Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns calls for urgent action by Prime Minister Trudeau to ban assault weapons
With the world galvanized by the swift and courageous decision by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to ban assault weapons in response to the horrific mass shooting at Christchurch mosque, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to seize the moment and implement a similar ban here.
Last week’s shooting left 50 people dead and many more people remain in hospital in serious condition. The assault weapon used in the attack in New Zealand is similar to the one used in the mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City two years ago. These types of guns can, and do, cause maximum death and horrible injury to many, many people within minutes. They are a threat to the health and well-being of our communities. Yet tragedies created from assault weapons and other guns are preventable with strict legislation.
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns was founded by physicians with firsthand experience treating the victims of gun trauma. We applaud the New Zealand government’s announcement yesterday declaring “all military style semi-automatics (MSSAs) and assault rifles” as well as “related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs” will be banned, along with “all high-capacity magazines”.
These policy measures are further evidence the global discourse on guns is changing. Last month, the US House of Representatives passed its first major gun control measure in more than 20 years. In Canada. 81% of respondents to a 2018 Environics survey supported a ban on assault weapons. Nine leading Canadian medical organizations have endorsed the CDPG position statement which includes a call for more restrictions on guns.
In spite of the evidence, tragic examples, and public support, the gun industry lobby continues to push for weaker, not stronger gun laws. While Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair is expected to table his recommendations to the Prime Minister soon, there is a renewed urgency in implementing a ban on assault weapons.
Canada can demonstrate solidarity with the people of New Zealand while reminding the world we are a country that puts public safety over private interest. Prime Minister Trudeau should seize this moment.
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns will be bringing its call for a ban on assault weapons to the streets as part of a planned National Day of Action on April 3rd. Physicians in at least a dozen cities from coast to coast are organizing rallies, marches, and information sessions to call for change. Details on local events will be announced in the coming days.
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) is a grassroots organization concerned about the increasing public health impact of firearms. We represent physicians working in collaboration with nurses, paramedics, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, researchers and other front-line health care professionals. We have all witnessed first-hand the emotional and physical trauma and devastation caused by guns. CDPG calls for a comprehensive public policy response to this crisis in our communities, including preventative tools to reduce gun use and their consequences on youth violence, domestic abuse, and suicide. Please visit www.doctorsforprotectionfromguns.ca for more information.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Principal, Empower Consulting