The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Archive for June, 2010

NDP urges MPs to keep gun registry

Posted by cgccanada on June 29, 2010

Jun 17, 2010
Cottage Country Now

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with a request it be published.)

As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently holds.

The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.

As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence, domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.

Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008 election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.

But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).

The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.

That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.

Dianna Allen
Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/opinion/letters/article/835127

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with a
request it be published.)
As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private
Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently
holds.
The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward
the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the
Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association
of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.
As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can
appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence,
domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.
Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners
of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the
requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008
election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote
Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.
But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be
defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies
conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related
injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).
The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public
safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.
That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government
undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.
Dianna Allen
Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to federal MPs and forwarded to the Almaguin News with arequest it be published.)

As the federal NDP candidate for Parry Sound-Muskoka, I am writing to urge you to vote against Private

Member’s Bill C-391, which would eliminate the registration of long guns and the records it currently

holds.

The Firearms Act distinguishes Canada from our neighbour to the south. It reflects a disposition toward

the public good. It is supported by millions of Canadians and dozens of organizations, including the

Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Canadian Association

of Emergency Physicians, as I’m sure you know.

As a former ER nurse, I can certainly attest to the suffering and death caused by firearms. And I can

appreciate the assistance a registry provides to frontline staff dealing with mental illness and violence,

domestic or otherwise. All of this is well documented.

Nevertheless, I cannot be unaware of the opposition in Northern Ontario to the long-gun registry. Owners

of firearms complain that the process is cumbersome, that they feel targeted, even criminalized, by the

requirements both to obtain a license and to register all guns in their possession. During the 2008

election, I spoke with self-described NDP supporters in Nipissing-Timiskaming who planned to vote

Conservative based on the gun registry issue and no other.

But dismantling the gun registry is not the way to address their concerns. Nor is allowing the matter to be

defined as urban vs. rural, as if all the violence is in the cities or caused by handguns. In fact, studies

conclude that Northern Ontario communities have higher rates of long gun ownership and gun-related

injuries than the provincial average (CAEP presentation, May 13, 2010).

The gun registry is a socially responsible, if imperfect, creation that has contributed to improved public

safety by reducing gun-related suicides and homicides since its inception.

That seems to be the perception of the majority. Please don’t let a small but vocal minority government

undo a fundamentally positive direction for Canada.

Dianna Allen

Federal NDP Candidate, Parry Sound-Muskoka

Posted in Canadian Government, Gun Registry | Comments Off on NDP urges MPs to keep gun registry

Report: Domestic deaths have a number of common links

Posted by cgccanada on June 23, 2010

By April Cunningham, Telegraph-Journal, June 22, 2010

SAINT JOHN – Women in New Brunswick are more likely to be killed by their intimate partner if they are in a common-law relationship, there are guns in the house, alcohol abuse and a history of violence, a researcher says.

Deborah Doherty, executive director of Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, spoke about domestic homicide at the Saint John Free Public Library.

In a study of the province’s last 35 domestic deaths – including homicides and murder-suicides – since 1989, Deborah Doherty has found that often, judges call the deaths “senseless acts,” she said.

“But we must make sense of these deaths. We need to learn something that might help us prevent deaths in the future,” said Doherty, the executive director of the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, at a presentation at the Saint John Free Public Library.

Doherty, an expert in family violence, has researched New Brunswick’s domestic deaths since 2001 for the Silent Witness Project – an exhibit of life-sized red, wooden silhouettes representing women killed by their partners.

Her research doesn’t yet include Melanie Getson or Deborah Gunn, who were both killed in two separate slayings on May 10 in Saint John and Moncton respectively. Each of the women’s partners has been charged with first-degree murder.

“I just find it so disheartening every time I hear of a domestic death,” Doherty said in an interview. “Doing the research, and seeing so many of them were experiencing the same types of abuse in their life, I keep thinking, ?What could have been done? Can we learn one more thing from this death to help the next woman? Was there a signal that someone could have acted on to help Melanie?’ ”

Of the 35 cases – 15 of which were murder-suicides – Doherty found that 25 of them were in small towns or rural New Brunswick communities. That compares to 0.9 per cent for Ontario domestic deaths.

