Canada's weakened gun control measures lead to significant public security risks

On the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, send a clear message 

to the government.

Weakened gun control measures lead to significant public security risks.

Dear Friends,

 

Nearly twenty-five years have passed since a man with a legally owned assault rifle killed 14 young women and injured 13 others at Montreal's École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.

 

Founded in the wake of this tragic event, the Coalition for Gun Control was formed to support strategies to reduce gun death, injury and crime. 

Survivors, as well as the friends and families of victims, have fought relentlessly to promote our gun control laws that are considered a testament to the memory of the young women lost. Over the past few years, they have been saddened and angered to see the Canadian government systematically dismantle our protections. Multiple important legislative changes have been passed discretely, as if the government assumed that Canadians would not notice.

 

We need your help to send a message to Prime Minister Harper, Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau that we are paying attention and that action is needed to stop the loopholes created by the Harper government.

4 actions you can take to show the government you're taking notice:

  1. Ask members of your network to send a commemorative postcard (image above). This year our postcards are addressed to Prime Minister Harper, to the Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, and to Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau. It tells them that we want to see them prioritize public safety and focus on prevention, as well as implement measures to reduce the risk that dangerous individuals gain access to guns. To order postcards, fill out the attached form and send it in by email so that we can ensure that you receive the postcards on time. A donation of $25 per 100 postcards is suggested to help us defray the production costs.
  2. Distribute the attached handout throughout your network and at commemorative event.
  3. Contact your federal MP and ask that he or she defend gun control. Click here to obtain your MP coordinates. 
  4. Stay informed. We invite you to visit our website and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on the latest developments in gun control in Canada. Write us if you would like to receive updates by email.
Bill C-42: Victims and Public Security Experts Are Concerned.

Victims, women's safety experts, police officers, and public safety experts have all clearly stated that our gun control laws reinforced the security of Canadians and have saved lives. 

 

First, the government eliminated the requirement to register rifles and shotguns and went even further by destroying the data on more than 5 million firearms. (The Province of Quebec has been fighting the deletion of its data on the possession of rifles and shotguns at the Supreme Court of Canada.) They even eliminated the requirement to record gun sales, which had been in place since 1977. Now they have tabled further amendments to the law, which propose to relax controls on military weapons and handguns, as well as those on the licensing processes.

 

This weakening is all the more tragic considering the clear evidence that stronger gun laws have made Canadians safer, leading to major declines in firearm homicides, suicides, accidents and robberies. Just think, in 1991, 1444 Canadians were killed with firearms, compared to 679 in 2011, that is 765 fewer Canadians killed with guns each year; 765 fewer families in mourning; and countless others saved from the trauma of losing a friend or colleague to gun violence. Murders of women with guns, and suicides - particularly involving youth - have plummeted. By any standard, it's been a huge success story.

 

In fact, the tragic irony is that the very day the government was scheduled to debate their new proposed firearm legislation, a man armed with an ordinary hunting rifle shot and killed a soldier at the War Memorial and stormed the House of Commons. To this day, no information has been released on how the rifle was obtained, and one can only wonder if the destroyed gun registry in which 7.1 million such firearms were previously recorded might have provided police with useful investigative leads. No law can prevent all tragedies, but the evidence is clear that stricter controls reduce the risk that dangerous people obtain access to firearms and that legal guns be diverted to illegal markets. Without information about the number and type of guns licensed owners possess, there is little to prevent them from being sold or given to unlicensed people.

 

Effective gun control is an essential first step in the struggle to end violence against women. Rifles continue to be the most commonly owned weapons in Canada, and are also those most often used in cases of domestic violence. Women continue to disproportionately face risks to their safety.


We need your help to show the government that Canadians are concerned.
Thank you for your support!

The COALITION for Gun Control

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