Dawson shooting victim wants stronger gun laws
Semi-automatic rifles still legal 5 years after Dawson College shooting
Hayder Khadim, a victim of the Montreal's Dawson College shooting on Sept. 13, 2006, is pushing for stronger gun laws that ban military assault rifles for civilians.
Khadim was shot in the head and neck by gunman Kimveer Gill, whose shooting spree killed 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa and wounded 19 others before he turned his gun on himself.
The weapon Gill used was a Beretta Storm CX4, a military assault rifle that Gill had a bought with his restricted firearms permit.
The Beretta can fire multiple shots without being manually reloaded and, like all restricted firearms, can only be legally fired in a shooting range.
According to the Canadian Firearms Program, 1,317 Canadians are registered owners of Beretta Storms, nearly double the number than in 2006.
Sales and registrations of the weapon even tripled in the month following the shooting at Dawson.
Khadim, who still has bullet fragments in his head and neck, cannot believe the rifle is still legal, five years after the shooting.
"It's a war weapon. I don't understand why it should be accessible to a normal civilian," Khadim told CBC News.
"I remember the sound that day. It literally sounded like a war zone."
The province of Quebec passed Anastasia's law in the wake of the shooting. It obliges anyone who wants a restricted firearms permit to take an additional course and candidates must be interrogated by the police before a permit is issued.
Quebec's law is cold comfort for Khadim, who says he will continue to fight until Canada completely bans military assault rifles.
Khadim often takes breaks from his engineering studies at Concordia University to tour schools and talk about youth violence and gun control.
He also channels his experience surviving the shooting into his rap music.
The following are lyrics from Khadim's song, Survive Today:
- "I don't know if I'm alive // I don't know if I am dead // I know I have to survive with some lead in my head."
- "Psycho with a rifle almost took my life away // But for my friends and family I will survive today."