Guns have been the weapon of choice. Nineteen of the women were shot, and all but one was with a long gun rifle. “I have a pretty good idea it relates to the fact that this is a hunting province, with more firearms in homes,” Doherty said.

Combined with alcohol, the risk factor increases. Seventy-five per cent of the perpetrators had a serious drug or alcohol problem. That compares to 42 per cent in Ontario.

An overwhelming factor was a history of violence, which Doherty defined as not just physical, but emotional or sexual as well. Ninety per cent of the cases appeared to have a history of violence – though it wasn’t clear in court documents, she said.

Relationships were described as turbulent, stormy with a lot of bickering. Often friends, family or crisis workers knew about the violence, but police were never involved, so reports didn’t make it to court, she said.

Mental health also increased the risk, she found. Out of 20 court cases she examined, eight had documented depression, and several had attempted or threatened to commit suicide.

One of the more surprising factors for Doherty was martial status with 66 per cent of the women killed by their common-law partner.

Only 37 per cent of the women killed were recently separated, compared to 81 per cent in Ontario.

Doherty said it points to the need not just to help women leave abusive relationships – but to help them stay safely.

Along with awareness, communities need to start identifying abuse, she said.

“We as a society have a lower threshold for abusive behaviours and violence, firearms misuse, behaviours when people are drunk,” she said. “That’s not an excuse. We have to speak out against it.”

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/1104216

Posted in Cost of gun violence, Current Events, Gun Registry, news, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Report: Domestic deaths have a number of common links

Gun lobby sole representative of civil society on Canadian delegation at UN

Posted by cgccanada on June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010- The world’s governments are meeting at the UN in New York this week to discuss the implementation of a global strategy to combat the illegal gun trade. Small arms or firearms are used to kill more than 300,000 people each year worldwide and to injure many more. Many of the victims are civilians, including women and children. Violence fuelled by small arms fuels conflict and crime, undermines good governance, threatens human rights and impedes development. Virtually every illegal gun begins as a legal gun, and for more than a decade, governments around the world have been working on collaborative strategies to reduce the diversion of small arms to illegal markets. Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations are meeting at the United Nations in New York to review progress on international obligations at the Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the lllicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All lts Aspects. In the past, Canada was viewed as a driving force behind global efforts to combat the illegal gun trade. Not only are illegal weapons a problem in conflict zones, but illegal guns fuel violence in Canada.

For the first time ever, the only representative of “civil society” on the Canadian delegation is representing the gun lobby. In the past, both anti-violence NGOs, such as Project Ploughshares and gun owners associations were represented on the Canadian delegation.

The participation of Steven Torino on the Canadian delegation was publicized on the gun lobby message board “Canadian Gun Nutz” yesterday by the Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. He wrote: “CILA’s Tony Bernardo and CSSA’s Steve Torino are currently in New York attending the UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons; Tony as part of the NGOs and Steve, as a member of the Canadian Government Delegation. In other words, we have our reps on the inside and outside of the process. They will be making a full report when they return next week.”1 Torino’s participation has been confirmed from sources at the UN.

All countries, including Canada, report to the summit on their progress in implementing the UN Programme of Action (PoA) which was agreed to in 2001. Under the PoA, our government has committed itself to keep its citizens safe from gunfire and ensure that Canada is not responsible for causing gun violence in other countries. Our PoA responsibilities include:

* Imposing strict regulation on arms brokers who are Canadian citizens, or are operating in Canadian territory
* Marking all Canadian produced guns at the point of manufacture, and marking all guns imported to or exported from Canada to enable tracing
* Managing arms stockpiles and ensuring safe disposal of surplus weapons
* Liaising with states in need of assistance in solving the gun violence epidemic.

In addition, some maintain that the existing licensing and registration system is key to fulfilling our obligations to combat the illegal gun trade. Canada is supposed to have a national commission on small arms to provide advice and support to the government in implementing its international obligations.

