This past Friday, New Zealand was the victim of a thoughtless, inhumane mass shooting that has claimed the lives of 50 innocent people and injured another 50 at the Christchurch Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.
This will, no doubt, lead to more discussions on why this keeps happening, gun control laws and mental health; but, New Zealand plans to go a step further. Unlike responses to other mass shootings, New Zealand will be reevaluating its gun ownership policies, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promising that details of gun reform will be released within 10 days of the attack.
The name of the shooter will not be named in this editorial to prevent spreading his infamy throughout the news. The Chesterville Record refuses to give any press to the individual who took the lives of so many and ruined the lives of so many more.
What can be told of the shooter was that he was described as a relatively normal man, with normal hobbies and a normal job. But, unfortunately, that “normal” guy is now responsible for what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern New Zealand history.
Multiple news outlets have described this to be a racially-fueled crime, saying that the shooter was part of the white supremacy movement. It is very important to know why this troubled individual found it in himself to end the lives of so many people in such a small amount of time because we can’t let a person like that dictate how we treat other cultures.
Ever since incidents like 9/11 and the war in Iraq, Islamophobia has been on the rise. Fear mongering within pop culture, and political rhetoric in some nation’s highest offices have contributed to an unfair stereotype. This dangerous ideology likely contributed to poisoning the mind of the Mosque shooter, eventually leading him to his violent outburst.
Following the tragic shooting, Cornwall was one of many communities across the globe that brought together people from all walks of life to show their solidarity and support for their local Islamic community.
Hopefully younger generations can look back on this tragedy and remember people’s reactions rather than the violent crusade of one individual.
It’s important that we remember and follow Cornwall’s lead, and continue to learn from one another and support our neighbours, and the diversity that makes up our communities in an attempt to let love overpower one man’s hate.
Reporter/Photographer for Chesterville Record and Eastern Ontario Agrinews. Currently working on Record segment, “Chilling Tales from Beyond”