Ottawa Shootings

As many of you are certainly aware of by now, there have been multiple shootings in Ottawa, my hometown. The shootings occurred at the War Memorial and at Parliament Hill. The downtown core is in locked down. Buildings are being evacuated and people are being ushered further and further away.

For those who might be wondering, I’m safe at home. We no longer live right downtown (our last home is just 5 or 6 blocks from Parliament Hill and the War Memorial). We’re a good deal south of the core, but we’re right on one of the major roads that leads up to the Hill. It’s very, very quiet, though a number of emergency vehicles have raced north.

There are reports that one of the soldiers guarding the War Memorial has been killed. It has been confirmed, then de-confirmed, then re-confirmed a few times, so I’m hesitant to make any definitive statements right now.

There’s also a lot of chatter about the nature of the shooting, and the appearance, dress and ethnicity of the shooters. Again, I would wait before jumping to conclusions. It does seem, though, that there were a total of three shooters…again, though, I can’t say for certain.

I’m not going to make any big pronouncements or predictions on what will happen next, but I hope this won’t change things in Ottawa too much. Parliament Hill is very much a public space. The front lawn is used by residents and tourists regularly. There’s even a weekly yoga session on the lawn during the warmer months. I would hate to see that change drastically.

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23 thoughts on “Ottawa Shootings

  1. I’m glad you’re okay, Jonathan.

    I, too, hope that they won’t close off the Parliament Hill grounds after this. When I lived in Ottawa I liked being able to go there and just sit on the lawn and read. It made me feel like Parliament is ours, something belonging to the public, not just to the politicians. Turning our governing institutions into fortresses seems to undermine something about the spirit of democracy.

    I’m worried they’re going to feel like security demands the grounds be closed off now, though.

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  2. Glad to hear you are OK. Figured you were, but I admit that when reports first started popping up on Twitter I thought of you and your wife.

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  3. I worked on those streets, in those buildings, for over 10 years. I cut across the War Memorial every day on my way to my job. Until a couple of years ago, those would have been my friends locked down in their offices. I am so proud that no one panicked or indulged in premature speculations. First over the top at Vimy. Forever.

    And DND has confirmed that the soldier who was shot at the Memorial has died of his injuries.

    And here is the civil servant who shot his killer in a gun fight in the House of Commons: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/10/22/parliament_hill_sergeantatarms_hailed_as_hero_in_ottawa.html

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    • While still expressing horror and sympathy for the whole incident overall…

      The actual sergenat-at-arms, the dude who carries the ceremonial mace, personally fulfilling the rawest description of his job — that’s pretty bad-ass.

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    • Kevin Vickers is one hell of a guy. Whenever I hear about something like this, I’m always amazed at how low the body count is compared to the potential number of bodies that could have been made.

      I’m hoping that they find the other assailant without the numbers changing at all.

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  4. I’m glad to hear you’re okay, but of course sorry to hear about what’s happened. I’ve been to Ottawa three times to do research and it’s such a lovely town. I agree it would be a shame if it were necessary to “fortress it up.”

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  5. Here is hoping the Canadians show the yanks how it’s done. Keep calm and carry on. Kooks will kook- turning every public space into a fortress is just pants wetting cravenness.

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  6. My family and I visited Ottawa for a day this past summer, and one of the highlights was visiting Parliament. Other than the metal detector, which I’ve always detested as a sign of a ruling class mentality, it was so different that Washington. There was no sign of the armed camp that D.C. has become, with our elected officials cowering inside their locked office buildings, requiring citizens to be announced as they hold court.

    I sincerely hope that the actions of a couple of lunatics up there won’t change the character of your capital city.

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  7. Glad you’re ok, . My friends and relatives in the city are also okay. Hoping everyone stays as okay as possible for the next long while. (There’s a Canadian wish for ya. :) )

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