Wendy Cukier, President, Coalition for Gun Control said: “Canadians want action to prevent gun violence. Canadians want their government to take a strong stand on the fight against the illicit trade in small arms. The Canadian Government has already caved to pressure from the gun lobby and postponed once again the regulations on marking firearms, essential to fulfil our international obligations. Canada’s three major policing organizations – the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Police Boards and the Canadian Police Association all called on the Conservative Government to pass these regulations because of the threat posed by the illegal gun trade. Canada has failed to ratify the OAS Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms which it signed on to in 1997. Bill C-391, currently before parliament, threatens to dismantle gun control in Canada undermining efforts to prevent gun violence and combat the illegal gun trade. Canada used to be leading the way on the international effort to combat the illicit trade in small arms, but its position is steadily slipping.”

Posted in Canadian Government, Canadian gun control, Current Events | Comments Off on Gun lobby sole representative of civil society on Canadian delegation at UN

Candice Hoeppner’s anti-long-gun registry road tour

Posted by cgccanada on June 16, 2010

By: Alison Crawford, CBC News, June 15, 2010

Manitoba Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner says she’s hitting the road this summer to promote her private member’s bill to scrap the long-gun registry.

The controversial bill escaped a final vote this week, after Liberal MP Mark Holland missed his time slot in the House of Commons to move a motion that would have asked the House not to proceed with Hoeppner’s proposed law. The debate on that motion is now scheduled for Sept. 21 with a third and final vote on C-391 tentatively lined up for the next day. Many opposition MPs had hoped Holland’s motion could have been debated and voted on this week.

Those who follow this issue closely will remember how 12 NDP MPs and eight Liberals helped Hoeppner’s bill pass second reading last fall. Several of those MPs are not looking forward to a summer back in the riding being lobbied by opposing sides of the firearms registry debate. A vote before the summer break would have afforded them the opportunity to dodge a prickly issue.

In any event, Hoeppner says she’s going to make the most of her summer vacation. Today she expressed relief in having more time to persuade her opponents to stick to their guns.

“I plan as taking as much time as I can to go to different ridings to make sure that constituents in these 12 NDP ridings are aware of what’s going on,” she says. “I would like see these NDP and Liberals come out very publicly as to what they’re going to do. I think each one of their constituents deserve to hear that.”

Hoeppner says she’s pleased that NDP MPs John Rafferty, Bruce Hyer and Peter Stoffer have communicated their ongoing support for her bill to scrap the long gun registry.

“But you know members like Charlie Angus, Nathan Cullen, Carol Hughes, there are a lot of them that have not been public. So I would certainly would like them to come on record. They don’t owe me an explanation, but they owe their constitutents.”

As for who would pay for her tour, Hoeppner says she still hasn’t worked that out. She says many of the Southwestern Ontario (NDP) ridings in her sights are close to her southern Manitoba riding.

“I basically only have my MP budget so that’s what it would be on.”

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/06/candice-hoeppners-anti-long-gun-registry-road-tour.html

Posted in Canadian gun control, Gun Registry | Comments Off on Candice Hoeppner’s anti-long-gun registry road tour

Missing the mark

Posted by cgccanada on June 15, 2010

By North Shore News, June 11, 2010

The federal government’s push to kill the long gun registry is irrational.

The private member’s bill to abolish the controversial database, widely supported by Conservatives and by a handful of opposition MPs, will achieve nothing beyond buying a few rural votes.

As its critics are quick to point out, the registry — basically an electronic list — cost taxpayers a mind-boggling $1 billion to create. True, this is as inexcusable as it is incomprehensible, but it is not by itself a reason to end the project. At this point, the registry costs just $3-4 million annually to maintain — peanuts by federal standards. Its death will save that relatively small sum, but it will not recoup the initial outlay. It will just mean that, rather than a billion-dollar database, that initial outlay will have bought us nothing.

Police in B.C. have made it clear they want the registry to stay. Officers here search it close to 3,000 times daily in the course of their work. Surely, as the frontline workers most likely to come face to face with a gun on the job, they are best positioned to judge the registry’s value — and in their estimation it’s worthwhile.

The only people who adamantly oppose the database are gun owners themselves or the ideologues who support them. Registering a gun is no more onerous or unfair than registering a vehicle — some people just don’t want to do it. The registry is being killed for no other reason than to appease this group. There is nothing in it for the rest of us except an erosion of public safety.

http://www.nsnews.com/news/Missing+mark/3141664/story.html

Posted in Canadian Government, Canadian gun control, Gun Registry | Comments Off on Missing the mark