Gun Control Lobby Gets Boost
May 5, 2010, 10:50 AM EST
Twenty-eight medical, nursing, health and suicide prevention organizations and 33 professionals in these fields have released an open letter to all Members of Parliament, calling on them to vote against Bill C-391, the bill to eliminate the long gun registry. The April 28 letter highlights the importance of the gun registry in helping to prevent domestic murders, accidents and suicides.
At a press conference in Ottawa to publicly release the letter, Dr. Alan Drummond from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and assistant coroner in Perth, Ontario said that as a rural coroner, he has never seen a handgun injury. "I have however seen my share of injuries and deaths inflicted by rifles and shotguns," said Drummond.
"I have felt the pain of investigating a double murder-suicide as a result of escalating domestic violence. Suicide, contrary to public opinion, is often an impulsive gesture. Keeping guns away from depressed people is essential."
Since December, the CAW has been working in coalition with Canadian Labour Congress to lobby Liberal and New Democratic Party MPs to ensure that the long gun registry stays intact and is not destroyed by a Conservative attack.
"CAW activists lobbied, emailed and called Liberal and NDP MPs across the country who voted to support Bill C-391, a Conservative-lead private members bill to dismantle the long gun registry. This pressure is beginning to work," said Julie White CAW director of women's programs.
With the recent announcement by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff that the party would vote en masse against Bill C-391, it's now possible the NDP alongside the Conservative Party could be responsible for eliminating the gun registry.
The CLC will be targeting 12 NDP MPs urging them to change their vote. NDP leader Jack Layton will also come under pressure to whip his caucus and follow the lead of the Bloc and the Liberals to defeat Bill C 391.
Layton recently said at a press conference before the First session of Parliament, "Leadership always starts at home. If Canada wants to lead or lecture the world on anything, we'd better start by filling the gaping holes in our own backyard. Let's make this a women and children first session of Parliament."
"Women and children of this country need leadership from the NDP today more than ever. It took great courage years ago by a small group of concerned citizens who pushed for gun control with the vision that Canada could be free from violence," said White "Today the NDP has an opportunity be a leader on this important public safety issue."
White urged CAW members and allies to contact Jack Layton and the 12 NDP MPs who supported Bill C-391 and urge them to vote no when the bill returns for third and final reading.
The 12 NDP MPs are as follows:
Malcolm Allen - Welland
Claude Gravelle - Nickel Belt (Val Caron)
Glenn Thibault - Sudbury
Charlie Angus -Timmins James Bay
Peter Stoffer - Sackville-Eastern Shore (Halifax)
Jim Maloway - Elmwood-Transcona (Winnipeg)
Niki Ashton - Churchill
Nathan Cullen - Skeena -Bulkley Valley
Bruce Hyer - Thunder Bay
John Rafferty - Thunder Bay-Rainy River
Dennis Bevington - Western Arctic (North West Territories)
Carol Hughes -Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing