On 3rd anniversary of Islamic Cultural Centre Shooting, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns calls on Bill Blair to ban sale of semi-automatic weapons without delay
As Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) stands in solidarity with the Muslim community, Quebecers, and all Canadians affected on the third anniversary of the mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, the organization calls on Bill Blair to ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons without delay.
The tragedy three years ago was the result of a toxic mix of hate and deadly weapons. It led to horrific loss of life and unthinkable trauma for the survivors and victims’ families left behind. We all mourn this result.
“Every day the government delays banning semi-automatic assault weapons is a day we fail to lessen the risk of mass shooting fatalities from happening,” said Dr. Najma Ahmed, trauma surgeon and co-founder of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns. “Experts including the Canadian Anti-Hate Network have detailed the ongoing risks to society if governments fail to stop hate and strengthen gun control.”
Measures to restrict access to guns are also strongly supported by medical research which consistently shows a clear correlation between restrictions on access to guns and improved public health and safety.
Consider the international experience and the implementation of restrictive gun legislation following mass shooting events:
- In Australia, in the 18 years before the Port Arthur massacre, there were 13 mass shootings (5 or more killed excluding perpetrator). In 22 years following the passage of a significant gun restriction law and the implementation of a gun buyback program ('96-'18) there were zero such incidents.
- In the UK, there has been one mass shooting event since the passage of a handgun ban following the Dunblane school shooting almost 24 years ago.
- Even in the US, mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur during the period in which there was an assault weapons ban in that country. Contrast that to the current situation without a ban, where there were 417 mass shooting events in 2019 alone.
More recently, New Zealand’s government acted swiftly to ban semi-automatic weapons following last year’s mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch.
“Every day the government delays, the gun lobby pleads for people to buy more of these weapons, said Dr. Philip Berger, senior adviser to Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. “While the gun lobby continues to spread false information in its hurry to sell more guns, the public health of Canadians remains at risk.”
Indeed, the gun lobby has put out repeated calls for the stockpiling of guns, including military-style assault weapons.
Just last month, Canadians marked the 30th anniversary of the killing of 14 women and the injuring of 14 more in the shooting at École Polytechnique in Montreal. Last week, the anniversary of the mass shooting at La Loche, and Moncton, Fredericton, and Toronto have also been the site of mass shootings.
“Will our Members of Parliament choose to follow the American path of ‘thoughts and prayers’ following mass shootings or will they act with courage and ban semi-automatic assault weapons?” said Dr. Ahmed. “No more delay.”
In the coming days, CDPG will be releasing new information which illustrates the ongoing trauma caused by guns in Canada, and proposing an agenda for government action to lessen it.
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 or to arrange an interview please contact:
Empower Consulting, for Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns