The March For Our Lives saw footsteps being taken as far away as Vancouver Island and beyond.
Saturday’s protest marches in the U.S. asking for greater gun control were matched with events around the world, including on the steps of the B.C. Legislature.
The march stemmed from the high school shootings in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine’s Day, when 17 people were killed, but the protests also addressed all the shootings leading up to that one and those that will unfortunately follow.
“I [have] grandchildren who are students and I think it’s very important that we stand up for this,” said Linda Miller, a retired teacher who protested in Victoria on Saturday. “We are very lucky in Canada in that we don’t have the same problems that we do south of the border but I support the marches everywhere wholeheartedly.”
Canada doesn’t have mass shootings of the scale or frequency of the U.S., but gun violence exists here and happens more than in most other developed nations.
Just last week the federal government tabled a proposed bill to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms and expand background checks. According to the feds, while the national crime rate has been decreasing, shootings are increasing significantly. The government is seeking to create legislation that benefits public safety and police work but isn’t unreasonable toward law-abiding gun owners.
Even if gun violence weren’t a problem in Canada, we can’t help but feel a connection with our neighbours to the south as they try to solve life-and-death problems.
It’s heartening to see how young people there have taken the lead in making demands. They might be too young to know how the system works, but that’s a point in their favour because they’re asking questions others wouldn’t.
We on Vancouver Island are a long way from Florida, or Washington, D.C., for that matter, but the world peace we seek extends to those places, too.