Montreal Massacre: Alternate Endings

By Christopher di Armani

Gamil Gharbi single-handledly changed the face of Canadian gun politics.  He became the embodiment of everything that man-hating feminists despise. In their horror and fear they lashed out at every Canadian male, and continue to do so today.

Someone said at the time, “The blood of these fourteen women are on the hands of every man”.  Complete and utter garbage, but the national media lapped it up. 

But what was the real problem in Montreal that fateful December day?  Was it a lack of “gun control”?  Not according to the Montreal Coroner Teresa Z. Sourour.  She said quite clearly the exact opposite, not that anyone in government or the media noticed.

“The issue of firearms control has intentionally not been addressed.  With the unlimited ammunition and time that Marc Lépine (Gamil Gharbi) had available to him, he would probably have been able to achieve similar results even with a conventional hunting weapon, which itself is readily accessible.”
Indeed it wasn’t until 2004, a full fifteen years after the event, that we were finally able to get the government to translate her report into English.  (see for Ms. Sourour’s full report. [doc format])

Was it the failure of mental health officials?  I doubt it.  We did not have “thought police” in 1989 (and thankfully do not today either), and until this event, Mr. Gharbi apparently didn’t exhibit much in the way of abnormal psychology.

Was it the failure of police responding to the scene?  Ms. Sourour said yes.  I disagree.  Sure, they formed a perimeter and sat outside waiting until Gharbi offed himself, but that is not the root cause of the high death toll.
The failure that day was with our manhood.   Or more to the point, our lack of one.  For thirty years or more, men had been “trained” to be obedient, to do what they’re told, to be more “feminine”, less “manly”.
So they did exactly what the lunatic with the gun said.  They abandoned their sisters to a sure and horrific death.

They left the room.

I pray that the faces of those fourteen dead women haunt every single male who did as Gharbi ordered, every single night for the remainder of their spineless lives.  They were there when it counted.  They could have saved the lives of their fellow students and they chose not to.   Shame on them all. They failed the woman, they failed themselves, and they failed Canada.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, two alternative endings to Montreal on December 6, 1989.

Let’s imagine that a single one of those men had the courage to say “No!” 

Imagine if he had gathered his thoughts and his courage, and simply stormed Gharbi.  Sure, he might have been shot, even killed.  But his actions would have showed clear leadership, and surely one or two other men would have joined the battle. Gharbi would have been taken down in the very first classroom, with perhaps three or four wounded or dead.

That’s a far cry from 14 dead & 29 wounded.

But wait! you say, That’s never going to happen!  Who in their right mind is going to confront an armed madman in a school shooting? 


Are you sure?

Because there are 7 young men at the Thurston High School in Oregon who are living proof you are wrong. 
Yes, the young man leading the counter-attack, Jacob Ryker, was shot multiple times.  He didn’t let that stop him.  He continued on until the man with the gun was disarmed, and he lived to tell about it. Not only that, he was awarded the highest honour in the Boy Scouts of America for his bravery and leadership.  (

Now let’s look at another scenario, one that seems to disturb so many Canadians today.

Imagine our laws were different.

Imagine that, instead of doing their best to disarm every Canadian, our government believed in our inherent right to defend ourselves.  Imagine they had the common sense and the decency to promote lawful concealed carry for any law-abiding citizen that can meet the same proficiency with firearms and use of force training as our police officers. 

It’s not that difficult a threshold.

Had there been a single law-abiding citizen with a concealed handgun in Montreal’s l’Ecole Polytechnique that fateful day in 1989, the outcome would have been different.  It would have been swift and effective.

Gharbi pulls his rifle out of his duffel bag and points it at someone.  He might even get a shot or two off.  Then some man or woman with the foresight (and the training) to carry would have stopped him dead.

We wouldn’t be holding candle-light vigils for fourteen dead women, believing that if we just blame enough men for the tragedy, it won’t happen again. The cold, brutal reality is so completely the opposite. 

Look at every school shooting in North America and what do they all have in common?  “Gun-Free Zones”.  Every school has, as its published policy, no legal firearms permitted. 

It didn’t help in Columbine.  It didn’t help in Tabor.  It didn’t help in Virginia Tech.  It didn’t help in Dawson College.  And it didn’t help in l’Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.  Nor will it help the next time some unbalanced individual with a gun goes on a shooting rampage in the next “gun-free zone”.

The time has come to stop pretending we can light a candle to stop the violence.  The time has come to focus on solutions that work. 

Guaranteeing the death of our young people is not something we should be proud of, yet that is what we do every time we legislate another “gun-free zone”.

The only people who obey the rules are the law-abiding.  People like you and me. 

We do not walk into a school or a mall and start shooting people. 

Yet we are the very people the state demands be defenseless in the face of evil.

It’s time that changed.  It’s time our politicians paid attention to us and the real solution we offer. 

It’s time concealed carry was made accessible again. 

Yes, I said again. 

It wasn’t so long ago that concealed carry was a realistic option in Canada, and obtaining a concealed carry permit wasn’t a big deal.

It’s already legal.  The law is on the books.  Our bureaucrats simply deny every application that doesn’t meet their “criteria”. (read every application)

Let’s tell our elected politicians we want them to take control of the unelected bureaucracy and make concealed carry accessible to ordinary Canadian Citizens. 



Christopher di Armani is a freelance writer and filmmaker who resides in Lytton, BC, Canada, with his wife Lynda and their two dogs, Koda and Tuco.

Christopher can be contacted at christopher(at) or


Copyright 2008