We are in the middle of an epidemic of gun violence

91 Homicides in Toronto this year. Shootings and stabbings are becoming normalised as we get used to the carnage. Politicians mouth platitudes and do nothing.

I want to see a nationwide ban on assault rifles and handguns and I recently asked my MPP Christine Elliott if she still believes (as she did in 2008) that

“a simple handgun ban is not going to be the answer that we need, because criminals are not going to respect handgun bans.”

Given the roll call of massacres over the last decade – from Sandy Hook to the Danforth - I am left wondering if her views have evolved. For example, does she still believe:

“For all intents and purposes, there is a handgun ban in Canada right now.”

Does she believe that private citizens who are lawfully allowed to own handguns regularly and frequently use these handguns to kill people?

“there already is a handgun ban, except for people who are lawfully allowed to own handguns: members of our police services, our armed forces, and recreational shooters.”

If Elliott is still against a ban on handguns in private ownership what steps should be taken to prevent gun violence?

“We are all in favour of any reasonable proposal coming forward that's actually going to do something to prevent gun violence.”

When I blogged about handguns a month ago I promised to post Elliott’s response if she got back to me. I have now heard from her constituency office who refer me to the PC Party’s basic Talking Points. They say this is all they can do until they get a direct response from her. I am grateful to her office.

This is what the Talking Points say:

  • Gun violence has no place in Toronto and these brazen, indiscriminate attacks need to stop.
  • Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and ensuring the police have the tools they need to do their job is our priority. 
  • Illegal guns cross the border into our province every single day.  This needs to stop.
  • We will look to work with the federal government to ensure that sentencing is tougher for the criminals who have committed these violent acts, and ensure the bail system is doing its job to keep our communities safe.
  • We are also committed to making sure our police have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • Ontarians deserve to feel safe and secure in their communities. 

Elliott’s Office tells me further announcements will be made in the new year when I can look forward to a better response to my questions.

I consider this progress.

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