Liberals and Tories both using firearms bill to fire up support

Liberals and Tories both using firearms bill to fire up support

By Shachi Kurl, President

The mess over Bill C-21, the federal government’s proposed gun legislation, feels, at the end of a very long year, like the billionth example of what happens when Canadians living on different planets fail to understand — or even acknowledge — what life is like on the other planet, and then political parties rub their hands together and try to exploit the situation. Forget eggnog. Let’s pour another cup of bile.

The realities of people in both universes are true, accurate and undeniable.

To begin, in Canada’s two biggest urban cores, where about one-quarter of the nation lives, majorities perceive gun violence to be increasing in their community, including nearly two-thirds in greater Montreal and more than half in the GTA, as per polling from the Angus Reid Institute this year. This perception lines up with official data from the country’s police departments. Firearms violations have increased by 50 per cent since 2000, according to Statistics Canada.

Given the strength of this sentiment, and the news coverage about gun violence in places where a significant amount of the country resides, it is not surprising to see that fully two-thirds (67 per cent) have supported a complete ban on civilian possession of handguns in recent years.

For people living in neighbourhoods that have been touched by gun violence, the fear, the anxiety, the horror and the stress that come of worrying about loved ones, seeing them wounded, or worse, the feeling of being trapped in your home — it all goes beyond statistics. It speaks to the core, fundamental right to want to live violence-free. This is not, and should not be, a point of argument.

Read more from the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Image – Logan Weaver/Unsplash