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December 6th: From the Montreal Massacre to Gun Control [Hardcover]

Heidi Rathjen , Charles Montpetit
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov. 13 1999
On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine walked into the École Polytechnique at the Université de Montral, ordered the men out, and then started shooting at the remaining women with a semi-automatic rifle. He killed fourteen women and wounded thirteen more.The slaughter, motivated by his rage against feminists, shocked the world.

Heidi Rathjen was a student in the building at the time, and for forty-five long minutes she listened to the shots as the killer roamed the building. In the hours and days that followed, as a member of the former student council, she played a leading role in dealing with the media, helping with the funerals, and in organizing the memorial event. She did not know then that her life had been changed.

Rather than continuing to grieve, she decided to do something to help prevent similar tragedies in the future. With the help of Wendy Cukier she organized the national Coalition for Gun Control. This book describes their fight to raise public awareness, gain public support, and then force not just one, but two gun-control bills through Parliament, against the workings of the million-dollar gun lobby. It was an extraordinary campaign, and a political eye-opener for a young woman.

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About the Author

Heidi Rathjen has become one of the most remarkable and prominent young women in Canada, receiving honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia Universities. As a volunteer, Heidi Rathjen continues to head up the Coalition for Gun Control. She is now the strategist for an anti-tobacco coalition.

Charles Montpetit is a Montreal writer and winner of the 1989 Governor General’s Award for his children’s book Temps Mort.

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4.0 out of 5 stars The Canadian Attack July 7 2004
Format:Hardcover
December 6 starts with an account of The Montreal Massacre, the murder of female engineering students in Canada. It contains little about the lives of the victims, but for anyone interested in the realities of passing new legislation, it is an excellent and highly readable account. It is also a collection of the best answers to assault weapon advocates and gives a succinct and clear response (both qualitative and quantitative) to gun lobby arguments like "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." This book will not please any gun enthusiast, but for lobbyists, it is a great guide to how to overcome far superior numbers and budgets in passing legislation. Americans may particularly benefit from having an international point of view. It is a quick read and full of political lessons. The book does not make the connection with Middle Eastern terrorism as this Islamic gunman is yelling the same prayer as Mohammed Atta going into the World Trade Center. What is this prayer that must be shouted at the end? The book does not explain the appeal of a mass murder and suicide to a religious zealot who does not consider himself to be a madman. While the legislation can be justified, it does not address the root causes of criminal justice reform as it relates to a specific case of child abuse. The victim must be treated to stop the cycle of future abuse. The book underscores how victimized bystanders feel and act when they are helpless to change history.
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Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bungling Gun Control in Canada Aug. 16 2004
By Sam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Heidi Rathjen was strongly affected by the December 6, 1989, murder of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, the University's of Montreal's affiliated engineering school, which Heidi attended at the time. It was truly a shocking mass murder, as the killer ranted against feminists while gunning down his victims. However, the story of Heidi's crusade is not at all inspiring, given the incredible bureaucratic incompetence that is associated with her pet project, Canada's intrusive and ineffective gun registry. I am not a gun owner, but I can nevertheless drive a Mac truck through the holes in Heidi's so-called 'arguments' in favour of the gun registry. For example, comparing the registration of cars to the registration of guns is like comparing night and day; you can't drive at all without a car licence on your vehicle (you'd stand out like a sore thumb), whereas how does the same scenario apply to guns (especially those owned by criminals)? I'll give Heidi credit for the work she did, but I sincerely wish she'd expounded her prodigious energies and talents on something that would truly have bolstered the cause of gun control, while not demonizing law-abiding gun owners in the process. Reading this book leaves one with a bad taste in his/her mouth. It just goes to prove that smart and determined persons can do some pretty dumb things! And on top of that, this book is not at all objective. It's strongly biased against gun owners, implying that they're a bunch of insensitive cretins who don't care about crime. The only reason for reading this book is that it shows how passion for a cause can totally override a person's common sense (but you have to read between the lines to realize that).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor, brainwashed Canadian.. Jan. 7 2004
By Patrick R. Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
And ever since she got her bill passed, check out the crime increase in Canada..
4.0 out of 5 stars The Canadian Attack July 7 2004
By Anne Blocker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
December 6 starts with an account of The Montreal Massacre, the murder of female engineering students in Canada. It contains little about the lives of the victims, but for anyone interested in the realities of passing new legislation, it is an excellent and highly readable account. It is also a collection of the best answers to assault weapon advocates and gives a succinct and clear response (both qualitative and quantitative) to gun lobby arguments like "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." This book will not please any gun enthusiast, but for lobbyists, it is a great guide to how to overcome far superior numbers and budgets in passing legislation. Americans may particularly benefit from having an international point of view. It is a quick read and full of political lessons. The book does not make the connection with Middle Eastern terrorism as this Islamic gunman is yelling the same prayer as Mohammed Atta going into the World Trade Center. What is this prayer that must be shouted at the end? The book does not explain the appeal of a mass murder and suicide to a religious zealot who does not consider himself to be a madman. While the legislation can be justified, it does not address the root causes of criminal justice reform as it relates to a specific case of child abuse. The victim must be treated to stop the cycle of future abuse. The book underscores how victimized bystanders feel and act when they are helpless to change history.
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