Books of Thought

Austrian economics, freedom, heathenry, and maybe the occasional rant.

Gun Control and the Dawson College Shooting

As any Canadian who over the age of six knows, there was a shooting at Dawson College in Montreal in on September 13th, 2006. A man named Kimveer Gill walked in with a pistol-chambered carbine, a pistol, and a shotgun, and used the carbine to kill one woman and wound 19 other people. He killed himself with his pistol.

It bears striking resemblance to the Ecole Polytechnique shooting in 1989, also in Montreal. In that incident, Marc Lepine walked in with a Ruger Mini-14, which he used to kill 28 people and then himself. Now known as the Montreal Massacre, it drew calls for tough gun control laws, and resulted in the modern Firearms Act (which requires licensing for all firearms owners, with specific restrictions on pistols and certain prescribed firearms. It also requires all firearms to be registered with the Feds).

What’s interesting is that, in both shootings, the firearms used were totally in compliance with the law.

Gill was armed with a Beretta Cx4 Storm rifle, a Glock 9mm handgun, and a Norinco HP9-1 shotgun. He fired sixty shots, ten of which were outside the school. With the exception of five shots from his pistol, including the one to kill himself, all the shots came from the rifle.


All of the weapons Gill had in his possession can be legally purchased and owned by a civilian in Canada. However, because of the Cx4 Storm’s legal classification, specific criteria must be met for different configurations of the rifle. As manufactured by Beretta, the Cx4 Storm is a semi-automatic, pistol-calibre center-fire rifle with a 422mm barrel length. As such, it is categorized as “restricted” in Canada. Any person with a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) with restricted-class privileges may purchase this weapon, subject to the approval of the Chief Firearms Officer of the respective province. Kimveer Gill did in fact have a restricted-class PAL and his weapons were registered with the Canadian gun registry. Therefore, he owned the weapons legally under Canadian law, though he did not obtain an Authorization To Transport (ATT) to bring the firearm to the school so it was transported illegally.

The only gun crime Kimveer Gill committed (that is separable from the shooting of innocent people, of course) was that he transported his rifle and pistol illegally. Every other gun crime he committed was in the course of his murder spree.

His weapons were registered, and registration didn’t save any lives that day. Neither did licensing. But the ban on legal carry may have. If someone had been carrying a pistol in either shooting, the rampages could have been cut short.

The Dawson College shooting shows, beyond any rational doubt, that gun control does not work. It only disarmed the victims, and took valuable tools away from the people who could have saved lives.


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