The shooting spree in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, that left a soldier and his suspected killer dead was like a bullet through the country's peaceful heart, New York Canadians said.

"A gun-wielding shooter ran into the House of Commons. That's not good," said Leigh Kamping-Carder, a senior editor at BrickUnder ground.com who has lived in NYC for seven years. The explosion of violence, "is a real shock . . . We haven't had anything like Sept. 11 or even the Boston Marathon bombing," in Canada, and Canadians have long felt comforted and protected by the nation's strict gun laws, she said.

Canadians "don't worry about getting shot," as many people must in the U.S., Kamping-Carder continued. "In Brooklyn where I live, I've heard gunfire on a couple of occasions and I never had that growing up in Toronto, which is the biggest city in the country."

"Your typical Canadian does not want to make a point by heading off to Parliament and popping off a few rounds," Brad Trent, 55, of Harlem, added dryly. Trent, who was raised in Edmonton but who has lived in New York City since 1982, said violence is less prevalent in Canada, which "doesn't have the same level of crime, doesn't have the same level of poverty that leads to crime," or the saturation of guns in private hands. Regardless of the identity or motive of the shooter, Kamping-Carder said she did not believe there would be a rise of xenophobia in the country of her birth.

"Multiculturalism is something we're really proud of," she said.