Polytechnique Shooting: 25 Years Later

Polytechnique Shooting: 25 Years Later

Montreal (Quebec) December 6, 2015 – 25 years ago today, Marc Lepine entered l’École Polytechnique de Montréal and gunned down 14 women, motivated by his hatred of feminism and the place women were occupying as students in the male-dominated fields of applied sciences and engineering. Marc Lepine then killed himself. 25 years later, these events are not forgotten and are still a source of discussion and confusion around the role of misogyny, firearms, mental health, and a slew of other factors in the tragedy.

Students, community members, and the public at large participated in a commemorative ceremony at the École Polytechnique today, where they lit candles and remembered the victims.  Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, École Polytechnique alumni and current chair of its Board of Directors, laid flowers before the small monument to the memory of the tragedy.  Mme Thibodeau-DeGuire, who has had a lengthy career as a civil engineer and who was one of the first female graduates of the school, insisted that despite the tragedy, engineering studies were a good option for women and that it was a career which afforded women with independence and the opportunity for women to take their place in society.

Various smaller remembrance events were held around the province.

Claude Colgan, brother of Hélène Colgan who was among the 14 killed that day in 1989, drew controversy by speaking out against his sister’s death being used as an argument for stricter gun control. Claude Colgan is director of the Québec branch of the National Firearms Association, a pro-firearm lobby group, and says his sister was in the process of legally obtaining a firearm but was killed before obtaining the necessary licenses.

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