The recent tragic shooting of two people in Hamilton by their landlord has shocked the public for many reasons.

In a report to the Toronto Sun, Kevin Connor, had this to say on 28 May, 2023:

A landlord shot and killed two tenants before barricading himself in their residence and opening fire on police, according to the Hamilton Police Service…

During the ordeal, the landlord, 57, barricaded himself in the residence with several guns that were registered to him”.

Police apparently tried every method to resolve this conflict without resorting to the use of force, but…

Police now say the landlord is dead, but have not revealed any details about his death…Police say there is no longer a threat to public safety”. Somewhat understated, I’d say!

A dispute between a landlord and tenants that went completely sideways in a province that has long had a dispute resolution mechanism for this sort of conflict raises some concerning questions. Did the parties even apply for a hearing? Did they get one, how long did it take and if so, who won? We will see, but don’t hold your breath.

The man killed was an electrician and the woman an educational assistant. Tragic beyond words, for sure. However, I suspect we will not hear much about the circumstances surrounding this difficult event. What we will hear about is; “hey, the perpetrator was a legal gun owner”. This aspect will be played to death in both the media and Parliament, no doubt.

As a result of a police shooting, the Special Investigations Unit, long held in disdain by most police officers, is investigating. The anti-gun lobby will be screaming from the rooftops once again for more bans and the media will again blame the tool rather than the fool behind it.

Once the dust settles in this one it will be interesting to see if there emerges any information regarding the shooter’s background history with respect to any potential criminal investigations or any known mental issues. Will they even check?

Notwithstanding that we may now be faced with a metal detector at the entrances to any Landlords and Tenant dispute hearings, if the suspect owned a restricted firearm it will be revealing to see whether or not the Canadian Firearms Centre failed to detect any abnormalities in the suspect’s registration history.

This case, should more light eventually be shed on it, may reveal more about what has gone wrong in Canadian society than meets the eye. The list is long. In the meantime it may be naive on my part to expect to hear anything beyond the hue and cry to ban further firearms simply because the political opportunity has rudely presented itself, yet again.

Societal problems may again take a back seat to what has been a dreadfully fatal tragedy in Hamilton.