Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, novelist Margaret Atwood, among prominent Canadian writers calling on party leaders to endorse a ban on assault weapons and handguns
Signatories to letter support campaign of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns and denounce gun lobby rhetoric
Toronto, October 9, 2019 – Canadian authors Margaret Atwood, Charlotte Gray, Michael Ondaatje, and Dr. Vincent Lam, as well as former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson are among the signatories of an open letter to party leaders being released today backing Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns’ campaign for a ban on assault weapons and handguns. With the federal election less than two weeks away, the intervention of nearly 20 prominent writers adds to a growing public demand for Canada’s next government to stand up to the gun lobby and implement significant new gun control measures.
From the letter, the full text of which can be found below:
“When it comes to creating public policy on guns, governments must weigh private privilege and industry profit against the far greater importance of public health and community well-being....Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns is calling for a ban on assault weapons and handguns as part of a comprehensive legal and social policy approach to addressing the public health impacts of guns. The signatories of this letter support their call to action. We ask you to join us and commit to moving quickly on the doctors’ recommendations, including the ban.”
Members of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns 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. The organization has called for a comprehensive public policy response, including addressing social determinants, reducing the illegal sale of guns and the importation of firearms from other jurisdictions, and measures to restrict access to guns.
A wide body of evidence supports the position of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns, as demonstrated by a thorough reference list with more than 150 citations of international scientific literature, peer-reviewed research papers, and publications from leading medical journals, available on our website.
“The evidence is incontrovertible: restricting access to guns will make our communities safer,” said Dr, Najma Ahmed, trauma surgeon and co-founder of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns. “We are thrilled to have the support of so many acclaimed Canadian writers in our campaign for stronger gun control policy.”
The letter comes one week after the launch of a national, pro bono advertising campaign to warn Canadians that the proliferation of assault weapons and handguns represents a public health threat – www.notbulletproof.ca/ www.paspareballes.ca. Over the past 15 years the number of such weapons in Canada has grown dramatically and it Is now time for political leaders to act.
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