Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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1

Dec

2019

The day there were no heroes

Author: Jim Taylor

This coming Friday, December 6, marks the 30th anniversary of the deadliest mass murder in Canadian history. That is, if you don’t count attacks on indigenous peoples. They were, after all, just Indians.

            Marc Lepine would probably say the same about his rampage at L´Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. They were, after all, just women. Feminists, studying engineering so that they could steal men’s jobs.

            Fourteen women died. Fourteen more victims -- ten women and four men -- were injured by his bullets. The 15thdeath was Lepine, when he shot himself.

            And there’s no question about his intentions. He left a three-page suicide note, plus letters to two friends, explaining his hostility towards women in general, towards women who wanted to be engineers in particular.

            I won’t attempt to analyze his motives. I do want to trace his actions, and some people’s responses.


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29

Apr

2018

Let’s hear it for unsung heroes!

Author: Jim Taylor

This has been a good week for heroes. We even know the names of some of them.

            For example, the cop who arrested the driver of the rented van , the man who drove down Yonge Street in the north end of Toronto, knocking over people like bowling pins. The officer was alone. He faced a man who made threatening gestures, as if he were drawing a handgun and pointing it at the officer. He yelled, “Shoot me! Kill me!”

            But the police officer, Constable Ken Lam, didn’t.

            I’ll repeat that, in case you missed it -- he didn’t shoot!

            Const. Lam said afterwards that he was just doing his job, the way he had been taught.

            I suppose something similar may happen in the Excited States, sometimes. But I’ve never seen it on TV. Have you?

            But there was another hero, in the mass shooting at the Waffle House restaurant in Nashville. James Shaw Jr. wrestled the shooter’s rapid-fire assault weapon away from its owner. (I’m deliberately not naming the perpetrators in these two incidents -- they get too much publicity already.)

            Shaw said, “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”


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