Massacre survivors,family members push Liberals for stronger gun laws

Survivors and family members of victims of shooting massacres in Canada called on the Liberals to provide a precise timetable for a new bill.

Representatives of those affected by the École Polytechnique, Dawson College and Quebec mosque mass shootings gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today, and accused the federal government of dragging its heels on promised tougher gun control laws.

The representatives said they are losing hope that the government will table legislation by the end of 2017 as promised, and outlined the human costs of what they called “weak” laws related to possession permits, gun sales and the availability of assault weapons, which include most of the models used in recent mass shootings south of the border.

Next week marks the 28th anniversary of the Dec. 6 massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. Fourteen women were killed and more than two dozen were wounded.

Meaghan Hennigan, who survived two gunshots 11 years ago at Dawson College in Montreal, said she is disappointed in the Liberal progress on gun control to date.

She said, “Most Canadians would be shocked to learn that the guns used in recent mass shootings in the United States are freely available for private ownership in Canada.Many assault weapons are unrestricted. It’s ridiculously messed up. These are the kinds of weapons an individual can seriously injure or kill above 50 people within a mere matter of minutes.”

Hennigan was among the 16 wounded at the Sept. 13, 2006, mass shooting at Dawson College that claimed the life of student Anastasia De Sousa.

The Quebec City mosque shooting, an attack by a lone gunman on Jan. 29, 2017, left six dead and 19 wounded.

During the 2015 election campaign, the Liberals promised sweeping measures to “get handguns and assault weapons off our streets.” They included:

Enhanced background checks for gun buyers.
Stronger record-keeping requirements for sellers.
Tougher transport rules.
Investment in task forces tackling illegal firearms.