Conservative Party plan to move backwards on gun control will endanger public health, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns warns
The three other major national parties all support new gun control measures with the Liberal Party offering most comprehensive approach
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) is warning that Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party plan to move backwards on gun control will endanger public health. The organization is also concerned about the political company that Mr. Scheer keeps. Rod Giltaca, CEO of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR), acknowledged in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on October 12th that the organization has “had great discussions” with the Conservative Party and “are in somewhat agreement with us that any regulation that doesn't have a demonstrable effect on public safety should be looked at very seriously”. The CCFR calls for open and concealed carry of firearms in public, stand your ground laws, and eliminating prohibition of guns. Like the CCFR, the Conservative Party is refusing to place new restrictions on access to guns and is promising to repeal Bill C-71, legislation that improves background checks, among other modest changes.
In September, CDPG sent a questionnaire to all major national party leaders. Our organization welcomed the thoughtful answers to our questions from the Liberal, New Democratic, and Green parties. The Conservative Party did not respond. Included among the questions was whether the proliferation of assault weapons and handguns should be considered a public health threat; if Canada should take a harm reduction approach to guns; and if leaders would denounce the repeated personal attacks on our members by the CCFR. On these points, all parties who responded agreed.
We are pleased with the Liberal Party’s commitment to a national assault weapons ban, and an overall gun control plan that is progressive, specific, and actionable. Further highlights from the Liberal, NDP, and Green Party responses to our questionnaire can be read at www.doctorsforprotectionfromguns.ca.
Members of CDPG see the increasing devastation caused by guns on our patients; our communities suffer the impacts for years; and our public health care system bears the weight of preventable harm. Since launching its campaign to bring a public health focus to gun control policy, CDPG has collected a wide body of evidence supporting its position that restricting access to guns reduces gun injury and death, and that jurisdictions with stronger gun laws, including specific gun bans, have fewer gun homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. Our organization’s call for a substantive public policy response to address this issue has been endorsed by 13 prominent medical associations as well as the National Council of Women of Canada. We stand with the large majority of Canadians calling for more action on gun control, now.
About Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns
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. For more information please visit www.canadiandoctorsforprotectionfromguns.ca.
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For Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns
The following are highlights from the Liberal, NDP, and Green Party responses to our questionnaire:
Ban assault weapons and attachments which increase lethality; launch buyback program
Give cities the power to ban handguns
Change “the way firearms are advertised, marketed, and sold in Canada”
Red flag law
Support for youth at risk and a poverty reduction strategy
Add mental health services to Canada Health Act
Flag bulk purchases of guns
Strengthen safe storage laws
Ensure police resources and strengthen penalties for gun smuggling
Require everyone importing ammunition to show proof of a valid firearms license
New Democratic Party
The “removal of assault military weapons from our cities”
Support allowing cities to ban handguns
Support a harm reduction approach to guns
Policies to address poverty, racism, and other social determinants of violence
More focused resources to prevent the illegal smuggling of guns
New measures to reduce gun smuggling
Launch a confidential buyback program for handguns and assault weapons
Review options for secure central storage
Review the banning of instruments or attachments which increase the lethality of weapons
Support a harm reduction policy improve access to affordable housing, implement a guaranteed liveable income,
create a universal childcare program