College shooting victim rallies for Canadian handgun ban

Published November 2, 2006

MONTREAL - A young man shot in the head during a college shooting rampage says Canada under the Conservative government is becoming too much like the United States when it comes to guns.

So Hayder Kadhim, who still has bullets lodged in his head and neck from the Dawson College shooting, called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday to expand the federal gun registry instead of abolishing it, as the Conservatives have vowed to do.

"We simply need to look to our southern neighbours to see where your idea of gun control will lead us," Kadhim told reporters not for the first time and, he promised, not for the last.

"Canadians don't want guns on our streets and we don't want a leader who loves guns more than life."

He called on the federal government to restrict the presence of handguns to secure locations like gun clubs and shooting ranges and to ban outright assault weapons like the ones Kimveer Gill used at Dawson.

Kadhim was shot three times by Gill after the trenchcoat-clad killer stormed into the college on Sept. 13. Anastasia De Sousa, 18, was killed and 20 others including Kadhim were injured.

"Doctors tell me that for the rest of my life I will have the shattered pieces from the bullet in my head," he said.

Kadhim said he has not contacted the Prime Minister's Office directly but, for the second time, he challenged Harper to a public debate.

"I want him to explain to me why he wants to dismantle a gun registry proven to have saved many lives and which now costs next to nothing to maintain," he said.

He demanded to know why the Conservatives have not outlawed semi-automatic weapons like the ones used by Gill.