Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/howden/public_html/wordpress/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

Rss

Ottawa: Next Day

In Ottawa we’re breathing a little better today, security officials aside, though two young men aren’t breathing anymore.

Thre was only one shooter, as it turns out, after we spent most of yesterday worrying about a team, one or two more of the conspiratorially unhinged. No, he wasn’t among the list of the “radicalized” 90 our secret service and police have been looking out for. Thankfully, there aren’t too many evil masterminds here in Real Life, and this tragedy now appears to be what it usually is: some damaged sap who’d lost his balance, and wanted to take somebody down with him. Thankfully, too, he may not have been a very well-organized one, or Nathan Cirillo might not have been alone in paying the ultimate price.

Cirillo earlier that morning, member of a proud Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment that is prouder now. (Photo by Cody Slavik)

Cirillo earlier that morning, member of a proud Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment that is prouder now. (Photo by Cody Slavik)

Maybe he – I will not name him – was just another lonely loser “inspired” by his distant, cock-eyed brother in spineless mayhem, the one who’d run over a uniformed military officer in a Quebec parking lot earlier this week. (Courage!) Like him, he may have labelled himself Hero, and felt the rush of action-film adrenaline and game-boy significance. He was Doing Something About It, whatever in twisted hell It was. Here were pathetic would-be saints of a faith they didn’t understand, Internet pawns of power-mad bigots who use religion as a means by which the lost, the undereducated, and the toxically resentful can get even, or become something of a sociopathic somebody.

Today, if a man had the sense to ignore Twitter and leave the radio off, he might’ve been able to imagine, with the red leaves of a front-yard tree bravely hanging on to tickle and warm a cool blue sky, that it was another peaceful day in a peaceable city. Without going downtown for a look at the War Memorial where Cirillo – 24, single father of a 5-year-old – was ambushed while proudly standing as ceremonial guard to Canada’s monument to the Unknown Soldiers of the Great War; without remembering, only the day before yesterday, seeing uniformed Canadian forces officers waiting to cross Laurier Avenue and thinking, Guys, do you think you might be targets wearing those blues?; without taking a spin by a barricaded, heavily guarded Canadian Parliament that is normally open, gloriously and freely open to citizens and tourists – well, without doing or thinking any of that, a man might be forgiven for thinking that things quickly get back to normal, and that maybe they should.

This somber cartoon, by the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Bruce MacKinnon: fallen soldiers of another, distant conflict help a youngster to join their unforgotten ranks.

This somber cartoon, by the Halifax Chronicle-Herald’s Bruce MacKinnon: fallen soldiers of another, distant conflict help a youngster to join their unforgotten ranks.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *