If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow, and which will not,
Banquo, Act 1, Scene 3, Macbeth
Much has been written about the lone shooter who plotted and carried out the massacre at the Polytechnique on December 6th, 1989. I read many of the the news items though not for the purpose of locating the exact origins of his documented hatred nor the particular events and conditions that facilitated the engineering and execution of his murderous intentions.
I was angry and terrified for my bright, wonderful young adolescent daughter who might encounter such opportunistic violence, a backlash against the perceived 'invasion' of traditional male professions.
Much was made about the shooter's parentage: the beating and battering he experienced at his father's hands, the alleged neglect by his mother.
Social conservatives, rightwing anti-feminists and gloating islamophobes - often rolled up in the same individuals - have their own drums to beat when they either screech malevolently about attention paid to December 6th or stay religiously silent on the subject (See Canadian Cynic: 14 dead women? Whatever.)
I don't feel the need to attend a commemorative event today. I know that, in the decades since that date, there have been no systemic efforts made to address the seeds of violence that are sown and no programs established to redress the conditions that allow them to flourish.
Women's shelters, mental health services and community organizations that assist parents and families in crisis are still under-funded; there are more demands and less resources.
A substantive change will require more than political good will; it will require a cultural, ethical, spiritual and yes, an emotional commitment to ending violence against women and children.