the "War Measures Act" that has taken place over the last 5 decades. Hysteria helps no one & potentially damages many.

Has no one seen the similarities with the Montreal Massacre? Seems we can go crazy when it's soldiers & Parliament; a targeted attack on women - we still debate whether it says anything about our society (think: "powerful mothers"; "patriarchal fathers"). I just want the implications to be on the record. I was teaching when the Montreal Massacre occurred & found out about it after I got home. I made an extensive prediction about what we would find out about the gunman (family background, state of mind, etc.) - I was dead on (I didn't have the nickname "Sibyl" as in the Roman Sibyls for no reason). The roots of violence begin in the home. If someone wants to understand this, just read Alice Miller's "For Your Own Good: The Hidden Roots of Violence in Child-Rearing Practices". This book is as "a propos" today as it was when written.

It is easy to blame "radicalization" or fundamentalist Islam for this man's behaviour - whatever the flavour of the day. This is not the problem. Someone who is angry, who believes that they have no where to turn will find something "to believe in". What this man did is no different from Columbine, the Texas Observatory, the Oklahoma City bombing, and unlike the Air India attack, which was a planned organized terror attack. Do I need to even say that making guns harder to get  might help? However, even that is not the solution.

You cannot stop someone from doing something like this if they are motivated enough, particularly if they are individuals. There is no conspiracy to uncover - no leaks. I may be wrong, but I wouldn't bet against myself. We don't have the resources to follow people 24/7 & it is extremely hard to target which ones will actually move from speech to action.

 I wish the world was different. I wish that we didn't have to go through this again and again. The line is "So it was, so it is & apparently, so it ever shall be." Seems societies, the people who run them, and the people who live in them never really learn.

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