Advocacynet: Interview with Wendy Cukier, President of the Coalition for Gun Control
Posted by cgccanada on July 29, 2009
July 28, 2009
In Canada, 85% of female homicide victims are murdered by their partners and in Ontario, possession or access to firearms is the fifth leading risk factor for femicide. These reasons are just two among many that led Wendy Cukier to work for stronger gun control in Canada.
For those of you who do not know who Wendy Cukier is, you must not be from Canada. Ms. Cukier, in addition to being a Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, is a co-founder and the current President of the Coalition for Gun Control (CGC).
The Coalition for Gun Control is an alliance of more than 300 major policing, public safety and violence prevention organizations including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian Public Health Association, and YWCA of Canada. It is also a founding member of IANSA.
The Coalition was founded in the wake of the Montreal Massacre. In 1989, a twenty-five year old named Marc Lépine entered a classroom at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, armed with a legally obtained semi-automatic rifle.
Lépine moved all of the women to one side of the classroom and shot them, declaring that he hated women and that he was ‘fighting feminism’. He then roamed the corridors, entered another classroom and the cafeteria, specifically targeted women, and shot them. In total, fourteen women were killed and ten were injured.
The mission of the Coalition is to reduce gun violence, injury, and crime. As the organization’s President, Cukier has for years been one of Canada’s leading voices on the necessity of gun control. Working together with the police, health care agencies, women’s groups, and victims, CGC and Cukier have helped to lead the efforts to defend Canada’s Firearms Act.
When Ms. Cukier took time to sit down with me last week for an interview, one question I posed relates to the interrelatedness of licensing and the registry. I explained that many opponents of the registry claim it to be unnecessary, and asked how she would explain that the two are indeed interconnected.
In response, Ms. Cukier asserted that as Canada’s Supreme Court concluded in their 2000 opinion regarding the Act’s constitutionality, it would be impossible to ensure that licensed individuals do not give their guns to others not holding a license without the registry. The registration of firearms helps to enforce the licensing provisions of the Act.
To explain this, Ms. Cukier provided the example that if an individual has a license and purchases firearms without a registration requirement, there is no way to hold them accountable for those firearms or to prevent them from lending or giving them to an unlicensed person. In other words, registration results in accountability…more
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