Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 80

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Firearms Regulation

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise before you today to speak about the tragedy that struck Tucson, Arizona that left an entire nation overwhelmed with fear and sadness.

On Saturday, January 8, while hosting one of her regular “Congress on Your Corner” events, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down, suffering a bullet wound to the head. This same attack claimed the lives of six people and left another thirteen injured.

Honourable senators, I am sure you will all join me in wishing Congresswoman Giffords well as she travels down the road to recovery. I also take this opportunity to express to the families who lost their loved ones during this attack that our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

Honourable senators, tragedies like the one that shook Tucson a few weeks ago are a reminder of the importance of being vigilant about gun control. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated in an interview last week that every single day, 38 people in the United States are killed as a result of gun violence. He made this statement in an effort to stress the importance of enforcing gun control laws in America.

In Canada, we pride ourselves on being a peaceful and non-violent nation. For decades, Canadians have recognized the importance of being vigilant about gun control. It is of the utmost importance that we do not stray from this objective.

When engaging in debate about abolishing the gun registry, as we did a few short months ago, we should be mindful of the fact that these very public safety tools are the reason why gun-related deaths are far less prevalent in Canada than they are in the United States.

More than ever, there is a profound need to recognize the importance of public safety tools and laws regulating the use of firearms. The reality is that the world is a dangerous place and we must continue to work hard to ensure that our streets, schools and playgrounds remain safe.

Honourable senators, parents should be able to allow their children to play in parks without worrying that they may be caught in crossfire; students should be able to attend classes without having to worry about whether or not one of their classmates will open fire in the hallway; and nine-year-old girls like Christina Green should be able to grow up to be the politicians they aspire to be.

I urge all honourable senators to recognize the need to remain vigilant about gun control in Canada.