Health professionals, policy advocates, survivors of gun violence, and the Canadian Anti-Hate Network call on gun lobby to halt its dangerous rhetoric to ensure a safe election
Groups urge all political leaders to denounce offensive comments
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG), the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, PolyRemembers/PolySeSouvient, Danforth Families for Safe Communities, and the Coalition for Gun Control are calling on Canadian gun lobby groups to stop its increasingly inflammatory rhetoric for the good of our democracy. The organizations are deeply concerned that reckless statements infused with violent imagery coming from gun industry and gun “rights” groups could pose a threat to ensuring a safe election day for all Canadians.
The latest vituperation was revealed in a recent statement by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association that asked: “What is an acceptable death toll for Trudeau’s Liberal Government?”, and “Minister Blair, how many Canadians are you willing to kill and injure in order to collect their guns?”
These comments follow similar troubling statements from the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights that claim doctors will “own” responsibility for children possibly being shot and killed by police officers, and are "stepping on the throats" of people who own guns and trying to "discriminate" and "hurt" them after hours; regularly disparage survivors of gun violence advocating for stronger laws as “grave dancers”, going as far as to accuse them of “supporting crime”; and have referred to a communications consultant as being “as bad a person as” Nazi propogandist Joseph Goebbels.
A security concern last week that forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to wear a bulletproof vest – a concern dismissed as “theatre” by gun lobby leaders – underscores the serious consequences of a rhetoric of anger and division. In 2012, one person was killed and another injured at Quebec Premier Pauline Marois’ election night victory party (with a legal assault weapon).
The peaceful functioning of our democracy relies on a civil discourse. We believe these comments do not reflect the views of the large majority of Canadians who own a firearm. We urge all political leaders to demonstrate leadership in the closing hours of the campaign and denounce such reckless rhetoric.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Empower Consulting, for Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns