September 4, 2008

Dawson College Shooting, coroner recommendations

The coroner's report for the Dawson College shooting incident (Kimveer Gill killed Anastasia De Sousa and injured 19 others at Dawson College on September 13th 2006 during a 20 minute shooting frenzy) was released today.

The report recommends banning semi-automatic assault rifles and giving police heavier weapons. Ramsay said police should be allowed one or two rifles that would be kept in the trunks of their vehicles and to be used in the event of mass shootings.

It is up to the federal public safety minister (Stockwell Day) to ban semi-automatic assault rifles.

The report by Quebec coroner Jacques Ramsay, also says health and education officials should have access to the federal gun registry so they would know if a student or mental patient has a gun.

Gunman Kimveer Gill was treated for depression and suicidal thoughts in March 2004, 18 months before receiving a gun permit to obtain a semi-automatic Beretta CX4 Storm rifle. Gill tried anti-depressants and the doctor suggested an alcohol rehabilitation program, but Gill never went.

After writing a will on the morning of the shootings, he drove to Dawson College and opened fire, shooting De Sousa at least a dozen times and injuring 19 others. Gill fired at least 72 shots total. Gill was then shot in the right elbow by police and, in front of two witnesses, killed himself rather than be taken alive.

In response to the Dawson College shooting the Quebec government passed a new law earlier this week that bans firearms from schools, school buses and daycare centres, except for authorized personnel such as police.

What a freaking useless law! That law is the last thing on a gunman's mind when they go on a shooting rampage. Why not pass a real law that will actually make a difference?!

Coroner's recommendations:

• Health and education officials should have access to the federal gun registry.

• Ban weapons where the charger is located behind the trigger.

• Police should immediately liaise with staff at the beginning of operations involving a shooter to maximize information about the shooter's location

• Police should consider equipping each station with one or two rifles or shotguns to be used by trained officers and kept in patrol car trunks.

• Police should keep track of patrol cars dispersed across its territory with electronic mapping such as GPS to make response more effective.

• Schools and colleges should prepare emergency plans to deal with potential shooters with the assistance of police.

See Also: Gun Control in Canada

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