Technology Saves Lives — the Kimveer Gill Story

Like many people in Canada, I have been closely watching  the story of Kimveer Gill who shot and killed at least one student in a Montreal college and injured many more.   This was eerie on many levels.   For one, it was quite apropos for my entry about the moral responsibility for being happy, raising important questions about whether happiness is truly possible for all people.

The other “eerie” is the one that is more obvious to any Montrealer — that is the similarity of this attack with that of Marc Lepine.

As it Happens has reported on this incident, and I am very intrigued by how the use of cell phones, text messaging and iPods may have saved the lives of quite a few students in the school.   It seems that many of the students in their classes were informed about the attacker by text messaging.   This meant that they stayed out of the danger area and managed to get out of the school alive.   Then I think about how, if this was 5 years earlier, many more students would have died.

My heart goes out to the families of all the victims, and my prayers in particular go out to the four people who are struggling for their lives right now in a Montreal hospital.

2 thoughts on “Technology Saves Lives — the Kimveer Gill Story

  1. However, it was only the students who disregarded the rules who used their cell phones, as they are not supposed to be turned on in class. This reminds me of 9-11 when the people who listened to those in authority stayed in the buildings, while those who talked to friends & family (non-experts) via cell phones realised that the building was in danger and tried to get out.

    Information networks subvert authority. Perhaps encouraging the use of cell phones, web cams and other devices controlled by individuals would actually make our communities safer.


  2. Interesting point. In the library world there is alot of discussion about cell phone policies and the like. It seems crazy to me that libraries would want to prevent people from contacting others.

    But in the end, the issue for [some] libraries is more about noise than it is about cell phones — which is one of my big points. Policies should focus on problems, not situations.

    I suppose that schools are somewhat different, since there are cheating implications with text messaging. I also wonder if no cell phone policies in theatres are more about preventing pirate copies of movies than they are about “respecting the audience.”

    Interesting point! Thanks.


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