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Last week, there was a school shooting that left four people dead and seven people wounded. At the time, some may have asked, “Where in America now?” or “What state did it happen?” As most North Americans already know by now, the school shooting didn’t take place anywhere in the US, it happened in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Even though the shooting happened in Canada, it has some of the trademarks typical of a school shooting in America. The most scary of these is the fact that it took place in a small community where ‘things like this aren’t supposed to happen.’ There was also evidence that the seventeen year old boy who carried it out, had planned his rampage in advance, further evidenced by the fact that two of his victims were shot before the gunman got to the school. My point is that these tragedies have now expanded beyond the US borders and are now an international phenomenon. This is one US export I never wanted to see exported but sadly, my hopes were proven naive.

Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the Saskatchewan shooting.

Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the Saskatchewan shooting.

One thing that bothers me is the fact that I only learned about the shooting from the internet. While I don’t read many newspapers here in the UK, I didn’t find any who mentioned the tragedy. However, I can’t help thinking that it would have been different if it had actually occurred in the US. I won’t go on about it because I posted a rant elsewhere but if you want to read it, here’s the link: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewblog.asp?blogid=73391&AuthorID=151208

Under Canadian law, the identity of the shooter will not be released do to his age but he has been charged with four counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Furthermore, there haven’t been details or speculation released as to why this might have happened. For all know, he could have been a Canadian version of my main character in my book, “He Was Weird.” We’ll have to wait for more details.

The other topic of interest arising from the shooting is guns. Having watched Michael Moore’s film, “Bowling for Columbine,” I know that there are just as many guns in Canada as the US. Some will argue that now Canadians should toughen up their gun laws or ban them outright. Maybe this is a knee jerk reaction, but at least in Canada, I think the issue will be debated with less hostility.

Like with everyone who hears about tragic, needless deaths, my heart goes out to those effected by it. I hope that now that the issue has truly gone beyond America, proper debate can take place and we can go some way to doing away with such tragedies in the future.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453839376&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

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