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Roy Green: Canada, a nation in mourning after N.S. shooting

Flowers, gifts and a Canadian flag rest at the memorial to Corp. Heidi Stevenson at the RCMP Headquarters in Burnside, N.S., on April 20, 2020. .
Flowers, gifts and a Canadian flag rest at the memorial to Corp. Heidi Stevenson at the RCMP Headquarters in Burnside, N.S., on April 20, 2020. . Alexander Quon/Global News

The grief felt across this nation is deep over the horror that played itself out over many hours last weekend in bucolic Nova Scotia.

Today, conversations from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts of Canada invariably begin with “why” and “how.” Why would any human being perpetrate such outrage, such cruelty, such sustained violence? How could a rampage of such vicious proportion carry on hour after interminable hour without conclusive interdiction, or at least a provincial emergency alert?

READ MORE: There was an active shooter. Why didn’t Nova Scotia send an emergency alert?

These questions have begun to be addressed as Canadians are learning about the perpetrator and the timeline of his brutality. One suspects that even the most experienced law enforcement and mental health professionals tasked with the investigation must shudder as they contemplate their tasks and the preparation of a report to ultimately be shared publicly.

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For the final and official report on this horror to be accepted, particularly by families and communities directly impacted, a full public inquiry must be identified as necessary. An investigation by the RCMP and Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team, while underway, cannot solely provide the final word. That must be left for a transparent inquiry whose responsibility includes providing recommendations on how to avert similar future terror.

This will take time, as questions will, over weeks and months and perhaps even years ahead, be addressed.

Nova Scotia shootings began after gunman attacked his girlfriend, according to sources
Nova Scotia shootings began after gunman attacked his girlfriend, according to sources

Today, though, national grieving for the victims of the gunman’s actions feels very personal and painful. We know the victims’ names and are learning about their lives and loves. We all know people like them. In fact, in so many ways, they are us.

No doubt, through the sadness for many, there exists a need to reach out and hold close someone dear. And yet, we cannot because of the ongoing and international health crisis.

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What we can do, and from each compass point across this nation, is express from our hearts our deepest sympathy.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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